the best place to discuss these topics is in the OSHW forums:http://www.openhardwaresummit.org/forum/
bt2 wrote:It was causing problems because the cool kids didn't like the definition of open source that some were using.
everyone doing OSHW that we know has pretty much wanted to use the OSI's excellent OSS definition, adapted for hardware. can you say who specifically doing OSHW did not "like" this? who are the "some people" and what were they using that was different?http://www.opensource.org/osd.html
bt2 wrote:Now they can "officially" claim that any project not meeting their definition is not OSH (despite the fact that OSH existed before the cool kids came along). If you follow any of this stuff closely you'll see it's not much different than the drama on a school yard playground.
that's not correct, hundreds of people who make hardware worked together to help define what they're doing. you're welcome to discuss this here but do not insult these folks - keep it constructive, thanks!
bt2 wrote:I'm jaded to the whole thing so I'm going to try to get a site together for the ROSH (Real Open Source Hardware) definition. This is much more lax, and allows things like non-commercial licensing, using closed source header and linkers files from microcontroller vendors, using closed software to develop your projects (e.g. Eagle), using closed sourced commercial parts (yes, I think it's only a matter of time before the OS ideologues start debating about whether we should only be using open source transistors fabricated in our basements).
non-commercial use is not open source, for software or hardware - it's that simple.
however, using non-OS tools for OSS or OSHW is ok, not ideal, but ok - there was lots of debate about this but many people use tools like EAGLE to make OSHW. you can use MS WORD to code OSS. ideally we'd have a full OS chain, but we don't yet. if you participated on the mailing lists, forums and events you'd recall all these discussions about "do tools matter?"
the OSHW def 1.0 defines what OSHW is, you can form a license that would encourage only OSS tools, but not many people would use it. however you can't make a license that does not allow commercial use - that would not be OSHW.
no one proposed "open source transistors fabricated in our basements" as a requirement. one example that comes up though - we would like to see an OSHW chip to replace the AVR used in the arduino. maybe one day, parallax made the propeller chip and they're moving towards more OSHW.
bt2 wrote: Open source is supposed to be about sharing ideas and projects, spreading knowledge, collaboration... not guaranteeing someone else can make a profit off of another designer's work (big surprise that the large OSH distributors support that).
there isn't any guarantee for anything, ever - open or closed.
read what OSS is:http://www.opensource.org/osd.html
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.
Rationale: The major intention of this clause is to prohibit license traps that prevent open source from being used commercially. We want commercial users to join our community, not feel excluded from it.
you then say "big surprise that the large OSH distributors support that"
- ok, who in OSHW is taking people's designs and making profits off of them without working with the designer? please list them here and list the project, be specific.
bt2 wrote:Just about everyone agrees that it would be wrong to steal a design and sell it without providing any compensation to the original designer, yet there is some odd desire to force this possibility upon designers in the OSH community. The "this usually doesn't happen" canned response here doesn't cut it. If it doesn't happen, why force designers to allow it to possibly happen. It's not different than saying car accidents are rare and usually don't happen, therefore you must not wear a seat-belt. The hard core OSH advocates (who are running the show) walk a strange line between freedom, where every aspect of the design (or at least every aspect currently convenient for them) must be absolutely free, and limitation, where the definition of OSH is dictated down to us and designs must be confined to within that definition. This limits a projects potential, and the last thing I want to be as an engineer and designer is limited.
again, examples? which company? who is stealing designs who does OSHW?
you're saying you're concerned about limits, if you work on something that doesn't allow commercial use, that is the biggest and ultimate dead-end for designing and engineering.
the OSHW overview was not dictated, it was worked on by hundreds/thousands of people around the world, it was a long road (still is) with a lot of debate about some of the small details, but the big things were always true: commercial use allowed, attribution, share-alike. you're talking about adding restrictions like *not* allowing commercial use, that's not freedom to do what you want with hardware. imagine needing permission to do something with linux or needing permission to make an arduino derivative or modding apache...
bt2 wrote:If you want the freedom to design something without having to worry about which creative commons license you use, or if you want to use say, the Microchip Ethernet Stack (shock horror!) in your project, with the open source spirit of providing the design files and documentation to spread knowledge and ideas and allow other (non-evil) people to utilize your work, use the ROSH. Otherwise you may risk a message from the elite that your design is not really OSH. Real open source advocates should be promoting cool and open projects, not dictating the definition of what open source hardware, software, etc., is down upon designers.
why didn't you (and why don't you) participate with the OSHW movement over the last 5+ years? if your ideas were solid and valuable for the thousands of people doing OSHW and calling it OSHW they would have been embraced. it's certainly not too late, join the mailing lists, post in the OSHW forums, get involved, prove that what you're proposing is better and needed - everyone wants to make OSHW the best it can be, join in and work towards that. engineers, designers, artists, biz owners, students... all came up with what OSHW is, it's a work in progress, a good one at that too.
throughout the years doing OSHW we were/are and will be frequently called foolish and stupid for giving away all of our "IP". we're looking forward to when it's universally considered cool. most people have stopped arguing about the value of OSS and if it's a good idea to allow commercial use.
you say "Real open source advocates should be promoting cool and open projects
" - who hasn't promoted cool and open projects that's considered an OSHW advocate? be specific.
OSHW isn't for everyone, if commercial use isn't a possibility for your project, don't do OSHW or OSS!
the MONOME folks only allow non-commercial use and do hardware, have you seen that project? talked with them? there's also the OHANDA effort that (if we recall correctly) has an option that does not allow commercial? there's something for everyone out there.
we'd love to see others start another effort that defines what they want, and that fits their needs. just keep in mind if you call something "open source" --- everyone who is calling their works OSHW has universally agreed that commercial use is always allowed, "real open source hardware" isn't an accurate term if you will not allow commercial use. there is a lot of "good" in the words "open source" - it means something very very specific, but you'll find no one is likely to help you if you attempt to use it, co-opt it, hijack it and twist it in to something that it is not.
why not call it something else that reflects that you can't use your works commercially? shared-protected, non-commercial hardware or shared non-profit hardware, etc, etc.
usually people use the existing copyright, trademark and patent system when they want those type of protections. but even with those protections something can be cloned. here's a recent example of non-open source hardware getting cloned any way:http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2011/02/04 ... d-any-way/