Damn, wasn't going to add any more comments, but cannot let falsehoods remain unchallenged.
If you take your numbers of boards and examine just how many are actually being used for the supposedly target audience you will find the product is a failure. Again we are a small group, but we are the non-children that push this product over some alternative that has other goals (chip sales) and provide the information for all users of the product not just the marketing target. The RPi cannot and will not survive if the developers are closed off.
Completely and utterly wrong. There are many many Pi's being used in classrooms and for teaching worldwide. If you want to develop for the Raspi there is nothing stopping you from doing almost anything you want. There are 10 of thousands of Linux applications out there that work fine. None of them needed the sort of low level access you seem to think is necessary to survive. I fear you give 'baremetal' too much credit. The number of people writing baremetal on the Pi in minuscule, and has not had any impact on the total sales. That's not to say it isn't a worthwhile effort, HH's work is extremely impressive. It's also true to say that this work has had very little effect on Pi sales, because the huge majority of people have no need of it.
Your product will die if only Broadcom paid developers are writing all the software and only children are using it (your numbers will be to small to sustain the production line, you would not meed the price point). Please remember that. Without an army of non-children buying and playing with this board, a low end laptop would be significantly cheaper than an RPi. A significant number of folks will return to arduinos and nucleos and beaglebones if each developer group is ignored...Also remember there is no linux, no gcc, no python, no software without some very small group of people that write bootloaders, drivers, and compilers.
Yes, clearly dying as I write this....you give much too much credit to things that are really not that important. Yes, there are many many people buying the Pi who were not the originally intended market. But the huge majority of them use Linux (or another OS) and get on fine - it does everything they need and more. They have no need of the register sets to talk to the camera, or use the already released 3D register sets. They use the already written and debugged libraries, because they do exactly what they need.
And just to clear up one point, the Foundation has access to the GPU source code, employs a number of ex-Broadcom HW and SW engineers and others, so there is no reliance on Broadcom software engineers when GPU mods are needed. In fact Brcm made the entire VC team redundant, and the Foundation took on some of them.
Oh, one more point, I'm an embedded software engineer. I've written on baremetal, I've written code for the GPU, I've written drivers for Linux, I've written for Android, Win32 etc. So it's not like I'm a high level HTML flump with an aversion to get my hands dirty. But I am a pragmatist.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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