earlz
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:15 pm

Hello. I'm aware that Raspberry Pi is suppose to be a "learning platform" but most of the hardware thus far is not documented.

I've always wanted to get into ARM OS development(ie, making my own kernel) but so far all of the devices I've seen have been too expensive. This board looks perfect except for the apparent lack of documentation. So will there be documentation released to create drivers for all of the devices included on the board?

stuporhero
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:28 pm

+1 for this!

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abishur
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:35 pm

My understanding (guess) is that right now the r-pi team is working hard to get it up, running, and out the door (hopefully in time for my birthday at the end of November). The idea is to have all the devices on the board already have the needed drivers. If you want to use a different distro, I believe they are planning to release their drivers that you can then compile into whatever distro you want. That said, I imagine that once the dust settles a little more, they (or the community) will begin a proper documentation. As it stands, I don't think they've 100% decided on everything that is going on the board so documentation might be a moot point until everything is decided on.
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earlz
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:40 pm

If you want to use a different distro, I believe they are planning to release their drivers that you can then compile into whatever distro you want

I'm thinking more like Non-Linux :) I'd also really like to see OpenBSD ported to this device. It'd work awesome for a super low cost/power router

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abishur
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:45 pm

ah. I know there's some issue with the GPU that will prevent drivers from being able to be created for Windows. But, BSD is a Unix based OS, so it might be possible to take the GPU driver and adapt it for Unix
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Svartalf
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:53 pm

Quote from abishur on August 26, 2011, 19:45
ah. I know there's some issue with the GPU that will prevent drivers from being able to be created for Windows. But, BSD is a Unix based OS, so it might be possible to take the GPU driver and adapt it for Unix

I don't know about the GPU driver- but the other stuff should provide him enough info to make OpenBSD drivers. He just won't be able to use the code directly to do the work because of licensing conflicts. The GPU driver's going to be...interesting. He might be able to expose the same sort of interface as the Linux driver with some effort and he might be able to get the proprietary blob to run under the Linux compatibility layer. Might.

This is where I wish someone in the ARM embedded space would realise the value of at least opened technical information to provide a Mesa3D driver by way of the Gallium3D framework.

jamesh
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Re: Will documentation be available?

Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:20 pm

There are already drivers for OpenGL, VG and MAX, plus the framebuffer, with the first two being drop in replacements for the standard Linux libraries, so giving straightforward HW acceleration for two and threeD graphics. That how we got Quake running so quickly.

I think the drivers work by converting the API's in to a message that is sent to the GPU for action. So if you implement that message passing API, you can do pretty much anything. It's called VCHIQ, and it is a driver in itself. The drivers (AFAIK) don't do much work apart from converting the relevant API's to messages, so porting should be relatively easy. Eben is the real expert on this stuff so I'll leave him to correct all my mistakes....

So, drivers should be available for all features of the board at launch time.
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