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197 comments

woo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964184)


FSF/GNU/eCos

Get it right! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964226)

SCO/FSF/GNU/eCos

Re:Get it right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964437)

ITYM
s/SCO\/FSF/GNU\/eCos/gi

I blame the liberal media... (-1, Offtopic)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964195)

I blame the liberal media for this issue.

Of course, having a business that relies on open source giving a commercial product to the FSF isn't terribly surprising...

Re:I blame the liberal media... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964571)

Slashdotters are too young and culturally illiterate to bite on your sig troll. Maybe you should try misattributing a quote from Lord of the Rings or something like that, that would probably work. HTH.

frist p0st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964196)

i fail it

If development stopped in 2002... (4, Interesting)

Fortunato_NC (736786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964201)

how come it looks like they added CPU architectures and features in 2003?

It could possible be (1, Informative)

2names (531755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964321)

that the actual development was done prior to 2003 and only implemented in 2003. Just a guess, though, I could be wrong.

Re:If development stopped in 2002... (5, Informative)

mcspock (252093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964414)

Development by redhat stopped in 2002, when they did a round of layoffs. Basically the entire ecos dev group (which all came from the cygnus buyout) got dropped, and the majority of them went to form eCosCentric [ecoscentric.com].

Redhat has continued to host the eCos project, just like they do for gcc and gdb, and the eCosCentric team has been writing updates as far as i know.

I succeeded with the engaging in floor bugle (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964205)

ZIAbpAOE/1/2

I succeeded work of the bugle of the floor
ZIIr...[OI]Z-AEOE/1/2

Re:I succeeded with the engaging in floor bugle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964637)

I like this post, very much.

Can someone explain it please?

tax writeoff (3, Interesting)

TedCheshireAcad (311748) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964207)

Notice this is a healty tax writeoff at the beginning of the year. Hmmmm....

Re:tax writeoff (5, Informative)

greenhide (597777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964240)

Probably not, unless they can show lost profit due to this maneuver. I once tried to donate a few websites to some organizations. After I'd developed them, I found out that I can't deduct one dollar of their value. Not one. Basically, the only thing you can easily take a deduction for is hard goods or cash.

Re:tax writeoff (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964527)

Which sucks - if your time is worth $x and you give away a couple of hours to a church or the local library, it would be nice to take a writeoff for lost earnings.

Of course you can't. (3, Informative)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964565)

Saying this is like saying that you can deduct your hourly wage for the time you spend volenteering att he soup kitchen after work.

You can deduct goods, not time or services rendered. Not unless the donation of those services have a direct impact on your companies bottom line (ie, the donation nof thoe services meant lost time where you could have made profit from soemthing else ).

Re:tax writeoff (1)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964581)

You should have produced the source code for them on a CD and given them over. That would count as actual items, you see.

Re:tax writeoff (1)

SkArcher (676201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964619)

oh, and in time honoured fashion, here it is in Slashdot mode

1) Write Website Code & Burn to CD 2) Value Website at $$$$$ 3) ????? 4) Profit!!!111one

Re:tax writeoff (1)

TrueJim (107565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964584)

Why would one want a tax writeoff at the -beginning- of the year? The -end- of the year makes more sense. We pay taxes now on -last- year's activities, not this year's.

Re:tax writeoff (1)

BritGeek (736361) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964797)

As an organization, you could - if you had capitalized the development costs. As an individual, you may very well not be able to.

Re:tax writeoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964264)

So they should not have done it and kept it closed? If they did that, would you complain about propriatary software? Seems like a no-win situation.

Re:tax writeoff (2, Insightful)

XpirateX (691224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964542)

More than a "beginning of the year" coincidence, I would also consider RedHat's (fairly) recent move toward a very specific market (servers). It seems they're trying to possibly focus their efforts more, and along the way have a few "give-aways" that could be nothing but good publicity.

Stopped developing it in 2002? (4, Informative)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964208)

This is great news, considering that they have stopped developing it in 2002. Hopefully this will mean new life for the project."

The web site indecates new development as recent as September of last year.

Re:Stopped developing it in 2002? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964260)

Just shows the keen eye for detail these story submitters have. They probably didn't even RTFA. At least there's only one major misspelling (indecates) in their story's posting.

Re:Stopped developing it in 2002? (5, Informative)

jifl (471653) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964673)

>The web site indecates new development as recent as
>September of last year.

Um, development has been ongoing, irrespective of Red Hat's loss of interest back at the start of 2002. There just hasn't been any big news since then. See the patch list [sourceware.org] for example.

The eCos maintainers (of which I'm one) have been pushing for a solution to the copyright issue for quite some time. It's good for everyone that Red Hat have donated eCos to the FSF.

Retake English (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964822)

People who start by saying "Ummm" are generally conceited assholes.

Wonderful news! (0, Troll)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964212)

I used to work for a large consulting company (their name starts with "A" and ends with "con," if that's any clarification) that developed an embedded OS. This OS, "Clarix," was highly advanced and far superior to the piece of commercial dreck they bought for pennies on the dollar. They then jettisoned all the Clarix developers, but the large company retained copyrights on all their "intellectual property."

I am highly gladdened to see Red Hat doing the right thing: when they no longer have a use for a product, they give the product away so that future hackers can leverage its power. Kudos to you, Red Hat!

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Retired Developer

Re:Wonderful news! (0, Offtopic)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964266)

Above poster is a lying troll. Check out his previous posts. Please mod down accordingly!!!

Re:Wonderful news! (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964282)

Actually, for once, he's telling the truth. I was on the Clarix project and he pretty much sums it up (albeit a bit tactless, but still true).

Re:Wonderful news! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964304)

Do you have any links describing Clarix? I did a web and usenet search and the only thing that comes up is misspellings of Claris-Works.

Re:Wonderful news! (0, Troll)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964330)

Clarix was a "private-label" operating system. A*on only called it "Clarix" internally. Licensees were free to add their own branding and replace the name. The only documents you might find about Clarix are on the A*on intranet; of course, since you can't search that from Google, you can't find any "insider information" about it.

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Former Clarix Expert

Re:Wonderful news! (0)

webtre (717698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964332)

check your previous posts to see if you didn't post the same thing in the past

Re:Wonderful news! (4, Informative)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964445)

Not really big news. eCos was GPL since March of 2002. The difference is that Redhat is giving the copyright over to FSF to watch over. Prior to March 2002 eCos was under the Red Hat eCos Public License [redhat.com]. If you go back even further eCos was first released in October 1998 by Cygnus Solutions. And [as far as I know] was property of Cygnus Solutions until November 1999, which was when Red Hat aquired them.

If you are interested in developing with eCos the only book I know of is
Embedded Software Development with eCos [amazon.com]

First chapter of the book...

1.1 Where It All Started--Cygnus Solutions

Michael Tiemann, David Henkel-Wallace, and John Gilmore founded Cygnus Solutions in 1989. The idea behind Cygnus Solutions was to provide high-quality support and development for open source software. It was initially unclear whether this business model would work out; however, by the end of the first year it was obvious from the value of the support and development contracts that the business was real. The workload was enormous for the five-person company (the three founders, a salesperson, and a part-time graduate student).

It was clear that the engineering support model worked; however, the costs to fulfill these contracts were very high. In order to generate income at a lower cost, the engineers had to put their heads together to come up with an idea. The plan was to focus their development efforts on a small set of open-source technology that could be sold. The key to maintaining this development on an order that could be handled by the group was to keep the focus very small. What they came up with was selling the GNU compiler (GCC) and debugger (GDB) as shrink-wrapped software. This was the right team of people to do the job. Michael Tiemann, who contributed numerous GNU compiler ports and also wrote the first native C++ compiler (GNU C++ or G++), took on the task of working on GCC; David Henkel-Wallace worked on the binary utilities (binutils) and the library; and John Gilmore worked on GDB.

This task grew to monumental proportions. One advantage, or so it seemed, was that John Gilmore decided to become the new GDB maintainer. Making this known to the Internet community immediately flooded him with different versions of GDB. Now came the task of integrating these new version features.

Eventually, the hard work paid off in what today is called the GNUPro Developers Kit. The kit includes:


Read the rest of the chapter [informit.com] yourself.

That's great!! (-1, Offtopic)

sulli (195030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964224)

I really like the new trend! [slashdot.org] Of exclamation marks (!) with slashdot stories!

It makes them seem almost important!!

Depends (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964230)

Hopefully this will mean new life for the project.

I guess that kind of depends on whether anyone cares or not. Most people who might have used eCos for the commercial support aspect, are using the high powered and rock-solid QNX OS. And those who wanted free embedded OSes for home projects are already using Embedded Linux or *BSD. Even more difficult for eCos is that embedded Linux and *BSD distros are usually custom to the application. Why would anyone want the overhead of a prepackaged solution?

Perhaps eCos has its uses, but it's a very small niche.

QNX IS ON TEH SPOKE!!~1`` (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964293)

Here we have an example of the rarest of birds, an informed and insightful post... on slashdot.

QNX truly is the king of kings.

Re:QNX IS ON TEH SPOKE!!~1`` (-1, Offtopic)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964320)

Here we have an example of the rarest of birds, an informed and insightful post... on slashdot.

Check my posting history. I don't always get it right, but I always attempt to present an informed and useful opinion.

Re:QNX IS ON TEH SPOKE!!~1`` (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964458)

Wasn't that nice of moderators to moderate a polite comment out of existence? So, I'll repost it at +2 and if that gets modded to -1, I'll post it again. Here's the original response:

Here we have an example of the rarest of birds, an informed and insightful post... on slashdot.

QNX truly is the king of kings.


To which I replied:

Check my posting history. I don't always get it right, but I always attempt to present an informed and useful opinion.

And if you don't care for friendly banter, you can mark me as a foe. I'll get all broken up about it. Really. (rolls eyes)

Don't tell me you didn't expect this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964519)

What?

Don't tell me you expected fair moderation here on Slashdot?

You complain because you think there's still hope. But AKAImBatman, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you've already been judged as a troll. And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a troll is supposed to function. Without mercy. Without compassion. Without remorse. All trolling depends on it.

Now go out there and troll the hell out of Slashdot!

Re:Don't tell me you didn't expect this (0, Offtopic)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964561)

Don't tell me you expected fair moderation here on Slashdot?

No, but I'm well aware of what I can do about it. Moderators only have 5 points and can moderate a post only once. Reposting stuff at +2 that was at 0 and +1 respectively, gives the rouge mods a hard target to hit. Even worse, it draws attention to their poor moderation, so meta-mods who view in context will (hopefully) slam these guys.

Now go out there and troll the hell out of Slashdot!

Not on my watch. By God, I'll have an intelligent conversation if it kills me.

Re:Don't tell me you didn't expect this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964615)

I'll have an intelligent conversation if it kills me.

There's plenty of smart stuff at 0 and even at -1.

You'd be surprised.

Why are you buying into the Slashdot groupthink fallacy: if it's moderated up, it's good. I have always read Slashdot at -1 and enjoyed it tremendously.

Re:Don't tell me you didn't expect this (0, Offtopic)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964664)

I read at 0. -1 has all the troll bullsh*t that's not very pleasent to read.

Re:QNX IS ON TEH SPOKE!!~1`` (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964547)

The moderation system actually discourages discussion and rewards one shot posts that leave little or no room for debate. Check out the shit that floats to the top and you'll see the trend.

The problem with QNX (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964366)

The problem with QNX, of course, is that it is not Free.

Maybe hacking eCos will give us the first "high powered, rock-solid and truly Free" embedded OS.

Re:Depends (2, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964382)

You painted an interesting picture, but left a big gap.

There are a lot of commercial companies actually using Linux, for whom QNX and eCOS are not worth the investment in light of recent kernel advances.

I've considered using eCOS in some of my commercial products, but found that Linux does just as good a job in the right hands... not that its the be-all/end-all of embedded operating systems, but it sure is nice to be able to use the same system on an Intel developers box and an [insert-cpu]-type embedded box, for development and deployment...

Re:Depends (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964413)

You painted an interesting picture, but left a big gap.

There are a lot of commercial companies actually using Linux, for whom QNX and eCOS are not worth the investment in light of recent kernel advances.


I'm sorry. I could have sworn that I already stated that the other end of the spectrum is "already using Embedded Linux and *BSD". Oh wait. I did.

You might save yourself some trouble if you read more carefully. :-)

Re:Depends (2, Informative)

ams001 (659997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964436)

My guess is you are a staunch QNX user and you know very little outside the QNX marketplace. eCos is the fastest growing RTOS (used in projects) and is being used in far more projects than QNX. Don't believe me, read the latest market surveys (unfortunatley, not public as the reports cost $4000 a shot). As for rock solid commercial support, eCosCentric was founded by the original developers of eCos after being laid off by Red Hat and continues to be developed and supported both by the community and the mainatiners with eCosCentric continuing to provide commercial versions.

Re:Depends (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964476)

And how long will they be able to provide support if they give away their product.

Open Source "financial genius" at work again...

Re:Depends (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964518)

eCos is the fastest growing RTOS (used in projects) and is being used in far more projects than QNX.

Perhaps. Only time and the market will tell.

Re:Depends (4, Interesting)

mcspock (252093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964494)

My last company used eCos to build handheld and stereo component MP3 players, so that's my experience with it. In the handheld space it was great; small footprint (i built 40K ram/200K rom mp3+wma players with it), low overhead, minimal MMU requirements. The problem, with that space at least, is that the entire segment has shifted to faster processors with better MMUs, bigger hard drives, and generally larger requirements, which warrants using Linux. Even the eCos team was aware of this, as they started adding support for CPUs with memory protection and implementing more advanced OS features, basically scaling eCos up to...a trimmed down Linux.

It was very good and extremely competitive at the time though; i think the issue is just that this time has passed.

Abandonware (5, Interesting)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964237)

Is this the first time a software developer has expressly relinquished copyright for abandonware? Of course, eCos was never proprietary, so it's not quite the same...

Re:Abandonware (4, Informative)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964402)

I remember reading (can't find mention on the site though) that Al Lowe [allowe.com], creator of the Leisure Suit Larry series, released the copyright on various old games (the ones owned by him rather than the publishers) for abandonware, since otherwise they would have died out... Confirmation would be good though.

Abandonware != transfer copyright (2, Informative)

genericacct (692294) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964430)

This isn't abandonware in the traditional sense, where copyright is "relinquished" into the public domain. Rather, they are transferring the copyright to another organization, for them to retain copyright and re-license as they see fit. Assuming they GPL it, the code would be distributable and enforcable accordingly.

hmm... (5, Funny)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964249)

I wonder what license the FSF will put on the copyrights when they get them?

Re:hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964443)


I wonder what licence Microsoft uses when they buy FSF.


Any reason they couldn't/wouldn't do this?

Friendly and hostile takeovers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964759)

I wonder what licence Microsoft uses when they buy FSF.

There are two circumstances in which a company can buy out a solvent company: 1. if the bought company agrees to the deal ("friendly takeover"), or 2. if the bought company is publicly held and the buying company has cash to burn ("hostile takeover"). The FSF is a 501(c)(3) charity [fsf.org], and it does not agree to being bought by Microsoft, SCO, Unisys, or any other large publisher of proprietary software. In fact, can charities be publicly held? And even if Microsoft were to take over FSF, it wouldn't be able to revoke the GNU General Public License that covers the copyrights on its already published software.

Go Red Hat! (4, Interesting)

fader (107759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964273)

As much as everyone seems to hate Red Hat for being big and pushing for what they want, I have to say that I truly respect them. They've never been anything but fair, honest, and helpful to the OSS community. Sure, they sometimes make unpopular decisions, but they focus on their business and don't try to meddle in anyone else's. And they've certainly never pulled any stunt worthy of calling them the 'Microsoft of Linux' as gets thrown about from time to time. The worst they've ever done is ask that people redistributing their distro use a different name and artwork. I can't see how anyone could have a problem with that.

And as this shows, they often go above and beyond the mere requirements of the GPL. They've released a good amount of software under the GPL when they really didn't have to. They pay a lot of developers' salaries, too.

So I'd like to say thanks, Red Hat. I have nothing but good feelings toward you, and I hope you do better and better financially.

(Full disclosure: I don't work for Red Hat, don't own any of their stock, etc. I knew one guy who worked for them, but he was a tech support grunt there for a few months and I wasn't even in contact with him then. These opinions are my own.)

Re:Go Red Hat! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964346)

Fair and honest - just as FOX is fair and balanced.

It might be fair and honest on paper to dump their desktop clients in favor of enterprise clients, but I will never forget or forgive them for that decision.

Re:Go Red Hat! (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964355)

Everyone doesn't hate Red Hat. In fact, quite a few people do respect this company, use its products, pay for its products, and are quite happy with it.

Its just that those who hate RH are the only ones talking about it. You're only sampling data from one side of the argument, because you rarely get someone going to a lot of trouble to praise something as avidly as they might criticize it...

Human nature. Get used to it, and try to read it properly.

In my experience... (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964384)

...Red Hat has been a decent company. They usually make their stance clear and try to be honest at all times. That being said, their product distribution methodology could use some work. They have burned customers time and time again by distributing pre-release software that lacked polish. This would tend to result in oddities in their OSes such as USB mouse lockups, GNOME menus that lose their icons when installing user icons, kernel versions that are unsupported by hardware drivers such as NVidia (thank God NVidia found a way to fix that), and installations that randomly self-destruct. While I understand the pressures of the market place, a more stable codebase would inspire much more confidence in their customers.

Re:Go Red Hat! (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964612)

> As much as everyone seems to hate Red Hat for being big and pushing for what they want

I think the vocal minority here on Slashdot has said negative things about RedHat in the past. I'd dare to say there are a lot of Slashdotters who use RedHat/Fedora on the server/desktop daily. I like their products, and although I think their WS edition is way overpriced, they still make a good distro IMO. They've given a lot to the community and I appreciate their sponsorship of Fedora.

Re:Go Red Hat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964772)

Well, I've got only one thing to say to people like you.

I hate you for supporting an "open source" corporation that dumps its desktop clients.

This is strange. (2, Interesting)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964275)

I always thought that code based on GPLed code falls under the GPL anyway and must be published.

Re:This is strange. (2, Interesting)

xianzombie (123633) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964311)

True, but even under GPL, doesn't it still kinda belong directly to the original creator, if only by name alone?

Perhaps this is RH's way of reliqusihing all ties.

I don't see how it serves much of a specific purpose though.

Re:This is strange. (2, Insightful)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964560)

True, but even under GPL, doesn't it still kinda belong directly to the original creator, if only by name alone?
Red Hat was the copyright holder. They got eCos when they bought (IIRC) Cygnus. Thus, what they are doing here is not simply licensing eCos to FSF; they are transferring the copyright to FSF. FSF now is the copyright holder, not simply a licensee.

My reading of this is that it means that Red Hat is not interested in spending money defending the eCos copyright, if it should be violated. Only the copyright holder can pursue a claim when a copyright is violated. FSF has a history of doing this for GNU products they hold copyright to -- going back to the '80s when they nicely informed Steve Jobs that he had to follow the GPL for NeXT's gcc derivative.

(One of the lies people like to tell about the GPL is that "it's unproven because it's never been tested in court". Fact is, it's never had to be tested in court -- violators have always backed down before they had to be sued. NeXT was violating the GPL by distributing an extended gcc -- with Objective-C support -- without source. Once FSF confronted them, they released the source. The descendant of that gcc is still used in Mac OS X.)

Re:This is strange. (2, Informative)

AndyFewt (694753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964326)

Code != Copyright
They've assigned the copyrights (not code) over to the FSF. The code has always been available from: http://ecos.sourceware.org/getstart.html

Re:This is strange. (4, Informative)

The Lord of Chaos (231000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964433)

AFAIK eCos was always published under the GPL.

Assigning copyright to the FSF means that the FSF now owns the eCos codebase and they can do whatever they want with it including publishing it under the GPL.

Basically the point of this is so that if a developer wants to contribute to the eCos codebase they fill out a copyright assignment to the FSF instead of RedHat from now on.

Re:This is strange. (2, Informative)

i_really_dont_care (687272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964535)

eCos was once published under the eCos License, which was similar to the LGPL but not GPL-compatible. It is now published under the GPL with the exception of allowing proprietary applications / extensions (this is important in the embedded software market).

Re:This is strange. (1)

mcspock (252093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964537)

This is incorrect. It was originally published under some license from cygnus, which i dont recall; then when redhat purchased cygnus it was RHPL.

The last time i checked, they had transitioned to a modified GPL. In fact i dont think the license is GPL compatable, since the modification they made allows companies to opt out of open-sourcing code they link against eCos, basically avoiding the corporation-unfriendly aspect of the GPL.

Re:This is strange. (2, Interesting)

bradkittenbrink (608877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964639)

That may be true, but the fact that the FSF now owns the copyrights means that the FSF can take over license enforcement. That's why they really did it.

Good news (2, Insightful)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964280)

Indeed, this is great news. And this is one copyright I won't mind respecting :-)

It's good to see a company with its head screwed on straight, who can acknowledge when its time to move on from old wares and just let them go, instead of clinging to everything it's ever had its hands in, even when it's obviously pointless to do so.

Where has eCos been used? (1)

anactofgod (68756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964291)

I see on the eCos site a listing [sourceware.org] of support platforms, but can anyone point me to an actual project/product that used eCos?

Thanks in advance.

---anactofgod---

eCos use, "abandonware", etc.... (1)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964435)

First of all, let's say this loud and clear:

eCos is not abandonware!

Development has continued throughout the project's life. I think the only thing that was in question was who the code actually belonged to. It's always been GPL'ed.

As to what it's used for, I don't know about commercially, but I've used it for a couple of fun/learning projects: "Scivoli" - a bootable floppy image that loads jpegs from the floppy and displays the to the screen, and "ZOG", which is the ficl forth interpreter layered on top of eCos. Neither one makes much claim to being all that useful, but Scivoli especially shows off how small the OS and display code is (about 130K without much effort at all to reduce it). It would be difficult to squeeze Linux onto a floppy with a bunch of images like I have done. Both are available from http://dedasys.com/freesoftware [dedasys.com].

eCos is fun for those learning about OS's because it's well written code, modular, and small enough that it's easier to get a handle on than Linux.

Dreamcast Linux (5, Informative)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964310)

The Linux-Dreamcast port apparently uses eCos to do some of the initial booting. So, while I wouldn't say I've seen it used practically, it was a nifty application of the OS.

-Erwos

Mixed Feelings about news like this (4, Interesting)

dr_canak (593415) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964342)

I'm a Redhat shareholder, not a lot of shares, and bought well after they bottomed out. I bought the shares for two reasons.

The first was because I thought if any company had a shot a taking a piece of Microsoft, it was Redhat. I use MS products everyday, probably always will, but I'm one who believes that MS got where they are with unfair market practices and ended up a little too big for their (and our) own good. By buying Redhat shares, I figured I was backing up my philosophy with my wallet.

The second reason is purely more pragmatic. Assuming Linux can take a stab at Microsoft, I believe Redhat is the most viable company to do it. In 30+ years, I'd like to think my decision to buy Redhat shares (when it was $12.00 a share) will be similar to people who bought Cisco, Oracle, MS, etc... back in the day. Sure the stock prices have wildly fluctuated, but look at the splits, and you realize just how much money there was to be made. So of course I would like to see that kind of return on this investment.

Which is why I end up conflicted when I see news like this. On the one hand, giving away a copyright is exactly the kind of collaboration you see with the Linux development model, and why it *may* in the end surpass MS in some, if not all, applications. But as a shareholder, giving away copyrights is hardly a way to grow a business. It took time, money, and effort to secure the copyright. Who knows if this news really effected shareprice, but with the release of this news, Redhat is down almost .50/share. So as a stockholder hoping to make money on my investment, I'm not too thrilled with this kind of news.

I suppose that's why you need to leave your emotional mind out of the market place, to avoid investing with your heart, and not your head ;-).

just my .02 (- .50)
jeff

Re:Mixed Feelings about news like this (3, Informative)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964507)

I'd like to think my decision to buy Redhat shares (when it was $12.00 a share) Haha, I got in at something like $4/share. Either way though, you have to be happy with their earnings report in December. Also, I don't believe giving away copyright will significantly reduce the share price. Anyone with half a brain who's invested in Redhat knows the company gives away its work and makes it up on the support side. Oh wait, I said half a brain, that rules out 99% of investors.

Re:Mixed Feelings about news like this (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964511)

eCos is something they picked up with the Cygnus acquisition, and I'd be very very surprised if they ever made a dime off of it.

Taking exception with the management for continued funding for the project when they saw it wasn't going to make any money is one thing; but taking exception for throwing away the "value" in the copyright of the commercially unsusccesful project is another.

Sure, you can use 20/20 hindsight and lambast them for funding it in the first place. And anyone familiar with R&D in a large organization will jump all over you.

But being peeved because they are donating something of zero value to them just shows you need to relax your sphincter.

Re:Mixed Feelings about news like this (1)

Jerky McNaughty (1391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964522)

Note that the market as a whole is down today, as well. I don't think that Redhat's release of these copyrights has much to do with this very short term decline at all. I doubt that eCos was ever much of a revenue stream for them at all.

It's not as if Redhat is somehow being forced legally to assign copyrights to some major portion of what generates profitability for them. eCos doesn't fit with what Redhat's business model is about any more, so they're giving it away.

I say, "Good for them!"

Re:Mixed Feelings about news like this (2, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964567)

I can understand your mixed feelings. Personally, I use open source extensively and have released some minor contributions to those projects I use. I think in the long run, it is a slow moving ball of snow at the top of a very large mountain: it doesn't look like much sometimes, but it will continue to roll and gain size and speed.

That said, the commercial prospects around it will always be running madly on top of a rolling ball of snow (to continue with and strain the analogy). Some might manage to remain on top for a bit, but eventually they will bet rolled over and become part of the main bulk, rolling down the hill.

In the end, a huge amount of general purpose software will be subsumed by the bulk of our rolling ball, and all will benefit from it. But to build a business (that isn't consulting based) on it seems worse than building on a house on a bed of sand... it's building a house on a rolling snowball (OK, now I just *snapped* the analogy in pieces).

Re:Mixed Feelings about news like this (1)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964569)

I understand your concern, but there are many ways to look at the issue. First, Red Hat spent very little time on eCos. It was aquired when they bought a company, Cygnus I believe.

Presumably, Cygnus was aquired more for their Linux solutions and experience, and eCos was sort of something that came along. I always saw it more as a hindrance to Red Hat. Red Hat had always been strictly Linux based, and now they had to justify this side project and make it fit with their business strategy. They tried a couple of different things (cell phones, etc) but it all seemed very contrived, especially since that effort could have been put into Linux.

So, now they are jettisoning this project, which should let them get back to their core strategy. At the same time, they are giving back to the community so the effort was not a total waste.

What has really changed? (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964364)

I'm not certain what effect if any this has on the development of the software. To correct several misinformed posts: As the article mentions Red Hat stopped development on the project in 2002. The community continued which is why you see new releases after then. Second, the software was already open source - the licence has not changed. What has changed is that they given copyright over to FSF. The reason for this is that it is easier from a legal standpoint for the copyright of a project to be held by a single entity who can defend the entire project rather than each little peice being copyright of the respective authors. Since Redhat was no longer actively developing eCos, it made since for them to turn over the copyright to someone else. But unless people were resistant to contribute because RedHat still maintained copyright, I don't see how this will give the project new life. What may help more is having the fact that the project has a new maintainer (and the front-page slashdot article won't hurt either ;)

One thing you didn't give consideration to... (2, Interesting)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964616)

The Open Source license that Red Hat used for eCos isn't the GPL nor is it compatible with the same.

With the FSF recieving ownership of the Copyrights on the code in question, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be relicensed under the GPL or LGPL the moment that the ownership changes hands.

FINALLY! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964394)

GNU/HURD has hope after all!

That's nice. Customers should require this. (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964395)

Big customers should require that when a company drops a software product, it goes open source. This offers the option to keep the product alive if it's needed by the customer. Such terms are occasionally seen in the embedded world, but on a single-customer basis. A standard, well-accepted contract for software escrow and open-sourcing when the product is abandoned would be a useful thing to have.

Vendors go bankrupt, exit a field of business, or simply discontinue products all the time. Deals like this could help small vendors, providing long-term customer assurance.

Re:That's nice. Customers should require this. (2, Interesting)

gregarican (694358) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964459)

Good point. I know that some software vendors I have purchased from in the past have had clauses where their source code is held in escrow. If the company goes belly up then the customer base receives the source code out of escrow and can take off on their own with either in-house or contracted programming work.

Most software vendors who have offered this assurance are typically smaller scale. So this idea is out there indeed.

Re:That's nice. Customers should require this. (1)

anactofgod (68756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964709)

Big customers typically will have as part of their contract with a vendor a clause regarding the maintenance of source code/hardware designs/etc in "escrow", to be made available to the customer if the vendor ceases operation or support of the product.

Of course, this is no real remedy, since a customer that purchased the vendor's products typically doesn't have the resources to maintain the product on their own.

Regardless, a customer that decided to purchase a closed-source solution is probably not at-tall interested in having that solution be made open source at some future date. After all, why would one consent to a possible public kimono lifting, if one weren't absolutely sure that one's undergarments were properly cleaned and nicely mended?

---anactofgod---

Re:That's nice. Customers should require this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964751)

Nice of you to read a parallel post that was already made on this in the same thread.

Numbnuts.

Re:That's nice. Customers should require this. (3, Interesting)

JordanH (75307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964711)

Uhhh... eCos already was Open Source, RedHat just held all the copyrights. Now, the copyrights are assigned to FSF.

The difference is that users can now be assured that eCos will be released under the GPL only in the future. The copyright owner can always license software out however they want and RedHat did use a GPL-compatible license. It was already Open Source, but it wasn't already Free.

Re:That's nice. Customers should require this. (2, Interesting)

EricTheGreen (223110) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964743)

I absolutely agree that doing this would benefit any company buying software.

But the net effect of requiring this escrow for general-use software (read: not a custom job for the client) would be to devalue most software company's assets in the event of a liquidation. When liquidating, companies look to realize as much value as possible from whatever assets they possess at the time. This usually takes the form of an IP sale.

In such a case as you describe, no external company would be motivated to bid for a insolvent company's software assets--why, when they're most likely going to go open immediately upon formal dissolution of the original owner?

This implied de-valuation removes a significant hedge strategy from the hands of start-ups and would be entered into reluctantly, at best, by all but the largest, most well-established companies. I wouldn't ever expect to see your idea widely adopted.

A shame, though--it really does benefit the people shelling out those big checks for these systems....

Re:That's nice. Customers should require this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964756)

back in the bad old days, i saw contracts where the source code was held in escrow (I think by an outside interest, like their bank or something) for the benefit of their customers.


This was before the microsoft eula or fsf.

hi (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964422)

i like this site.

still being developed? (1, Interesting)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964467)

looks like September 19, 2003 was the last update. What to do you mean by "stopped developing in 2002"?

Red Hat quit developing on it... (3, Informative)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 10 years ago | (#7964648)

The main people working on eCos got laid off in Red Hat's small downsizing in 2002. The work you see is from the community and the company founded by the people that got laid off.

Hey hey hey (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7964554)

I certainly hope it means new life for the project. I want my eCos to make some eJello I can eat while watching my eFatAlbert.
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