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Hardware Linux

Open Source Hardware Hits 1.0 59

Posted by timothy
from the ok-now-where's-the-pilot-light? dept.
ptorrone writes "The Open Source Hardware Statement of Principles and Open Source Hardware Definition have hit 1.0. Open Source Hardware is a term for tangible artifacts — machines, devices, or other physical things — whose design has been released to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use those things. This definition is intended to help provide guidelines for the development and evaluation of licenses for Open Source Hardware. The top open hardware electronics pioneers and companies have endorsed the 1.0 definition, and next up will be logo selection."
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Open Source Hardware Hits 1.0

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  • Why not just bring your own logo?

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:45PM (#35169224) Homepage

    On a side tangent here, if you're into open hardware, check out this (free!) online documentary about the Arduino. It's worth a watch.
    http://arduinothedocumentary.org/ [arduinothe...entary.org]

  • seems to be the real output from this initiative, given the top post. Perhaps I ought to read the links just in case there is something more tangible ...

  • by jfengel (409917) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @07:46PM (#35169236) Homepage Journal

    So, it's not a product. It's not even a design for a product. It's an agreement for what you might do if you had an idea for a product. (It's a little hard to tell, because as far as I can tell, it's hosted on a non-open-hardware Commodore 64. Maybe if it were implemented on Open Hardware the web server might actually serve up the page.)

    Whatever it is, it seems to be evolving fast, because it's at 1.1 already. It'll probably be thoroughly mature and passe before breakfast tomorrow.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      The concept is pretty much stillborn anyway. Open source software thrives on the ability of people to apply a patch and compile it themselves or at least download some precompiled binary. I suppose you can download a FPGA design and use/tweak that, but only an extremely small subset of users have access to one of those. For anything else you pretty much need a company to do production runs and sell them so if they reject your changes it's very hard to get it into an actual product.

      And unlike a bad patch tha

      • by wierd_w (1375923)

        I dont know about that...

        One place this might shine would be archetectural plans.

        An open library of archetectural plans would leverage structural designs for a host of potential markets, not all of which would need to be tangible. (Yes, I know this is a thing of the devil, I don't care.) Take for instance, virtual world environments like Second Life, or even just FPS shooters created under open licenses. Archetectural drawings are for more than just houses; they include manufacturing centers, office buildin

        • by Tanktalus (794810)

          Open source architecture? I don't think so. A library of ideas is one thing, but having a general contractor build something based on the drawings of someone who is not necessarily a licensed architect/engineer, who may not even be in the country of manufacture, is just asking for liability problems. Seriously. Unless you're talking about sheds or other inconsequential buildings, I don't see this passing legal muster, either.

          You still need to hire the architect and/or civil engineer to sign off on the d

      • Like open source software it's not just being able to change the design, it's having access to the full internal details of the product. Companies are encouraged to produce open-designed hardware or variants of it because it's cheaper than designing new hardware and marketing it from scratch, and when you buy it you get the full details of how it was made, so you can easily use, repair, reprogram and extend it without having to beg implementation details from a vendor who is uncooperative because they're tr

        • by Bassman59 (519820)

          Like open source software it's not just being able to change the design, it's having access to the full internal details of the product. Companies are encouraged to produce open-designed hardware or variants of it because it's cheaper than designing new hardware and marketing it from scratch, and when you buy it you get the full details of how it was made, so you can easily use, repair, reprogram and extend it without having to beg implementation details from a vendor who is uncooperative because they're trying to shield their proprietary designs from competitors.

          If the documentation for any particular piece of open-source hardware is as bad as the same for most open-source software, I say: no thanks. The whole point of this is to save time, and if I have to waste time figuring out interfaces and verifying that the open-source design does as advertised on the tin, well, I will just do it myself.

          Look at what Seeedstudio are doing with Arduino boards for example; they have taken the open-source Arduino design and extended it in interesting ways (Seeeduino Film for example) and they publish the full circuit diagrams, board layouts and firmware so if you want to mod or fix their boards you can.

          What people keep forgetting is that Arduino is a trivial microcontroller eval board. It's really no different from a Silicon Labs kit, except that SiLabs markets their kits t

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's like Creative Commons but for hardware projects. If you don't know the principal meaning of open hardware, you could familiarize yourself with e.g. Arduino: The Documentary. [arduinothe...entary.org]

      Of course the term "hardware" encompasses more than just electronics, but usually those designs tend to be the most closed ones due to the wide selection and high pricing of available EDA software.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by phooky (645)

      Perhaps you should browse the list of endorsers, which includes many companies that are already offering products and designs which are in accordance with the principles. This isn't philosophical wanking; it's an attempt to refine and protect a movement that's been active for years.

      • But watch very closely who gets to approve the sticker "Open Source Hardware Inside!" A job offer here... a project supported there... and then a small set of private interests are determining what "Open Source Hardware" means. ("so we can't get the information to write drivers for this open source hardware device?" "sure you can! you just need to download and approve this EUA and install this small object code library")
    • a general form of open hardware was there when they gave you schematics for the electronic stuff you bought, or the maintenance manual for your car. If our rulers really cared for out planet and our wallet the production of goods would have a modularization and compliance to standards phase.

  • Is that really the best presentation that can be done?

    A huge mass of turgid text.

    I'll grant you that its a good^H^H^H^Hfair defence against a /.ing but they probably have more than a modem to connect to the interwebs.

    Cheers
    Jon

  • by thomasdz (178114) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @08:07PM (#35169386)

    I have a coil of wire that I would like to donate to the project. I call it an "inductor" because I wrapped it on the INside of a roll of DUCT tape OR similar.
    I also have a pencil broken in half with a wire glued on one end and another wire that you can "wipe" up and down the black graphite center... I call it a "variable resistor" for some reason...but in any case... I hereby release it to be OPEN HARDWARE!
    yay!

    • I have a coil of wire that I would like to donate to the project. I call it an "inductor" because I wrapped it on the INside of a roll of DUCT tape OR similar. I also have a pencil broken in half with a wire glued on one end and another wire that you can "wipe" up and down the black graphite center... I call it a "variable resistor" for some reason...but in any case... I hereby release it to be OPEN HARDWARE! yay!

      The quality of your work has earned you the title "Maker".

      • by Bassman59 (519820)

        I have a coil of wire that I would like to donate to the project. I call it an "inductor" because I wrapped it on the INside of a roll of DUCT tape OR similar. I also have a pencil broken in half with a wire glued on one end and another wire that you can "wipe" up and down the black graphite center... I call it a "variable resistor" for some reason...but in any case... I hereby release it to be OPEN HARDWARE! yay!

        The quality of your work has earned you the title "Maker".

        Where are my mod points when I need them!

    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      I'll add to this my tinfoil wrapped soda bottle filled with salt water, which I call a capacitor, and the highly polished chinese wok which I call a solar collector!

      Soon we'll be able to build a rube-goldbergian technocratic empire!

  • Digital designs that can be implemented with FPGA is a lot like software, but when it comes to optical drives and others that are electro-mechanical or analog, being open-source won't have the same effect.

    Eh, all the same, I applaud the effort. Open society demands open technology.

    • by skids (119237)

      "when it comes to optical drives and others that are electro-mechanical or analog, being open-source won't have the same effect. "

      It could, if there was any appetite for developing open specifications/language for digital control systems (beyond simple PID setups.) But that would involve actually understanding differential equations and frequency domain math, and horror of horrors, hard real-time systems. That tends to send the lego kids back to their soldering dishes to hide among the rosen fumes.

      As it i

  • I use to think that the economics for open source hardware cloud not work, but a while back I thought about it.

    One way would be for the R&D to be done by a community. Licensed to manufactures at fixed rates to recoup cost, kinda like a non-profit, any surplus could go to new or related projects.

    Manufactures could build the designs. The market would be leveled because it's not who has the biggest patients or latest tech anymore, But who can make the most cost effective/efficient component.

    Efficiency is t

  • So may be some people will fund open source programs but hardware? The pull of proprietary is stronger in the hardware realm it seems and the "open" people there seem closer to the "hobbyist" side.

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Thursday February 10, 2011 @11:59PM (#35170706)

    I run a company that produces what we term open source hardware, and the open hardware definition takes a stab at providing a framework that individuals and companies can use to release a hardware/software project. The key ingredients are (a) that you must provide source code and design files sufficient to allow someone to build/extend your device, (b) that there can be no non-commercial restrictions (for example, "You can build one for yourself, but don't you dare make them for others", and (c) that any devices based on the source code and design files must be released under a similar license.

    Up to this point, we've had to license the hardware designs, schematics, and code are provided under the GPL v3, and then release the documentation, schematics, panels, and illustrations under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. It's a mess that doesn't work well with nebulous concepts like case design and control panel layouts.

  • I've been hearing about open hardware for a good decade now, so where is it? Where's the patent-free 500mhz MIPS CPU based tablet that runs on AA batteries, maybe with with a 32 shade grey scale b+w LCD (no backlite needed)?

    if you fab it, they will come.

    I'm sure there are chinese manufacturers out there who would love a tablet they can manufacture initially locally, without license or royalty payments. Hell the government has that as a major goal.

    So with the innumerable products coming out every year why

    • by drewm1980 (902779)

      It's because all of the open hardware/software geeks have been naughty this year...

      http://xkcd.com/838/ [xkcd.com]

    • Because it is not profitable/noone has incentive to do this/there is no demand. So no, they will not fab this, and noone will come. If open-source hardware made any sense, it would already be here. There would be no need for manifestos, logo contests, or "pushing." Why would a chinese company would want to do this and enjoy no competitive advantage and the corresponding 0.01% profits? A government? Right, those are well-known for innovativeness and efficiency.
      • by evilviper (135110)

        If open-source hardware made any sense, it would already be here.

        An idiotic assertion... Nothing is here until it its created. Not everything that can be made, has been made. Not every good idea had yet been realized. The demand its not there because you can't expect purple to demand a theoretical product that doesn't exist. One it's created, we will see if there is demand.

        Why would a chinese company would want to do this and enjoy no competitive advantage and the corresponding 0.01% profits? A govern

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