[LinuxBIOS] [RFC] Call for Action: LinuxBIOS foundations

Uwe Hermann uwe at hermann-uwe.de
Tue Aug 28 19:30:50 CEST 2007

On Mon, Aug 27, 2007 at 05:21:08PM -0500, Corey Osgood wrote:
> > We had such calls before, and people would send in their board
> > information, assuming that this would be enough for us to support their
> > hardware. Unfortunately not a single new port resulted from this, though
> > many people participated and lots of (unaccomplished) expectations were
> > created. So I carefully wonder what the real goal of such a call would
> > be, except gathering random people with random boards? 
> Well, that's how I found this place, and that resulted in one port (so 
> far) :) But I can very clearly see your point.

What exactly lead you to this project? That would be interesting to

My feeling is that a "post your lspci" call for action will result in
lots of lspci's (which is totally useless) and we'll have to tell all
those people "no, your board/chipset is not yet supported". That sucks,
and there's really no gain in doing that.

Now, what I think would indeed be useful is a Call For Developers.
Because that's what we really need, more developers, more man-power
to actually write code to support new chipsets.
Random lspci's from random people don't help at all. We've had tons of
those already and they all end up with "no, it's not supported" answers.

> > Something like:
> > We have 10 people who are willing to work on this or that mainboard if
> > you get them a system they can keep for doing the work, given that the
> > northbridge and southbridge are already supported... Other ideas?

Won't help either. The number of active developers doing new ports is
way less than 10 anyway. Personally I have at least 4-5 board sitting
here which should be relatively easy to support, I'm just lacking the
required spare time.

We need more developers and/or more time.

I don't think money is a problem in most cases (if it is we can probably
arrange for some hardware shipping or ask for donations or something).

The real problems (in my view) are:

 1. Lack of developers
 2. Lack of time
 3. Lack of proper datasheets (for some/many chipsets)

Issue 2 cannot be solved easily, issue 3 depends on many factors
we usually cannot influence a lot, but issue 1 is where we can
get the biggest gain, IMHO.

Now, the more important question is _how_ we lure more developers into
contributing to LinuxBIOS. What we need is the low-level hardware guys,
so Linux or FreeBSD or whatever kernel hackers are good candidates, I guess.

> This is a very interesting idea. Once I can get my ******* laptop fixed 
> and wrap up the cn700 board, I'd love to do a port for Via's new 
> pico-itx board, but I have no real incentive (or money) to purchase the 
> hardware. Yes it's an unsupported chipset, but it should be similar 
> enough to the cn700 that I should be able to work with it.

That would be great, indeed! Do you think you can get the respective
datasheets from VIA without a "business case"?

http://www.hermann-uwe.de  | http://www.holsham-traders.de
http://www.crazy-hacks.org | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org
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