[Discuss] open hardware documentation survey
jcline at ieee.org
Wed Mar 27 00:44:25 UTC 2013
On Tue, Mar 26, 2013 at 7:20 AM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> The problem is that we don't know what we need.
That is the problem. You can't approach the problem of abstracting an
engineering method top down. Linus didn't start with Mozilla and then
write a kernel (even if they hypothetically existed at the same time). You
must work bottom up. That means, do a small, simple hardware project.
Then do another one. Then do another one. Then combine the common
elements. Then add another one. Combine the common elements again.
Continue to iterate until there's about 100. Then reconstruct the
implementation to reorganize the common elements. Do more projects and
combine the common elements at regular intervals. Continue to iterate
until there's about 1000. Then do another complete reconstruction. etc.
There's a hyped-up term for this method, it's called Agile. Don't forget
Design For Test while starting up.
Unless this is for a thesis; then by all means start top down and don't
accomplish anything and create a bunch of new terms and acronyms and
perhaps publish then fade into obscurity while sounding big for about 15
For example: the first step in creating a completely new electronic design
is to build a parts library. Then connect the parts. Then after several
designs with the same parts, the common designs are made into bigger
(abstracted) parts which are in turn used in several designs. But it
always starts with the lowest level library part (a resistor or the
simplest chip) then in subsequent iterations the library contains many
components in a single abstracted and functional box.
There are many standardized (and/or open) hardware components now but there
have always been standard hardware building blocks, just not
open/DIY-manufacturable ones. Abstraction layer zero -- these are the
atoms. Where's the higher-level module libraries which use the atoms to
form larger reusable hardware pieces? These will only be created by
building many real things and scraping the common configurations into
larger component blocks -- to get to Abstraction layer one.
BTW if open hardware technology is so advanced then where's the Ikea-CAD
which allows building larger things using Ikea standardized-building-block
components? Doesn't exist because the libraries are still at Abstraction
## Jonathan Cline
## jcline at ieee.org
## Mobile: +1-805-617-0223
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