[coreboot] Intel rumers spreading??

Jordan Crouse jordan.crouse at amd.com
Mon Jun 30 23:14:40 CEST 2008

On 30/06/08 13:18 -0400, Joseph Smith wrote:
> On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 18:28:37 +0200, Ward Vandewege <ward at gnu.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 10:18:47AM -0400, Joseph Smith wrote:
> >>
> >> Maybe it is just me, but it seems like lately there have been a lot of
> >> posts to the mailing list about, coreboot not supporting ANY Intel
> >> chipsets/cpu's. Is there rumors spreading around the mill??? If so we
> > need
> >> to nip this in the bud, this is probably discouraging people that want
> > to
> >> get involved with coreboot.
> > 
> > Well - look at it from the other perspective. Intel's being difficult.
> The
> > more obvious that becomes, the more they will be encouraged to change
> > their
> > ways and become more friendly and open.
> >
> I don't think spreading the word that coreboot does not support anything
> Intel is a positive way to accomplish anything. It just frustrates and
> discourages people willing to get involved. We have to face the facts here,
> Intel may never get involved with coreboot, so the next best thing is to
> get as many developers involved willing to take the time to fill in the
> missing pieces of code. Thinking ouside of the box. This is what I did for
> the i830, It might have taken me a little longer, but in the long run I did
> it without any help from Intel (except for one public datasheet).

Honesty is the best (and only) practice here.  Firmware development
is hard - exceedingly hard, and thats with copious amounts of 
documentation.  Without documentation, it becomes nearly impossible.
Somebody look at the Barcelona memory initialization code and tell 
me they could have figured it out on their own.  I'm thinking not.

So we have to be blatantly obvious about what our shortcomings are.
You can believe all you want in the power of open source, but the 
truth of the matter is that 90% of all the people who come on this list
to ask for a particular port are not interested in doing the work
themselves, and the precious few that are willing to do the work need to
be told right up front what they are facing.  They need to know what
NDAs they need to secure, what code distribution rights they need to
ask for, and just how difficult this work really is, especially in the
cpu/* and northbridge/* directories.  

Thats not to say that people shouldn't be encouraged to ask the right
questions - if enough people ask a vendor for datasheets, it might
have a positive effect.  But acting as though we are not developing
from behind the eight ball is going to give everybody the wrong impression,
and it will result in even more upset feelings then if we just told them
right off the bat that they are asking for something that probably isn't
going to happen.

And just in case this sounds like I'm bashing the competition, know that
my own company is in the same boat.  We have yet to release the datasheet
for the SB600, and until we do, I'm going to be the first to tell the
honest truth if somebody asks for it.


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