Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 08, 2013 08:31AM
We are a small group making a short film on Open Source Hardware and would like your input.

The title of the film is "what is open source hardware?". The aim of the film is to give people unfamiliar with open source hardware an introduction and inspire them to get involved in open source projects.

Due to the short duration of the film, 2-3 min, we want to make sure that it include some of the most important themes. We want to create a movie that does not only explain the idea of open source hardware but also draw in the motivation of the people involved and the values in the open source culture.

For this we need your help.

We therefore ask you to give your input to any of these questions or add more:

1: Does open source hardware bring value to the world?

2: Does open source hardware solve a problem?

3: Can open source hardware do something open source software cannot?

4: Why are you involved in open source projects?

5: Any other comments

Would love for you to inspire us
Thanks
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 09, 2013 06:40AM
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1: Does open source hardware bring value to the world?

Sure it does. At CERN the open source hardware model is used to improve communications to developers. At RepRap it's used to spread and collaborate on 3D printer designs.

Everything done open source could be done closed source, too, of course. Accordingly, open source isn't an advantage in technology, but an advantage in communications and marketing.

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2: Does open source hardware solve a problem?

Hardware being open source solves the problem of making niche designs commonly known. It lowers the entry point, can be (but not neccessarily is) used to get collaboration rolling.

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3: Can open source hardware do something open source software cannot?

Weird question, IMHO. A similar question would be wether a table (hardware) can solve a problem a book (story) can not.

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4: Why are you involved in open source projects?

Because hardware being open source gives the awareness, collaboration chances and feedback closed source can not.

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5: Any other comments

There's a big, often underestimated difference between open source hardware and open source software: unlike with software, it takes substantial time, knowledge and equipment to make a copy of hardware. That's why shops selling printed parts exist and have become a driving factor in the RepRap community, while shops selling compiled open source software don't.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 09, 2013 10:35AM
In this film, could you cover: How to make your hardware open-source and NOT subject to future proprietary lockdown.
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 09, 2013 12:07PM
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1: Does open source hardware bring value to the world?

Absolutely! By using this inclusive model instead of the closed, exclusive model, more (in the enumerative sense) capable developers can contribute to a solution. You have a pool of knowledge that you can feed from whereas closed source may lead to more concurrent parallel efforts to solve the same problem by isolated groups that may each lack the best knowledge in several fields. Open Source can be more effective in this regard, if everyone were to concentrate on their field of expertise and build on the foundations others laid.

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4: Why are you involved in open source projects?

Seeing things develop and collectively working on problems is more fun than to wait for big companies to churn out technological black boxes. Here is where I can contribute with my knowledge in order to achieve progress. And where I lack, others know better. Also, I get to communicate with like-minded people.
Anonymous User
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 09, 2013 01:52PM
I'm involved because it spurs me to think. When I see someone else's invention, I can see what's wrong with it and make it better legally.
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 11, 2013 11:44AM
Thanks a lot for you feedback guys!!

"In this film, could you cover: How to make your hardware open-source and NOT subject to future proprietary lockdown."

how to "make" your hardware open source is a big question and beyond the scope of our short film, in our opinion. The simple question is perhaps to say that you release and share the design blueprints with the world, which is the first step. But what about collaboration on designs? We have the opinion that one of the biggest challenges in open source hardware is that people do not truly collaborate on creating new designs. Especially when seeing how effectively this is taken place on many open source software projects. There are of course many reasons for this. When reading the question "how to make your hardware open source" we can't stop but think that the question that should be asked is "How to collaborate on open source hardware?" or " how to make open source hardware truly embrace community-based peer production?".
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 12, 2013 06:01AM
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We have the opinion that one of the biggest challenges in open source hardware is that people do not truly collaborate on creating new designs.

That's true. While a few exceptions (for example, Prusa i2 / i3 is developed by a group of several people) exist, hardware people generally don't collaborate.

However, with open source hardware people copy a lot from other designs. Not true collaboration, like working on a single, "best" design, still a lot of learning from each other. Maybe a result of hardware being of low complexity. Re-designing a Mendel takes perhaps a week or two, re-writing a Linux kernel would take a year at least.


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: Short film on Open Source Hardware
February 12, 2013 09:36AM
+1
Collaboration need not be what we think. Work done in the past is recycled into new designs. Everything released as open source hardware has the potential to be improved upon or redesigned, so in many ways it is still very much like GPL software, people branch, fork, merge, etc.
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