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Mike Hartley
2005-03-11, 20:42
Phil,
No intent to be provacative here. Just curious as to your thoughts on this. What business advantage is there to completely opening up the firmware to open-source? Yes, I understand and believe in the advantage of having many freely contributing developers working on the platform. On the other hand, I also understand that the competition **cough**Roku**cough or frankly any other competitor will gladly suck up any open sourced innovation provided to them, and will probably not make any comparable investment into the community that built the application in the first place. I much preffered Sean's (I think, could have been another SLIM employee) suggestion that certain significant portions of the firmware, like codec modules, might be released for work under open source licensing terms. Let SLIM hold the familty jewels so they can get a return on the investment they have made.

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Karn [mailto:karn (AT) ka9q (DOT) net]
Sent: Fri 3/11/2005 8:38 PM
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Cc:
Subject: Re: [slim] Open firmware for SB2?



Sean Adams wrote:

> That was SLIMP3 firmware, which was all code I wrote myself, so we could
> release it however we wanted. Squeezebox and Squeezebox2 include 3rd
> party proprietary OS and wireless drivers and require a $30,000
> development kit in order to write code for them. These are just a few of
> the obstacles to opening up firmware development.

Well, I suppose an alternative would be to open up all the necessary
hardware specs (if they're not already open) and encourage an
independent open source firmware development from scratch. If or when it
surpasses the stock firmware in features and stability, you could switch
to it.

Phil

seanadams
2005-03-12, 00:55
> Let SLIM hold the familty jewels so they can get a return on the
> investment they have made.
>

Holding.....

Holding....

uh...

Phil Karn
2005-03-13, 01:12
Mike Hartley wrote:
> Phil, No intent to be provacative here. Just curious as to your
> thoughts on this. What business advantage is there to completely
> opening up the firmware to open-source?

Well, I actually don't feel all that strongly about it because I don't
think the Squeezebox hardware and firmware ought to have more than the
absolute bare minimum set of functions that it already has. I was just
suggesting one possible way around the problem of proprietary
development environments and libraries for those who really do want to
hack on open source firmware.

Presumably Slim Devices has copyrights on the Squeezebox schematics and
board layouts so another company couldn't just make an exact copy.
They'd have to design their own from scratch.

Personally I think that those who think they want more features in the
firmware would be much better off redirecting their efforts into making
the server far more bulletproof than it currently is. And that's already
open source.

Phil