[Discuss] [DIYbio] Fwd: The institutionalization of OSHW

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 02:26:17 UTC 2012

On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 9:22 PM, Tim Schmidt <timschmidt at gmail.com> wrote:
> And as far as an OSHW definition goes, what's wrong with "all the
> information necessary to reproduce the device, including but not
> limited to the files which describe the device itself, software or
> firmware which runs on the device, and any software necessary for
> consuming said files."
> With the basic point being that it's not free unless we can distribute it.
> When you 'apt-get install reprap' or the like - we should install the
> reprap CAD files, but those files should depend on OpenSCAD, the
> Arduino IDE (in the case of the firmware files) and so on.  If a file
> is saved in Solidworks format, we can't exactly apt-get that
> dependency.  So it goes in a different repo akin to Debian's contribs
> repo (for packages which themselves are free, but which have non-free
> dependencies).
> In fact, the more I think about this, the more I think OSHW should
> just be packaged alongside our favorite applications in our favorite
> linux distributions.  Packaging for Windows and Linux should use
> whatever package manager is popular on those platforms at the moment.

I thought like that once too, but then I realized that the dependency
relationships are a bit more complicated in hardware. You have other
levels of dependencies other than the default that debian provides
you, like for expressing physical tool dependencies and widgets that
you need for assembly versus situations where you're not the one doing
assembly, versus operational dependencies like 240V.

I also disagree with the idea of repurposing a format like .deb or
.rpm, because of the maintenance nightmare. With the required effort,
we should just do our own thing. Node did, after all! (Kidding,

- Bryan
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