[Discuss] quick blog post on possible misconceptions re: Certification proposal

abram connelly abram.connelly at gmail.com
Thu Oct 1 00:47:30 UTC 2015

This post is really great, thanks for making it.

I think a lot of people get turned off when there's standards committees,
organizations and other bureaucratic infrastructure mentioned, especially
with a hacker friendly type of crowd.  Though there still is a lot of FUD
w.r.t. free and open source, it used to be a lot worse.  I think the same
type of thing is happening with open hardware (and certification) now and
that it can get better in the future.

I think explaining in terms of what it is, why it was created and what the
implications are goes a long way towards this. At the risk of kicking the
hornets nest, I think posts like Boldport's "The license is the license" (
http://www.boldport.com/blog/2015/9/22/the-license-is-the-license) are
really misguided and confused about what the certification is proposing to
solve.  I also think it's important to reach out to the members of the open
hardware community that don't typically get a lot of attention and make
sure their voices are heard and concerns addressed.  Maybe a FAQ could be
written up addressing some of these issues?  One that lists some of the
common concerns that have been coming up, in Boldport's post, the HaD
comments and elsewhere?  Maybe it could even be put up on a GitHub page so
that anyone could suggest additions by making pull requests (there's always
a Wiki as an alternative as well)?

Hardware is a different beast than software. I think we need to make sure
people understand why we have these mechanisms in place for open hardware
and why it needs to be different from the software license model.  For me,
addressing the core issues of what the certification is trying to solve and
the motivation behind it is crucial for understanding.  I think your
article is a great and hopefully it's a start of a larger trend of pushing
back against a lot of misunderstanding!


On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 3:21 PM, Jeffrey Warren <jeff at publiclab.org> wrote:

> Hi, all -- I dumped some of my thoughts on the certification into a post
> on my blog:
> http://unterbahn.com/2015/09/misconceptions-about-oshwas-open-source-hardware-certification-v1/
> IMO, there's plenty to worry about (or to work hard to do properly)
> without having to worry about some of these red herrings. Interested to
> hear folks thoughts.
> In particular I've been very interested in making it clear that not
> certifying does not mean your project is not open source hardware. It
> seemed very clear to me, but from comments "out there" I gather that that's
> not 100% understood.
> +1 clarity!
> Jeff
> _______________________________________________
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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