Re: Emdebian ARM Sprint
> Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>> apologies for making a copy of the post which was made at
>> forums.arm.com but the last message asking ARM to state their position
>> clearly regarding proprietary and NDA-encumbered supply of critical
>> system libraries was censored.
> Sorry I seem to be missing something obvious, but what does this
> have to do with porting Debian to ARM and other embedded processors?
excellent question - j. i'm removing your name from the message in
case you wanted to remain anonymous, and bcc'ing you, but i'm
reinstating the cc to the lists because i feel that it's important.
how do you port and test applications which utilise the 3D graphics
engine of those CPUs which have proprietary ARM-licensed MALI 3D
OpenGL technology in them? (such as the Telechips TCC 89xx, the
NuFront 2816 and the ST-Ericsson U8500)
how do you demonstrate that the best performance is attained, and the
applications best compiled across a wide range of platforms, when not
only is the entire toolchain proprietary, and not only is the libglx
library and header files considered proprietary, but also a
proprietary firmware blob is required to even ACTIVATE the MALI 3D
answer - rather obviously: you don't. [anyone willing to state
specifically that, at a debian free software sprint, they wish to
utilise an entirely proprietary non-free toolchain and suite of
libraries, please make yourselves known...]
so whilst it's fair to say that it's pretty application-specific (the
IBM-sponsored toolkit "Clutter", Compiz Fusion, Blender, WebGL in
Firefox and WebKit, all the 3D Games, FlightGear), i couldn't pass up
the opportunity to raise this with ARM.
after all, if ARM are going to start making proprietary the use of a
mere GPU, what's next? are they going to start making proprietary
some ARM instructions? make use of the built-in Treacherous Platform
Unit to decrypt certain applications which make use of advanced and
better instructions, only if you pay more money??
we _already_ have the case where you cannot get the firmware for
NVidia and other proprietary 3D GPUs - but this is CPUs where you HAVE
NO CHOICE. you either use the entire CPU, or you don't. and many of
the CPUs, if they have PCI-e at all, it'll either massively put the
power consumption up, or you're buying that CPU to utilise the PCI-e
for other purposes! that's if you can get a decent low-power PCI-e
GPU in the first place (you can't get a decent 3D OpenGL compatible
GPU that uses under 6 watts for love nor money) and, regardless of
your personal choice, just like the Microsoft OS Tax, you pay for the
MALI GPU license "just in case you might use it". but this particular
line of reasoning, in this specific paragraph, is getting off-topic
(but still objectionable).