Freescale Linux BSP review
david.rusling at linaro.org
Wed Dec 22 03:49:12 PST 2010
thanks, I agree with your thoughts. My approach has been to accept small steps in the right direction and encourage reasoned discussion. I also think that Linaro's main function is as a place where all the moving parts can collaborate. Right now, the GPU 'problem' is that of getting both open source and proprietary pieces of the BSPs to work really well together in products. That's really the focus of the Graphics WGs and the partner landing teams. This is a heavy lifting engineering job, and it will take time, but everyone is willing and hopeful of good results. Doing this will also help us have a reasoned discussion about where the open source and proprietary boundaries make sense.
Now for a bit of a rant. Personally, I have a deep and abiding respect for open source (for me, it's the key social invention of the internet age), however I also recognise that it would not exist without companies using open source as part of their products. Let's face it, an awful lot of open source engineers are getting their mortgages paid by companies that make use of open source. No company invests in open source for philanthropic reasons; they understand that it is necessary for their businesses. The tricky problem is always in how ethical a company's usage is (and I use the word 'ethical' deliberately because this is wider than mere legal words smithing); whenever I give talks on GPL, I emphasise both the moral as well as the legal duties. In my experience, most companies struggle to understand open source when they first start to interact with it. It usually takes some open source zealots within the company to persuade their management of the right way to behave. The best way to get companies to change their behaviour is to find them and support them. Making threatening GPL noises in email does not help them in any way.
David Rusling, CTO
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