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OpenFirmware hurts! Don't go down this path. As a former Apple employee where OF was law, it causes more problems than it solves. The Forth derivation is baroque and tends to only bring back unmaintainable code (you though asm could be bad?!? You ain't seen nothing yet!) Also talking with Sun people (where OF originally began, though in a slightly derivitive and sometime incompatible language known as OpenBoot) who code it on regular basis, they hate the horribly restrictive environment and the debugging facilities suck wind, but they are stuck with it.
Being able to initialize an OF card is okay, but doing a full OF implementation on the host ROM side is a nightmare.
On Sat, 11 Apr 1998, David Freeman wrote:
Wouldn't that be an OpenFirmware clone? I know that most modern PPC systems now use OpenFirmware, as well as newer SPARC systems. An OpenFirmware clone would be cool...
This isn't exactly what I thought of at first, but it sounds like the best thing to do now that I think about it. This would probably help out some people trying to run LinuxPPC on Winbloze-NT only Motorola PowerStack machines (You can flash a new bios onto them from a floppy, I believe)
Maybe we can even add some cool features like control from an ethernet interface.. Have it look for a bootp server at boot, and then allow telnet configuration.. This would be *great* for setting up a cluster.. Take the machine out of the box, hook it up, and configure it without ever hooking up a monitor, keyboard, or inserting a floppy. There are some security issues with this though, but I think those can be dealt with.
Something like my previous idea is possible with a fully open-source firware code.. What company would want to bother with something like that anyway? I personally think it would be very useful.
And it isn't exactly proprietary either, independent companies make their own implementations of OpenFirmware, so I guess it would be possible to get the specs, and write clone, eh?
Troy Benjegerdes wrote:
Does this list exist at all? I haven't seen any activity for about 2 weeks or something.
Anyway, would anyone like to develop a GNU bios for PPC systems? I *might* be in a position to get all the needed specifications and actually get the developed *used* when it is stable.
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OpenFirmware hurts! Don't go down this path. As a former Apple employee where OF was law, it causes more problems than it solves.
Might I make the alternative suggestion of TCL? I have a TCL interpreter on a fairly complex i960 board (it has its own PCI bus, with bridges) and it makes a pretty good rapid prototyping tool.