Will The Open Hardware Movement Fail?

Posted 4 Jun 2002 at 12:57 UTC by steve Share This

Jim Turley has written an article for Embedded Systems in which he gives his reasons why Open Hardware won't evolve to challenge the closed, proprietary hardware we're stuck with today. He believes the qualities and freedoms that make Free Software superior to proprietary software can't be translated into the hardware world. Is he right? The folks at OPENCORES, openH.org, and FreeIO.org don't seem to think what they're doing is impossible. Perhaps Mr. Turley should take the advice of the ancient Chinese proverb: The one who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one who is doing it.

I'll have to remember that one!!!, posted 4 Jun 2002 at 15:07 UTC by The Swirling Brain » (Master)

Cool chinese proverb! It has been true many times in my life. People love to say that it can't be done or the more discouraging yet is that "you're reinventing the wheel." It's easier to scoff than it is to do. Like why would you create something that someone else has already created? Well, for instance, if you can make it cheaper, or better, or more efficient, or some other improvement, it seems reasable to me to let someone try. Open hardware seems like a great idea to me and something that we can all benefit from. It will only work if people participate and allow it to work. Like open source software, the first inclination is to hold back letting it go. However, I've seen some open hardware sites, and just because they were open hardware made me want to buy from them. I've had people take hardware that I've created (dprg h-bridge project) and improve on it and use it for their own robots. I'm happy to have helped someone with their project. And again I couldn't have started and completed the project in the first place except for other more learned people who helped me with the project.

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