[Discuss] Free Hardware

Emilio Velis contacto at emiliovelis.com
Thu Mar 12 18:12:27 UTC 2015

Just to clarify: "free hardware designs" should be read as:

Free *hardware designs*


*Free hardware* designs.

El jueves, 12 de marzo de 2015, Emilio Velis <contacto at emiliovelis.com>

> 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
> realm.
> 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
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','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>
>> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> discuss mailing list
>>> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
>>> http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
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