[coreboot] Time for a new project

Segher Boessenkool segher at kernel.crashing.org
Mon Apr 14 00:09:07 CEST 2008

>> Sure.  I'm sneakily trying to show that SELF is really just the
>> same as ELF in every way, only different.
> Of course it is.  All formats follow the general concept of "copy this
> here, copy that there, zero this and jump there".

Yeah, pretty much so.

> The question is not that ELF cannot be made to work - coreboot has been
> using it for much longer than I've been darkening this e-mail list.
> No, the task is finding the best solution to the problem at hand.

Yes.  And there are many dimensions to "what is best".

> Yes, SELF is very much similar to ELF - and it was specifically 
> designed
> to solve the main problems that were identified with ELF in this 
> situation.
> It may or may not have done so, only time will tell.  And certainly an
> ELF can be made to work like we need it to - but is it worth the 
> effort?

IMHO, your turning things upside down here.  ELF is _known_ to work
here, it is used by pretty much every other firmware loader out

> SELF was not designed to kill ELF, or COFF or anything else.  It was 
> not
> designed to be the next great standard in the world of computing.  It 
> was
> designed to solve the specific problems that coreboot and other 
> interested
> payload applications have.

Yes, I know this.  But good to see it stated explicitly.

> Does it have flaws? Yes.  Will it have bugs? You bet.  The former we 
> can
> help solve right here in our discussions, and the later will happen
> regardless of what we choose to do.


> So, much as I like the debate, we need to wind ourselves down.  I 
> don't think
> anybody disagrees that the status-quo isn't the right solution.  There 
> are
> those that think ELF is the best alternative, and there are those who 
> think
> that it is not.  That is the first question that must be resolved - if 
> then
> the community thinks that ELF is not the best solution, then we can 
> continue
> with that line of thought and consider SELF or an alternative.

> How best can we make a decision then?  A vote, perhaps?

No.  Let's keep this technical, please; and good engineering
demands looking at the problem from all relevant angles, and
then we reach consensus.  If a deadlock happens, Ron gets to
decide, that's his job as the daddy of this project :-)

Voting is for people who like arguing better than they like
having an actual solution for their problems.  I hope we're
above that <g>.

> Either way, I think we should reset the decks and allow 
> representatives from
> both sides make their arguments.  I nominate Segher for the "ELF is 
> best"
> and Ron for the "ELF is not best" arguments.   Remember, this is not 
> over
> the merits of SELF, but rather, if we should abandon ELF at all.

Right.  So my base is *not* "ELF is best", but it is "ELF is just fine
for this, so why would we need another format, with all infrastructure
overhead that requires?".  So please start by explaining what is bad,
or even just sub-optimal, in using ELF here.


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