IntroductionThe Open Design and Architecture Initiative (ODAI) spawns from the idea of the "Open Source" movement is in many ways analogous to the Open Source Initiative (OSI) which brought about Open source, Open hardware, Open Data, Open StreetMap and others. There is no doubt that this "Open" philosophy will continue to grow, revised, refined and expand to areas where this practice will proof beneficial and even essential as the collaborative engine for success.
ODAI is the grass-root version of ITU-T's resolution 44, Bridging the Standardization Gap (BSG) which focuses its goal on promoting "...development and adoption of “open, interoperable, non-discriminatory and demand-driven standards...." in the developing and developed countries including all who are interested in the implementation of a standard. ODAI is about using/implementing these Standards openly, collectively and sharing the processes and results.
ODAI does not develop Standards and is not a duplicate, off-shoot or competition to any Standard bodies or committees. Standards are usually not fully implementable as developed. ODAI is an initiative to appeal for "Openness" in the usage (design & implementation), testing, deployment, performance measurement and optimization of existing Standards and to share these processes and results. By sharing, these Standards will essentially be revised and refined by a much larger group of people who had put these Standards to real live production tests. Quoting from the Open Hardware Foundation:
"...If the design is published others can learn from it, improve on it, or even second-source the same device. Much digital hardware has never been open in this sense, creating a whole industry of reverse-engineering and patent claims and counter claims....
Although many designs have always been patented, there is also a long traditional of engineers borrowing and improving on designs that just 'float around'. Many of these can be found in various places on the Internet, but few of them have been gpl-ed or otherwise protected as `free' designs...
...Restraints on the use of existing designs tend to prevent the accumulation of knowledge that comes from building on previous designers work, making it necessary to start from scratch when developing a design. They also prevent new practitioners from studying existing designs to learn useful techniques or even how large designs can be structured..."
Above quote does not apply only to hardware but to all the Design and Architecture materials usually involving Standard protocols. ODAI embraces this same spirit.
Today, especially in the wireless industry and seemingly so, a patent war is going on among the big players of the wireless industry. If we step back and look at the recent phenomenon in a new perspective, we cannot help but have to ask if patenting indiscriminately and warring for more royalties benefiting the technology or hampering its progress as a whole?
Patented wireless materials often go into Standards. Only a handful of big companies can afford to patent every chance they get; triggering the chain reaction effect (i.e. patent over/after their own patents), hence the LTE patent battle is in session right now. At the same time, we have patent trolls lurking at every corner ready to file for patent infringement claims and a whole new industry of specializing in claims, counter claims and settlements is created.
The standardization process and the practice of patenting any and every new ideas that are not fundamental for other ideas to build on is totally a closed group effort. This limits participation from non-WG folks from developed and developing countries. This stifles innovations from a broader-based audience. It disallows collective collaboration (i.e. working together, peer reviews, revise & refine) for better designs, implementations, testings, measurement and deployment processes and results involving standards, increases cost due to complicated multiple royalties and monopolies opportunities in driving the technology forward let alone slowing down progress.
Free software has shown that it is possible for software to evolve steadily over the years as amendments, improvements, and bug fixes are made available from a very large range of contributors. There is no reason why the same should not be true for Designs and Architectures involving Standard protocols.ODAI also shares the same vision and mission as OSI. The goal is to reverse the stifling of broader based creativity and productivity by promoting the concept of no-island-building and no-after-thought bridges to make piecemeal or awkward connections later. ODAI is the appeal for efforts to setup a conduit to ensure that there is no holding back of people from using and sharing design and architectural materials usually involving implementation of Standards for new innovations in unexpected ways.
Further more, collaborating with other trading partners and technology suppliers could be much easier if you had all the integration information you need all in one place.
ODAI also aims at reducing or eliminating "patent trolling" in the software arena.
Free, Open, Shared, Cleared --> fuel for more Creative Ideas, New Innovations and Positive Involvements
ODAI will be incorporated in New Hampshire, USA or Geneva, Swiss as a public benefit corporation, with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.