[Discuss] OSHWA creates one database to rule them all ...

Matt Maier blueback09 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 6 22:13:33 UTC 2014

The Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam attempted to come up with a
standardized set of metadata, or at least v0.1 of standard metadata

"Using a stack of Post-It notes, the taxonomy group delineated essential
metatags and metadescriptors to be incorporated into  documentation and
organized them on the wall:

   - OSHW – The tags that identifies the entire project as open source
   - Entity – The person or organization responsible for the project
   - Project Name – Something unique that identifies the specific project
   - Version – An alpha-numeric code that increments at milestones
   - Completion Status – The general maturity level of the project
   - Version Date – Last time the version number changed
   - Terms of Use – Any terms of use or licensing compatible with the
   latest version of the open source hardware definition
   - Summary – The project pitch – short (140 characters?)
   - Keywords – A comma separated list of synonyms – tags for search engine
   - Description – The detailed description of the project
   - Predecessors – This project descended from…
   - Content Location – A URL to the main project repository

Beyond these, group members also targeted other metadescriptors that would
be helpful for turning up the right project:

   - Difficulty Level
   - Author / Contributors
   - Required Tools
   - Approximate Cost
   - Required Space

The biggest little Post-It ever turned out to be the simple tag “OSHW” (for
Open Source Hardware). Marcin explains:

We took a picture of that little Post-It, and we said, “This is the result
of the entire jam!” That is to say – if only any *open source* hardware
project identified itself as such – that would make life much easier for

On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Sep 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> There is also ThingTracker, which has been around for a while and is not
>> centralized http://thingtracker.net/
> Similar in that spirit was this proposal:
> http://gnusha.org/skdb/package_spec.html
> However, I think the primary problem with these proposals is one of
> incentives-- how do you convince everyone else to start being package
> maintainers, or if you can't do that, then are you willing to clobber
> everyone's work into packages on your own? Most of the time there aren't
> enough files given anyway and there's not much to package up. And even if
> there is, then you're left with the problem of limited metadata- which is
> only a problem depending on which packager you're talking with ("Well, I
> only use packages that specify ports of connectivity on each piece of
> hardware", "Oh, I prefer packages that have automated instructions for
> assembly and creation by pick n place, cnc, etc.")..I believe the exact
> analogy isn't going to transfer from software, and any useful solution will
> end up looking pretty alien in the end.
> - Bryan
> http://heybryan.org/
> 1 512 203 0507
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
> http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
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