[Open Design] The first draft of the Open Design Definition

Massimo Menichinelli massimo.menichinelli at aalto.fi
Fri Mar 29 16:37:13 UTC 2013

Hi Aymeric,
I understand the need of promoting Open Source Software & Hardware, but 
this requirement is so strict that would make most of existing Open 
Design and Open Hardware not Open. It could be ok for a manifesto but 
not for a definition. Arduino for example would be not open because 1) 
designed with Eagle (the most used software for developing hardware but 
proprietary) 2) manufactured with proprietary machines.
And, furthermore, how many computers are both open source software and 
hardware? We should use open hardware notebooks for designing Open 
Design projects then, but basically there aren't available.
We are also using GitHub here but it's not open source: so this 
definition and all the software developed in GitHub shouldn't be 
considered as Free/Open (even if published with open licenses) because 
the platform is not open? It doesn't make any sense and it is not part 
of any existing definition: Free Software and Open Source Software are 
not as such because they have been developed with completely open tools.
Furthermore, it will be very difficult to trace, prove and show all the 
tools used in the process. If one wants to publish something as Open 
Design, he/she should also proved that only open software and hardware 
had been used.
Therefore I would not put this requirement in the definition.

For further promoting Open Source Software and Hardware we could add 
instead two things:

1) We could add a text that says something like "we promote the use of 
Open Source Software and Open Hardware for the development of Open 
Design projects, in order to further improve and valorize the ecosystem 
and the community of Open Source projects"

2) We could add the requirement of sharing not only the source files but 
also the source files in an open or interchangeable file format so that 
it could be opened also with Open Source Software. For example: a 
graphic design poster design with Adobe Illustrator should be shared not 
only with .ai files but also with .svg and .pdf files (so that we could 
open them and modify them with Inkscape, for example).


On 19/03/13 6:01 PM, Aymeric Mansoux wrote:
>> >One more thing about requiring the use of Open Source Software or
>> >Open Source Hardware for developing an Open Design project.
>> >Unfortunately there are a lot of technologies and softwares that are
>> >used and needed by designers (and in FabLabs as well) that are not
>> >open source, if we require only open source tools there would be
>> >very little of real Open Design.
> "real Open Design"
> That's the interesting bit here.
> If you want the definition to have an impact, then it should not
> describe a present limitation, but instead propose a direction for the
> future. In that sense I have no problem asking for a complete no
> nonsense free production pipeline.
> Or do we already need a fork for a free design definition?;)

Massimo Menichinelli
mobile: (ITA) +39 3402971655 (FIN) +358 505981442
Skype: openp2pdesign.org
Aalto University
Aalto Media Factory - Aalto FabLab (Producer for the FabLab activities)
Metadesign for Open Systems, Processes, Projects

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