OSHW Dashboard

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This is a standard for documenting Open Source Hardware Projects so that there is a uniform protocol for how OSHW projects are identified within the greater world of proprietary and open product development. This format was proposed as a result of the Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam of 2013. Currently, OSE is committing to usig this format, and wider adoption is sought.

The concept is that OSHWA-compliant open hardware projects should be identified non-ambiguously as such, and other projects that do not comply with the OSHWA standard cannot use the open source label. Such license clarity helps to promote collaboration, while not diluting the Open Source brand with fake open source. Anything that does not provide the 4 Freedoms defined by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation is not open source. The point to consider here is that Open Source has a strict definition (see OSHWA), which has in turn been founded on the OSI Definition. There is legacy here, yet lack of this historical knowledge has led to an effective re-definition in popular media. The current popular definition of open source has been watered down to, essentially, something cool, not a body of work that follows the principles set forth by the Open Source Hardware Association.

How Does it Work?

To identify a project as open source, the standard proposed at the Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam was a tag that begins with:

OSHW-Entity-Project - or for example:


If an individual who is not part of a larger project is developing open source hardware, then the Entity name should be replaced with a person's name.

This standard is recommended for use as a hashtag, or an XML tag embedded in documentation or on websites, etc. It isThis standard currently has no formal platform for implementation, nor a verification schema.

Why it Works

Since the OSHW- has a clear brand related to the Open Source Hardware Association, any tags beginning with these letters are usually associated with open source hardware.

Full OSHW Dashboard

These are the essential metatags and metadescriptors to be incorporated into documentation of open hardware projects:

  1. OSHW – The tags that identifies the entire project as open source hardware
  2. Entity – The person or organization responsible for the project
  3. Project Name – Something unique that identifies the specific project
  4. Version – An alpha-numeric code that increments at milestones
  5. Completion Status – The general maturity level of the project
  6. Version Date – Last time the version number changed
  7. Terms of Use – Any terms of use or licensing compatible with the latest version of the open source hardware definition
  8. Summary – The project pitch – short (140 characters?)
  9. Keywords – A comma separated list of synonyms – tags for search engine optimization
  10. Description – The detailed description of the project
  11. Predecessors – This project descended from…
  12. Content Location – A URL to the main project repository

Example from Website



We welcome.other projects to copy this dashboard and post their information on the OSE wiki. To do so, start a page named OSHW-YourOrganization-YourProjectName-Version on this wiki after you register for an account.

External projects and OSE projects are encouraged to use the above tags such as OSHW-OSE-CNC_Torch_Table-v1 and so on.

The template for this needs to be built to facilitate entries, under Wiki Templates.