jamesh wrote: gkreidl wrote:
Something for the foundation's lawyers:
we decided to make our own (tiny) version of a Raspberry Pi
What I don't like about this project is that they simply use all the work (software development) of the foundation and the RPi community to sell their product. They call it "compatibility" but in fact it means: let other people do all the work and we make money from it.
Indeed. The Foundation spends money (lots of) on software and engineering to make sure its working and as good as possible,. These types of clones simply use that work without any sort of payback. It the sort of thing that puts people like the Foundation out of business.
But that's the deal with open source ...
And many other companies pay good money to develop open source that's then freely used by many others - e.g. IBM and Red Hat to name 2 big names...
The kernel is open source (is Linus a billionaire?)
Most foundation developed code is open source as far as I'm aware (omxplayer, etc.)
Raspbian is open source and like many other Linux distributions maintained by volunteers.
My wiringPi is open source (and I'm not a billionaire either, and I know it's been ripped off, copied, cloned, hacked, etc.) but I know that that's the nature of open source. They're (mostly) allowed to do that.
The only thing (Pi related) I can think of that's not open source right now is the bootloader(s) which contains the GPU "blobs", and I don't know if they are foundation developed or Broadcom developed. If the latter, then it's entirely possible that along with buying the SoC they also buy the rights to use the bootloaders. It's also possible that along with signing all the NDAs, sales agreements, etc. they have sources to all the "reference" bootloaders (and tools to build them) themselves and can develop their own. Who knows.
I think there's another way to look at this - and that's proof that the foundation is doing something right. So right that others want to copy - some are copying badly (e.g. banana pi), some trying to say theirs is bigger/better/faster than the Pi (hummingboard?) but these guys - well, a tiny board that takes µSD and has a Pi GPIO connection and a bit more? Perfect little robot board although I really don't think I'd stick one on my wrist - the "BigTime" watch I have is bad enough!!! It's also the same price as a B+ and I know what I'd rather have right now. Unless it comes in at the price of an A, then I'm not sure it will sell (I'm not sure about Europe/US - would be inclined to say no, but the far-east?)
And it's not the first time this has happened either - look at Arduino - for those who use them, do you buy a genuine Arduino board, or a clone? Or build your own clone? And how many Pi-Top "arudino" boards are there now? I have at least 4 non Arduino "arduino" boards here with that are "arduino compatible". Did any of the designers of those boards pay any "royalties" back to the Arduino folks, or bother with the Arduino "Certified Program" ?
So the trick is to find the "value add". To me the value add here (Pi, Foundation) is the strength of the community and the willingness of the Foundation to help, and to actively go out there and make it happen. Keeping that going in a sustainable manner is the real challenge, and who knows - maybe Odroid will donate something to the foundation - has anyone actually asked them?