Project of the Day: Open Source Hardware Taxonomy

Open Source Hardware Taxonomy

= “elements that you need to create comprehensive documentation for a physical object; metatags for critical elements that allows anyone to find specific information on a piece of hardware.” [1]


By the Open Source Hardware Documentation Jam:

“Using a stack of Post-It notes, the taxonomy group delineated essential metatags and metadescriptors to be incorporated into documentation and organized them on the wall:

  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

Beyond these, group members also targeted other metadescriptors that would be helpful for turning up the right project:

  • Difficulty Level
  • Author / Contributors
  • Required Tools
  • Approximate Cost
  • Required Space


More Information

= file format being developed by the team behind iFixit and Dozuki ; in the process of getting approved by IEEE as a recognized standard for open manuals

“The oManual standard allows a taxonomy to be imposed upon (Open Source Hardware Documentation)materials. The advantage of an open standard is that the documentation can then be parsed and displayed in any way that is desirable. Thus, there is a separation between content and the display of that content – which makes the oManual file a robust and flexible was to store, organize, and display open hardware documentation.” (



“The iFixit team, widely known for their excellent instructionals, created Dozuki, an online documentation creation solution that makes it easy to create excellent, full-featured documentation, even in tandem with the production process. Designed for computers, iPads, iPhones, and Android phones, Dozuki enables documentation creators to easily create and incorporate full-color images, videos, voice annotations, text instructions and links into instructional apps. Dozuki instructionals are stored online for anywhere, anytime access but can also be downloaded. They are easy to update, standard in format, and searchable. Dozuki facilitates documentation creation in real time as a procedure is being carried out – and that’s a phenomenal step forward.” (


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.