I need to pick a better email client, or remember to say "reply all"

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Matt B <matthewwbradley6@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Nov 25, 2018 at 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: [coreboot] Supported Motherboards
To: <Taiidan@gmx.com>

I also don't see "drop it and if someone likes it they'll work to get it back to master" as being more than a band-aid solution. It doesn't do anything to raise the probability of bad code getting dealt with, but it does put the problem out of sight and out of mind.

The reason people who use this laptop are so resistant is that they see it as a statement that the speaker doesn't care about fixing what's broken and would much rather it just disappear. (regardless of who happens to be using it) It's saying you want the other side just be quiet and go away, which isn't constructive.


On Sun, Nov 25, 2018 at 2:43 PM Matt B <matthewwbradley6@gmail.com> wrote:

It seems that whenever someone mentions the ME (or one of a number of other topics) the G505s is inevitably recommended, and people subsequently get into a debate over the relative badness of the ME vs atomBIOS/microcode ect. [1] This also leads to people lamenting the G505s for it's shitty AGESA codebase [2], and arguments over dropping boards like the G505s from master. If the thread gets really nasty, it gets into arguments over corporate influence of coreboot.

But this cycle of arguments doesn't get us anywhere and the G505s code continues to languish. It hasn't been abandoned *yet* but it doesn't become any less likely that some new feature will lead to it getting dropped [3].

I think this is tragic, since it's a still reasonably powerful laptop, probably took a lot of porting work, and has advantages over a lot of alternatives. [4] The fundamental problem seems to me to be that there are a hell of a lot of people who use G505s (seems very popular with people who run qubes), there haven't been a lot of people with the skill or inclination [5] to do the work required to put it on par with [insert favorite thinkpad]. The task of doing the cleanup or rewrite (whatever is required) may not be the most immediately attractive or productive task, but it seems like something that would make everybody a lot happier and eliminate a lot of arguing in the long run.

Now, I may be a G505s owner, but I'm certainly not qualified to work on it's code. Rather than argue that "some developer"
should, I'd like to propose something different. I think we should have a proper, technical discussion of what we want the G505s port to look like, what the best means to get there is (cleanup or rewrite, for example), and based on who wants to volunteer and who would be willing to do it under contract, figure out how much it would cost. Then we ask the people who own G505s or who want to see it improved to pony up the money to make that happen in a crowd-funding campaign, like any other open source software project would. [6]

Then maybe we can firmly put this laptop on the list of  "great to use with coreboot" without this massive asterisk beside it.


[1] It's interesting to note that there has been some recent movement on improving the atomBIOS situation a little bit. While I have a hard time imagining a future where all the drivers are patched to not need atomBIOSs, I can imagine a future where we compile and use open source re-implementations of existing atomBIOSs. https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Flashrom-AMD-SPI-Patches
[2] For an example, look no further that is the current workaround for getting up-to-date microcode into these things, which I understand is borne in part from buggyness in AGESA microcode loading code
[3] These rules are probably very reasonable, but I don't think there's any way that people won't read them as malicious in contexts like these.
[4] To name a recent example, there are threads from this month that look like discrete GPU support will come in the immediate future, along with better support for variants with the A8 APU.
[5] Empirically, since this still hasn't been done. No offense to anyone who's tried.
[6] Inspired by the recent talk about offering funding to paulk to work on his open source EC firmware for the G505s.