[Discuss] Open Hardware defintion and eagle files
nathan at sparkfun.com
Fri Sep 14 06:18:11 UTC 2012
I'm glad you're getting the file format you need. Let the list know if
you continue to run into problems.
"How can a system claim to be open source hardware if the schematics
are distributed in an undocumented binary format?"
I assume by 'system' you mean Arduino? Or do you mean Eagle? As a
person who deeply believes in OSHW, I realize there will be people who
submit ideas and designs using different tools (Eagle and Altium being
a few, Pro-Engineer and Solidworks being a few others) - that's ok!
These tools may use proprietary formats, and that's not ideal, but
it's better than the gerber file format which are truly binary and
even more difficult to modify.
"I dont see that a limited function "freeware" eagle software can
qualify as being freely usable for editing..."
I see your point but there is a line we have to draw. Not everyone
uses a computer that uses an 'open core' processor (we can debate open
source down many rabbit trails). In the spirit of open hardware, the
folks at Gravitech really do want people to learn from their design
and modify/improve/use it. The fact that they released it in a fairly
proprietary format (but arguably widely used at the time) is hopefully
eclipsed by their intentions to share.
"well the modification of eagle files is limited. I cannot add more
than x layers, or make a design that is bigger than Y."
Yes you can if you pay real dollars. The difference is that you are
not required to pay money to the person who designed the widget -
instead to the tool maker (Eagle CAD). Again, in the spirit of the
rule I think this is painful but ok. We should not criticize folks
that release their editable files/design in a file format that is
proprietary. They are releasing source and that's what matters to me.
Some day (today with Eagle 6 and XML) I hope they will release their
designs in a more friendly and open format.
"the arduino files are in a binary format, that is pretty obfuscated no?"
Are you talking hardware or software? It can get confusing with
Arduino. The latest Arduino Uno hardware files are Eagle 6.0 and are
XML: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardUno Which files are you
"but that does not mean there are any programs that can read this xml file."
True, but again the spirit is there. Today I don't know of a good PCB
CAD software that can edit XML from Eagle directly but it's a step in
the right direction and perhaps a few years from now all PCB layout
packages will read/export the same formats but for now I'm REALLY
happy we can do diffs on Eagle layouts.
CEO, SparkFun Electronics Inc
Phone : 1-303-284-0979
Fax : 1-303-443-0048
On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM, Mike Dupont
<jamesmikedupont at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Hi there,
> I just want to start the discussion again about eagle files.
> How can a system claim to be open source hardware if the schematics
> are distributed in an undocumented binary format?
> I dont see that a limited function "freeware" eagle software can
> qualify as being freely usable for editing, when i tried to use it, it
> said to me many times the software was limited. Also my freedom to
> export the design is limited.
> This falls under this section of the OSHW , i guess:
> * The hardware must be released with documentation including design
> files, and must allow modification and distribution of the design
> well the modification of eagle files is limited. I cannot add more
> than x layers, or make a design that is bigger than Y.
> * The documentation must include design files in the preferred format
> for making changes.
> this is preferred but only if you have a full license. For someone who
> refuses to use propitiatory software it is not acceptable.
> I still have to see what other programs can open this xml file, but
> that is surely better than before.
> * Deliberately obfuscated design files are not allowed.
> the arduino files are in a binary format, that is pretty obfuscated no?
> * The license may require that the design files are provided in
> fully-documented, open format(s).
> what does may mean?
> In anycase, the migration to the XML seems to be a good idea, even if
> the license of that dtd is questionable. It would resolve one issue of
> readability. but that does not mean there are any programs that can
> read this xml file.
> James Michael DuPont
> Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova http://flossk.org
> Saving wikipedia(tm) articles from deletion http://SpeedyDeletion.wikia.com
> Contributor FOSM, the CC-BY-SA map of the world http://fosm.org
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