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Talk:OSHW draft

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Comments on OSHWD 1.0[edit]

  • Somewhat odd that the Open Source Hardware Definition is hosted on the Freedom Defined site. I think the difference between 'free' and 'open' is massively overestimated, but am familiar enough with it to feel cultural dissonance.
  • Lack of reference to this site's Definition of Free Cultural works for the documentation seems somewhat of a missed opportunity.
  • It isn't entirely clear what "the license" refers to. More to the point, it isn't clear that hardware has "distribution terms" equivalent to digital (software or cultural) works. With the latter, the thing is being distributed is what the terms apply to. With the former, it is the thing's design and documentation. One shouldn't want terms to accompany distribution of the hardware. First sale is not something to be contravened! It should be clarified that the terms apply not to distribution of hardware, but of design and documentation accompanying the hardware.
  • "open format" is not defined.
  • "OSI-approved open source license" could be given a link/reference (this is a minor nit; kudos for including necessary software bit).
  • A requirement for Royalty Free patent grant for anything required to exploit design, including implementation of necessary software, ought be considered; otherwise the hardware is encumbered, not open.
  • In some ways the Open Standards Requirements for Software are more analogous to the requirements for open hardware design and documentation than is the Open Source Definition upon which the OSHWD is based.

Mike Linksvayer 02:57, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

  • I expect the bit I added about open-source hardware needing to have the design be editable by open-source CAD programs will cause some controversy.
    • I would ask that anyone editing those sections please at least log in, and if you have any connection to a CAD software vendor, please disclose it.
    • Open-source hardware that requires a proprietary CAD program might be 'open' but it's definitely not free as in freedom.
    • For a good example of problems with an free/open source project depending on non-open components, see Bitkeeper's history, which resulted in pretty much all work on the linux kernel stopping for about two months while every developer went off and worked on a free replacement. The most notable results from this are Git or Mercurial
    • CAD vendors wishing to promote open-source hardware need to understand this will eventually result in development of a free (as in freedom) version, as some bored (or idealistic) students will write a free version.
      • Since it appears that Bitmover is still in business selling Bitkeeper, a CAD vendor might decide this is a good idea
      • I would expect any large open-source hardware push by a publicly traded CAD software vendor to include SEC (or other appropriate authority) disclosures of the business risks to supporting free/open hardware with proprietary software.

--Troy Benjegerdes 10:56, 3 October 2011 (EDT)