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Embedded Linux Platform Specifications

Hello fellow Debian Developers,

I am currently participating in the standard specification 
process of Linux embedded core platforms, as an individual
developer.  The effort is driven by the "vendor-neutral"
trade association, Embedded Linux Consortium.  See the
URL, http://www.embedded-linux.org.

Hopefully, we will produce specifications for several
platforms, to accommodate from the lowly non-MMU uClinux to 
full-functionality headless Linux servers by the end of 
the year.

I am planning to submit a proposal for adding functionality
dynamically (including API for changing/querying the 
capabilities) on top of the base profiles.  I am aware of
a couple of proprietary ways of doing it.  But, I will need
your advice on current "open" practices.

In my work with embedded Linux, I have encountered several
situations where I have just enough flash for a minimal
functionality, but there is enough RAM to extend capabilities.
For examples, we have a device that has only 16 meg flash but
64 meg RAM.  The base configuration is adequate for some
C-language binding applications.  However, certain applications
like speech processing and voice recognition will need to be
downloaded and run primarily on RAM.  Another example would be
Java-based OSGI bundles.

There are a couple of ways to extend the capabilities.

(1) XML-based messages have been used to query, to download and 
to install additional packages onto the RAM-based filesystem.

(2) I have also used a proprietary C-based to query and to
download binaries.

I think there are probably also something similar to DOCSIS's
snmp-based firmware/software upgrades: RFC2669.

For the standard specification, I am looking for an API or
current practices that are within the Debian Open-Source
Specifications.   I think the benefits of an "open" API will be
tremendous in uniting the embedded Linux market.  

Appreciate any assistances and comments.

Best regards.

Bao C. Ha                    voice: (310) 922-0137
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD  42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
Primary Perpetrator of "Slackware Linux Unleashed"

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