Am 2014-05-07 23:57, schrieb Jiming Sun:
If open source community is meant for collaboration
and innovation, do
you think there can be silicon specific code that only a few people
can understand, therefore whether it is open or not really does not
It matters in that it can be checked. It also matters that fixes are
possible: I had to binary patch an Intel bug in Google's MRC binary, it
would have been easier to find in source code (in particular because
I've been told that the comment above the point I fixed actually said
the right thing. I had no comments in the binary to work with).
In an open source process (with feedback loop) I could even have pushed
that fix your way. As-is I have no idea who's still affected by that
Also, this argument only works because the data sheets are locked down.
I still have some vain hope that this will change at some point, too.
The PC space thrived because/despite (pick your favorite) open data
sheets, and the embedded space still does (see also: Quark).
One more advantage open source brings is that it provides standardized
licensing (and this issue is more important to commercial integrators
that want to sell their work than to private developers): Mainstream
open source licenses are well-known, battle-tested in courts around the
world, and companies tend to have (simple) policies on using code under
open source terms in products.
I was recently told that the FSP license is different from the
click-through license on www.intel.com/fsp
(the one shown when trying to
download the files).
So here's how I understand the FSP license situation: There's the
click-through license on the web site, the FSP license (shown by the
self-extracting archive), the intersection of both that actually applies
to me when using FSP, and the application of these resulting terms in
jurisdictions world-wide. And every single-letter change to the license
in future releases restarts the license evaluation process from scratch.
This may not be a problem for Intel - it's huge so these things don't
matter much, but please keep in mind that Intel's legal department alone
is probably larger than many of the companies that integrate Intel's
So custom licensing is certainly a great scheme to keep lots of lawyers
employed. But it's not so great if you're just trying to get chipset
initialization code (and by extension: chipsets) into the hands of
ARM has a Boot ROM inside their SOC, should the code
inside the Boot
ROM be open? or does it matter?
Those tend to be small, in the 4-8kb range, and
focused on a single
purpose: getting the next stage into iRAM.
For the Allwinner CPU we support, one developer in our community checked
that the signed binary-only part (that we can't replace) is harmless.
This isn't so easy with a multi-100kb binary affecting pretty much
everything across multiple chips.
I know this view point is not going to be popular, but
Intel is trying
hard to open as much code as possible (tianocore.org
drivers, and Quark firmware are a few examples; I am sure more will
come in the future).
I'm certainly looking forward to that!
We believe encapsulating basic silicon code is a good
regardless if it is completely open.
It sure is. But it's even better when
it's open :-)