Reverse or Creation?

Sébastien Roy sebastien.roy at
Thu Mar 13 15:50:01 UTC 2014

If you consider the amount of money invested in development of new
devices, you'll see how much work is involved in designing new devices.

The free software and open source software works because software is less
prone to obsolescence than hardware which allows armies of dev to work in their
precious spare time on promising projects for years - even decades before
they begin to be relevant (at which point financing appears... ironically).

You just can't do that with hardware. You must spend 150% of your time
to quickly win the race against obsolescence and huge proprietary industrial
producers and quasi monopoly. It's just not feasible. Maybe if research
centers decided (or were ruled to) open source, creative common, open
science or free software the results of their public funded results, I
could consider it.

My 2 cents

> > Than, let me ask - wouldn't it be better to design a NEW system
> > from
> > scratch instead of spending years on reverse-engineering of what
> > manufacturers are selling?
> The real problem here is that we won't be able to have community
> chips
> manufacturing in the near future. The best we can do is to gather
> chips
> from free software-friendly manufacturers and assemble devices that
> way.
> This is already done with e.g. the GTA04/neo900.
> Devices with good design also exist (e.g. Allwinner tablets/single
> board
> computers) and are about as good as what you can get with the GTA04.
> > Personally i chose not to spend time on reverse stuff. Concentrated
> > all my power on research for new design.
> From a developer point of view, starting a new platform from scratch
> is
> not necessarily *less* work, it's just different work. Reverse
> engineering stuff is currently doable (on selected platforms) and
> well,
> if we're already going that way, it's because it's the easiest path
> to
> freedom currently.
> --
> Paul Kocialkowski, Replicant developer
> Replicant is a fully free Android distribution
> Website:
> Redmine:
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