Adding Applications To OpenMoko The Right Way

Robert Schuster r.schuster at
Wed Aug 29 13:44:42 CEST 2007

Hi Jim, hi list,
>>> people who do not understand the OE setup
>> Start with fixing that :)
> I know that was somewhat meant in jest, but as mentioned at current this
> is pretty frustrating.
> So you really think that every person who would like to develop for
> OpenMoko should be able to understand the OE setup?  Please tell me how
> understanding the build system helps them to write their application.
You dont need to understand the OE setup to 'write an application'. You
need to understand it, if you want to package it and put it on the root

> And for the converse: how hard is it really for someone, you for
> example, to write a step-by-step set of instructions to explain how
> someone with an application already written may get it on to the neo
> with the minimum of their effort?
AFAIK the EXTRA_RDEPENDS_DISTRO thing works (remember to rebuild
task-base) but is considered unclean. So if breaking the rules and
possibly creating a too large image is ok, that is your solution. (Btw:
You can get around the size limitation a bit if you set up your Neo to
boot from the SD card).

> Wanting people to know everything about everything is a noble idea but
> when those people have limited time resources then spending that time in
> places other than where they are best qualified is nothing short of
> wasteful.
For around 1.5 years I am playing with OpenEmbedded from time to time. I
still don't get many things but it is getting better. However the reason
for this slow progress on my side isnt because OE is shit. It is because
the functionality it delivers is unbelievable big: OE allows you to
build a complete GNU/Linux distribution from scratch with only one
command (e.g. bitbake openmoko-devel-image). One person can do what
would otherwise require a strong development team (think of all the
different roles involved in the Debian packaging process). Moreover you
cannot only build a GNU/Linux for a limited set of devices (like
OpenWRT/FreeWRT). You can target nearly everything that is supported by
GNU Toolchains, Bootloaders and Linux Kernels (and that is a lot).

On a similar topic: People are mourning about the complexity of the
autotools for ages but if you look at the BB files of packages using
them you will see that they are usually the smallest. All of those
handwritten makefiles and uberbuild systems require some special
treatment and often need to made aware of crosscompiling.

In your own interest you should spend time in learning at least some
basics of OE. The time is invested very well.


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