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

Darmawan Salihun darmawan.salihun at gmail.com
Wed Aug 29 22:42:36 CEST 2007

On 8/29/07, Uwe Hermann <uwe at hermann-uwe.de> wrote:
> 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
> analyze...
> 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.

I wonder if clean-room reverse engineering on commercial BIOS that comes
with the board can help for case 3 because most of them have a "generic"
code to boot the machine until preliminary RAM test. Personally, I view it
as a *very interesting* challenge.


Darmawan Salihun
-= Human knowledge belongs to the world =-
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