[Discuss] Free Hardware

Emilio Velis contacto at emiliovelis.com
Thu Mar 12 18:10:07 UTC 2015

I'll go back to the original issue at hand: Can hardware be considered
"free"? The short answer is "no". RMS is mentioning the four freedoms
applied to designs. A private property can still apply within the physical

This brings me to an important question: "what is hardware?" If a digital
model of a hardware piece applies as hardware, then yes, there is free
hardware to which the legal framework allows the application of the four
freedoms. If hardware is so necessarily by the existence of a physical
layer of content, then no.

Which is why "open source" a term that more accurately describes the
freedoms within the "source" layer.

So, no, RMS.

El jueves, 12 de marzo de 2015, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> escribió:

> In the research I did on it I found a fundamental disconnect that will
> always create problems for funding libre work. The primary motivation of
> people who do free/open/libre work is pride in solving a hard problem and
> the secondary motivation is pride in being known by the community as
> someone who solves hard problems.
> They/we don't do it for financial reward. The upside is that it's much
> more likely to be shared openly. The downside is that boring stuff doesn't
> get done.
> The primary misunderstanding is that money is not an actor; money is what
> actors use to influence other actors. It doesn't make any sense to talk
> about money. Instead, talk about the actors. It's easy enough to identify
> the developers who need/want money, but the money doesn't just appear. The
> money comes from other actors. So who are those other actors and why would
> they want to influence the developers with money? Just as importantly, why
> would the developers be influenced by the money? That also helps explain
> why money is sometimes irrelevant, or even counterproductive, as in
> free/libre/open work. It's not about the money, it's about the actors
> influencing each other, and they can do that in ways that don't involve
> money.
> For example, if the community made a point of praising the developers who
> do boring work, like refining user interfaces, or updating documentation,
> more developers would do those things. If the community got together and
> demonstrated there's a need/market for some free/libre/open thing that
> doesn't exist yet more developers would start projects for that thing.
> Anybody who's good enough to be critical to a free/libre/open project is
> good enough to have a day job. That's not the problem. It's the community's
> lack of focus and short attention span that's the problem.
> On Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 9:13 AM, Javier Serrano <Javier.Serrano at cern.ch
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','Javier.Serrano at cern.ch');>> wrote:
>> On 03/12/2015 04:35 PM, Nancy Ouyang wrote:
>> > Anyway, I'm pretty distressed by the millions of dollars being poured
>> > into closed-source 123D, Circuitmaker, OnShape and the continued lack of
>> > interoperability in circuit design land. (also in my opinion we should
>> > explicitly search for UI/design contributors... I think prioritizing
>> > usability could even give open-source tools a lead in EDA).
>> I think that's only part of the problem. So far as the baker in my
>> neighborhood insists on getting euros in exchange for his baguettes, I
>> will need to find a way to be paid for at least some of my work :) The
>> same is true for the developers of KiCad, FreeCAD and other free
>> software tools for hardware design. These tools have gotten to an
>> incredible state in terms of features and quality, given the almost
>> complete absence of monetary rewards for the work people put in, but
>> they still have a long way to go. You can only prioritize usability, as
>> you suggest, if you have people ready to do the coding. There is a limit
>> to what people will do for free-as-in-beer, not because they are greedy
>> (an otherwise very human condition) but because they need to eat, pay
>> rents, dress kids, etc. If we find a way to inject even a small fraction
>> of the millions of dollars you mention into free tool development, I
>> think the results could be game-changing. Maybe OSHWA could play a role
>> here, as the FSF did with the development of gcc, emacs and other
>> components necessary for the development of free software.
>> Cheers,
>> Javier
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