[Discuss] Google Doc for describing best practices.

Nathan Seidle nathan at sparkfun.com
Tue Mar 5 18:16:34 UTC 2013

Hi David - thanks for hammering on this. Ayah - I hope you don't mind but I
use littlebits as an example. I'd love to hear your feedback.

I can't quite get wording of an important section of 'Overall' and would
like to discuss it. Littlebits is an example of mixed open/close. The PCB
layouts are released (https://github.com/littlebitselectronics), the
connectors are awesome and novel and unique, but are not released. This mix
can be found in other projects, Makerbot being a large one. There are lots
of parts we all use that won't have design docs (ex: microUSB connector),
but when we the designer have access to the design docs and they are not
released, then the design is not open source hardware in my eyes. I want to
be clear that I don't think little bits is doing anything wrong; we've just
never addressed this aspect. However, going forward I think we need to
clear up the ambiguity. So here's my stab at the wording:

Any part of a design that can be opened but is intentionally withheld will
cause a design to be considered partially open. The rule of thumb: Have I
released all the source files that I have access to? If the answer is no,
then the project is not OSHW.

I don't want to discourage people from releasing! So I'm willing to
consider 'partially open' wording as a way to allow folks to get the
benefits of open community while closing parts of a design if they feel the


Nathan Seidle
CEO, SparkFun Electronics Inc
Boulder, CO
Phone : 1-303-284-0979
Fax : 1-303-443-0048

On Sun, Mar 3, 2013 at 6:35 PM, David A. Mellis <dam at mellis.org> wrote:

> Hey all,
> I copied Nate's best practices document (
> http://www.oshwa.org/sharing-best-practices/) into a Google Doc:
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CiL9nd0xPOGRkHcNnOTZdHG-niAHteOm74f9PmAHdLg/edit?usp=sharing
> Please help improve it.
> David
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
> http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
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