[OpenBIOS] Platform for the OPENBIOS question

Lloyd Thomson thomson at aros.net
Tue Aug 21 23:29:57 CEST 2001

The responses to this question are the reasons I asked this question. (and
no, I still will have no time to help. My crystal ball says that my schedule
is going to get a lot worse before it even remotely starts to improve.
Sorry - guess I will have to lurk and suggest only). It seems that there is
a overall consensus on what the OPENBIOS will do, but I have yet to see
agreement on the type of platform the BIOS will be developed around.

I did go and look at the link to the IEEE information on OPENBIOS and to the
web page that this mail list is working with (just in case you have deleted
that email, try http://www.freiburg.linux.de/OpenBIOS/). To be honest I
didn't know these web pages were there before I asked the platform question.
However, on the mail list web page, in the portion that talks about
developing a BIOS, (http://www.freiburg.linux.de/OpenBIOS/dev/) there are
several steps mentioned at the beginning of the process involving choosing a
platform. These are very logical steps, and will be necessary for each of
you to follow.

I would like to make a suggestion. Find a good, qualified, motherboard,
maybe one that most of you already have, and the rest of you beg, borrow, or
buy that same motherboard.

If everyone has the same platform as a starting point, you eliminate a
massive amount of variables in the development cycle. Once the code is rock
solid on that platform, start porting it to other systems. Also, if everyone
has the same hardware, everyone can help each other with the problems that
will appear.

As most prople know, it is hard enough to get a single set of code to run on
one platform with one programmer writting the code. Adding multiple
programmers, different writing styles, and calling conventions will really
add confusion to the mix. Throw in a dozen motherboards or chipsets, and you
really get a Pandora Box.

I do realize that there are standards out there, and the IEEE web page
address's these. I also realize that as a bona fide lurker, and a preferred
hardware puke, I don't know everything there is to know about software
system design or high performance systems. However, after over ten years of
hardware / firmware development on small computer systems, I have learned
that the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) approach saves an infinite amount of

I guess that what I am trying to do is stand back from the desired end
product, and define the beginning point for the project. Since I do not have
an emotional tie to the project (I think), I am just trying to lend a hand
in holding back on the enthusiasm (just a little) and at least making you
think out the entire process a little more.

All for now. Feel free to throw all the feathers you want my way, but go
easy with the rocks!!!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ronald G Minnich" <rminnich at lanl.gov>
To: <openbios at elvis.informatik.uni-freiburg.de>
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: [OpenBIOS] Platform for the OPENBIOS question

On Tue, 21 Aug 2001, Mads Martin Jørgensen wrote:

> > Maybe I missed it, but for the Open BIOS that is being discussed, is
> > there a specific single board computer (SBC), motherboard, chipset (or
> > ?) that the BIOS will be targeted on.
> I think we would eventually want drivers for a lot of different
> constellations.

yep, that's what we all want. But you're going to have to pick one to

You might want to try the SiS 630E based mainboards, since both Tiara and
linuxbios run on those. So we understand the issues.

> No, AFAIK it will be targeted to be Open Firmware compliant, and
> therefore working on different archs.

that doesn't make any sense to me. the arch has nothing to do with open
firmware compliance.


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