[Discuss] Proposal: Open Source Hardware Score/Index

Mario Gómez mxgxw.alpha at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 12:12:06 UTC 2015

Hi Ben,

That's the idea of the proposed score, there is a set of questions that
evaluate compliance against the OSHW definition. Your project must meet the
required score 15/15 to be considered OSHW.

The reason why is a score instead a simple evaluation of compliance is
because I was thinking that it also must work as a tool for the begginer
that want to develop OSHW and a guide of which changes are needed to be
compliant. Currently in the way the score is designed you must have 15 of
15 points of compliance to be considered OSHW if you doesn't meet all of it
well... then your project simply isn't OSHW. However you'll know after the
evaluation how far is your project of getting the goal, it's not the same
to get a score of 1 than a score of 14. The system later would underline
the things that you  failed to comply and (hopefuly) give you a guide or
ideas about what to do.

After the 15 "required" points there are 7 aditional points that evaluate
good practices. The idea of including this in the calculation of the score
is because in some way is easy to comply with the definition but that
doesn't guarantee that you are following good practices. Then again if
you've got the 15 required points the extra points help you to know if you
are following the best practices and giving added value to your project
generating a good and accesible documentation.

Also I think that the definition is pretty clear of what things prevent a
project to be considered OSHW and the questions of the score were
elaborated that way, following the definition.


On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 1:55 AM, Ben Gray <ben at phenoptix.com> wrote:

> Although I like the idea of an index, it seems to be enough of a problem
> (even on this list) to recognise what constitutes Open Source Hardware or
> not. I feel that adding an index or score could muddy the waters even more.
> However it could add to understanding if the compliance elements are
> stressed and failure underlined rather than a low score given.
> --
> Best Regards
> Ben Gray - Director
> www.phenoptix.com
> twitter.com/phenoptix
> plus.google.com/+phenoptix
> On 25 February 2015 at 07:16, Jeffrey Warren <jeff at publiclab.org> wrote:
>> So one thing I like about the contrib.json file is that it'd have a BOM
>> requirement with potentially optional things like prices, links for where
>> to buy materials, etc.
>> I had some ideas (talking with RJ Steinert
>> <http://publiclab.org/profile/rjstatic> of Farm Hack) about how a more
>> Bower- or NPM-style utility could parse such files... these are just
>> roughly sketched out ideas -- say we called it "newt":
>>    - newt init -- would run a text-based questionnaire to generate
>>    contrib.json file
>>    - newt compile bom -- aggregate/merge BOMs of nested projects
>>    - newt compile bom <string> -- aggregate/merge BOMs with links
>>    matching provided string like "digikey.com"
>>    - newt compile price <int> -- calculate unit price for int units
>>    - newt compile contributors -- compile contributors of nested projects
>>    - newt register -- makes searchable, tests for presence of req'd
>>    docs, clones repos or zips
>> Updated my post in the comments here, where there's also been some
>> discussion about versioning:
>> http://publiclab.org/notes/warren/02-24-2015/standardizing-open-source-hardware-publication-practices-with-contributors-json#c11215
>> On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM, Roy Nielsen <amrset at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> One possibility would be to require a "BOM" or bill of materials that is
>>> required for an OSHWA certified design.  Perhaps something like the
>>> following for an embedded board:
>>> * contributors.jason
>>> * Project BOM - in the part descriptions - includes whether a part is
>>> open source or closed source
>>>                           (ie processors, complex chips, etc)
>>> * Schematics list - including descriptions & if the schematics are
>>> modifiable (ie, not pdf)
>>> * License
>>> * Hardware Design Documentation
>>> * Software Design Documentation & License (if applicable, like firmware)
>>> * Connectors - if they are open design/interface
>>> anything else?
>>> Score could possibly be based on what of the above is available . .
>>> Regards,
>>> -Roy
>>> On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 4:15 PM, Pablo Kulbaba <pablokulbaba at gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>>  On the validation via a community or a specific group of people, maybe
>>>> the initial open community can provide a seedstock to raise educated people
>>>> to form a later trusted group of people that gives an ulterior
>>>> certification.
>>>> PD: Had to search JSON.
>>>> On 24/02/2015 08:00 p.m., Mario Gómez wrote:
>>>>  @jeff:
>>>> That's great! It can even work both ways: If you already have a JSON
>>>> you can provide the URL to automatically calculate the indicator for your
>>>> project and vice versa: if you complete the questionnaire it could
>>>> automatically generate the JSON file that you can include in your project
>>>> as you propose that would be easy to do.
>>>>  Sadly I'm a little busy this week but let me see if I can program a
>>>> functional prototype so we can experiment how it could work for the next
>>>> month. (I would not mind if someone else wants to help)
>>>> @Javier:
>>>>  I personally like the idea of the community, because if the process
>>>> is straight forward, verifiable and transparent what matters is the result
>>>> of the evaluation system and not the person/group of persons doing the
>>>> evaluation. This is assuming that the evaluation system provides means to
>>>> minimize/prevent abuses (That's why I consider important to also
>>>> implementing a meta-evaluation system).
>>>> However... being certified from a trusted group of people it's really
>>>> important and I think that the OSHWA could be an appropriate group to do
>>>> that. But let's hear more opinions, I think that it's possible to build
>>>> something simple that helps people to follow the OSHW philosophy in their
>>>> projects.
>>>> Regards,
>>>> Mario.
>>>> On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 3:54 PM, Jeffrey Warren <jeff at publiclab.org>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> I really like this idea!
>>>>>  Somewhat related is this idea from chatting with Alicia Gibb a few
>>>>> months ago, of a contributors.json file which would fulfill (with links,
>>>>> short descriptions, etc) all the terms of the OSH definition.
>>>>>  I finally typed up the idea and our sample format here:
>>>>> http://publiclab.org/notes/warren/02-24-2015/standardizing-open-source-hardware-publication-practices-with-contributors-json
>>>>>  Love to hear input. Perhaps the questionnaire could generate such a
>>>>> file. At Public Lab, it'd be interesting for the file to be auto-generated
>>>>> from our tool wiki pages. The nice part about it is that it's not
>>>>> specifying a way of browsing or aggregating projects (as other folks are
>>>>> exploring that space) but specifies a standard way to make the
>>>>> relevant/required information available for such projects to
>>>>> scrape/consume. Also, it's easy enough to write by hand and include in a
>>>>> github repository.
>>>>>  Best,
>>>>> Jeff
>>>>> On Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 3:55 PM, Javier Serrano <
>>>>> Javier.Serrano at cern.ch> wrote:
>>>>>> Mario, I think this is a great idea. I see this can play a role in the
>>>>>> solution to one of the biggest problems of OSHW: how to make sure
>>>>>> developers have more incentives to publish their work. Economic
>>>>>> incentives in particular. An OSHW label could give (more) prestige to
>>>>>> developers who hold it and induce purchaser-driven growth of OSHW. We
>>>>>> are already seeing that prestige is a big element in the success of
>>>>>> OSHW
>>>>>> companies. A well advertised and supported label or mark could enlarge
>>>>>> the population of savvy customers.
>>>>>> On 02/24/2015 05:58 PM, Mario Gómez wrote:
>>>>>> > 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.
>>>>>> One alternative is to entrust the OSHWA with that role. "Community"
>>>>>> is a
>>>>>> vague term. If I have to trust someone on whether a piece of software
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> free software I will trust the FSF over the "community" any day. One
>>>>>> way
>>>>>> of doing it would be through a creative use of marks or labels, in the
>>>>>> vein of what OHANDA [1] proposes. See also the work of the Wikimedia
>>>>>> Foundation [2] in this regard. In this scenario, developers have a
>>>>>> natural incentive to not misuse the mark, because they can be sued
>>>>>> with
>>>>>> all the arsenal of trademark law if they do.
>>>>>> Cheers,
>>>>>> Javier
>>>>>> [1] http://www.ohanda.org/
>>>>>> [2] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Trademark_policy
>>>>>>  _______________________________________________
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>>>>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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>>>> --
>>>> PabloK
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