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Should Karma Automotive release the current CIU software as Open Source?

  • Yes, they should release it.

    Votes: 56 98.2%
  • No, they should not release it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I have no preference.

    Votes: 1 1.8%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Now that Karma has officially stated that BL535 is going to be the last engineering project for the 2012 Karmas, some owners and developers have suggested releasing the existing software as open source to allow third parties to update and upgrade the software for the 2012 Karmas. Before presenting Karma with that request, it would be helpful to gauge the amount of support for that proposal among the existing owners, which is the main reason for this poll.

Please indicate your preference Above.
 

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I voted yes. However, there are probably liability and IP issues involved, and if so, I'd understand KA being reluctant to open source the existing software.

This poll will likely show there's a market for the software. As with any product, that translates into $ and an implied warranty of merchantability. It seems to me that KA would need to be compensated and somehow held harmless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I voted yes. However, there are probably liability and IP issues involved, and if so, I'd understand KA being reluctant to open source the existing software.

This poll will likely show there's a market for the software. As with any product, that translates into $ and an implied warranty of merchantability. It seems to me that KA would need to be compensated and somehow held harmless.
The open source license would cover those issues. For example, a lot of routers sold by Cisco/Linksys includes open source software under a General Public License. As I pointed out in my post, this is very common industry practice.
 

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The open source license would cover those issues. For example, a lot of routers sold by Cisco/Linksys includes open source software under a General Public License. As I pointed out in my post, this is very common industry practice.
What he said!^^^^

Do we know how many active members we have here on the buzz? We need full support on this! How do we get all Fisker owners involved on this?
 

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Your example indeed helps. It does include the hold harmless (and "as is") legal language. It further states that the licensee would have to pay all costs if the agreement is violated and the manufacturer (Belkin) is sued. Among other things it also says the manufacturer retains ownership rights to the software.

I assume that a similar Public License would have to be generated by KA and then accepted by the licensee prior to receiving the software. Yes, it's pretty standard stuff - but worth mentioning since some might think it's a simple matter of KA providing the source code on a memory stick or posting it on their website.

Your General Public License link sheds light on the legal issues, and the rights and responsibilities of the parties involved. Although it could take some time, it all seems doable if KA is so inclined.

I'd be ecstatic to have our current software supported and improved. But wouldn't that be a disincentive for owners to upgrade to the Revero? Fab, that's got to be a factor in KA's decision-making process, don't you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
... I'd be ecstatic to have our current software supported and improved. But wouldn't that be a disincentive for owners to upgrade to the Revero? Fab, that's got to be a factor in KA's decision-making process, don't you think?
I don't have any insight into KA's thinking about marketing the Revero. My personal view is that if my decision to upgrade to Revero was influenced by the new CIU software and hardware offered by KA, I would not be dissuaded by the fact that a third party offers a slightly upgraded version of the old software.

The analogy would be the decision between buying a new Iphone 7 vs. jailbreaking my current Iphone 6. If I wanted to get features that were only available on the new Iphone 7, the fact that I could get non-Apple software on my existing phone is not going to stop me. But if I had decided to stay with my Iphone 6, having the option is helpful. Not a perfect analogy, I admit, but that's how I would think about it.
 

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I don't have any insight into KA's thinking about marketing the Revero. My personal view is that if my decision to upgrade to Revero was influenced by the new CIU software and hardware offered by KA, I would not be dissuaded by the fact that a third party offers a slightly upgraded version of the old software.
Agree. Here's 2 more cents:

I'm a big fan of KA and Powersource.

KA has had the difficult task of threading the needle between keeping existing owners happy and selling the Revero to that same customer base. For existing owners, they have bent over backwards to set up CSPs, provide funds to upgrade/repair our 2012 Karmas, and establish a warranty program. This creates brand loyalty and an incentive to make one's next new car a Revero.

Obviously not everyone is in a position to buy a Revero. That's where Powersource comes in. He and his team have already done an amazing job with aftermarket options and advice, and I can't wait to see what they can do for the 2012 Karma with access to open source software.

In fact, one can argue that an enhanced CIU makes current Karmas more valuable so owners can more readily trade up to the Revero.
 

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There's nothing to be gained by retaining rights over software KA doesn't intend to support. And there is goodwill to be lost if they don't, so the decision for KA should be very simple.

A 2012 owner won't enthusiastically recommend a Revero if doing so profits a company that is thwarting that owner's attempts to fix things in their 2012 that KA is unwilling to do itself.

Comments on buzz are useful and instructive, but since management likely focuses more closely on it's OWN owner forum, I'd encourage poll results, and other useful comments such as the ones here, to be cited or reproduced on that board as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Comments on buzz are useful and instructive, but since management likely focuses more closely on it's OWN owner forum, I'd encourage poll results, and other useful comments such as the ones here, to be cited or reproduced on that board as well.
That's a fair point and the intent is to incorporate the results from the poll and the comments (pro or con) in a petition to KA. If we want them to consider this as a serious request, we need to make the case seriously and methodically.
 

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That's a fair point and the intent is to incorporate the results from the poll and the comments (pro or con) in a petition to KA. If we want them to consider this as a serious request, we need to make the case seriously and methodically.
Do you want to start the post on KA?
 

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Too early, IMHO. Need more support from owners.
Oh I agree with you. I was just wondering if you wanted to be the 1? I'm a newbie and you or someone else might be the better choice. Nominations for the Fisker Karma Freedom CUI convention nominee? Make Karma great again LOL
 

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Another argument in favor of open-sourcing the code is that freelance developers could come up with some innovative "must-have" features that may not exist in the Revero's initial software release. Those features could then be included in a subsequent SW update.

I ran a computer company once upon a time and we made the decision to open source the code for our product line. Guess what? We wound up with more competitive products and improved profit margins since development costs were significantly reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh I agree with you. I was just wondering if you wanted to be the 1? I'm a newbie and you or someone else might be the better choice. Nominations for the Fisker Karma Freedom CUI convention nominee? Make Karma great again LOL
I was thinking of something like an open letter from the owner community to Karma, signed with the last four digits of our respective VIN numbers. I will be happy to post it on the official forum. We can also link it back to this thread as support.
 

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Another argument in favor of open-sourcing the code is that freelance developers could come up with some innovative "must-have" features that may not exist in the Revero's initial software release. Those features could then be included in a subsequent SW update.



I ran a computer company once upon a time and we made the decision to open source the code for our product line. Guess what? We wound up with more competitive products and improved profit margins since development costs were significantly reduced.

#Ira , so you think, they are going with Visteon again? If not, they could only reuse the idea, but not the code.
 

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I was thinking of something like an open letter from the owner community to Karma, signed with the last four digits of our respective VIN numbers. I will be happy to post it on the official forum. We can also link it back to this thread as support.
Sounds good! How do we get the last 4 VIN from everyone?
 

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I was thinking of something like an open letter from the owner community to Karma, signed with the last four digits of our respective VIN numbers. I will be happy to post it on the official forum. We can also link it back to this thread as support.
Hi Fab,
Here's my VIN
Marswill
 

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#Ira , so you think, they are going with Visteon again? If not, they could only reuse the idea, but not the code.
I don't know if the code for the Revero is being developed in-house or by a separate vendor. But with regard to the current code, I've heard that neither Visteon nor KA have any plans to further enhance it.

So unless it's open sourced to freelance developers, we won't see any future CIU upgrades to our "legacy" Karmas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sounds good! How do we get the last 4 VIN from everyone?
A lot of owners have the last 4 digits of the VIN on their signature line. Others, can post it when we have the draft of the letter ready to go.
 

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I don't know if the code for the Revero is being developed in-house or by a separate vendor. But with regard to the current code, I've heard that neither Visteon nor KA have any plans to further enhance it.

So unless it's open sourced to freelance developers, we won't see any future CIU upgrades to our "legacy" Karmas.
This is such a shame. In every owners forum/meet and greet held by Karma Automotive a CIU update was requested by me and my wife. She refuses to drive the Karma due to it's quirky interface. She drives a Volt daily and is used to a quick, responsive interface. It makes the Karma interface look like beta software at best.
 
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