[Discuss] discuss Digest, Vol 10, Issue 99

Marketply contact at marketply.org
Wed Mar 27 00:54:44 UTC 2013

We could take a page from sustainability.

A philosophy we hear everywhere.

But what about openability? Can we get people talking about open source and open
technology the same way? Yes.

Language can blaze a concept into the public imagination.

The word sustainability unites various flavors of a similar goal: to balance
individual needs and shared resources smartly, constructively and productively.

Similarly, the overarching goal of openability could be: enable people to
perpetually and universally share their creations including all blueprints and
customizations, with access to the source material as easy as possible.

The philosophies already have begun to share language. One website just
mentioned open-washing (fake open), the open counterpart to green-washing (fake

Good language improves the conversation, for example removing misconceptions
between open source software and hardware. Fewer people would mistake OSS as

My mission is to promote openability, sustainability, and adaptability, and to
help people find it everywhere in the marketplace. This is why we've infused the
key words with broad strategies:

Openables, for goods that are open. Openeers <http://www.openeer.org> , people
who are the engineers and pioneers of "open". And openability, the philosophy.

And there are more subtle strategies here, for example, "openable" implies you
can open it up and inspect it.

The more people learn about open technology and standards and sources in a
consistent and streamlined way, the better for openability.

We need people who know software, hardware, illustration, writing, and creative
pursuits to feel as participants no matter which flavor of open they enjoy.

On March 26, 2013 at 6:17 PM Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:

A software developer can address a problem by writing a piece of software.

Not everyone is a software developer, and the people in open hardware are less
likely to have software expertise. Open source software was able to grow its own
tools because the people who wanted to use the software also knew how to write

Git was created by software engineers, for software engineers. Github naturally
grew out of that, but we are all aware of the fact that Github cannot handle the
complexity of hardware projects. There are software tools that are great for
hardware projects, but they are proprietary secrets that demand a great deal of
time and money.

The problem, then, is that open hardware needs software tools but the people
capturing the benefits are not software engineers. The open hardware community
has to approach software problems as customers.
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