Re: emdebian development model
+++ Prince Riley [2009-04-27 01:58 +0000]:
> If you check in with a few more Emdev engineers, those putting consumer
> products and firmware out, you'll find that too often embedded engineers
> and chip makers shudder at using OSD project code as a platform because
> their dev system based on GNU tools sets which they feel have too steep a
> learning curve and too many gaps and holes in it.
> That's may sound wrongheaded, but they would rather pay 25K to 50K for a
> license for a tool with all the pieces in place than muck about with GNU
> TTY tools these days. All the major em dev houses use GNU toolchains with
> GUI frontends tools and sell them, so its not very easy to get them to
> look at anything but something that puts all the code cycle tools together
> wrapped tight with no heavy lifting.
> For example, seldom are embedded development platforms set up without a
> GUI based tool chain host... those dev who stay with char based TTY
> (serial consoles) are certianly welcome to that approach.
> But ever since the Eclipse-based dev host platform has taken over on ARM,
> Intel, and other embedded development ... a TTY dev host and toolchain is
> a 'last refuge' ...�
> If you prefer no emulator, so be it. But anything other than a full
> emulator that supports the GNU Debugger isn't really worth anyone times
> these days, cost wise, except proably in India, it's just not worth it�
> except for the DSP code work where a GUI emulatoris is hard to build and
OK. I see where you are coming from.
I still disagree about 'worth anyone's time these days, ...except
probably in India', because we are a UK-based company and we're very
happy with GNU tools and a TTY, and none of our engineers have any
desire to start using a GUI. And I know we're not the only ones.
But I agree there is a significant set of developers who are used to
working this way and would find emdebian much more accessible if it
was presented to them that way.
> Just take a look at the Beagle board and Gumstik projects. What are the
> serious developers using.?
I don't know - can you save me the trouble of looking and just tell us?
It seems to me that integration with something like an eclispse GUI
(shudder) is something to be done at the board/vendor level. As you
observe it is all about having a kernel config and cross-tools and
bootloader and user-space-generation all wrapped up together. Emdebian
is only about producing underlying cross-tools and user-space
packaging. It would be up to the people who bring the various bits
together into the GUI to decide that using emdebian stuff made sense
for them/their users. They might decide to use our cross-tools or our
I'm not sure they will because emdebian doesn't make much sense
unless you already have a debian-based development machine, but on the
other hand using it could save them a pile of maintenance on their
On the other hand that exactly what balloonboard has done - their
build environment assumes you have a debian machine or chroot and it
brings in the emdebian cross-tools and toolchains, along with kernels,
patches, initramfs and bootldr from elsewhere, to make the whole
I guess there is nothing to stop others doing this in GUI-world.
I don't know enough about this eclipse environment to know if it can
easily be put over the emdebian tools? Maybe that's something worth
doing? Anyone want to have a go?
Thanks for your input - it is indeed a slightly different perspective
from our normal one. Right now I'm not sure we want more users who
need 'finished tools' and GUIs - we probably need more input from the
sort of people who don't care about that stuff. But on the other hand
if stuff can be made easier and prettier then that is generally a good
thing, and does make our work more accesible.
Principal hats: iEndian - Balloonboard - Toby Churchill - Emdebian