Dear guys :-)
As you might have noticed, there's not much traffic on this list at the
moment. I'd like to start a bit of discussion right now to get things
1) Do we need the 16bit bios stuff in an OpenBIOS?
I'd say a clear "NO" here. This does mean, on the other hand, that we
won't support any proprietary systems like windows or DOS anymore,
but as for using DOS/Windows, Award and AMI BIOS do a good job, this is
not really needed.
People who need more features like netboot and a good console in their
BIOS very likely use Linux or any BSD flair.
2) Which programming language should be used?
We sure will have to write some init code in assembler, which is OK, if
it doesn't get too much. I think writing in a higher level language is
much easier because a) more people can help the project and b) the code
can easily be maintained. I'd suggest C, as C++ seems to be a bit
bloated for this project. (As well as other languages)
To give anyone the chance to help the project, I'd like to use the GNU
Compiler GCC. Every Linux/BSD user has access to it and it's available
for most other platforms, too(W32 i.e.)
3) Testing platforms
I had a look at bochs some days ago (which now runs fine on my Alpha
AXP without segfaults) though I am not sure whether it is really good
enough for testing (I expect problems with the PnP and PCI init stuff)
I am sure that it's possible to get some test mainboards so that no
developer has to fear to destroy his computer.
You might have a look at my devbios project, a flash bios device for
Linux2.1. It can be found at
The OpenBIOS webpage can be found at
I'll try to get the archive mirrors of the earlier mailinglist discussions
online this week, so stay tuned and don't hesitate starting a new
discussion about the above themes (or anything else)
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