Saturday, October 27, 2012

My 5 eurocents on the Rasberry Pi opengl driver debacle

The Linux community rather unenthusiastic about the open source shim to Raspberry PI GPU. I think the backslash is a bit unfair, even if the marketing from Raspberry was pompous - It is still a step in the right direction. More raspberry PI hardware enablement code is open source than before.

A step in the wrong direction is "locking firmware", where a loadable firmware is made read-only by storing it to a ROM. It has been planned by the GTA04 phone project, and Raspberry foundation also considers making a locked GPU ROM device. This is madness that needs to stop. It may fulfill the letter of FSF guidelines, but it is firmly against the spirit. It does not increase freedom - it takes away vendors ability to provide bugfixes to firmware, and communities possibility of reverse engineering the firmware.

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