[Discuss] Proposal: Open Source Hardware Score/Index

Mario Gómez mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com
Tue Feb 24 18:07:10 UTC 2015

I think that we can do nothing about projects that call themself "Open
Source" because they can be it in so many levels that is just hard to

But considering that we have a "definition" of what OSHW must comply with,
the OSHWA or any other organization could promote this indicator or any
similar as a way to differenciate truly OSHW projects from any other "open
source" projects. Like the way that FLOSS differentiatte from the OSS.

I agree that the questions and topics evaluated might need a little bit of
work/re-wording, but I tried to read carefully the definition and identify
the most common bad practices or behaviors against the OSHW definition.


On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:57 AM, Mario Gómez <mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com> wrote:

> The score evaluates stricly against the OSHW Definition. In this case the
> project could not be considered OSHW because it has a practice against the
> Free distribution, evaluated on this question:
> 5. Free redistributionComplianceAre there any limitations to
> manufacturing/distribution/selling your project and/or parts of it?NO1
> In this case the answer would be YES and it will not get the Free
> Distribution point required for being considered OSHW.
> Regards,
> Mario.
> On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 11:51 AM, Marcin Jakubowski <
> marcin at opensourceecology.org> wrote:
>> Mario,
>> I like this. I don't understand the scoring, though.
>> One thing on a metalevel - how to address the elephant in the room - in
>> that some people call their project open source when they have an NC->OS
>> model?
>> Ie, a model where they are NC or otherwise closed source until they reach
>> a funding point or some other metric, upon which case they release product
>> as full open source? Case in point is license for Aker - http://aker.me/
>> - with license at -
>> http://www.community.aker.me/t/designer-agreement-points/29.
>> Should this be addressed somehow in your metric?
>> Marcin
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> From: Mario Gómez <mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com>
>>> Date: Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 10:58 AM
>>> Subject: [Discuss] Proposal: Open Source Hardware Score/Index
>>> To: The Open Source Hardware Association Discussion List <
>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org>
>>> 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
>>> evaluations.
>>> 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 welcome.
>>> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PhDjiJIw6obQHZdK1bnozZMHUc3cUIjLUvL713kK4qo/edit#gid=1768287352
>>> 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
>>> questions.
>>> Regards,
>>> Mario.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> discuss mailing list
>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
>>> http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
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