[coreboot] Time for a new project

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Sat Apr 12 02:50:36 CEST 2008

On 12.04.2008 01:28, Jordan Crouse wrote:
> It is now time to start considering the next great payload challenge.
> Immediately after I demonstrated coreinfo to Ron, he said - "okay,
> now we need a chooser".  And the thing about Ron is, when he is right,
> he is right.  


> A master payload to chose and load other payloads is the
> next great step in our effort.

And this has nothing to do with what you quoted above. AFAIK your quote
of Ron didn't say we need a loader which loads a loader.
In the pathological case of coreboot->chooser->filo->lab we would have a
chain of 4 loaders. That's embarrassing. The normal case would become a
2-loader case (coreboot->chooser->...) instead of the 1-loader case
(coreboot->...) it is now.

> Originally we had only discussed a menu
> based chooser, but recently many people have told me how they would like
> to see a loader that could chain multiple payloads together in order to
> cobble together a reasonable facsimile of a traditional BIOS setup 
> screen.
> The more I have thought about this, the more I think that this effort
> is key to proving (and improving) the stability and versatility of 
> coreboot-v3.  It will also force us to examine much of our current
> implementation, which is not a bad thing.  So, short story long, I
> have written down the evolving ideas in my head and the resulting 
> roadmap here:
> http://www.coreboot.org/Bayou

I'll comment on Bayou later.

> "Bayou" is the working name for the project - visit the page to find out why.
> This is also going to involve a new loader format that we discussed at the
> summit:
> http://www.coreboot.org/SELF
> Please critically review both and post comments here or in the discussion pages.

NAK. This design is so unfinished it is not even funny. Hint: Certain
fields in the LAR header are there for a reason (guess which). There's
also an obvious speed penalty for SELF (guess why). The concept of PIC
is missing completely. A LAR parser can't figure out if the archive is
corrupt. Ron once stated the ability to figure out whether the ROM is
corrupt before you flash it is one of the key features of LAR. SELF
completely destroys that feature. We might as well kill LAR completely
and move to SELF only (and then SELF slowly will become a bad
reinvention of LAR). Oh, and using 32 bits for load address and entry
point is a step back to the situation we had 8 months ago.

> PS:  I very nearly called it 'corechooser' as a joke, but I think that
> would have caused Peter to track me down and hunt me for sport.

Well, having a common naming theme would certainly help brand
recognition. So I partially disagree with Peter on that point. OTOH, if
you really want to avoid names like corechooser, you should rename
coreinfo as well.


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