Talk:Open-source hardware

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IBM Cell Processor[edit]

What about the new promising IBM Cell Processor?

I read at many places, it is supposed to be "open source hardware":

  • Is it only the interface specification to the hardware, which is open?
  • Or is the whole hardware design (including verilog source code etc.) public available?
  • Or is even the hardware design licensed under a licence which fulfills the 4 freedoms of software/OS Definition?

If anybody knows sth. about it => Please add it here!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


Is the word "Source" appropriate here? In open source software I assume the source refers to source code. For hardware, there is no source code, but there are other forms of design or diagram which might be considered the source. Is that why the title is currently Open source hardware rather than Open hardware ?

I'm not greatly committed to using or not using the word source, but I think it's worth getting it right, so we can have a common term to refer to the same thing.

I've come across the issue in appropriate technology - see Appropedia: Open Source Appropriate Technology. This term is popular among some advocates for the concept, but I think a better term might be "Open Design Appropriate Technology" instead. Thoughts appreciated! --Chriswaterguy talk 07:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

We go by the most commonly-used name, not the most "accurate" one. "open source hardware" is commonly used because it's a more obvious analogue to "open source software"; frankly I'd love a world where both were referred to just as "open" and not "open source", but it's not the world I'm in. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 10:40, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
There is a more general article about Open design which deals with open source principles applied to all kinds of design. I think "open source hardware" is probably a more descriptive term for what we are talking about - "open hardware" sounds a bit vague, and could merely refer to the use of open standards for interfaces etc. But I'd go with whatever appears to be the most common name. Letdorf (talk) 11:19, 2 December 2008 (UTC).
I agree with Chris Cunningham. Chriswaterguy's original question is certainly valid - although I think it is for different reasons: I can easily think of a schematic as a netlist, which I think could be referred to as "source code." And then of course, we have HDL's (or netlists), which is certainly source code for for ASIC/FPGA/CPLD designs. If you look at Open Source Definition, it's pretty obvious that the term "open source" has become over-used, especially in relationship to hardware. But as Chris said, Wikipedia uses the most commonly-used name. —Mrand TalkC 13:38, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Is open source hardware the most commonly-used name? Google trends points to open hardware being vastly more commonly-used name. Going through the sources (those that works and are not blogs), most do use the name open source hardware, with some using both open hardware and open source hardware mixed. Is Google trend then wrong, or is the sources old data, or are they a biased selection? Belorn (talk) 07:26, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

May I have a word? We (Elphel) are an "open hardware" company, but not an "open source hardware" company. We offer "Imaging solutions with Free Software and Open Hardware" for more than a decade, our products are released under Free Software (GNU GPLv3) and CERN_Open_Hardware_License, not an "open source hardware" one. Elphel (talk) 23:19, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

It also seems that Wikipedia has only information about Open_Hardware_License (3 different ones) but it knows nothing about even a single Open_Source_Hardware_License. So I strongly believe that using "source" is unneeded here, it adds nothing to the meaning, does not come from the industry, and search querries return with more results for the shorter name. So is it just politics to enforce this alien name on us? Elphel (talk) 23:36, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
When I google them, they get very similar numbers of hits. There is for example a Open Source Hardware Association. I think this has to be one of those "it really doesn't matter as long as we know what we are talking about" issues. Unless of course there is some hardware RMS out there with a stern lecture to us all about the difference. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 17:34, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
I believe that "the similar numbers" (and you see, that the lack of "source" is still - inspite of the current Wikipedia article - MORE popular - contrary to what Chris Cunningham stated above) are caused primarily by exactly this Wikipedia article named as you mentioned RMS - "anti-RMS" zealots. Yes, you found an association that uses "open source" in their name, (Open Source Hardware Association), but if you scroll down that page - it talks about "2012 Open Hardware Summit" - no "source" again. You write that "it really does not matter...", but accuracy is one of the most imporrtant assets of Wikipedia, and this title is not the name used by those who produce Open Hardware, who develop "Open Hardware Licenses". So I was really surprised when I followed "open hardware" link on the Wikipedia page about our company and got here. It is just some artificial name that is much less accepted than an alternative. I already pointed out that Wikipedia shows 3:0 for "Open" vs. "Open source" hardware licenses, you may probably investigate companies and organizations involved in the field - how they prefer to call themselves. So I can not find any explanation for this Wikipedia inaccuracy but the politics.Elphel (talk) 06:11, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
The context in which I suggest it doesn't matter is the context of what to call it on Wikipedia. We have a similar difficulty with "aeroplane" vs. "airplane" because the English-speaking world is split on which term it uses. Accuracy is not at issue, since both terms mean the same thing. So rather than fight endlessly, Wikipedians decided that it doesn't matter which you use in any given article. I have not seen evidence that "open hardware" and "open source hardware" mean different things, say in the way that "open source" and "free/libre" do. Indeed, about 10% of those Google hits included both phrases, "open hardware" and "open source hardware". Examining a few of those pages I see them used more or less interchangeably and here we find their plainly-stated equality, "open hardware = open source hardware". So until I do see evidence of some key difference (and I freely admit that is quite possible, my view is purely evidence-based and I have not researched deeply), I stand by my suggestion that it doesn't matter here. But it's good, verifiable sources of evidence that are the key (hence my quip about a "hardware RMS"). Wikipedia honours Verifiability not truth. — Cheers, Steelpillow (Talk) 21:27, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I believe you know plenty of words that you may say "they mean the same thing" but the "does not matter which one to use" is not exactly correct :-) Elphel (talk) 06:17, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

OSHW - author was using Wikipedia to push a new acronym[edit]

A quick google search of "oshw hardware" returned updated wikipedia entries first and then references to the "Open Source Hardware Association" which it states is "coming soon" as a non-profit. It seems that OSHW is going to be a service mark to identify hardware as being covered by an open source hardware license. Not sure who is heading this up. Sparkfun perhaps.

So OSHW is a service mark, not a standard acronym. I am reverting his OSHW changes. let the original author add a section talking about this. Robert.Harker (talk) 20:48, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure that re-expanding this aids the article's readability. Whether or not the original editor did it to promote a particular organisations, editorial discretion suggests that using an abbreviated title reduces unnecessary repetition in the body and that this makes the article flow better. So long as we define the initialism before we use it, I don't think it matters a great deal how widely it's used in the real world. In the long run we're going to need to do something about the utterly ridiculous duplication in this domain on Wikipedia (I can think of another half-doze articles which cover much the same ground as this one), and doing so may get us to arrive naturally at the most well-known name. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 13:47, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

**Page Needs Help**[edit]

I have seen many a page on Wikipedia with a post at the top calling for help to a page with needed work, for example there is no criticism cited as most "open" designs use proprietary chips and\or devices... Thank you. — Preceding comment added by Jamison2000e (talkcontribs) 15:51, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

WikiObject project proposal collaboration[edit]

Hi, I am including open source objects information in wikidata , maybe this could be useful for this wikipage,

An example is Prusa i3 Hephestos 3D printer with its information structured and linked like its parts Arduino/Genuino UNO Revision 3 , etc ...

If we include in open source hardware wikidata items the property "instance of" with the value "open source hardware" autogenerate list like this will be possible.

More info in WikiObject Project Proposal page — Preceding unsigned comment added by Qupro (talkcontribs) 13:23, 29 October 2016 (UTC)