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Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 25, 2012 11:44 UTC (Thu) by Jan_Zerebecki (guest, #70319)
In reply to: Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released by kevinm
Parent article: Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

The lie is that they claim that they released their OpenGL ES (and more other APIs) implementation and the the Linux kernel parts under a BSD and/or GPL licence (my summary). If they said they released the shim which calls to those implementations which runs on another processor and which isn't in that release I wouldn't call them liars, but only applaud their step towards more free software.

To verify my summary look at the image in their post: http://www.raspberrypi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Arc...
The block they label OpenGL ES is actually only a shim but nowhere in the post or the image do they say that.
The post does not mention that the release doesn't allow one to modify the OpenGL ES implementation.

In the comments the lie goes from omission to denying the truth: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2221#comment-34981
"Isn’t the userland code you just made available the simple shim [...]" - Luc Verhaegen
Replying to that:
"No. There’s some microcode in the Videocore – not something you should confuse with an ARM-side blob, which could actually prevent you from understanding or modifying anything that your computer does." - liz (AFAIK officially speaking for the Raspberry Pi Foundation)
That is simply not true. Yes it is only a shim and yes it actually prevents one from modifying some part of what your computer does.
In other comments asb (the one who did the original post) side steps the issue when confronted, but sadly never actually acknowledges that that which was released as free software is not the full implementation but a shim.

I like that they released the shim. I don't like being lied to and I don't understand why they would do that in this case. What do they have to gain from this?


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Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 25, 2012 13:35 UTC (Thu) by edt (subscriber, #842) [Link]

I look at this a little differently. What this release should allow us to do is rebuild the module for any Linux version. Which means, unless other drivers hold the kernel back, a using an up to date linux should be possible. This is a good thing.

As Dave Arlie pointed out the real problem will occur when we find problems with the firmware. We still need to depend on the vendor to fix these.
This is a bad thing.

All in all it is a baby step forward.

Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 25, 2012 19:45 UTC (Thu) by swetland (guest, #63414) [Link]

The thing that has me scratching my head is the approach of absolute rejection of incremental moves in the right direction that many people seem to embrace.

I certainly agree that full open source code for everything top to bottom is a great ideal, but in absence of that, a solution that involves no closed source in the userspace or kernel side is nicer than a solution with a big closed source userspace library blob but an open kernel driver handling resources/queueing, which is nicer than a solution with an entirely closed user + kernel library/driver stack, etc.

Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 25, 2012 21:48 UTC (Thu) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167) [Link]

I haven't seen much "absolute rejection". More so what I have seen is people who think this has been misrepresented as better than it is.

They are entitled, indeed in my opinion, right to say that.

Consider the 1832 Representation of the People Act (the "Great Reform act"). This fixed some of the very worst things about British parliamentary elections in the 19th century. It was heralded by its supporters as a triumph for democracy. But it was by no means a complete solution to every problem at that time. For example the franchise was still withheld from most of the poor and all women, and in the absence of even today's poor excuse for a secret ballot many voters were bribed or intimidated.

So, I think that any person who said at the time "This so-called Great Reform act is not so very great after all" would be quite right, and it would be mistaken to say that they were engaged in "rejection" of the act, they're just pointing out that it doesn't go nearly far enough.

Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 25, 2012 23:55 UTC (Thu) by Jan_Zerebecki (guest, #70319) [Link]

Yes. IMHO because the actual OpenGL driver is not free software and thus not easily fixable it is important that it is not accepted in mainline Linux if only for strategic reasons.
I found this post by David Airlie http://airlied.livejournal.com/76383.html and quote part of it:
"Will this mean the broadcom kernel driver will get merged?
No."

Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 26, 2012 0:44 UTC (Fri) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

the good news is that he is not the one who makes that decision, Linus is. and as noted elsewhere in this thread, Alan Cox doesn't see a problem with merging this.

Raspberry Pi VideoCore driver code released

Posted Oct 26, 2012 10:07 UTC (Fri) by smurf (subscriber, #17840) [Link]

I always thought fundamentalism belongs in the realm of Religion, not Kernel Programming.

Silly me.


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