[Discuss] CAD software: where does OSHWA stand?

Windell H. Oskay windell at oskay.net
Sun Mar 19 21:06:26 UTC 2017

> On Mar 19, 2017, at 6:35 AM, phillip torrone <pt at adafruit.com> wrote:
> ideally oshwa(?) could work up an ideal list of things CAD makers could do to support open-source hardware makers,

I'd second this-- it would be a great idea to a best practices list for design software authors and publishers (both FOSS and commercial). 

We always need to keep in mind that design software used by OSHW designers includes not only EDA software, but also software for mechanical design, illustration, and so forth.  

If such a list were written and the suggestions implemented by a few software packages, I could imagine that it would be very good for them as well ("This software is great for designing open source hardware, for the following reasons: ...").

> the biggest that we seem to hear is forced cloud storage and "software as a service" is not desirable.

Two of my suggestions would be:
* Fully documented file formats-- ideally published with a FOSS-compatible license. 
	- Making it possible to build third-party import and export tools, preventing ecosystem lock-in.
* If software has commercial limits on what can be created with a given version of the software (this year's file format, only PCBs up to a number of layers or area, etc.) take care to ensure that those limits do not apply to which files can be _viewed_, just saved. 

Windell H. Oskay, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Scientist
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
175 San Lazaro Ave, STE 150 
Sunnyvale CA 94086

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