The Open Design Foundation


ODD Preamble

Preamble to First Draft of the "Open Design Definition"

This document is a working/living document with purpose in developing a definition of "Open Design". The document is being created by the Open Design Foundation (www.opendesign.org).

Approach Used For Draft 1.0

The contents of this draft were derived from the "Open Source Definition, Version 1.0" printed in the Appendix B of Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, 1st Edition, January, 1999. The first draft of the "Open Source Definition" was writen by Bruce Perens as "The Debian Free Software Guidelines". It was refined during a month-long email conference in June, 1997. The Debian-specific references were removed, and the document title was changed to "Open Source Definition".

Draft 1.0 of the "Open Design Definition" recognizes certain similarities between the development of software/programs/applications and the design of a physical device. These similarities are discussed below:

Software/programs/applications originate with a concept. The concept is converted to source code via programming. The source code is a detailed specification of how the software/program/application is to operate. The source code is converted to a usable (executable) form via compiling. We commonly refer to this usable form as software/a program/an application. This software/program/application is delivered for use via distribution. The end user may use the software/program/application independently or incorporate the software/program/application into another dependent software/program/application. This process is represented with the following syntax:

Concept >> [Programming] >> Source Code >> [Compiling] >> Software/Program/Application >> [Distribution] >> End Use

Embodiments/hardware also originate with a concept. The concept is converted to design documentation via designing. The design documentation is a detailed specification of the form and function of the embodiment/hardware. The design documentation is converted to a usable form via manufacture. We will refer to this usable form as embodiment/hardware. This embodiment hardware is then delivered for use via distribution. The end user may use the embodiment/hardware independently or incorporate the embodiment/hardware into another dependent embodiment. This process is represented with the following syntax:

Concept >> [Designing] >> Design Documentation >> [Manufacturing] >> Embodiment >> [Distribution] >> End Use

Recognizing these similarities, Draft 1.0 of the "Open Design Definition" was derived from Version 1.0 of the "Open Source Definition" through the following substitution of words:

"software" and "program" were replaced with "embodiment" "source code" was replaced with "design documentation" "compiled" was replaced with "manufactured"

For reference purposes the "Open Source Definition" can be found at http://www.opensource.org/osd.html.

This draft is intended to foster preliminary discussions regarding Open Design, as we attempt to determine appropriate license models for Open Design Documentation and Open Design Embodiments.

Any questions or discussion regarding Draft 1.0 of "The Open Design Definition" should be addressed in pubic to Ryan Vallance via odf-list@opendesign.mit.edu.


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