[Discuss] Free Hardware

Nancy Ouyang nancy.ouyang at gmail.com
Fri Mar 20 04:48:43 UTC 2015

Mm, I have now emailed rms. *shrug* [1]

I agree that regardless, we can always stand to talk to people and
understand what is confusing about the term OSHW[design], how we could
explain it better, etc. *User testing is great! *Perhaps another failure
mode is that people do not know *who* to contact to clarify what OSHW means
for their particular situation.

But, I think it's important to reach out to people who are confused instead
of quietly mutter among ourselves in a corner. (it seems that the OSHW
defintion/best-practices will get passed along to Intel product managers,
at least, so that other rant-y thread wasn't "just another never-ending

With respect to rms and his "free hardware [designs]" article specifically,
this is how I feel:

rms can have his opinions on free vs open source software all he wants.
He's the expert there no doubt.

But if he's going to keep using the term "free hardware", I'm going to
roundly criticize him. Even "free hardware *designs"* is slightly
better. But still, the OSHWA did their best to solicit feedback from the
community and develop the definition of open-source hardware accordingly
over the past few years, run the open-source hardware summit, and it's all
documented online and on public mailing lists.

>From my perspective, it's like some astrophysics major came in and ignored
all the work the aerospace engineers majors were doing, re-did it all in
minorly different way, and then gave it a new name without ever mentioning
the aerospace engineering majors. It's just... super weird and kind of
disrespectful. Even though we are working toward the same end, I think it
is important, and informative to try to understand why someone is behaving
like ... like a jerk.

[1]  I was a little flame-baity, since I feel like he probably subscribes
to the "all ideas should duke it out" sort of old-school deal, and then I
re-sent another more conciliatory / explanatory email. We'll see how he

narwhaledu.com, educational robots <http://gfycat.com/ExcitableLeanAkitainu>
 [[<(._.)>]] my personal blog <http://www.orangenarwhals.com>,
arvados.org (open source software for provenance, reproducing, and scaling
your analyses)

On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 9:26 PM, Drew Fustini <pdp7pdp7 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 7:39 PM, Matt Maier <blueback09 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I think of the "source" in open source hardware as referring to the
> design.
> good point, that does make sense.
> -drew
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
> http://lists.oshwa.org/listinfo/discuss
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