[Discuss] The institutionalization of OSHW

phillip torrone pt at oreilly.com
Sat Sep 29 02:04:15 UTC 2012

2 weeks ago i got the usual once-a-month "purity" email from some random person saying "you're not open source because you use quickbooks, or windows, or EAGLE" etc.. but now this week adafruit along with sparkfun is back to being a "good example of an open source hardware" company.

i read your post and you say "Ok fine, I understand the need to discourage knock-offs.  But if you do this you are NOT 100% Open Source Hardware." - 

ok, but really, who is or isn't open source enough this week?

is sparkfun 100%, is adafruit 100%, what about EMSL? they have a kit that's not OSHW, so does everyone else who i consider an oshw company. are we pure enough?

our company statement, actually, limor's is "we're going to keep shipping OSHW while everyone argues about open source hardware". we're going to keep doing open source, we'll show that's an amazing cause and an amazing business, smart people will want to join us.

last week the most vocal voices in the open source 3d printing community didn't inspire anyone to want to join their cause, in fact a 3d printer maker told me "wow, glad we never did (or will do open source). that's the worst thing i think, people steering clear of open source because of a "damned if you do, damned if you don't? 

i really don't know what's next, but i'm thinking about. for now,  i'm really excited about the OSHWA, because they're a group of people that has the mission to celebrate OSHW companies, i'd like to know i can work hard and someone *else* is going to say "these folks are doing OSHW, support them".

i'm going to do my best to get them members and help them celebrate oshw.

join in :)


On Sep 28, 2012, at 2:07 PM, Andrew Stone <stone at toastedcircuits.com> wrote:
As I listened to the OSHW summit speakers, I felt a pretty disturbing trend towards closing aspects of some products, and "yes-sirring" both real and "fake" regulatory bodies (as opposed to reluctantly complying) by the well-regarded members of our community.  And then of course there were lots of great presentations of cool stuff that completely disregarded all that.
> Looks like some of us are growing up :-(.  Did you feel that way?
> My full blog posting: http://effluviaofascatteredmind.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-institutionalization-of-oshw.html
> Cheers!
> Andrew
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