Quote from abishur on November 14, 2011, 14:32
I mean why should we sacrifice a superior option just because it's more complicated? Well, we say more complicated, but the complication exists at a level we don't and can't access. All access we need to the device is still available via open sources, it's just the binary blob itself we can't touch. Jasmesh's point here is that even if the broadcom corporation opened the GPU for us all to play with, we couldn't do anything with it so there's no point being upset that we don't have access to it
I think thats misleading - "superior" in education is rarely a closed box with arbitrary walls. If you want that then UK kids might as well us their phones for hacking on in java/dalvik. They'll all have perfectly programmable phones in a couple of years anyway.
There are two things being muddled here, and IMHO dangerously so.
The first is the internal architecture of the GPU. Complicated, closed, and it could equally have loaded its blob off a ROM as the internals of many PC GPU devices are. There is a ton of stuff internal to all these GPUs that you don't even realise exists on PC class hardware. It's not documented, its probably extremely device dependant and you simply don't need to know about it any more than you do about the CPU microcode.
The second is the messaging you send it. That's akin to the 'poke this address' interface and the message based documented parts of the AMD APU, the Intel i9xx, the 3Dfx, 3Dlabs, VIA and SiS chips plus various other products.
For the PI to work those messages (at least for the PI specific firmware) need to be open and documented. Without this the PI project will spend the rest of its life having to keep porting its non-free driver and blob to new kernels (we won't accept it upstream with a closed user space blob because we can't test it, we aren't sure if its legal given how derivative works law behaves , and we don't want your compliance liability if it turns out to be a problem)
It's also upstream policy that with non-free stuff loaded we just ignore all your bug reports, close them and refer you to the vendor of the non-free bits. The PI foundation has the ability to debug it, nobody else does - so its their problem and we can't help - and in this case neither will the PI community be able to, only the little cabal of designers behind the project.