[Discuss] Proposal: Open Source Hardware Score/Index

Mario Gómez mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 16:58:19 UTC 2015

Hi everybody!

I have been on this list for at least a year from now and I have seen a
couple of recurrent topics on this list:

The first is the question if a project is truly OSHW and the second asking
for a mechanism to validate/certify the compliance of the OSHW definition.

I currently work in data analysis and in the last year I promoted a
independent mechanism to crowd-validate the election results in my country
(I believe that community-based validation approachs are great to evaluate
compliance if they are well designed). So I was thinking that it could be
possible to construct a simple indicator that helps you to determine if
your project meets the basic premises for being classified as a truly
Open-Source-Hardware Project. So I borrowed this idea from the "online
personality tests" were you fill a survey and the result automatically
classify your personality on different traits.

Also, I was thinking that this indicator needs to be easy to calculate in a
way that you can automate it in a platform that allows the community to
validate your answers.

So I came with the idea of an Open Source Hardware Index (or Score but I
think that OSHI sounds better than OSHS). It works asking questions that
try to identify practices that prevent your project to be truly open source
hardware and also tries to identify good practices.  The idea is that if
you fill the expected answers you gain points and when you meet all the
required points your project can proudly say that is OSHW.

However the truly beauty of an index like this is that it could be
validated by the community. My idea is that it could be possible to build a
crowd-validation system in a way that other members of the OSHWA can review
if your answers are true checking the evidence (links to your
documentation, sources, etc.) that you can attach to each of the answers.

The idea is that the community validates if you are telling the  truth. To
prevent abuse a meta-validation system could be implemented were you can
"evaluate the evaluators" to see if their are being fair on their

The added value of the index is that you can take the answers and generate
a profile or action path of things that your project must do or improve to
fully meet the OSHW definition. Also, it doesn't prevent startups with
small budgets to be validated (like other proposed mechanisms), however the
OSHWA could sell some kind of "OSHWA certification" and certificacion
services (like adapting bussiness process/practices to meet OSHW definition
and good practices) to companies that want to put some kind of "marketing
badge" on their products considering that they also need to comply with the
minimum required score.

But well, I think that I have written too much. So is the link to the index
and the proposed questions, this is the first draft so any suggestions are


I think that the next step could be to evaluate the performance of the
index, taking popular OSHW projects and other projects and see how they
score against the score or if we need to include/modify the existing

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