Building a free future in embedded devices
Posted Oct 21, 2006 20:39 UTC (Sat) by dirtyepic
In reply to: Building a free future in embedded devices
Parent article: Free gadgets need free software
> All the doomsday scenarios you mention:
> 1. No control? Not true. They can make whatever changes they want to the
> software, and if upstream doesn't like them, that doesn't stop them from
> using those changes in their own version.
> 2. No influence? Not true. They can hire / employ one or more Rockbox
> developers, just as some companies hire Linux developers today.
> 3. Mainline goes in a different direction? No problem, you can still keep
> using _your_ Rockbox.
> 4. Mainline devs lose interest and the project goes away? No problem, you
> can still keep using _your_ Rockbox.
All of which amount to developing and maintaining their own fork of the software, with the additional requirement they must share all of their work with anyone they distribute the device to. By developing and maintaining their own proprietary firmware in-house they also avoid the above scenarios, with the added bonus of keeping all their little sekrits safe from prying eyes. They lose out on startup costs, not to mention peer review, community contribution, and all the other goodies that are obvious to us on our side of the fence, of course, but somehow i don't think they really care that much.
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