Electronics Checklist

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From Tom Igoe:

Nate's document (http://www.oshwa.org/sharing-best-practices/) seems like a good starting point, although I'd suggest rephrasing it to clarify which activities are core to the practice of open-source hardware (i.e. sharing original source / design files) and which are simply useful additions. Should we make a Google Doc (or use a wiki) to edit it collaboratively? Anyone have any specific suggestions for changes

This is indeed a good document, and I wish I'd have known it existed before now. Perhaps one thing that'd be good to do is an OSHWA newsletter or something of that sort, for when new things like this are released. Maybe I just missed a mail.

A few comments on it:

It's a good checklist for electronics. What about making it an online checklist? I'm imagining a tool that generates a file manifest for your repo, something like this:

  • Photos:
  • Design:
  • BOM:
  • Code:
  • Required Tools:

It'd be a form, basically, and you just go through and enter file names, and at the end it generates a document for you. It doesn't really do a lot, but it reminds you what to release, and gives you a handy way to gather that info. Might even be possible as a Google docs spreadsheet with a form.

Taking it a step further, you could put, by each document, a field to enter the license for that document if there is one. Might list the tool used to generate the document too. The tool could then generate something like this:

Photos (licensed under CC_BY_SA): Topview.jpg sideview.jpg detail.jpg

Design: Electrical (released under CC_BY_SA): (made with Eagle) foo.sch foo.brd etc. mechanical (released under CC_BY_SA) (made with Illustrator) case.dxf top.dxf (etc)

Firmware (released under LGPL) * note: for complex projects you might have a line by line license list (made with avr-gcc): foo.h foo.c

The advantage of something like this is that it could offer an informal documentation standard based on the best practices list.