The "online" version of the library - updates?

I am looking at building a receiver in the next couple of Months. I can see Hotbird13 and see the “card” on the transponder with my TV receiver, with no problems.
I found, by digging in the forums here, that there is an example of what the data looks like on the Librarian software here but the database it is looking at appears old and/or incomplete.
Is there a plan to refresh this, as I have tried to show others what this is about (before setting my system up!) and that is the best example I can give, and… well it is hard to “sell”, when the data is old or non-existent.

It would be nice if it was kept up to date (or if a kind user who already is receiving via the satellite makes their URL for the librarian available “public” - any takers? )

I think outernet is a brilliant concept and a great idea.

I completely agree it would be great to have a online version of the library available to download via the internet and then take to places and share.

In the Philippines we have a mixed bag of internet with the bigger Islands getting high speed internet and the many smaller Islands getting very poor and expensive mobile phone internet.

If I could get access to the Outernet Library files when I had access to high speed internet I could then download the Library data files to a 1TB Hard drive and then share the hard drive via wifi and OpenGardens pier to pier wifi sharing when I go to visit small Islands.

I don’t imagine much would have to be changed in the Outernet software.

Possibly adding a simple software source switch from satellite feed to Internet feed.

In the end Outernet is about delivering information. If I carry it or it comes by satellite it will still change the world.


Yeah, our forces are currently stretched a bit thin. We expect a new staff member to come on full-time by the end of this month, so things should become a bit more up-to-date. We’ll also create a page that will allow you to track the broadcast sort of real time.

Why don’t you just Open source everything and throw it all out to volunteers.

That doesn’t solve all the problems.

Thanks @branko I understand that :slight_smile: I know what it is like to work with a tiny team LOL

@Seasalt I think there are two things we are talking about here.

  1. having a web based “view” of the Librarian that has it’s database somewhere else on the web . So you connect to it via the “normal” web as if you were connecting to your own “lantern” or similar. I am pretty certain that that is what is. The issue now is that the database it is using is not updated.
  2. Having a version of the library database on the web (I think it is as series of zip files) so you can download the whole thing to your own machine and then take it with you so so can run your own local librarian application to access the data , which will not be updated until you down load the whole lot again. - Ti tell you the truth I think you CAN get the zip files from the web ( I am sure I have seen them somewhere) and there are threads elsewhere in this forum that shows people discussing an Android version of the librarian to do exactly this ( I don’t know how it went though!)

This whole project has so many possibilities, but only the original ones should be worked on to prevent “scope creep”. Open sourcing & crowd-developing the first iterations of this would be a good way of preventing it from ever being “fully formed” IMHO.

Having a web based presentation of the Librarian that has reasonably up to date database would be a good “selling point” but, as I said before, even if a kind soul who is getting the data from the satellite now opened up their local Librarian webserver to the World so others could look at it, it would be worthwhile, at little to no cost. :slight_smile:

In response to number 1, the link is actually just Language is added automatically, and /[language]/apps/ is the url to the app page, which doesn’t have very much of interest at this time.

In response to number 2, yes, it’s available at This page was updated recently, but i’m not at all sure to what state it has been updated.

Also, about the Android project, that particular incarnation (which was running a web-based version of librarian on a smart-phone) was put on ice (possibly scrapped entirely) due to difficulties getting python to run reliably on the Java based Android platform. In my opinion it wouldn’t be something that’s useful because we aren’t offering unique content. If you have internet access, you have access to our content sources. Maybe down the line we will offer unique content and will have a web-based service, but i don’t imagine that’s likely.

Correction: due to plans for a native Librarian app at some point in future.

@Seasalt @neil You should also take a look at this blog post on building out the content that is included in the broadcast as well as this excel sheet, which is about to be overhauled to more accurately reflect our content organization and filtering mechanism.

Thanks @ThaneRichard
The spreadsheet doesn’t load, it just errors… (that is “clown” storage for you! :slight_smile:

This discussion has gone off track from what I was really looking for in the first place though, as interesting as it is.
I do understand the insane complexities of the editorial responsibilities here… If someone suggests you carry KCNA (which is 99.9% propaganda) would you?

Now back to what I REALLY wanted though.
I want to be able to show someone what it is like to use the Outernet. For example:
If we were in the middle of a remote desert, and I wipe the sweat off my brow, and the sand off my tablet then connect to the Lantern that I have placed on a rock nearby, simply by typing in the URL (after connecting to the hotspot of course)
Or In the case that I want to spend some money on a pi & a USB RVB-S rx and I have to show someone what it will achieve. So I want to use my tablet/pc (admittedly connected to the interwebs) and type in a URL and show what is there now…
It seems that there was a demo running on the URL mentioned earlier, but it’s database is hopelessly out of date…

I understand if there is a reluctant to have a “formal” demo set up, but someone , somewhere must have a working Rx system against the geostationary sats, and could maybe share the URL of the Librarian (even if it is through a VPN)

I don’t quite follow what you mean. Outernet is currently broadcasting content on a few satellites, so it is technically live already, no need for a ‘demo’. We’re working on refining the technology and content repositories, but it does broadcast information as it stands now.

Go on then @Ben Demonstrate it to me now…
Why should I buy bits & work on getting the software it working now?
(and I mean show me what I will end up with, not videos & presentations…)
If this ( ) is what you get now, how can you sell that to me to get me off my arse to make any effort on it?
I can see Hotbird 13 and I can see your nice “card” on the transponder, but all the rest is words & presentations.
Do you see what I mean?
(the very first entry on the Librarian demo is a bit disconcerting too BTW LOL! )

Imagine you have to tell your partner that you want to spend money & they ask, “on what”, how would you answer?
Don’t get me wrong here, I am just saying that it would be great to see the “endgame” of the alpha as it stands today, and the next day, and onward. I support the project!

Oh well, we could all just sit around and wait for someone else to demonstrate stuff. I remember when we first went public, there were people with the same kind of tone. “You’ll never go live, prove me wrong! Come on, show me!” they’d say. We chose to just continue with our work and we went live. So, sorry, we don’t really have time to make personal demonstrations for select skeptics.

Nobody says you should. That’s for you to decide.

How you deal with your partner is certainly not our problem.

Sorry, but you are completely missing to point,
If you want people to test what you are doing you need to not be “snarky” to people who want to help
Re-read what I wrote & then re-read your answer.

You have to realize that Ben’s surprise at your request is perfectly logical. What you are asking is for someone else to do a build for your own demoing pleasure. If you honestly believe that is completely fair and logical, then we have a big cultural gap – between you and most people I’ve encountered on this forum, who are building their own devices and have never asked for anything beyond assistance and information (which we are always happy to provide).


@neil, I understand what you are asking for and we are already working on it. We will be turning the Outernet homepage into a working demo of the Librarian interface that pulls data from the server right before going up to the satellites for transmission, so it is reflective of what is actually being broadcast. The Librarian UI/UX is being upgraded while we simultaneously improve the flow of content that is being broadcast. Both those tasks have to happen in tandem: you cannot have a beautiful interface with nothing to display and you cant have an enormous volume of content that is not functional to a user.

The goal is that you can use our homepage, get a sense of the type of material being broadcast, and understand “If I buy or build an Outernet receiver, this is what it will look like when I connect to it.”

Is that your ultimate question? If so, I agree with you and it is a priority for us. We want to show the value of Outernet, rather than just tell.


That sounds great.
Nothing soothes uncertainty better than a demonstration.