Testing the Ten Minute Open Source Test with Kickstarters

February 27, 2014 Benjamin Gray

A few weeks back I wrote a short blog on a ten minute test to see if it's Open Source. One suggestion by way of Reddit was that I applied the test to a number of cases. So that's what I'm doing this evening, with my eye trained on Kickstarter.

Selection is based on what's come up for the search on kickstarter for "Open Source" which is typically in the title of the kickstarter. Projects are selected if they've been successfully funded, and if they've had a year to get their act together.

First up is OpenRF.

Raised $23,229 of $2,400 a whopping 967% funded as of June 28th 2012. Featured on Nuts and Volts, Kickspy and Garage Lab. Also available from Mouser, in their new Open Source section. Clock ticking! First up the kickstarter page, we've got a picture of the board layout on the main page, moving onto the updates. No links on update pages (for non-backers at least). Nothing on the comments pages either. This is getting us nowhere, lets head to their website. Still coming up empty on source files, board files or schematics. There's a schematic in the product pdf but that's it. The blog contains a single post with the term "open source" used 15 times.

After a quick trip through two pages of google the ten minutes is exhausted. I've emailed the project lead for a pointer but so far I think this Open Source RF Project from is looking pretty closed.

Next Up Open Source Tracking Device

Raised $38,421 of a $10,000 goal on the 27th of May 2012. Didn't seem to hit many of the big blogs but did pretty well none the less. Clock ticking so we start again with a skim of the front page, no schematics linked so onto updates. They're all readable which is very open, it's feeling good already. First page there's a comment about a bug with a link to github another click and we're looking at eagle files of the Board and Schematic file.

About two minutes and we're Open! Yay! Great work DSS Circuits!

Despite this being a ten minute test I'm finding it hard not to read around these projects so this will be continued in later posts as the night is dwindling. One each for Open and Closed. Let's hope the next installment shifts things the way of Open!







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