[Discuss] OSHW Best Practices / Layers of Openness

Tom Igoe tom.igoe at gmail.com
Thu Feb 28 17:58:08 UTC 2013

On Feb 28, 2013, at 10:53 AM, Alicia Gibb wrote:

> Tom, you are absolutely right, holding the enclosures to a different standard does make them  more of a second class citizen. Thanks for pointing out my bias. In that case, if there is no layering or partially open differentiation, then I'd think the enclosure also must be open as the stuff inside.

Agreed, Alicia, and the reason I think this is important is that we don't have that many OSHW *consumer products* out there yet.  Partially because consumer products involve multiple manufacturing steps? Partially because they're a larger investment?  

Contrary to Chris' POV, I don't think enclosures are simply protective or decorative.  The physical interface of a device  is part of the enclosure: the buttons, the screen if there is one, the speaker, the connectors -- all of those are functional elements of a finished product.  If we want to see more OSHW finished products, that means giving mechanical engineers and industrial designers more examples of how to functionally open their work.  So how do we describe what's open about a product with multiple manufacturing steps? It doesn't have to be a layered description; anyone want to propose an alternative?

Chumby set a nice example in that *all* the mechanicals were available for open use -- anyone remember the license terms for those?

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