In creating Haystack, we wanted to preserve the “openness” of DASH7 — open standard, unlicensed frequency, and full (monolithic) open source stack — as these are real differentiators in the marketplace vis-a-vis proprietary technologies, semi-open standards, standards using licensed spectrum, and of course “incomplete” stacks (e.g. just a PHY and MAC). DASH7, in combination with OpenTag, stands apart from the rest of the low power (and perhaps any) wireless networking technology in the marketplace for this reason, with the goal of interoperability foremost in our minds both when we created the specification, OpenTag, and the DASH7 Alliance.
Haystack’s commitment to the open source community remains 100%. Changes we make to OpenTag and distribute through our own certified OpenTag distribution, HDO, are released into the open source community some months after our subscribers receive them. A pretty common practice among companies marketing certified distributions of open source projects, but also important to Haystack since HDO (OpenTag) forms the platform for the entire “Haystack” we have assembled. So no, Haystack is not “forking” OpenTag.
DASH7 developers are free to develop on native (non-HDO) OpenTag code (more on OpenTag here) without the use of HDO, but we think (or really, really hope!) developers who are serious about DASH7 will find it’s more economical and just easier to subscribe to HDO. In addition to the latest fixes and updates, the more robust online (and offline, if you can pay a slight premium) support will justify the expense to your boss/board of directors/co-founder/girlfriend/wife/spiritual advisor. More on support in another post.
The second major component of The Haystack, H-Builder, is not open source, as it includes an array of tools, API’s, reference designs, and sample code that is available exclusively to Haystack subscribers.