[OpenBIOS] Our goals.

David Woodhouse Dave at imladris.demon.co.uk
Sun Mar 1 13:59:47 CET 1998

The discussion on this list doesn't seem to be getting very far.

In terms of esoteric features, I think we should definitely follow the Linux
model of development - if you can make it work, and make it work nicely, then
it will almost certainly get put in as a config option unless it's particularly

There are some who want their BIOS to be able to boot the kernel directly at 
the cost of some chipset optimisations which will no longer fit, and there are 
some who want the optimisation and would be happy to boot using the 
traditional method.

Open Firmware also sounds like a reasonable option, but there's not a whelk's
chance in a supernova that it will fit in the ROM of most PCs. We could make
that available on DASD, for the BIOS to load if it likes.

We will never resolve these conflicts. The modular design of the OpenBIOS was 
settled upon specifically to avoid the need to impose a compromise. 

There's also no chance we're going to get away without providing real mode 
BIOS interrupt support, if we want people to start using it, so we have to 
provide it. We can always make it a removable option at a later stage.

The main task at the moment is to get the core BIOS, which we all agree on, to 
initialise the hardware and bring up whatever facilities it provides, be that 
Open Firmware, booting a kernel directly, or a simple INT 19h bootloader. (I 
have good cause to believe that it'll be the latter, at least for the initial 
phase of development.)

Once we've got that working, then we'll have a good idea of how much space 
we've taken up, and how much we can sensibly use for our extensions.

At that point, the debate on how we should proceed will be more relevant, but 
will still be answerable simply by flash-time selection of modules.

----                              ----                              ----
David Woodhouse, Robinson College, CB3 9AN, England.   (+44) 0976 658355
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