wiki:FactsAndReasons

Facts and reasons

The background

Embedded devices are getting more and more capable everyday, they are even as good as regular computers in many cases. They have entered our life in massive numbers, and most people carry at least one at all times: their phone. As they become more and more useful and available, the demand in hackable embedded devices is growing up.

Software quality

Unfortunately, the quality of embedded software does not seem to match what the hardware solutions have to offer. Dozens of free software distributions are already competing; however, to us, none match the possibilities of the very different uses of the hardware available. Worse, there isn't any coherent, well-documented development framework.

Weaknesses of the community

The strength of the free software community is probably also the reason for this problem: too broad, too much versatile, it doesn't lack energy but focus. On the other hand, open source projects driven by hardware vendors are dedicated to their own line of hardware, and predicted usage. Most efforts are then wasted in multiple directions, applying work-arounds to a codebase that was never designed for embedded systems, but grew empirically according to the most skilled or influential contributors.

Time for a re-design

As much as we can pretend to be able to solve the world, we will try our best to improve the situation. We are convinced that deep technical evolutions are necessary to overcome the current issues. Regardless of the choices made, they have to be thoroughly documented. The decisions taken need to remain coherent and towards a well-defined direction.

Our strength in this regard is that we are users of existing hardware, and eventually working for a vendor-independant, free software company. Unlike many projects, we have motivation and direction altogether. We need something that works reliably, that is easy to maintain with commercial-grade quality. Our commitment

Given the situation, we settle for the following goals:

  • give a chance to as many hardware platforms as possible
  • do not assume any particular use case
  • design a flexible, yet easy to use and complete development framework
  • provide readily-usable software images that just work

An Operating System matching these requirements can be done. It must be done. With the help of the Open Source community, this task can be achieved within a reasonable time.

Last modified 9 years ago Last modified on Aug 25, 2008, 5:25:59 PM