[Discuss] Proposal: Open Source Hardware Score/Index

girish m ugirishm at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 25 01:37:09 UTC 2015

Very good initiative Mario. One way to enforce developers and companies to take the survey and receive the ratings is to publish a 'Black List' regularly. The 'Black List' will have listing of products that claim to be open source but have not submitted the survey. 
Check out the new kindle book on open source hardware: Amazon.com: Product Development Process for Open Source Hardware: A reference guide for OSH developers eBook: Girish Maiya: Kindle Store 

     On Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:28 PM, Mario Gómez <mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com> wrote:

 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.


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.


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