Openmoko build infrastructure questions

Tilman Baumann tilman at
Wed Apr 16 17:43:45 CEST 2008

I never worked with the openmoko toolchain or BB.
It's just my opinion on build systems in general.

Michael 'Mickey' Lauer wrote:

>> ---1 "The openwrt build system is much easier to use than OpenEmbedded"
>> Can Openmoko switch to the openwrt build system?
> Of course, we could. However, what problem are we trying to solve here?
> Where is the exact problem description? Is it the lack of a UI?
> I'd rather fix this problem than go back to where OpenEmbedded started 5
> years ago. The ease of use of OpenWRT mainly comes from its simplicity:
> If you only target few and very similar devices combined with a limited
> set of packages, you can cut a lot of corners at the cost of flexibility
> and synergy. There's a ton of features OpenEmbedded provides us that are
> missing in OpenWRT.

Taking someone elses build system after you already have one is just 
useless pain in your butt.
I would rather learn the craziest build system and make it better than 
making any drastic switch.

Btw. All build systems suck. Especially if you use them. ;)

>> ---3 "Openmoko should use normal .deb or .rpm packages, instead of
>> ipkg/opkg"
>> This usually includes people saying we should use src rpms / debian  
>> src files to build packages.
> That's actually two different questions and I can only comment on one:
> 3.1. What's the actual problem here rather than a desperate attempt to
> unify the desktop and the embedded world more than what's good for
> the embedded world? Is it that .ipk are less known than .deb? Is it
> the feature of the command line tools or the packaging system per se?
> Yes, we can use .debs -- the guys working on Mamona (an alternative
> OpenEmbedded-built distribution for the Nokia Internet Tablets) are doing
> that with OE. However, before even considering such a switch it's very
> important to know what problem we want to solve. We should also consider
> that ipkg is more than dpkg, rather something like apt, which performance-wise 
> is a completely different story on a phone.

I as surprised how well apt and dpkg worked on Maemo. I really liked it. 
(Until i sold my Nokia770 to buy a Neo...)
Problem is, dpkg and apt especially is more or less dead code. And much 
too complicated. I would expect ipgk to be a bit more hack-friendly. 
(Without having ever seen it)
Besides that apt/dpkg works really well, there is probably no person on 
this world who understands all apt and dpgk magic.
Especially when it comes to differences between them, and believe me, 
there are some...

> 3.2. I have no experience with building from source packages other than
> tarballs. Maybe someone else can comment on that.

Source rpm stink. debian source packages more. (as i said earlier. Every 
build system sucks)
I don't see why they should be better than bb. debian is a makefile with 
  hundreds of makros. And rpm spec files are just hell.

Where i work, our build tools to make .deb are simple shell scripts. 
Just good enough.
Every attempt to change a working system is wasted time. (IMHO)

I do't see why it would be worth to change to something probably way too 
complicated which will almost certainly be not very nice to use either.


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