Openmoko build / R&D vs Integration

Andy Green andy at
Thu Apr 17 08:12:38 CEST 2008

Hash: SHA1

Somebody in the thread at some point said:
| On Wed, 2008-04-16 at 22:24 +0100, Andy Green wrote:
|> There are two subthreads in one here, one on each of those topics, so it
|> can seem confused.
|> 1) "development": my suffering trying to get a handle on building DM2
|> with a library dependency with bitbake confirming  my downer on OE, and
| You have this "downer" on OE yet you don't seem to want to try and
| understand the several options presented to you to address this and fix
| the problem?

Not at all.  I read each eagerly.  Holger had a plan but I don't have
any host opkg here, it's not in the toolchain thing.  I didn't see a URL
to download the new Poky thing, it isn't ready yet if I understood it
and seems to sit on stuff that isn't in place on my side.  And John's
helpful advice about where to get dev files, it talks about paths on
some host I don't know which one.  And Fedora bitbake just gives errors
about setting CACHE still.  I get to feel like an idiot and get nowhere.

I downloaded the toolchain tarball and studied the OM Wiki for advice on
how to proceed long before this thread.  There is no advice in there to
do what I asked about, link against target packages on the host.  And
it's pretty clear why, Holger wanted to help but as a novel idea he is
interested to work on / fix.  OE in OM is "not there for me" today for
this action.  And this action is not some weirdo idea but just using the
packages in this distro to build against each other.

Folks, I can't use these partial "solutions" from my current position of
ZERO.   Please somebody write this up step by step for N00bs in the
Wiki, WHERE to get opkg to build for your (Fedora) host, WHAT server
these partial URL paths people mention are actually on (why would I
know?), WHERE Poky for host can come from, WHAT to do if bitbake throws
errors about CACHE.  We need that Wiki article anyway, right?  Currently
there is nothing useful about it in there.

|> 2) "distribution": would abandoning OE for Moblin / Ubuntu Mobile, or
|> going in another direction still, leave us in a better place after the
|> dust settled.
| Its an interesting question but its very hard to evaluate on the
| information available.

Right, that I can agree with.  But we can at least form a stance about
whether to follow it up and look at changing our build system is
inherently insane.  If it isn't, maybe we should talk to Intel and see
what makes sense on both sides.

| You are surrounded by people who know something about building
| distributions for embedded systems and their opinion seems pretty clear
| yet you don't seem interested in them. They know the problems OE has
| overcome and the features it has, this new system is a total unknown.

There seems to be a bit of an assumption OE is an inherent necessity for
OM, rather than simply the current situation.  I KNOW we don't have to
do this level of investment and work on the distro to make products,
have our own package format and so on.  We are here to make phones, not
to work on OE for its own sake.  Likewise, this device is way less an
embedded device for development purposes than a router for example.

| Whats needed here is a detail explanation of what exactly this Intel
| offer is, how long it will take, how it would work and what the
| responsibilities of the various parties are. You can't even say if it
| would compile natively or cross compile, just that you'd trust Intel to
| get it right.

Yeah I trust that kind of money, also the people they have on board
around this project like Keith Packard, Arjan van de Ven.  If we want
more information, we have to feed back to Sean that the proposal is
interesting and we "have some questions".

| I don't see what R&D you do now for distro maintenance that you won't
| have to do with Intel's offer. I don't think you'll get something on a
| golden plate that has everything out the box, I see a lot of work in
| tweaking whatever is provided to make it suite OpenMoko's needs and that
| will probably be heavier than your current workload IMO.

But upstream then is called "moblin" or "Ubuntu Mobile", it's already
tailored to this kind of platform with people working away on it
externally.  We don't have to work on the build system, we have an
upstream for that.  It can potentially be a big simplification for Openmoko.

- -Andy
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