Yesterday I got notification about this video and watched it, and I was amazed. Dave got to the root of the problem and found genius solution how to handle it!
We all know that “Open Source Hardware” is buzz word and many people want to use as sale pitch no matter if they really do OSHW or not, this really frustrate people who do OSHW as per the definition.
Even OSHWA couldn’t find proper way to handle this so they decided to make new OSHW logo which is patented and if someone put it on product without complying with the OSHW definition to be liable and fined. This obviously scared lot of people and many of them argued that they will not use this logo as they may do something wrong by mistake. It’s also questinable how OSHWA will enforce these fines for someone who for example is not in USA but in China or Bulgaria 🙂
Dave came to simple idea – instead to punish people for not doing OSHW right, to encourage them to be as open as possible!!!
What are the common OSHW definition violations so far:
- not publishing CAD files but just PDF or JPG schematics – this is the mass case, most of the products who claim to be open friendly has nothing beside schematic (which is questionable latest schematic run in production) and some mechanical drawings
- not publishing firmware
- not having mechanical CAD files
- not having documentation of the theory of the implementation and explanation how is done
- not having BOM
- releasing under non-commercial licensee i.e. restriction for commercial re-use
With current situation everyone could use OSHW logo even if not meet all definition criteries, which is not fair, as people who open everything can’t be distinguished from the people who do ti partially.
What Dave propose is to add letters which to give quick brief about what is open in the open source hardware project, by adding one letter:
- S – schematic file is open (may be variation Sp – schematic as PDF or picture and Sc – schematic as CAD file is open)
- P – PCB CAD files are open
- F – the software Firmware is open
- M – if there are Mechanical items they have drawings
- D – documentation how the project is done is described
- B – there is bill of materials
- C – the project has no Commercial use restriction
Simple and genius!
With one look you will see what is open in this project, this way people will know what to expect and every one will be encouraged to go as open as he think is possible at the moment.
Instead to fill fines and to control what and who is doing, people will have clear view about the openness of the project with one single look and more people will be encouraged to do this and join Open Source Hardware Movement!
Good work Dave! You rock!