[Community] FOSDEM 2015

Lukas Maerdian luk at slyon.de
Thu Feb 5 17:50:14 CET 2015


Am 02.02.2015 um 23:35 schrieb Paul Kocialkowski:
>>>> ²>> the main entrance but inside from about 11:45 to 12:00 holding in 
>>>>>> front of
>>>>>> me a sign with the OpenPhoenux logo.
>>>>>
>>>>> I'll be there, and I guess Paul will read this as well. I'll wear my
>>>>> phone around my neck for identification.
>>>>
>>>> Sure, count me in as well!
>>>
>>> I waited for about half an hour at the indicated location, with Christ
>>> who had to leave at some point. Eventually, I gave up and grabbed lunch
>>> on my own.
>>>
>>> Thankfully, we were able to chat a bit after my talk!
>>
>> sorry that I could not visit FOSDEM this year and did miss your talk.
>> But I am curious how it was.
>>
>> And how the FOSDEM generally was. Anything interesting to share
>> with our community?
> 
> As usual, FOSDEM was a nice event to be a part of! However, it is a bit
> sad that the people working on creating embedded devices that truly push
> free software to the next level were under-represented this year.
> In particular, I'm thinking about the OpenPhoenux community (Goldelico
> with the GTA04, Neo900) as well as the DragonBox Pyra, Novena and all
> the board makers that use Allwinner, i.MX, OMAP chips. Thus, I felt that
> the discussions around the embedded devroom were not very
> freedom-oriented. Overall, I had a feeling that talking about freedom
> and the core values of why we're doing all this is going away, which is
> sad because it didn't feel the same last year.
> 
> This is only true in part, because I had very interesting discussions
> with graphics people who truly believe this is the right way to go, so
> that was refreshing.
> 
> We also discussed a bit how to get more support from companies and there
> is a lot to say there because obviously, not every company out there
> acts like TI by providing extensive documentation and direct support
> form their engineers to the community. Tsvetan from Olimex talked about
> his experience with Allwinner during the round table fill-in session we
> had during John Sullivan's slot (his talk had been cancelled).
> 
> The point was that most of those companies (especially the Asian ones)
> don't care about free software (and often neglect most of the legal
> aspects of it). They are interested in making money before anything and
> producing upstream quality code costs them a lot of money and doesn't
> apparently bring any significant advantage. Apparently, only very big
> companies like Intel, Samsung and others can afford to have people
> dedicated to writing quality free software support for their hardware.
> Even writing documentation to give free software developers has an
> enormous cost.
> 
> Now there are different ways to react to that (which is exactly what the
> linux-sunxi community faced). I do agree with Luc Verhaegen's approach
> of complaining as loudly as possible when the chip maker does not
> release the source code it has to release (e.g. kernel bits) under the
> GPL terms. Such violations do not require any more code to be written,
> just will for the company to release them, so I do agree that pressuring
> them to release those bits is the only reasonable thing to do. This is
> an attack towards our community and there is no reason to be kind of
> quiet about it.
> 
> Now when it comes to getting the company to take part in the community,
> there are different approaches that could make it work and I'm not sure
> which is best. Apparently in the graphics area, customers pressuring the
> PR department combined with the fact that competitors are doing it too
> can give some results (at least, it's starting to work with nVidia).
> 
> For instance, Imagination Technologies (PowerVR maker) is now selling
> their MIPS CI-20 single board computer that has a PowerVR series 5 chip
> which requires proprietary software for graphics acceleration and 3D.
> Since Img Tech is selling that board directly, there is a direct
> customer relation with us so we can pressure their public relationships
> department to ask for change (the guy's name is Alexandru Voica). So
> please, if you feel like getting one of those CI-20 boards (they're
> actually not so bad for software freedom, see:
> https://www.fsf.org/resources/hw/single-board-computers) and complain to
> Img Tech afterwards for the lack of free graphics support, please do
> (they're actually pretty cheap too)!

Hi Paul!

Thanks for the summary and also for your great talk [0]! I think it
gives a very good overview of the current situation of the Replicant
project and the problems it faces (e.g. closed hardware).

Do you know if there was a recording of the talk? Will it be published?

Best,
  Lukas

[0]
https://fosdem.org/2015/schedule/event/replicant_embedded_freedom/attachments/slides/734/export/events/attachments/replicant_embedded_freedom/slides/734/Reached_milestones_and_ongoing_development_on_Replicant.pdf

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