Welcome to the O and S project.
The O and S project will tackle the heart of open hardware, looking at what it means to be open from a documentation standpoint.
There is an assumption that when something is shared and has a copyleft or similar license, that it is open.
Whilst this is nominally true, it can still be functionally closed.
The most obvious example is in language, until something has been translated into a language you can understand, it is closed to you, no matter how many other people can understand it.
A lot of open hardware might as well be written in Aramaic.
Only a handful of people are able to rebuild it just by watching the video, or the pictures, or seeing the sketches.
O and S seeks to lower the threshhold for copying what others have shared.
O and S looks at these problems from both a Documentation standpoint and an Open Source Appropriate Technology stand point.
The instructions have to be suited to the people using it and the place they are using it.
Where internet access or electricity is non-existent, people will want instructions on paper.
Someone running a workshop will want a video or a slideshow. Perhaps over head projector slides or material for document cameras. Perhaps small prototypes, even instructions for these prototypes
An engineer analysing the integrity of the design would want as much detail as he can have. Technical drawings, Computer models.
Each of these instructions should be as complete as possible so that in less than idea conditions, it is still possible effectively copy the design . There should not be a reliance on access to another medium.
With so many mediums this can all get quite messy. Even before we consider the issue of versions, collaborations and source material.
The project seeks to develop tools, conventions and potentially a platform that allows the several mediums of instructional documentation, ranging from videos to printouts, and their various revisions, translations and source material, to exist cohesively in an open, collaborative friendly, decentralised, but non-fragmented environment.
We begin with one good example of multifaceted documentation. Then another, and another and the lesson learned will inform the framework we build.
Welcome to the O and S project. We are at Hub Wesminitster. Our website is…. Donations, Advise, Comments and Collaborators are all welcome