NedScott wrote: jamesh wrote:
Many incorrect points here. 6x9 has answered all of them I think, but the important thing to remember is the entire GPU software is more than just a 'bootloader' - given is over 2MB compiled IIRC!
Most of the Foundation software is actually closed source, and is actually based on SW licenced from Brcm. A lot of the dev cost goes on that, plus things like Scratch, LXDE, which are of course OSS.
As for your final comment. Yes, it does hurt the Foundation is someone takes their firmware and uses it on their own board. That firmware cost money to produce, money that needs to be recouped from sales of the Pi. If the sale goes to someone else using the firmware, that money does not get recouped. Worst case scenario, RPF starts to make a loss, RFP goes bust, Raspberry's stop being made. EVERYBODY is worse off. That is why it's unfair, people taking the firmware for use on other boards jeopardise the entire ecosystem for their own greed.
I think you've misunderstood what I was commenting on. I'm not talking about the bootloader. Anything that is closed source is not up for grabs by another company, obviously.
I'm talking about your statement that it is unfair for someone to use any code that the RPI foundation worked on, because they didn't spend millions. You seemed to imply that this would be true regardless of the code license.
The fact that there are closed source bits in the Pi is a black mark of sorts. One that the Foundation is trying to fix. It is not a tool to recap investment costs. The RPF's own goals are to migrate to nearly all open source software, one day (if at all possible). At least, as much as possible. They would rather work on open source code, which anyone can use. Even if that "anyone" has never invested any money into the code.
I got the impression that you would still call it "unfair" for people to use RPF software even if there were no closed source blobs, because of what the RPF spent on development. If I am mistaken then I apologize.
In addition to that, I find it absurd to think that the Pi requires any closed blobs for success. The reason the Pi is so wildly successful has far more to do with how the RPF runs, and their goals for the RPi.
I myself work for a company that makes ARM hardware (TV boxes) and is entirely dependent on open source software. They have several devs on staff and have invested heavily into improving open source code that anyone can use, including their competitors. Despite this, they have had incredible success. Quality hardware, a relationship with the community, good support, and other things, all make that possible. They're far from the only company who is able to do this. There is no reason to think that the RPF would be any different.
It is not the firmware black box that keeps the Pi afloat. I think it's very short sighted (for a lack of better words) to think otherwise.
TL;DR- I'm making an argument about principle, base on something I thought you implied, because I'm basically a mental case. Most people would not have read this deeply into your comment. Sorry.
I was talking about the GPU and bootloader parts, the rest, Scratch, LXDE etc are OSS, so obviously that's fine to use, and in fact, I suspect Simon Long is one of the few people contributing to LXDE and really making a difference to the usability, and the Scratch changes can made a huge difference to performance for everyone using Scratch. Both development paths funded by the Foundation, but usable by anyone.
The license on the GPU code is down to Broadcom and their deal with the RPF. The are about 0.5M lines of code in that , not of course all done by the Foundation - some in fact by me - but the Foundation changes are significant since BRCM are no longer updating that codebase. That's the bit that others steal, and as 6x9 says above, there are also implications with the H264 licence that could be very nasty if MPEGLA get shirty.
With regard to a closed source black mark, the Pi has never EVER claimed to be a open source system in HW or SW. People who complain about the GPU being closed really need to get a grip on the real world, and acquire some pragmatism.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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