If you have questions relating to Open Source Design that are not mentioned below please open an issue.

What Does Involvement In OSD Mean

It means whatever you want it to mean. You can design, code, blog, give design feedback, help fundraise, you name it- we would love your contributions. Check out how to best contribute.

Who Can Join

Anyone can join. Ideally, we want people who contribute something, even if that means just leaving comments on various issues, as long as they’re helpful and nice, we welcome you :)

What Does Being a Member Mean

Open Source Design offers a “choose-your-own” style of membership, it means you are welcome to active engage in our forum or apply for design jobs. You can help work on our website or attend and organize events. Also you can just chill in our chat room and provide help to newcommers to be considered a community member. In short, and unofficially, there is no “membership” card, fees, or requirements aside from following our code of conduct and you are involved over some duration of time.

What Does Being a Core Member Mean

The community has not reached a clear consensus on this, but we have had some discussion on the subject. Extracting sentiment from that thread, as well as offline conversations, the loosely constructed basics are:

  • Regulary contribute to OSD and / or open source in general
  • Have been consistently active in OSD for longer than 6 months
  • Assume some responsibility for some aspect of OSD
  • Have met other core members in real life at least once

Why “Open Source” not “Free Software”

Our name choice was never an intentional decision or discussion. In our earliest organizing we just started intuitively using our name (Open Source Design) and it stuck. The reasons we feel good about this choice are:

  1. The Free as in beer / freedom confusion
  2. Free Software is older and has a specific community, culture, and goals
  3. Open source is a newer term and can have broader goals
  4. Open source has done a better job at outreach and has broader public understanding at present
  5. Open source (and especially design) extends beyond software to hardware, architecture, manufacturing, and more
  6. Acronyms like FOSS, FLOSS are not user friendly and pertain to just software
  7. Spelling out said acronyms is also not designer / user friendly

Do You Care About Free Software

Absolutely. Free software is incredibly important to many of our founders and core members. Most of us use and rely on free software daily and wouldn’t be here without it. While we are aware of the definitions of “open source” vs. “free software” and the inherent debate, depsite Free Software Foundation’s ask to “choose a side”, OSD as a community has picked a name, but is absolutely not choosing a political side with our choice. However, many of us agree with the FSF’s principles in full and have dedicated our lives to working exclusively on free software or open source technologies.

How are you different from Open Design

There is a community called Open Design that sometimes gets confused as us. From this conversation our differences are:

Open Source Design is building a community of designers working on open source, while Open Design is focusing on building open workflows for designers. Open Design is not building tools for the sake of building tools, but to build a community of designers working towards more open practices.

Open Design targets the wider design community, while Open Source Design targets getting more people (including designers) involved in designing for Open Source Software. This image by GarthDB does a good job of explaining:

differences

Why are you using IRC

We’ve talked a lot of the benefits of each chat tool out there. Ultimately it comes down to a split in “open” versus “practical”. We’re still trying to figure out what the best tool is for our community, but we’re working on it and also see this conversation.