Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
PostgreSQL 9.3 beta: Federated databases and more
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 9, 2013
How long before the GPU+bootloader binary blob becomes an issue too big to be overcome?
Enough with the Pi Hype
Posted Jul 26, 2012 7:30 UTC (Thu) by gdt (subscriber, #6284)
Seriously, have a look at the Pi user documentation. It's all about finding your way around the UNIX command line. That's a huge learning curve to someone who's just plugged in their RPi. The larger the learning curve, the more obstacles to Just Doing Stuff, and the worse the de-motivation.
To attract it's intended audience that card needs to boot into a graphical environment which is both rich (GNOME, KDE) and fast (kernel driver for X and, later, Wayland). That means getting enough info about the registers of the VideoCore to be able to post messages to it to set it up and to run OpenGL ES, both without userspace linkage. None of this means that Broadcom have to make their Secret Source public, but it does require Broadcom to disclose things they have yet to disclose.
(It is very much in Broadcom's interest to talk more about the command posting API. You don't want someone reverse-engineering your card at a register level and then using that information in widely-used software. That just sucks away flexibility for future designs and before you know it you don't have control of your own design anymore. Witness IBM's attempts to move away from the IBM PC/AT design with the PS/2.)
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds