Technically and academically, many developers use either an OSS or an OSH. An OSS or open-source software encourages the licensed individual or group to inspect, change, and disperse publically available code. However, an OSH or open source hardware focus on the design specifications of a physical object. So, what's so special about this OSH and how does this impact us differently than an OSS?
OSH vs. OSS
Both software resembles each other. Users alike, with open access, can manipulate these source files, like adding features or exterminate pesky viruses or bugs within the software.
Still, one of them you're able to add specific modifications to an object, whereas the other cannot. The open source hardware use designs to increase distribution and easier to use for the public. This also includes information with the hardware that allows others to make use of the licensed data and specs.
Freedom to control technology!
In 1983, Richard Stallman, a programmer at MIT, believed that software should be available to programmers. He created the GNU Public License, allowing anyone to understand, learn, and improve the software and data. The GNU Public License is a free, copyleft license for hardware and software alike. However, you're still responsible for getting a copyright on the software and offer legal permission to copy, distribute, and change the source.
Similar to the OSS, the OSH gives people the freedom (though not financially free) to create readily available components, processes, infrastructure, and unrestricted content.
Why is open source hardware unique?
Outside of the freedom to change sources to better understand the program and/or device at hand, there are other aspects that make this a unique one. For example, many are not aware of closed sourced hardware or closed hardware. Closed hardware prevents the public from studying, changing, or accessing the source code. It is up to the individual or organization that created the hardware and/or software to make said adjustments.
Hardcore example of a closed source hardware.
Hey, have you ever wondered why Apple is so special and consistent with their products? Apple creates most of their supplies and sources closed to the world. This prevents programmers from making adjustments to their hardware and software.
Some believe it's not a wise idea. Imagine putting something into a black hole and what's happening is another conspired theory in the making. Other social developer giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft use personal and public information gathering with or without the user's knowledge.
Another popular closed source platform is BigCommerce. They use closed source software to better assist beginner business owners and those who do not understand code very well.
Within each authentic piece of hardware and software, the overall satisfaction of freedom to control technology runs through our minds. People are inquisitive beings, looking to share knowledge and create commerce through various designs and ideas.
It's important to understand that it's vital to purchase the proper certification before making the open source hardware available for public use. Plus, using an open source hardware reduces research expenses and simpler to sell the design the hardware itself.
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