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Open Source Ink Project



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I have an idea. I think it is a bit crazy. I've been thinking about the idea of open source software, and the "free-ness" of it, and my passion for ink. What about creating a series of open source ink formulations. They will be formulations created by the community, for the community out of readily available ingredients (relatively available at least). They could be produced and sold by a manufacturer for those that don't want to get their hands messy, but primarily it would be a series of formulations that are open and available created by collaboration amongst fountain pen enthusiasts.

 

Is this a completely crazy idea? Would anybody be interested in participating in it?

 

Crazy ideas come to me sometimes...

Slaínte,

Lucas Tucker

Scribal Work Shop

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Love the idea! Maybe it would be best organised off FPN, where details can be corrected and refined, experience reports added, maintained in a format convenient to navigate, etc. Maybe a wiki sort of thing?

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open-ink.com is an available domain name... only 12$ a year. Google sites will host a wiki type page for free... we set-up a donation account with pay-pal to pay for the domain name every year...

 

I'm in...

 

I'll even set up the page. I LOVE the idea.

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I would love to learn to make ink. I'm in!

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart."

- St. Francis of Assisi

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there."

-Miles Davis

I will gladly take your unwanted Noodler's pens. Don't throw them away.

 

Assume no affiliation.

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I think this is an interesting idea, but is there a chemist in the house (or similar)?

 

Making something that colors paper is one thing, but making something with the right ph, has the right flow and drying properties seems complicated to me.

TWSBI 530/540/580/Mini, Montblanc 146, Pelikan M800, Tomoe River paper, Noodlers inks ... "these are a few of my favorite things"

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Great idea! I'm a web developer, I can help set things up, choose host and platform making modifications etc. And yes if you want something like that you need a pro chemist.

Edit: If we are serious about it someone should look at license / be a lawyer as I don't think GPL will work if you want companies to make the ink but I don't know really....

Edited by itayxd
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I'm a chemist and scribe by trade. http://www.scribalworkshop.com/cryptid are my current inks, but I thought a collaborative open source series of inks would be awesome. Eventually if we want to manufacture them I can do that, or any other manufacturer can, that's the beauty of it, but it would be a non-proprietary formulation, completely open and adjustable made from materials that anybody can source. I don't think a GPL would work as I think it is primarily for software right? Anyway, I'm no lawyer :).

It just seems like a fun project, I can do some of the chemistry lifting, but for the most part it is about community formulation and full disclosure. Anyway, let's see how many we can get on-board and then start brainstorming.

 

Any more takers?

Slaínte,

Lucas Tucker

Scribal Work Shop

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I don't think this would "fit" in FPN whatsoever (no offense intended to you Jared, but I feel strongly about that). Let Ink Recipies pin a link if it wants. A wiki seems to be the best approach.

 

As for licencing, I agree with LucasT that this should be completely non-proprietary. Everything posted should be Public Domain, that is, free forever for anyone to do whatever they want with it. And no liability if one of the formulations damages a pen. Folks would have to trust the experience reports of contributors.

 

Regarding pH, I don't want to dredge up the links again, but there has been data reported by various folks here showing that standard inks vary across the board in pH. For instance, Waterman Florida/Serenity Blue is one of the most acidic inks available, at a pH somewhere between 3.0 and 3.5. And Iroshizuku inks, also lauded as friendly, are among the most basic (pH around 13 IIRC), only slightly less alkaline than household ammonia.

 

I also have a degree in chemistry. I am sure the wiki would have many visitors with graduate degrees in chemistry, let alone bachelorates.

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I think a Wiki is a great idea, and yeah pH can vary tremendously, this has more to do with permanence rates, etc. but if people are worried about pH the project can make that a priority initially. I thinking using FPN for poling purposes of the project, etc. and finding out what sort of things the community would like in an open source ink would be useful.

Slaínte,

Lucas Tucker

Scribal Work Shop

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I am ready to launch.... I will even front the cost for the first years worth of domain hosting, etc.... Lets get some recipes posted. We can work out the rest of the details as we go along... do we have a few to post that people can start trying? If we don't run with this, I am afraid it will never take off... and I am oddly... really excited...

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Let's go for it! Once we are up and running I will post a VERY generic starting point colorless formulation, or a blue or something. Lots to discuss in terms of colors to start with, dyes, humectants, surfactants, biocides, etc.

Slaínte,

Lucas Tucker

Scribal Work Shop

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I don't think this would "fit" in FPN whatsoever (no offense intended to you Jared, but I feel strongly about that). Let Ink Recipies pin a link if it wants. A wiki seems to be the best approach.

 

As for licencing, I agree with LucasT that this should be completely non-proprietary. Everything posted should be Public Domain, that is, free forever for anyone to do whatever they want with it. And no liability if one of the formulations damages a pen. Folks would have to trust the experience reports of contributors.

 

Regarding pH, I don't want to dredge up the links again, but there has been data reported by various folks here showing that standard inks vary across the board in pH. For instance, Waterman Florida/Serenity Blue is one of the most acidic inks available, at a pH somewhere between 3.0 and 3.5. And Iroshizuku inks, also lauded as friendly, are among the most basic (pH around 13 IIRC), only slightly less alkaline than household ammonia.

 

I also have a degree in chemistry. I am sure the wiki would have many visitors with graduate degrees in chemistry, let alone bachelorates.

I agree of course that GPL might not be a match (as I said it to begin with) but I think the license should include an obligation to repost to the public the ink recipe (in code for example GPL require you to make the modifications open source while MIT/apache/BSD does not).

 

Also something like Git (VCS) might also be a good idea to post the recipes.

Edited by itayxd
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For the record, there was a similar initiative begun back in 2005, but the link is no longer alive and web search didn't turn up more recent material. Nevertheless that thread has some interesting information, links to dye suppliers, etc.

 

The Internet Archive has the front page of the old project, but (as usual in my experience) their archives don't record forum discussions. It's a shame this information was allowed to disappear.

 

I don't personally have any ink recipes to offer, but I'm very interested and will try to make myself useful to this project. I'm also willing to donate to the hosting costs.

 

P.S. I've sent Gerry a PM about it, since he appears to have been an admin on the now-defunct board that hosted the old project (LucasT I CC'd you). Hopefully he will have some good news about the old content...

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As for licencing, I agree with LucasT that this should be completely non-proprietary. Everything posted should be Public Domain, that is, free forever for anyone to do whatever they want with it. And no liability if one of the formulations damages a pen. Folks would have to trust the experience reports of contributors.

I agree of course that GPL might not be a match (as I said it to begin with) but I think the license should include an obligation to repost to the public the ink recipe (in code for example GPL require you to make the modifications open source while MIT/apache/BSD does not).

 

Also something like Git (VCS) might also be a good idea to post the recipes.

Hey itayxd, sorry if my post seemed dismissive or short, just excited and opinionated! I hope whatever technologies and, if necessary, licensing we settle on will be for the greater good of the project.

 

Wiki does offer something like revision control (well, edit history anyways), and the familiar and simple editing interface puts me more in favour of that approach, as encouraging less computer-techy contributors, while being able to revert etc.

 

Personally, I'm not fond of the GPL licence and GNU generally; they have a viral quality IMO. I'll be interested to hear what others have to say about whether, and how, such a project should be protected. I'm in favour of no compulsion, and just freely shared info. If some company tries to profit by this, and analysis can determine that they've merely branded public recipes, they'd look pretty silly.

 

On the other hand, with the right license, the ink would have to be sold with the complete recipe (unheard of, yet so sensible...). I confess I like that idea very much.

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Let's go for it! Once we are up and running I will post a VERY generic starting point colorless formulation, or a blue or something. Lots to discuss in terms of colors to start with, dyes, humectants, surfactants, biocides, etc.

 

 

I have been experimenting making ink for the last year or so. I got some dye samples from a couple of companies, some biocide samples from DOW and I also bought Triton x-100, NaOH and some other chemicals from a chemical company. I found some basic recipes in an industrial chemistry book. I have been trying to make some permanent ink using reactive dyes without any luck. :(

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Just became aware of this interest recently.

 

Should there be an interest in an 'ink chemist's' corner on the FPN I suspect that it can be created.

 

There have been a couple of posts supporting an 'off FPN' site for ink discussions, but this has been tried previously, with the result that there are no records of any of the dialogue held there. I strongly recommend carrying on this thread - or others of similar purpose, on the FPN where permanence is assured.

 

I would be happy to assist if the current FPN set-up is a problem in any particular way, but I strongly suggest that the dialogue remain on the FPN.

 

Warm regards,

 

Gerry

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Briefly, my reasons for preferring a wiki project are: freedom of site architecture, unlimited editing freedom, freedom from censorship, and certainty that the information will continue to be available (via the Internet Archive). FPN is not archived, and I have lost content due to DB failures as recently as last summer, and lost all my pre-2009 PM's, for instance.

 

In fact, the previous open ink effort was hosted on software similar to FPN, and has, it seems, been completely lost because such sites are not scraped by Internet Archive.

 

In my opinion, what would be ideal is an off-site wiki, and -- if the content develops to a point of being "interesting" -- a pinned link to the site in Ink Recipes. A wiki is basically self-administering, you just host it and let it rip (with the wayback machine archiving it periodically, preserving it for posterity).

 

No hard feelings to FPN admins of course; the efforts represented by my posting history attest to my care for the community. But after all, it's the content that accounts for the appeal of FPN, more so (or, for some, in spite of) how it's administered.

 

And in the end, it's up to you Lucas...

 

Kind Reg'ds,

Andrew

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