FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

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FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

João Salvatti
http://blogs.sun.com/webmink/entry/open_chips_wiki_open

http://wikis.sun.com/display/FOSSdocs/Home

--
Joco Salvatti
Undergraduating in Computer Science
Federal University of Para - UFPA
web: http://www.openbsd-pa.org
e-mail: [hidden email]

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Karl Sjodahl - dunceor-2
On 8/27/07, JoC#o Salvatti <[hidden email]> wrote:

> http://blogs.sun.com/webmink/entry/open_chips_wiki_open
>
> http://wikis.sun.com/display/FOSSdocs/Home
>
> --
> Joco Salvatti
> Undergraduating in Computer Science
> Federal University of Para - UFPA
> web: http://www.openbsd-pa.org
> e-mail: [hidden email]
>
>

This is really nice and maybe we can expect better hardware support on
SPARCs. This is probobly also good since I hope this puts pressure on
other hardware manufacturers to open up their documentation. Maybe
dlg@ can shed some more light on what is comming out of this from a
OpenBSD perspective?

BR
dunceor

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Craig Skinner - Sun Microsystems - Linlithgow - Scotland
In reply to this post by João Salvatti
Joco Salvatti wrote:
> http://blogs.sun.com/webmink/entry/open_chips_wiki_open
>
> http://wikis.sun.com/display/FOSSdocs/Home

Yay! Action at last.
--
========================================================
Craig Skinner [hidden email]

Phone +44 (0) 1506 673024 5-digit shortdial:x73024

Sun Remote Support Centre, Linlithgow, Scotland, UK
========================================================

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Edd Barrett
Hi,

On 28/08/07, Craig Skinner - Sun Microsystems - Linlithgow - Scotland
> Yay! Action at last.

Wow! This is great news.

What I would really like to see is SMP for sparc64. Hopefully this has
become easier now.

--
Best Regards

Edd

---------------------------------------------------
http://students.dec.bournemouth.ac.uk/ebarrett

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Darrin Chandler
On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 04:08:02PM +0100, Edd Barrett wrote:
> On 28/08/07, Craig Skinner - Sun Microsystems - Linlithgow - Scotland
> > Yay! Action at last.
>
> Wow! This is great news.

Better late than never, but damn is it late.

--
Darrin Chandler            |  Phoenix BSD User Group  |  MetaBUG
[hidden email]   |  http://phxbug.org/      |  http://metabug.org/
http://www.stilyagin.com/  |  Daemons in the Desert   |  Global BUG Federation

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Theo de Raadt
> On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 04:08:02PM +0100, Edd Barrett wrote:
> > On 28/08/07, Craig Skinner - Sun Microsystems - Linlithgow - Scotland
> > > Yay! Action at last.
> >
> > Wow! This is great news.
>
> Better late than never, but damn is it late.

Indeed, that is the correct sentiment regarding Sun's action here.

The facts of the industry are simply this: Approximately 95% of
machine parts are documented (whether they are documented well or not
is a totally seperate question).

Starting roughly around 1990, Sun put themselves on the path of
supplying only the absolute minimum documentation for their machine
parts.  Meanwhile, the PC really took off, and all the documentation
for PC parts has always been out there (minus a few special cases that
we have had to fight for).  DEC released pretty much all the
documentation for the Alpha right from the start, and later a few
people pressured HP to release pretty much all the HPPA documentation.

That left the largest straggler in the industry: Sun.  And the case is
that Sun has always had the documentation in-house; because of solid
engineering principles in-house they document everything, perhaps
because their hardware and software groups are seperated so much.

Apple also has done a poor job of documenting their hardware, but
looking at the quality of their hardware (with entirely pointless
divergences between models that come out 3 months apart) we can guess
that maybe we don't want to see them.

Finally, there are a few American chip makers that resist the status
quo, like Marvell and (to a lesser degree) Broadcom.  Even Intel tries
to play the open game now.  Then there are a handful of (increasingly
irrelevant) American wireless chipset manufacturers.  But in general
there are fewer and fewer closed vendors.

But Sun had no excuse for this behaviour in 1990, and it is incredible
that only now they will try to redeem it.  So I don't say bravo, but I
say "about time".  They don't get any points from me, because they are
so late.

I give the most credit to Craig Skinner who started the conversation
at Sun with us (he found the right place to push Sun -- right at the
top), and David Gwynne for continuing the soft pressure through the
last couple of months.

My biggest hope is that Sun's cleanup process does not delete too much
information from the pages... like descriptions of hardware bugs and
the workarounds needed for "best effort" operation.  Because we
already know that some revisions of Sun hardware have brutally bad
bugs that ... even sometimes cannot be worked around.

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

J.C. Roberts
In reply to this post by Edd Barrett
On Tuesday 28 August 2007, Edd Barrett wrote:
>
> What I would really like to see is SMP for sparc64. Hopefully this
> has become easier now.

The major requirement for SMP on sparc64 is for some extremely talented
people having both significant interest and copious amounts of free
time.

After spending years, if not decades, being yanked around by Sun on
requests for proper docs and errata, you can understand why interest in
such work isn't very enthusiastic... -about as much of a understatement
as saying "a supernova tends to brighten things up." ;-)

jcr

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Jason George
In reply to this post by João Salvatti
>> What I would really like to see is SMP for sparc64. Hopefully this
>> has become easier now.
>
>The major requirement for SMP on sparc64 is for some extremely talented
>people having both significant interest and copious amounts of free
>time.

We have Kettenis.  As long as I keep tossing him edge cases of breakage on
Ultrasparc machines and he digs into finding out what's going on, we keep
making progress.

All in due time, but the magic doesn't happen overnight.

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Re: FOSS Open Hardware Documentation

Craig Skinner-3
In reply to this post by Theo de Raadt
What was the long term fall out of this? Sell out to Oracle, etc.

On 2007-08-28 Tue 10:43 AM |, Theo de Raadt wrote:

> > On Tue, Aug 28, 2007 at 04:08:02PM +0100, Edd Barrett wrote:
> > > On 28/08/07, Craig Skinner - Sun Microsystems - Linlithgow - Scotland
> > > > Yay! Action at last.
> > >
> > > Wow! This is great news.
> >
> > Better late than never, but damn is it late.
>
> Indeed, that is the correct sentiment regarding Sun's action here.
>
> The facts of the industry are simply this: Approximately 95% of
> machine parts are documented (whether they are documented well or not
> is a totally seperate question).
>
> Starting roughly around 1990, Sun put themselves on the path of
> supplying only the absolute minimum documentation for their machine
> parts.  Meanwhile, the PC really took off, and all the documentation
> for PC parts has always been out there (minus a few special cases that
> we have had to fight for).  DEC released pretty much all the
> documentation for the Alpha right from the start, and later a few
> people pressured HP to release pretty much all the HPPA documentation.
>
> That left the largest straggler in the industry: Sun.  And the case is
> that Sun has always had the documentation in-house; because of solid
> engineering principles in-house they document everything, perhaps
> because their hardware and software groups are seperated so much.
>
> Apple also has done a poor job of documenting their hardware, but
> looking at the quality of their hardware (with entirely pointless
> divergences between models that come out 3 months apart) we can guess
> that maybe we don't want to see them.
>
> Finally, there are a few American chip makers that resist the status
> quo, like Marvell and (to a lesser degree) Broadcom.  Even Intel tries
> to play the open game now.  Then there are a handful of (increasingly
> irrelevant) American wireless chipset manufacturers.  But in general
> there are fewer and fewer closed vendors.
>
> But Sun had no excuse for this behaviour in 1990, and it is incredible
> that only now they will try to redeem it.  So I don't say bravo, but I
> say "about time".  They don't get any points from me, because they are
> so late.
>
> I give the most credit to Craig Skinner who started the conversation
> at Sun with us (he found the right place to push Sun -- right at the
> top), and David Gwynne for continuing the soft pressure through the
> last couple of months.
>
> My biggest hope is that Sun's cleanup process does not delete too much
> information from the pages... like descriptions of hardware bugs and
> the workarounds needed for "best effort" operation.  Because we
> already know that some revisions of Sun hardware have brutally bad
> bugs that ... even sometimes cannot be worked around.