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'[EE] I say it is spinach . . .'
2005\08\17@203050 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

John Nall wrote:
> So for a single user system, such as a PIC, a very elementary
> operating system would not be a difficult thing to write.
       :
> Once this was accomplished, then I think that a C-like
> language would be a lot more feasible.
>
Wow.  You're obviously coming at things from an entirely different
direction than I was thinking.  I don't see how an operating system
would have ANY bearing on the C vs Harvard architecture issues that
most of us seem to be talking about.  I've always found that C *is*
pretty OS-independent.  Of course, there seem to be an increasing
number of people who want to equate C with posix - are you one
of those?

(darn tag keep dissappearing.  Perhaps at Olin's...  We did decide
on "EE", right?)

BillW

2005\08\17@205638 by Lee Jones

flavicon
face
>> So for a single user system, such as a PIC, a very elementary
>> operating system would not be a difficult thing to write.

Depends on what functions you consider mandatory for the OS to
include.  Limited to process time-slicing and timer support,
such an OS isn't too hard.  If you include I/O, particularly
console I/O, on an embedded system that doesn't have storage
or any form of display, it gets difficult.

>> Once this was accomplished, then I think that a C-like
>> language would be a lot more feasible.

> Wow.  You're obviously coming at things from an entirely different
> direction than I was thinking.  I don't see how an operating system
> would have ANY bearing

Reiterating, libraries are being confused with the language.  A
library of functions suitable for a 16-CPU server with RAID disks
and dual networks is a _totally_ different animal than a library
suitable for a small embedded PIC running a toaster oven.  The
programmer _MUST_ confine himself to only use those functions
available and appropriate for his target system.

> on the C vs Harvard architecture issues that most of us seem to be
> talking about.  I've always found that C *is* pretty OS-independent.

Only C construct -- that I can think of -- having an issue with
CPU architecture is pointers.  On a Von Neuman architecture CPU,
it's assumed there is a single address space.  this is what the
majority of C programmers have learned without question or thought.

On a Harvard CPU, pointers have to be extended (somehow) to include
knowledge of which memory space owns the storage referenced by that
pointer.  The programmer has to communicate which memory space he
desires when defining the pointer.  Sometimes the compiler can
deduce it by the data structure associated with that pointer.

This is absolutely necessary because dereferencing the pointer
requires different instructions depending on whether the pointer
is aimed at program memory or data memory.  Concrete example, on
the PIC 18F, program memory uses TBLRD/TBLWT instructions and
TBLPTR & TABLAT SFRs while data memory uses the normal move
instructions with FSRx/INDFx/etc SFRs.

                                               Lee Jones

2005\08\17@211031 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 17, 2005, at 6:04 PM, Lee Jones wrote:

> Only C construct -- that I can think of -- having an issue with
> CPU architecture is pointers.

I think I agree.  the other issue that usually comes up that it
is DESIRABLE to have a single-bit-wide data type in many embedded
applications.  While adding such a capability to a compiler tends
to be less objectionable than doing weird things with existing
parts of the language, it can still be disconcerting to language
purists...

BillW

2005\08\17@211156 by John Nall

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> > (darn tag keep dissappearing.  Perhaps at Olin's...  We did decide
> on "EE", right?)

Yeah, I think that is Olin.  It is hard for him to entirely banish his
evil twin.  :-)

> Wow.  You're obviously coming at things from an entirely different
direction than I was thinking.  I don't see how an operating system
would have ANY bearing on the C vs Harvard architecture issues that
most of us seem to be talking about.  I've always found that C *is*
pretty OS-independent.

I don't see that the Harvard architecture is that big a deal, to be
honest.  Program memory is separate from data memory. That can be
finessed by the commpiler.  And yes, C is OS independent -- but only
from the perspective of  the C programmer.  Not from the perspective of
the person who implements C on a particular architecture.  The
implementation has to talk to the hardware -- no way around that -- and
it can do it either directly or through a third party (the OS).  The
hardware has been so sophisticated (even on $2 PIC's) for so many years
now that I cannot see that it is really worthwhile not to use that third
party.  While I feel sure that there are applications in which every
cycle counts, I would venture to guess that most applications leave the
poor PIC sitting there bored to tears most of  the time.  (Yeah, I know
-- I said earlier that I don't necessarily think an OS ion a PIC s a
good idea -- and I still think that.  But I think it is a fascinating
idea, whether good or not.  Like exploring Mars, I suppose).


John

2005\08\18@020954 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > Only C construct -- that I can think of -- having an issue with
> > CPU architecture is pointers.

How about recursion on a CPU where the only (effective) addressing mode
is absolute memory addrresses?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\18@073652 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

>> Only C construct -- that I can think of -- having an issue with
>> CPU architecture is pointers.
>
> I think I agree.  

It has to do, but it's not necessarily an issue. At least in working with
the HiTech C compilers, I don't have a problem at all with the separate
memory spaces. A "pointer to non-const" can't point to const variables --
that's as it should be. A "pointer to const" can point to both const and
non-const variables -- that's also as it should be. In the use of the
pointers, you're pretty much shielded from the memory architecture issues.

Besides, with a typical C implementation, from a programmer's POV you do
have (at least) three memory spaces to take into consideration, and you
better know how they are related and how they are different -- and that's
on all memory architectures. There's the program memory, the stack memory
and the heap memory. There are operating systems and C implementations for
Neumann machines that won't allow a heap or stack pointer to access program
memory. So even on traditional Neumann architectures, there's often not a
single memory space. Also, since the C language doesn't provide any useful
means of altering its execution code at runtime, there's really no point in
accessing program memory -- from a /language/ POV.

My conclusion: the memory architecture may or may not make implementation
easier or more difficult, but it's not an issue with C pointers. A C
programmer doesn't work with a Neumann memory model, she works with
separate memory spaces anyway, and you always need to have a basic
understanding how the different language memory spaces are implemented on
the specific processor/operating system you are working with.


> the other issue that usually comes up that it is DESIRABLE to have a
> single-bit-wide data type in many embedded applications.  While adding
> such a capability to a compiler tends to be less objectionable than
> doing weird things with existing parts of the language, it can still be
> disconcerting to language purists...

There are the bitfields, but they are not really bit datatypes. I think
most C compilers for small processors (where you may want to use bits
rather than bytes as flags, or where bits may be more efficient than bytes)
add some sort of bit type. Unluckily, usually not with pointer support.
(For my part, I don't really care much if language purists object to this
-- I just use them, and complain about lack of pointer support :)


Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> How about recursion on a CPU where the only (effective) addressing mode
> is absolute memory addrresses?

I think this is the only /C language/ feature that's missing from most
compilers. OTOH it's not that big of an issue, because I've never seen the
need for recursion on such a small system. And I tend to think that there's
not only no need, but it's pretty dangerous to use recursion in small
embedded systems. Recursions are usually used where you do /not/ want to
(or can't) predict how deep the codes goes until it reaches the end
condition -- that is, where you don't want to or can't reformulate the
solution in a non-recursive loop. In embedded systems, I think you /have/
to analyze the problem so that you have a non-recursive solution with a
defined maximum depth -- because your resources are limited, and you can't
just abort the program with an "out of memory" message to the user in case
the solution takes more cycles than you have memory for, and because
usually you do have time constraints for every task.

Now I may just rationalize why I don't need what I don't have, but I really
think I would seriously try to avoid recursion even if I had it available.

Gerhard

2005\08\18@081901 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Now I may just rationalize why I don't need what I don't
> have, but I really
> think I would seriously try to avoid recursion even if I had
> it available.

But it would be better if the compiler forced you to avoid it :)

And when doing that, it could caculate your stack usage, and check it
against the stack/ram limits of the chip (and maybe take evasive action
on the stack aspect).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\18@082425 by olin piclist

face picon face
John Nall wrote:
>>> (darn tag keep dissappearing.  Perhaps at Olin's...  We did decide on
>>> "EE", right?)
>
> Yeah, I think that is Olin.  It is hard for him to entirely banish his
> evil twin.  :-)

I've never deliberately deleted a tag, although sometimes I have changed
them.  Sometimes Outlook Express deletes the tag when doing a reply, and I
don't always notice or think of checking.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\18@083353 by olin piclist

face picon face
John Nall wrote:
> While I feel sure that there are applications in which every
> cycle counts, I would venture to guess that most applications leave the
> poor PIC sitting there bored to tears most of  the time.

I disagree.  This may be true of most hobby projects, but those don't really
count in the scheme of things.  Hobbyist tend to have a greatly exaggerated
view of their own relevance.

Any PIC project that will be produced in significant volumes is going to be
pushing the limits of the PIC somewhere.  It may not always be cycles but
could be pins, power, board space, and cost.  Think of the reverse.  If
you're not bumping up against a limit, then you could have used a cheaper
PIC.

In my experience with professional PIC development, the majority of projects
are at least a little tight on either cycles, program memory, or data
memory.  There is absolutely no way an OS or any kind of device
virtualization would have been tolerated.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\18@091141 by John Nall

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> > I disagree.  This may be true of most hobby projects, but those
> don't really
> count in the scheme of things.  Hobbyist tend to have a greatly
> exaggerated
> view of their own relevance.

I probably should resent that statement, but hard to resent something
which is undoubtedly true.  And yes, my statement (that most of the
resources of the PIC are wasted) did indeed apply only to hobbyists.  
Although I really don't think we have an exaggerated view of our
relevance.  What we do provide is time and patience to try some things
that you commercial types would dismiss as foolish because you have to
look at the bottom line.  An appropriate analogy would be hams and the
communications industry.

John

2005\08\19@073047 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Now I may just rationalize why I don't need what I don't have, but I
>> really think I would seriously try to avoid recursion even if I had it
>> available.
>
> But it would be better if the compiler forced you to avoid it :)

That's exactly what it is doing :)

> And when doing that, it could caculate your stack usage, and check it
> against the stack/ram limits of the chip (and maybe take evasive action
> on the stack aspect).

Not sure you made a joke here, but if not -- how would the compiler
calculate the stack usage of a recursive algorithm that operates on an ADC
input?

Gerhard

2005\08\19@080243 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> > But it would be better if the compiler forced you to avoid it :)
>
> That's exactly what it is doing :)
>
> > And when doing that, it could caculate your stack usage,
> and check it
> > against the stack/ram limits of the chip (and maybe take
> evasive action
> > on the stack aspect).
>
> Not sure you made a joke here, but if not -- how would the compiler
> calculate the stack usage of a recursive algorithm that
> operates on an ADC input?

'and when doing that' was reffering to 'the compiler *forcing* you not
to use recursion', as in forcing you to adhere to the C syntax (or
whatever other language's syntax).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\19@105431 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> In my experience with professional PIC development, the majority of projects
> are at least a little tight on either cycles, program memory, or data
> memory.  There is absolutely no way an OS or any kind of device
> virtualization would have been tolerated.

I'd actually like to try that out -- a medium complexity design, both my
standard way and with an OS like Salvo, and then compare the results. It
may not be so prohibitive as you see it. (But then, I'm one of the
"commercial types" and at the moment at least can't really afford to do
this :)

It would be good to be able to compare the effort also, but that's probably
impossible; once you've done it once (on either platform), the second time
is going to be much easier.

Gerhard

2005\08\19@165129 by John Nall

picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> I'd actually like to try that out -- a medium complexity design, both my
>standard way and with an OS like Salvo, and then compare the results.
>
When I did my original rant-and-rave to start this thread, I had no
earthly idea that anyone actually had come up with an OS for a PIC!  
This posting came as a bit of a surprise, so of course I had to check on
Google and see what Salvo is.  A "real time OS" for a PIC is is
advertised as!  Commercial, unfortunately.  Too bad.  Personally, I
think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools should all
be freely available.  But guess that is just another in a long list of
gripes.  :-)

Anyway . . . the point of all this . . . is anyone else working on such
a thing?  Preferably under Linux?

John

2005\08\19@172302 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Personally, I
> think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools
> should all
> be freely available.

Which of such tools (or any other things or services) do *you* provide
for free?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\19@172849 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 19, 2005, at 1:51 PM, John Nall wrote:

> I had no earthly idea that anyone actually had come up
> with an OS for a PIC!

Sure Parallax's "Basic Stamp" qualifies?  Arguably it's operating
system like capabilities are more useful than the basic language.
While I don't know offhand of any commercial products that contain
an actual basic stamp, my impression is that it has been pretty useful
in assorted pieces of custom equipment and such...

BillW

2005\08\19@173230 by John Nall

picon face
Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Which of such tools (or any other things or services) do *you* provide
>for free?
>  
>

Lots and lots and lots.  It is called "pro bono" work in my profession.


2005\08\19@175054 by John Nall

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Sure Parallax's "Basic Stamp" qualifies?  Arguably it's operating
> system like capabilities are more useful than the basic language.
> While I don't know offhand of any commercial products that contain
> an actual basic stamp, my impression is that it has been pretty useful
> in assorted pieces of custom equipment and such...

To be honest, I do not know much about the Basic Stamp.  Someone started
sending me a publication called "Nuts and Volts" out of the blue for
awhile (and quit after a short while just as mysteriously as they
started) which had some stuff about that in it.  But it looked me like
you had to program the thing in Basic, and I admit to an unnatural,
visceral loathing for Basic.  So never did look into it.  But I did buy
a book about robots the other day (at a book sale at the public library
-- I really was just donating money to the library) and it had some
information about a Basic Stamp being used to control a robot.  Not sure
how much of a robot it is, since its entire existence seems to consist
of running into walls, but as I understand it from the article it
staggers back, decides that was a wall, and goes in a different
direction (until it encounters another wall).  Reminds me of some people
I know.  Anyway . . . bottom line . . . I will look more closely at the
Basic Stamp.  Perhaps they could be convinced to think in  terms of a C
Stamp.  :-)

2005\08\19@180801 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 19, 2005, at 2:50 PM, John Nall wrote:

> Perhaps they could be convinced to think in  terms of a C Stamp.

C doesn't seem so well suited for byte-code interpretters,
but there exist "Java Stamps" these days...

BillW

2005\08\19@182312 by olin piclist

face picon face
John Nall wrote:
> Commercial, unfortunately.  Too bad.  Personally, I
> think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools should all
> be freely available.

And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create these
free tools for you?  So software engineers are supposed to give away their
labor for free, but others who produce food, build houses, make cars, refine
gasoline, and even manufacture PICs are allowed to charge what they can get?

So I suppose you are taking the high road and producing lots of stuff for
free?  Please, show us the web page with all the wonderfull stuff you've
create that we can all just download for free.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\19@183630 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
I thought he was joking...

I've heard of lawyers doing pro bono, but not exclusively.


-----Original Message-----
From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu] On Behalf Of Olin Lathrop
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005 1:23 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .

John Nall wrote:
> Commercial, unfortunately.  Too bad.  Personally, I
> think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools should all
> be freely available.

And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create these
free tools for you?  So software engineers are supposed to give away their
labor for free, but others who produce food, build houses, make cars, refine
gasoline, and even manufacture PICs are allowed to charge what they can get?

So I suppose you are taking the high road and producing lots of stuff for
free?  Please, show us the web page with all the wonderfull stuff you've
create that we can all just download for free.



2005\08\19@201405 by John Nall

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> >And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create
> these
> free tools for you?  So software engineers are supposed to give away
> their
> labor for free, but others who produce food, build houses, make cars,
> refine
> gasoline, and even manufacture PICs are allowed to charge what they
> can get?
>
Yeah, it's a fair question, I certainly have to admit that.  I need to
visit the Free Software site and see what they have to say about it.  
:-)  Seriously, I think I can defend my postion, but need to give some
thought to it.  It seems like kind of a difficult issue.  My gut feeling
is that I have the right view, but you raise good issues that need to be
thought about for more than just a brief time..

John

2005\08\19@204444 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
John Nall wrote:

> Olin Lathrop wrote:
>
>> >And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create
>> these
>> free tools for you?  So software engineers are supposed to give away
>> their
>> labor for free, but others who produce food, build houses, make cars,
>> refine
>> gasoline, and even manufacture PICs are allowed to charge what they
>> can get?
>>
> Yeah, it's a fair question, I certainly have to admit that.  I need to
> visit the Free Software site and see what they have to say about it.  
> :-)  Seriously, I think I can defend my postion, but need to give some
> thought to it.  It seems like kind of a difficult issue.  My gut
> feeling is that I have the right view, but you raise good issues that
> need to be thought about for more than just a brief time..
>
> John

So many things on the internet are free, or almost so, that people have
the strange notion
that firmware is somehow  "free".

Even the PICLIST is actually NOT free, James pays for it out of his own
pocket, or people
donate some money here and there.

--Bob

--
Note: To protect our network,
attachments must be sent to
attachspamKILLspamengineer.cotse.net .
1-866-263-5745 USA/Canada
http://beam.to/azengineer

2005\08\19@205155 by John Nall

picon face
Lindy Mayfield wrote:

>I thought he was joking...
>
>I've heard of lawyers doing pro bono, but not exclusively.
>  
>
Oh gosh, did I say exclusively????  Must have been a typo.  Are you
sure?  Hard to believe that I would have said that, but I suppose a
mistake is possible.  No, not exclusively, of course not.  (Are you sure
I said that???)

2005\08\19@222952 by John Nall

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

>
>> >And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create
>> these
>> free tools for you?  So software engineers are supposed to give away
>> their
>> labor for free, but others who produce food, build houses, make cars,
>> refine
>> gasoline, and even manufacture PICs are allowed to charge what they
>> can get?
>
OK, Olin, I have given some thought to it, and decided that it is not
really worth arguing about.  So I will concede the point and  not
discuss it any further.  Those who agree with me (may be zero for all I
know) will agree, and those who do not probably will not be convinced by
any argument that I could muster.

From now on I will just read postings and not insert opinions.  (And a
vast shout of "Yay!" is heard.  :-)

John

2005\08\20@001816 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create
> these
> free tools for you?

There's an excellent example here:

       http://www.embedinc.com

:-)

Sounds like you're 'having a bob each way'.
There's a place for the free amongst the paid, and you obviously
subscribe to this concept by your actions.

Nobody can survive without income of some sort, and I'm sure
(especially as he explicitly said so :-) ) that John didn't mean that
ALL the work that a software writer produced should be free.

There's an obvious case to be made for suppliers providing free tools
to support their products. Different suppliers draw the line at
different places. Some Asian suppliers of ultra high volume products
charge for everything. Some manufacturers provide free assemblers.
Some (such as Microchip and Atmel) supply free IDE's as well. And some
(eg Zilog) provide free ANSI C compilers. Interestingly Zilog pay a
fee per C compiler registered (not per dev kit sold with a CD in it).




       RM

2005\08\20@015654 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Yeah, it's a fair question, I certainly have to admit that.  
> I need to
> visit the Free Software site and see what they have to say about it.  
> :-)  Seriously, I think I can defend my postion, but need to
> give some
> thought to it.  It seems like kind of a difficult issue.  My
> gut feeling
> is that I have the right view, but you raise good issues that
> need to be
> thought about for more than just a brief time..

You seem to be more serious/honest about this than most people who just
should 'I want this and this and this to be free'.

I can recommend you to read the book (not just the article) 'the
cathedral and the bazaar' (It is available as free download!).

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\20@015657 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
>> Which of such tools (or any other things or services) do
>> *you* provide for free?

> Lots and lots and lots.  It is called "pro bono" work in my
> profession.

OK, if you do that as volunteer (not as unavoidable requirement of being
a professional (lawyer?)) I accept your arguments :)

If you think such tooling should be free, who should make them, and who
pays the rent for those who make them? Specalised compiler and other
tool vendors can clearly not do this, they would have no income at all.
I don't thing you survive from doing only 'pro bono' work? Microchip
could do this (create for instance a free C compiler), but it would
spoil the market for specialisd tool manufactureres, so we would end up
with one free C compiler instead of a range of non-free ones as we have
now. I am not sure that would be a change for the good.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\20@025346 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> I can recommend you to read the book (not just the article) 'the
> cathedral and the bazaar' (It is available as free download!).

Available here from (the author) Eric Raymond's  site

       http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/

A (would be?) rebuttal of the Bazaar model

       http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_12/bezroukov/

Of this, the author says

       "If you think reading a ludicrously bad critique might be
entertaining,
      see Nikolai Bezroukov's paper in First Monday. There is a link
to it in my response.

           ->
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/response-to-bezroukov.html


_______________

A comment by Eric Raymond is worth including here NOT for its
political content per se but to assure those who feel that Open Source
software is necessarily some form of communist plot:        [ ? :-)
? ]

   "In fact, I find the imputation of Marxism deeply and personally
offensive as well as untrue. While I have made a point of not
gratuitously waving my politics around in my papers, it is no secret
in the open-source world that I am a libertarian, a friend of the free
market, and implacably hostile to all forms of Marxism and socialism
(which I regard as coequal in evil with Naziism)."



               RM

2005\08\20@041328 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
Actually, what you said was you did "lots and lots and lots" and that all compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools should all be free.  For a software company that produces compilers and tools, this would be pretty much exclusive; or that was how I interpreted it.

Actually I didn't mean to be sarcastic or argumentative.  I believe the open source software movement has its place and is very valuable.  Also, Microchip making their assembler and development tools "free" was a strategic marketing decision that put them ahead of the competition in many respects.  

So to be fair, given this reasoning, the fact that you get compilers and other tools with a standard Unix environment and not one with Microsoft makes IMHO Microsoft OS's pretty much crippled to begin with.  (You don't even get debug anymore. (-: When that went away, I stopped subscribing to PC Magazine.)

Actually this could go round and round.  

So I reinterpret what you were saying as, it would be nice if more tools and such were free.  




{Original Message removed}

2005\08\20@044531 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Actually, what you said was ...  that all compilers, assemblers,
> OS's and other such tools should all be free.

Verbatim

> " Personally, I think that compilers, assemblers,
> OS's and other such tools should all be freely
> available.  But guess that is just another in a
> long list of gripes.  :-)

There's a not so subtle difefrence between being freely available and
"free" in the sense that nobody pays the developer. Zilog supply ANSIC
with their extremely well priced developments kits . (There may be a
good reason for this :-) ). BUT the developers get paid a per
registered copy fee by Zilog. They are freely available and free to
the user but not free from the developer.


       RM

2005\08\20@050356 by Electron

flavicon
face
At 20.43 2005.08.20 +1200, you wrote:
>>Actually, what you said was ...  that all compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools should all be free.
>
>Verbatim
>
>>" Personally, I think that compilers, assemblers,
>>OS's and other such tools should all be freely
>>available.  But guess that is just another in a
>>long list of gripes.  :-)
>
>There's a not so subtle difefrence between being freely available and "free" in the sense that nobody pays the developer. Zilog supply ANSIC with their extremely well priced developments kits . (There may be a good reason for this :-) ). BUT the developers get paid a per registered copy fee by Zilog. They are freely available and free to the user but not free from the developer.

While I do completely agree with your principle, who would pay for PC-compatibles development tools? IBM? ;-)


2005\08\20@051957 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> While I do completely agree with your principle, who would pay for
> PC-compatibles development tools? IBM? ;-)


With any luck, nobody :-)


           RM

2005\08\20@071653 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face


>>> Personally, I think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such
>>> tools should all be freely available.

>> I can recommend you to read the book (not just the article) 'the
>> cathedral and the bazaar' (It is available as free download!).
>
> Available here from (the author) Eric Raymond's  site ...

I think it helps to separate a couple of different issues with all that.

There's open source. Open source in principle doesn't say a thing about
licensing -- it just says that the source is available. This is (very
roughly) akin to being allowed to pop the hood and poke around in the motor
compartment a bit, to get an impression of the engineering. Open source
would be a very good requirement for all publicly used software and
firmware (like voting machines), even though they could remain on a purely
commercial license.

Most (but not all) of open source is also free to use, at least in
unaltered form. (That's the GNU license and similar.) The requirement is
that if you use (and publish) it in a modified form, you are required to
publish it under the same license. That's sometimes criticised as an "evil"
scheme: all of a sudden, this "evil", free license is so common that you
either have to use it (and are required to publish your derivative work) or
have to pay to use something commercial. That's /really/ evil... :)  This
is more what the bazaar is about. Neither open source in itself nor free in
itself has much to do with the bazaar.

Then there's all kind of free software that's not open source. Like MPLAB.
Not sure why they don't make it open source; after all, they are not
selling it anyway, and it probably would help 3rd parties to create even
more and cheaper tools for their chips -- and it would allow people to help
Microchip making MPLAB better (by fixing bugs, for example). Possibly they
are ashamed of what's inside... :)

Then there's stuff that's free to use for home use and not free for
business use. Many virus checkers have a licensing around this model.


Now from John's first comment about "freely available" cited above, it
wasn't quite clear which one he was thinking of. From his later comment,
one may infer that he wasn't thinking of any of them in particular... :)

Anyway, I have to admit I like it when I get something for free. I also
have to admit I don't contribute a whole lot of free software to the world
-- even though I do contribute somewhat. At least I help testing, debugging
and otherwise improving some free software I'm using. So I'd never go as
far as saying something /should/ be free if it isn't. But I think (hope)
that open source (not necessarily free) software is the future. Once people
get used to the advantages of it, I think (hope) that closed source becomes
more and more rare. No one probably would buy a car where you can't open
the motor compartment.

Gerhard

2005\08\20@072755 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 19, 2005, at 5:14 PM, John Nall wrote:

>> And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create
>> these free tools for you?

> it's a fair question, I certainly have to admit that.  I need to
> visit the Free Software site and see what they have to say about it.

I believe that the semi-official RMS dogma is that you can make
a living charging for support and modifications.

I don't buy it:

1) Software ought to be good enough that it doesn't require
   significant support.
2) The idea that modifications will always be needed is an
   artifact of the rate-of-change of technology in recent years.
   It can't go on.  Either it levels off like a good biological
   growth curve, or we get a Vinge-style singularity.
3) I would rather reward someone's creativity than just their labor.
   3a) Intellectual property is like the ideal of capitalism.  The
       ability to create value exceeding the sum of the parts.  The
       ability to CREATE *wealth*.
   3b) Software is close to the epitome of this - the parts are near
        free, and the value of the result can be very large indeed.
   3c) Before software, this sort of thing only happened to artists.
   3d) "service economies" suck.  You want fries with that?  How
        about an update for your config file?
   3e) is intellectual property abused?  You bet.  So?  You don't
       think labor ("support"?) wasn't/isn't abused?  Fail to
       create wealth, and everyone fights over the constant wealth.
4) From a consumer point of view, paying required support is nearly
   indistinguishable from paying for software...  Is "licensing"
   software just legal mumbo jumbo for a sort of support?  How
   much of the software you use do you OWN, vs just license?

BillW
(sigh.  It's late.  I shouldn't send this.  Too close to politics
and religion...)

2005\08\20@072937 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 19, 2005, at 5:51 PM, John Nall wrote:

>> I've heard of lawyers doing pro bono, but not exclusively.
>>
> Oh gosh, did I say exclusively????

You said software should be free, which is equivalent to saying
that software engineers should work exclusively "pro bono", yes?

BillW

2005\08\20@074609 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

>> It is called "pro bono" work in my profession.
>>
Hmm.  Legal "pro bono" work might actually be an interesting
model for software engineers to follow.  For every N hours I
spend writing "non-free" software, I also spend X hours writing
free software (presumably this is how most free software gets
written, though less formally.)

Of course, I want paid $250/hour while I'm writing the non-free
software :-;

BillW

2005\08\20@075459 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> But I
> think (hope) that open source (not necessarily free) software is the
> future.

But open source IS essentially free whether it's supposed to be or not.
There is no way to prevent people from building and using as many copies as
they like for free, and experience has shown that's exactly what will
happen.  Obviously you can't force some kind of license use with open
software since that part of the code can be removed, then a version built
that doesn't require a license.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\20@080020 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Hmm.  Legal "pro bono" work might actually be an interesting
> model for software engineers to follow.  For every N hours I
> spend writing "non-free" software, I also spend X hours writing
> free software (presumably this is how most free software gets
> written, though less formally.)
>
> Of course, I want paid $250/hour while I'm writing the non-free
> software :-;

Exactly.  Pay me $250/hour for half my time, and I'll be very happy to write
whatever "free" software you want during the other half.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\20@081624 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> 1) Software ought to be good enough that it doesn't require
>     significant support.

Yeah, same for cars!

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\20@091358 by John Nall

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:

> > You said software should be free, which is equivalent to saying
> that software engineers should work exclusively "pro bono", yes?

Well, yes, if I had said that.  But I didn't say that.  What seems to
have been misunderstood is that I never said software should be free.  I
said that certain essential tools should all be freely available.  That
is not at all the same thing as free.  It also does not mean all tools,
although that is a pretty fine point and I can see where it would easily
have been misunderstood.

John


2005\08\20@094703 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Sat, 20 Aug 2005 14:14:23 +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

> > 1) Software ought to be good enough that it doesn't require
> >     significant support.
>
> Yeah, same for cars!

Right, but back in The Real World...

Cars wear out, rust away, fail to comply with new regulations...

Software doesn't usually wear out (y2k notwithstanding) but it can fail to cope with new situations - changes
in the law, economic situation (new taxes, new field sizes due to inflation, etc), and new ideas that people
come up with.  

DOS was a fairly support-free operating system, but almost nobody uses it now because someone thought of WIMP
interfaces (we won't argue about who that was!).  Before PCs there were mainframes and minicomputers - and the
software that they ran is mostly obsolete now through no fault of the programmers - the World moved on and
their stuff wasn't relevant any more.  Some may have been ported to the new environments as they came along -
that's still "support" !

Someone once asked me: "Don't you feel insecure in your job (software developer) because one day all the
programs will have been written and you won't be needed?"  My reply was that I felt the same way as builders,
worrying that one day all the houses will have been built!

What actually happened, of course, is that most of the programming effort was moved abroad, so my job did go
away, but not in the way that anyone envisaged back then.  Oh well - anyone want to hire a jack-of-all-trades
computer person with about 30 years' experience in the industry?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\08\20@095103 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Fri, Aug 19, 2005 at 06:23:07PM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> John Nall wrote:
> >Commercial, unfortunately.  Too bad.  Personally, I
> >think that compilers, assemblers, OS's and other such tools should all
> >be freely available.
>
> And how are people supposed to support themselves while they create these
> free tools for you?  So software engineers are supposed to give away their
> labor for free, but others who produce food, build houses, make cars, refine
> gasoline, and even manufacture PICs are allowed to charge what they can get?
>
> So I suppose you are taking the high road and producing lots of stuff for
> free?  Please, show us the web page with all the wonderfull stuff you've
> create that we can all just download for free.

This is a good place to jump in.

First off I think the original statement should be amended:

I think that chips manufacturers should provide compilers, assemblers, OS's
and other software tools for free.

The payment model is to sell chips. Free tools facilitate that. And if you
take a look at Microchip, you find that is largely the case. MPLAB is a
major reason why there are so many PIC developers.

The interesting question is why the C30 compiler doesn't fit that model
especially when the core compiler is based off the free GCC compiler?
Now MChip has done its job and has made available all of the free portions
that they have used. But the locked up all the libraries. It's their right
to do. I don't have a real problem with it. But if the objective is to get
a lot of dsPIC chips sold, then why not have those portions follow the
model that they use for the rest of their software development tools too.

As for third party, all bets are off. Third party vendors are in it to
make a living. They should be compensated for their efforts. And no one
should begrudge them that.

Generally Open Source folks are funded for other sources. For example all
of my PIC development tools that I've released are Open Source. But I'm a
university professor and many of those tools were developed within the
context of classes that I'm teaching or planning to teach. Often times
Open Source gets created by a network effect of folks each of which who
are not so heavily invested that it requires all of their time. The flip
side is that frankly if there isn't a significant profit motive involved
that the quality and customer service of the offering can be spotty. One
reason I have not yet released my NPCI compiler/interpreter system, which
is somewhat akin to the C-Stamp idea mentioned earlier is that I'm not in
a position to support it. And it does have holes in it. I'd really like to
find a couple of interested, enthusiastic folks who would be willing to
help work and support it. I'll get to eventually though.

BAJ

2005\08\20@100301 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> Available here from (the author) Eric Raymond's  site
>
>         www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/
>
> A (would be?) rebuttal of the Bazaar model
>
>         http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue4_12/bezroukov/

Hehe... Here's an excerpt; two of the citations from others this article
(1999) is based on. Originals by Ken Thompson:

"My experience and some of my friends' experience is that Linux is quite
unreliable. Microsoft is really unreliable but Linux is worse. In a non-PC
environment, it just won't hold up. If you're using it on a single box,
that's one thing. But if you want to use Linux in firewalls, gateways,
embedded systems, and so on, it has a long way to go."

It seems it /has/ gone this long way. There's definitely more Linux in
firewalls and gateways these days than there is Windows -- and it seems to
be quite a bit more economical (yes, for commercial projects) to create a
stable, small Linux configuration than it is to create a stable, small
Windows configuration :)

"I do believe that in a race, it is naive to think Linux has a hope of
making a dent against Microsoft starting from way behind with a fraction of
the resources and amateur labor. (I feel the same about Unix.)"

May have seemed to be naive at the time, but it sure looks different now.

Be careful with predictions... :)

Gerhard

2005\08\20@100611 by John Nall

picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote:

>>First off I think the original statement should be amended:
>
>I think that chips manufacturers should provide compilers, assemblers, OS's
>and other software tools for free.
>  
>
I can probably accept that amendment.  :-)  Except that I would tend to
say " . . . for a price that is reasonable for a student, if not free ."

John

2005\08\20@104223 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Someone once asked me: "Don't you feel insecure in your job
> (software developer) because one day all the
> programs will have been written and you won't be needed?"  My
> reply was that I felt the same way as builders,
> worrying that one day all the houses will have been built!

I would rather compare to book writers. Do they fear that some day all
books have been written?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\20@112627 by Hasan A. Khan

flavicon
face

When you buy food, you are free to cook it, modify it,
give it away or even regrow it using its seeds.  You
have that freedom and you don't need to inform or get
permission from the orginating farmer.

When you buy a house, it's yours, you are free to
modify it, domolish it or re-sell it with out getting
the builder's and architect's permission.

When you buy a car, it's yours to modify, customise
and resell.  You don't get permissions from the car
makers.

When you buy a PC, you are free to upgrade it,
customise it, resell it, give it away.

When you buy furniture you are free to...
When you buy ...

But when you 'buy' software you don't have any of the
freedoms you get with other products.  Software
becomes an intelectual property...and therein lies the
debate.  Why doesn't software have the same freedoms
as the other products you buy in life.  Free software
does not mean free of cost but "free" as in "freedom
of speech" and not as in "free beer".  If you want
more philosophical discussion pay a visit to fsf.org.

--- Olin Lathrop <.....olin_piclistKILLspamspam.....embedinc.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

*****************************************************************
> Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton
> Massachusetts
> (978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com
> --

2005\08\20@114810 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face
Lindy Mayfield wrote, "You don't even get debug anymore."

DEBUG.EXE is still distributed with Windows to this day.  It may not be
of a lot of use today, but it is still there read for those that know
what to do with it.

-Mario


{Original Message removed}

2005\08\20@115029 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 10:06 AM 8/20/2005 -0400, you wrote:
>Byron A Jeff wrote:
>
>>>First off I think the original statement should be amended:
>>
>>I think that chips manufacturers should provide compilers, assemblers, OS's
>>and other software tools for free.
>>
>I can probably accept that amendment.  :-)  Except that I would tend to
>say " . . . for a price that is reasonable for a student, if not free ."
>
>John

What is "reasonable" for a piece of software that will only be used
seriously by a relatively small number of companies?

They can always offer functionally-challenged editions for the student set.

C30 isn't that expensive at $895. >8-)

Renesas wants USD $6,900+ for their M16C toolchain.

The compilers produced/bought in by semiconductor vendors are often
rather disappointing. Freescale bought Metrowerks, but they don't really
seem too eager to give away Codewarrior (USD $8,308 for the HC08 Pro
software).

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
EraseMEspeffspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2005\08\20@125519 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sat, Aug 20, 2005 at 07:54:55AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> >But I
> >think (hope) that open source (not necessarily free) software is the
> >future.
>
> But open source IS essentially free whether it's supposed to be or not.
> There is no way to prevent people from building and using as many copies as
> they like for free,

You certainly can prevent distribution of those copies. I cannot take
a piece of code that you have written and redistribute it without your
permission.

> and experience has shown that's exactly what will happen.

That's terrible. I'm a firm believer that your code is your code and I
am obligated to follow your rules. Care to describe an example of where
this has happened?

>  Obviously you can't force some kind of license use with open
> software since that part of the code can be removed, then a version built
> that doesn't require a license.

Well at that point it's no longer your codebase. And frankly reverse
engineering using clean room techniques are legal.

But I think that the original point was removed in all of this. That point
was that since tools like MPLAB are free anyway, why not distribute the
source. BTW Olin, I'm with you that if the tool is for sale, then there are
very few good reasons to have an Open Source distribution policy. The only
exceptions that seem reasonable to me is when the software is tied specifically
to a piece of hardware that's for sale. For example Wouter's XWisp software
is open source. He's also released the firmware so that do it yourselfers can
build their on WISP628s. But I would have no problem if the firmware was closed
so that you had to buy a kit or chip. But it's really helpful to have the
protocol and host software open so that interested developers can do mods.
You've done that with EasyProg and I really appreciate it.

I'd like to address why free tools may not benefit from being open sourced.
The reason you don't do that is because of the support issue. Releasing
source, especially when you allow redistributions of modifications can
cause a support nightmare. This happens when some developer soups up the
code in some way, releases the changes, and some less knowledgeable end user
starts to use the modified code base. When something goes wrong, the user
asks for support from the original author instead of going back to the
modifier of the code. Of course the end user won't bother to do the right
thing in an Open Source situation, which is to go into the code themselves
and ID the problem. Even if something is free, and open source, users expect
someone to take the responsibility of support them and their problems. And
that support issue can take an inordinate amount of time when you factor
in someone else's modifications.

I've seen this with my Trivial Programmers. Users modify my design, or use
some obscure PIC programming software with the programmer, then come to my
forum to ask why it didn't work. I've never seen or touched their mods or
software. So I have no clue as to why they are having problems. I do the
best I can. But I'd really be annoyed if Trivial was my way of making a
living, because I certainly could use that time in a more effective manner.

You can try to manage it with policy. Policies can include no redistribution or
centralized distribution only. Support can be limited to originals only. But
it's still going to take time to sift through requests that some in that
violate those policies.

It's tough to get good Open Source models that work in small scale profit
models. There's no cut and dried right way to do it. It requires having a
user base that's segmented enough where you can gain profit from the
"convenience" segment while gaining mindshare and contributions from the
"DIY" segment. Also there needs to be a big enough pie that a single entity
could not easily handle the entire convenience segment. This is necessary
simply because as Olin has pointed out, someone is going to try to use your
work to get some profit from the convenience segment. And if that segment
is small enough that a single developer can handle it, there's no reason
to share that segment with someone who hasn't contributed much to the effort.

I've on occasion thought of licensing models where DIY developers gain a cut
of the profits based on the amount of their contributions to the project.
Almost like a co-op. I know it can create a situation where one developer
doesn't have to shoulder the entire development, distribution, and support
roles for a project. OTOH it can create opportunities for individuals to get
some compensation for contributions to the project. I don't think I
researched the issue enough to have a good model in mind. But I think there
may be a niche somewhere in there that effectively blends the commercial and
open source aspects of such projects.

Just some thoughts on the subject.

BAJ

2005\08\20@125625 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
You're right!  I was sure it wasn't there.  Mea culpa.

(Maybe I mixed it with basic...)

-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamspam_OUTmit.edu [@spam@piclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu] On Behalf Of Mario Mendes Jr.
Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005 6:48 PM
To: 'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'
Subject: RE: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .

Lindy Mayfield wrote, "You don't even get debug anymore."

DEBUG.EXE is still distributed with Windows to this day.  It may not be
of a lot of use today, but it is still there read for those that know
what to do with it.

-Mario



2005\08\20@135202 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>>> Which of such tools (or any other things or services) do
>>> *you* provide for free?
>
>> Lots and lots and lots.  It is called "pro bono" work in my
>> profession.
>
> OK, if you do that as volunteer (not as unavoidable requirement of being
> a professional (lawyer?)) I accept your arguments :)
>
> If you think such tooling should be free, who should make them, and who
> pays the rent for those who make them? Specalised compiler and other
> tool vendors can clearly not do this, they would have no income at all.
> I don't thing you survive from doing only 'pro bono' work? Microchip
> could do this (create for instance a free C compiler), but it would
> spoil the market for specialisd tool manufactureres, so we would end up
> with one free C compiler instead of a range of non-free ones as we have
> now. I am not sure that would be a change for the good.

Imho CPU manufacturers who start out without providing free tools for a
new product soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place. The
users will compare their product with others, which have free tools, and
the compiler makers who will by then support their CPU will strongly
frown upon the release of a free competing toolchain (Why does M$ get
away with doing just this all the time ?).

So I think that it's an early decision they make, and then they are
committed. The PIC started too small (16C54) to mandate a compiler of
any kind and by the time it grew larger it was too late for manufacturer
support for the part. The C30 seems to be an attempt to fix it for the
newer product line.

Peter

2005\08\20@151920 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Imho CPU manufacturers who start out without providing free
> tools for a
> new product soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

But uChip is not starting, does not provide as much free tools as some
would like, yet we use PICs. So who can realy say they are doing
something wrong?

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2005\08\20@165703 by olin piclist

face picon face
Hasan A. Khan wrote:
> But when you 'buy' software you don't have any of the
> freedoms you get with other products.

Actually you do, but most consumer software transactions are licenses, not
outright transfer of ownership.

This is no different than me allowing someone to use one of my photographs
in a specific way for an agreed upon fee.  It's my photograph, and I don't
have to show it or let anyone use it at all.  But at some point I might
decide that I'm willing to let someone use it if they pay me enough in
return.  If the other person agrees, then obviously he thinks it's to his
advantage too.  I might charge more if the photograph will be used in a high
volume book sold for profit than in an educational leaflet.  I would
probably charge a great deal more if someone wanted to completely own the
photograph, meaning I had no remaining rights to it.  It may well be that I
would charge a lot more to transfer ownership than the other person is
willing to pay.  Hence licensing is a sort of middle ground.  As I and the
photograph user agree, it's nobody else's business to tell us we can't make
a deal like that.

Software is no different.  If I create a program that you would like to run,
you and I can make a deal where I give you permission to run it in return
for a payment.  It's mine, and I don't have to let you run it at all.  It's
totally rediculous to say I should be obligated to let anyone run it anytime
they want without compensation.  Now if someone wanted to own the software
outright, I'd probably charge a great deal more.  I might want $100,000 to
tranfer ownership of the program to you, but I might be willing to let just
you run it anytime you want for only $100.  Given that, you might decide
that you'd rather pay only $100 and let me charge others $100 if they want
to run it.

It's a free market, and you've got no right going around telling me what
deals I can make to sell, or license out my software, nor how I might buy or
license others' software.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\20@180947 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 20, 2005, at 6:51 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:
>
> I think that chips manufacturers should provide compilers,
> assemblers, OS's and other software tools for free.
>
> The payment model is to sell chips.

Interesting to note that Free Software vendors are doing rather
better than most chip vendors.  Red hat is actually profitable,
which is more than you can say about Atmel, Freescale, or AMD,
for instance...

BillW

2005\08\20@182025 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 20, 2005, at 6:51 AM, Byron A Jeff wrote:

> I think that chips manufacturers should provide compilers,
> assemblers, OS's and other software tools for free.
>
> The payment model is to sell chips.

Also keep in mind that most software these days IS close to
free by the standards of yesteryear.  $1000 for a C compiler?
Dwarfed by the cost of a programmer who can use it (even if
they're in India :-)  Miniscule compared to the dollar volume
of dsPic chips microchip wants you to buy...

Reminds me of those catalogs of DoD funded software that was
supposed to be free other than a "nominal distribution fee
and cost of media."  Some of it looked interesting enough to
investigate further - after all, it was free, right?  "How
much is the NDFaCoM?" "$1000"  Oh...

BillW

2005\08\20@183358 by John Nall

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> I can recommend you to read the book (not just the article) 'the
>> cathedral and the bazaar' (It is available as free download!).
>
>
> Available here from (the author) Eric Raymond's  site
>
>        http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/

Thanks for pointing me to it.  I looked at the material at the site, and
it looks like a book that I would very much like to read in depth and
make cryptic notes on  the pages.    So went to Amazon.com and found a
used copy for not very much money and have ordered that.  (I suppose
that I could maintain that all books should be free, just to excite
certain people who shall remain nameless, but I won't).

John

2005\08\20@183834 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 03:20 PM 8/20/2005 -0700, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Yup. I paid something like $900 US for a CPM 8048 assembler and simulator
on an 8" floppy back in the dark ages. I'm pretty sure the author wrote it
in 8080 assembly. Nine hundred dollars was worth a lot more back in 1980.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2005\08\21@005015 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Holy poop! Windows XP still has debug! How cool is that. (and how did I miss
it?)

And that is another area to discuss: What comes "free" when you buy an
operating system or other major package of software? Can I use debug
separate from windows? And if so, MAY I?

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@011420 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
>> I think that chips manufacturers should provide compilers,
>> assemblers, OS's and other software tools for free.
>>
Heh.  Come to think of it, as far as I know Intel has never offered
free SW development tools for the x86, and that's one of the most
successful computer architectures of all time...  When it came out
you could only program it in basic :-(  After a while MIT published
a portable assembler targeted to the x86, but it didn't use the
intel-published syntax...

Perhaps they're making up for it now with their rather reasonable
support of linux?  OTOH, they still sell their own x86 compiler as
well as support gcc...

BillW

2005\08\21@023346 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> But I think that the original point was removed in all of this. That
> point
> was that since tools like MPLAB are free anyway, why not distribute
> the
> source.

I think they are trying to protect the hardware interface protocol.


           Russell McMahon



2005\08\21@031828 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> If I create a program that you would like to run,
> you and I can make a deal where I give you permission to run it in
> return
> for a payment.  It's mine, and I don't have to let you run it at
> all.  It's
> totally rediculous to say I should be obligated to let anyone run it
> anytime
> they want without compensation.

Nor has anyone said or remotely suggested this as far as I noticed in
any of the posts that I've read - not in this thread or any previous
ones on a similar theme. I may have missed something of course, but
I'm fairly sure that any time this spectre is raised it turns out to
be a straw man with nobody actually proposing it. .



       Russell McMahon


2005\08\21@033310 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
And I always complained that Windows doesn't come with any development tools, and here I have been proven wrong (yet again).  

{Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@033642 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> When you buy food, you are free to cook it, modify it,
> give it away or even regrow it using its seeds.  You
> have that freedom and you don't need to inform or get
> permission from the originating farmer.

Some of the examples you raise above and below are less clear cut than
you suggest or may realise. It's worth challenging the claims to make
the vital point that there is no fundamental difference between buying
software or anything else. The difference is more in the sales or
usage rights models used.

Certainly some seeds are bought with specific limitations on the
manner in which you may use the intellectual property (IP) in them.
Use of seeds from a crop may in fact be a forbidden use which you
agree to at the time of purchase. And certain (unprincipled)
companies are trying to embed this capability inside seeds to avoid
user dishonesty - copy protection. In this case a major problem is
that the copy protection may jump to other 'products' and cause damage
out of all proportion to the advantages gained by the implementers.
(Similar to spammers sending 10 million emails to make $300 profit)..

> When you buy a house, it's yours, you are free to
> modify it, demolish it or re-sell it with out getting
> the builder's and architect's permission.

Some land or houses come with building covenants which you agree to
agree to when you buy them. These limit what you can do in some
manner. Some properties come with conditions that you agree to abide
why AND require that you include an equal condition in any resale
agreement, thereby legally binding *all* subsequent owners.

Some property agreements are so common that we give them other names
and fail to see them as restrictions of a similar nature to those we
apply to software. eg leasehold (you never own it), cross-lease (you
agree to be bound by certain limitations which are passed on to
others), caveat (you agree to be limited in what you can do for some
reason), ...

>  When you buy a car, it's yours to modify, customise
> and resell.  You don't get permissions from the car
> makers.

When you *buy* it, yes. And that is the same with software when you
buy it under the same terms as you buy a car. But if you rent or lease
a car there are limitations that you agree to be bound by. They may be
MORE onerous than those that apply to software 0 eg if you stop using
a rental car they usually expect you to give it back in original
condition :-).

> When you buy a PC, you are free to upgrade it,
> customise it, resell it, give it away.
>
> When you buy furniture you are free to...
> When you buy ...

Much as above. The key is the phrase "when you buy". What you mean is
more like "when you acquire unlimited ownership rights in exchange
for a consideration. When you do the same with software you get the
same rights.

> But when you 'buy' software you don't have any of the
> freedoms you get with other products.

You do. if you BUY them. You may not if you don't BUY them.

> Software becomes an intellectual property...and therein lies the
> debate.

The act of buying or leasing or ... does not make it so. It is so by
nature of its nature. Anything that may be replicated at a cost far
below its market value has IP value.

> Why doesn't software have the same freedoms
> as the other products you buy in life.

It does.

> Free software
> does not mean free of cost but "free" as in "freedom
> of speech" and not as in "free beer".

Can mean either.

> If you want
> more philosophical discussion pay a visit to fsf.org.

Yes.


       RM

2005\08\21@040042 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Holy poop! Windows XP still has debug! How cool is that. (and how
> did I miss
> it?)

Yeah yeah yeah. That's all very well. But, where is Edlin when you
really need it?


       RM


2005\08\21@042349 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 20, 2005, at 10:13 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> Intel has never offered free SW development tools for the x86,
> ...  When it came out you could only program it in basic

Oops.  Should be "when the IBM PC came out, you could only
program it in basic."  And that's not quite right, since I
remember using some sort of x86 cross-assembler than ran
on CPM to produce code for an SDK-86 a couple years before
the IBM came out...

BillW

2005\08\21@083501 by olin piclist

face picon face
Byron A Jeff wrote:
> You certainly can prevent distribution of those copies. I cannot take
> a piece of code that you have written and redistribute it without your
> permission.

You are referring to "may not" when I was talking about "can not".  Yes you
can put all sorts of licenses on open source, but it's nearly impossible to
police since parts of the code can find themselves in applications with no
way to identify the original code from the outside.  In the end, you have to
assume that making source available is essentially giving away the software.

>> and experience has shown that's exactly what will happen.
>
> That's terrible. I'm a firm believer that your code is your code and I
> am obligated to follow your rules.

You may be, but many many people aren't.  C'mon Byron, you seriously don't
see rampant software stealing all around you?  It's just too easy.  Some
people think it's their right, others justify it by saying the license price
was too high, some may mean to buy additional licenses but don't get around
to it.  I bet you've heard all these before and even know people close to
you that do this.

The PIC code I make freely available at http://www.embedinc.com/pic is
specifically licenses to let anyone do basically anything with it, including
using it in a commercial product.  All I ask (require, actually) is that my
copyright header be kept at the top of the module.  I know of at least one
case where this got stripped off for use in a commercial product.  So even
when it's free, some people will still steal it instead of the tiny
remaining "payment" that would make it all legal.

> I've on occasion thought of licensing models where DIY developers gain
> a cut of the profits based on the amount of their contributions to the
> project. Almost like a co-op. I know it can create a situation where
> one developer doesn't have to shoulder the entire development,
> distribution, and support roles for a project. OTOH it can create
> opportunities for individuals to get some compensation for
> contributions to the project.

Interesting idea, but I suspect you'll get into fights about what percentage
each developer should get.  Most people overestimate their relative
importance to a group project.  The other problem I personally would have
with this is that most people write crappy code.  Even if they don't, I
doubt they'd want to follow my style and I certainly don't want to follow
anyone else's.  With only a single exception that I can think of,
integrating other people's "free" code into my own has been more trouble
than it was worth.

By the way, the exception I can think of was the JPEG image file I/O code
from the Independent JPEG Group.  Maybe that's because it was a relatively
complex subsystem with small interconnects and basically worked out of the
box as documented.  I wrote all the image format drivers for my image file
I/O library except the JPEG driver, but everything works together
seamlessly.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\21@090511 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

>> But I think (hope) that open source (not necessarily free) software is
>> the future.
>
> But open source IS essentially free whether it's supposed to be or not.
> There is no way to prevent people from building and using as many copies as
> they like for free, and experience has shown that's exactly what will
> happen.  

You can say the same for closed source software. I (you, we) can get pretty
much every commercially successful PC software for free. There is no way to
prevent people from hacking and/or copying commercial closed source
software and using as many copies as they like for free -- and experience
shows that this does not result in a break-down of the commercial software
market. FWIW, there even seems to be a (positive) correlation between
financial success of a product and the availability of (illegal) free
copies of it. The lack of availability of illegal free copies is /not/
commonly among the reasons why people pay for licenses.

> Obviously you can't force some kind of license use with open software
> since that part of the code can be removed, then a version built that
> doesn't require a license.

I'm not so sure. As a thought experiment: imagine all published software
being open source. Code copying would become much more obvious, wouldn't
it?

Gerhard

2005\08\21@091725 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> You are referring to "may not" when I was talking about "can not".  Yes you
> can put all sorts of licenses on open source, but it's nearly impossible to
> police since parts of the code can find themselves in applications with no
> way to identify the original code from the outside.  In the end, you have to
> assume that making source available is essentially giving away the software.

This is true in an essentially closed source world. The problem with the
closed source vs open source thing is that it is not linear. It's something
that has "turning points": the behavior of the system depends on a certain
critical mass. In an environment that's as essentially open source as our
current one is closed source, your argument turns exactly to the contrary:
taking code from someone else becomes much easier, of course, but also much
more obvious.

Open source is actually the only way to enforce software copyright. The
copyright is on the source, and if all you see from a product is the
compiled result, there's no way to determine what copyright was on the
sources used to create it. The only way to determine whether there was a
copyright infringement is to look at the sources. So I would tend to think
that everybody who puts any worth on copyright enforcement would have to be
a proponent of (enforced) open source. No?

Gerhard

2005\08\21@092155 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> But I think that the original point was removed in all of this. That
>> point was that since tools like MPLAB are free anyway, why not
>> distribute the source.
>
> I think they are trying to protect the hardware interface protocol.

If that is true, they think of themselves as being more in the market as a
dev tool vendor than being in the market as a chip vendor... While the dev
tool vendor Microchip may have in interest in keeping the hardware
interface protocol secret, the chip vendor Microchip obviously has an
interest in making it public and facilitate the work of 3rd party tool
developers that in the end increase their chip sales.

I think it's a matter of mentality and doing what's commonly done --
without a lot of deep thought. (Akin to "nobody ever got fired for buying
Microsoft...")

Gerhard

2005\08\21@093130 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> In the end, you have to assume that making source available
>> is essentially giving away the software.
>
> This is true in an essentially closed source world. The problem with the
> closed source vs open source thing is that it is not linear. It's
> something that has "turning points": the behavior of the system depends
> on a certain critical mass. In an environment that's as essentially
> open source as our current one is closed source, your argument turns
> exactly to the contrary: taking code from someone else becomes much
> easier, of course, but also much more obvious.

You are assuming someone is taking the source illegally to make a new
product.  I was only talking about using the product illegally.  Let's say
the Windows XP source code was available.  Somebody would find the runtime
license manager, remove it, build a new version, and pass it around.  Large
companies and a few honest people would continue to pay a license for the
real thing, but many many people would run the free bootleg copy.

> Open source is actually the only way to enforce software copyright.

Only if you can enforce that the source of every executable is available
somehow.  Clearly if I'm going to make a bootleg copy of an app I want to
run for free, I'm not going to post the cracked code on my web page.  If
I've got a compiler and know how to use it, there is really nothing you can
do to stop me since it's nearly impossible to detect.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\21@094108 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

> Some of the examples you raise above and below are less clear cut than
> you suggest or may realise. It's worth challenging the claims to make
> the vital point that there is no fundamental difference between buying
> software or anything else. The difference is more in the sales or usage
> rights models used.

I think one of the core issues is what we consider "property" and where we
restrict property for the public benefit. Every aspect of property is
restricted by law (because any property rights one may have are only
created by law). The question is not whether or not to restrict, but where.
Everything you do to/with your property affects other people, and that's
the reason for the restrictions by law of what you can do to/with your
property -- and what is granted to you as your property right.

Remember also that individual property rights are /not/ natural; they exist
only by law and only insofar as they are protected by the community. The
community will (in the long run) tend to define individual property rights
that make it stronger, more prosperous. And as things change, so will the
view of what kind of property rights are good and useful.

This is as valid for any form of intellectual property as it is for real
estate property. It is not a given that "intellectual property" the way it
is seen today is a good thing.

Gerhard

2005\08\21@095146 by Tony Smith

picon face
> that open source (not necessarily free) software is the future. Once people
> get used to the advantages of it, I think (hope) that closed source becomes
> more and more rare. No one probably would buy a car where you can't open
> the motor compartment.
>
> Gerhard


Was it Volvo who designed the car with the sealed engine bay?  Apparently aimed at women who didn't want to get their hands dirty
with all that yucky oil & stuff.

Guess they'll stick with funny shaped special tools.

Tony

2005\08\21@122617 by Peter

picon face

> While I do completely agree with your principle, who would pay for
> PC-compatibles development tools? IBM? ;-)

In fact ever since a certain os firm has destroyed the market for
software (excepting for its own) it is no longer important.

Peter

2005\08\21@124538 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

>> it's a fair question, I certainly have to admit that.  I need to
>> visit the Free Software site and see what they have to say about it.
>
> I believe that the semi-official RMS dogma is that you can make
> a living charging for support and modifications.
>
> I don't buy it:
>
> 1) Software ought to be good enough that it doesn't require
>   significant support.
> 2) The idea that modifications will always be needed is an
>   artifact of the rate-of-change of technology in recent years.
>   It can't go on.  Either it levels off like a good biological
>   growth curve, or we get a Vinge-style singularity.

Okay, so we level off and then we freeze the current version of the
<insert here> os you are running. Then, there will be just the small
issue of the time required to completely test the frozen system, which
implies making it perform all N possible state transitions at least
once, under supervision of a test program, which will have at least N+1
transitions. I can't wait for that test to begin, let alone end, and I
am *eager* to know who is paying for it.

> 3) I would rather reward someone's creativity than just their labor.
>   3a) Intellectual property is like the ideal of capitalism.  The
>       ability to create value exceeding the sum of the parts.  The
>       ability to CREATE *wealth*.

As long as you cannot patent a fire that is horseshoe shaped, 8000 years
after it was first recorded by humans, and cash in on the proceeds by
suing people whose fires turn horseshoe-shaped. Unfortunately, that is
not the way it works now.

>   3b) Software is close to the epitome of this - the parts are near
>        free, and the value of the result can be very large indeed.
>   3c) Before software, this sort of thing only happened to artists.

Mostly posthumously, when dealers made money out of shifting their
works.

>   3d) "service economies" suck.  You want fries with that?  How
>        about an update for your config file?

Non-service economies suck more. Go live somewhere where you need to
manhandle the water and the exhaust bucket 2 times a day in snow for a
couple of weeks and I think that you will see the light of a 'service
economy' in a new light.

In a normal situation *fair* competition causes the price of services
and goods (and software) to float at just the level where the perceived
benefit of using it is slightly higher than the perceived benefit of
producing it. Put in a couple of monopolies, and your price is about as
high as it goes, and still rising.

>   3e) is intellectual property abused?  You bet.  So?  You don't
>       think labor ("support"?) wasn't/isn't abused?  Fail to
>       create wealth, and everyone fights over the constant wealth.
> 4) From a consumer point of view, paying required support is nearly
>   indistinguishable from paying for software...  Is "licensing"
>   software just legal mumbo jumbo for a sort of support?  How
>   much of the software you use do you OWN, vs just license?

If that is the case, then computing is one of the most expensive human
occupations. If you do not own anything from the things in your
computer, then IT expenditure for software is a form of torching $100
bills (assuming one does not use the computer as a work tool).

Wealth is that which is appreciated as valuable at the time of
appraisal. Once upon a time wealth used to be preserved for a while.
With the IP 'wealth' and the rate of change existing in the current
developed economies you can no longer talk about wealth, at present
tense, but only of wealth, as futures. And occasionally a modern black
friday occurs and resets the decimal point (the point in the dot com
thing this time) where it belongs. How many such cycles will it take
until people will figure out the stability of the system required for
normal (as opposed to cancerous, or exponential) growth.

just an opinion,
Peter

2005\08\21@124954 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> But I think (hope) that open source (not necessarily free) software
>> is the future.
>
> But open source IS essentially free whether it's supposed to be or not.
> There is no way to prevent people from building and using as many copies as
> they like for free, and experience has shown that's exactly what will
> happen.  Obviously you can't force some kind of license use with open
> software since that part of the code can be removed, then a version built
> that doesn't require a license.

Always assuming that the open source licensed software does not
represent >95% of the system in cause.

Open source software is about perfect for a 'services' based revenue
model. The stuff is free, but the people who set it up are not
necessarily so. And adding more free stuff adds more incentives for
people to set it up.

Peter

2005\08\21@125419 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, Howard Winter wrote:

> On Sat, 20 Aug 2005 14:14:23 +0200, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:
>
>>> 1) Software ought to be good enough that it doesn't require
>>>     significant support.
>>
>> Yeah, same for cars!
>
> Right, but back in The Real World...
>
> Cars wear out, rust away, fail to comply with new regulations...
>
> Software doesn't usually wear out (y2k notwithstanding) but it can
> fail to cope with new situations - changes in the law, economic
> situation (new taxes, new field sizes due to inflation, etc), and new
> ideas that people come up with.

Software wears out because there is a market pressure driving hardware
upgrades (including in domains where this is not mandated).

> DOS was a fairly support-free operating system, but almost nobody uses
> it now because someone thought of WIMP interfaces (we won't argue
> about who that was!).  Before PCs there were mainframes and
> minicomputers - and the software that they ran is mostly obsolete now
> through no fault of the programmers - the World moved on and their
> stuff wasn't relevant any more.  Some may have been ported to the new
> environments as they came along - that's still "support" !

DOS was not a support-free os. It used to take serious magic to make
device drivers co-exist peacefully and the occasional corrupted disk
would cause nightmares.

Peter

2005\08\21@125538 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face
Also, I'm 90% sure they can't distribute the source to MPLAB IDE because
it is a slim down version of MS Visual Studio.

If I recall correctly, there was a time that microsoft was licensing, a
few different versions of the VS environment to people/companies that
wanted to use it with their own compilers.

I could be wrong, off course.


-Mario

{Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@130158 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, Wouter van Ooijen wrote:

>> Imho CPU manufacturers who start out without providing free tools for
>> a new product soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place.
>
> But uChip is not starting, does not provide as much free tools as some
> would like, yet we use PICs. So who can realy say they are doing
> something wrong?

Who said they are ? They are caught up in their own game, and times have
changed, making free software/tools almost a requirement for the
acceptance of the product (in certain circles).

Peter

2005\08\21@130314 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face
Russell McMahon wrote, "Yeah yeah yeah. That's all very well. But, where
is Edlin when you really need it?"

Try %systemroot%\system32\edlin.exe.  In most systems, %systemroot% will
be c:\windows

Enjoy it =)

-Mario

-----Original Message-----
From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu] On Behalf
Of Russell McMahon
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 3:52 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .


> Holy poop! Windows XP still has debug! How cool is that. (and how
> did I miss
> it?)

Yeah yeah yeah. That's all very well. But, where is Edlin when you
really need it?


       RM


2005\08\21@131056 by Peter
picon face

On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

> Yup. I paid something like $900 US for a CPM 8048 assembler and simulator
> on an 8" floppy back in the dark ages. I'm pretty sure the author wrote it
> in 8080 assembly. Nine hundred dollars was worth a lot more back in 1980.

But I think that the *ratio* between tooling cost and expected revenue
matters more. A $1000 compiler cannot be justified by someone who makes
1000 units of something that costs $20 each and can budget $2 per unit
for the tool cost alone. In 'those times' nothing electronic cost $20
and the tool depreciation and amortisation would occur respectively
slower, and faster than today. Even if the margin would have been the
same, procentually, in 'those times' developers would have been ten
times better off than now. Now a $1000 compiler would last for about a
year before becoming obsolete. For how long could you use that 8048
compiler ? 7 years ? 10 ?

Peter

2005\08\21@132804 by Lindy Mayfield

flavicon
face
Holy Moose Spittle!  EDLIN is there, too!

I really thought that edlin, basic and debug were gone.

And now I have to go and apologize to all of those people with whom I compared a "standard" UNIX environment to Windows, especially where I compared the development tools.  Like I would say, "You can re-write UNIX completely with the tools you get with UNIX, but what do you get with Windows?...NADA."  

I was wrong.  Now I know you can easily re-write, optimize, and even create a better version Windows with the tools they give you.  Edlin and debug!  

Bill Gates is truly a visionary and a legend in our time.

{Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@133548 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
HOLY POOP! Windows XP has EDLIN! I'm totally blown away... That wasn't there
in 98, I'm sure. And I don't think it was in NT, but I'm not sure.

---
James.



> {Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@135810 by ChrisPicList

flavicon
face

If you have XP SP1 or have installed the .NET Framework you also get the
compilers and other tools you need to build .NET based Windows, console
or web programs. If you want an IDE, several flavors are available free
at the MSDN web site.

-Chris


-----Original Message-----
From: James Newtons Massmind [TakeThisOuTjamesnewtonEraseMEspamspam_OUTmassmind.org]
Sent: Sunday, August 21, 2005 11:36 AM
To: 'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'
Subject: RE: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .

HOLY POOP! Windows XP has EDLIN! I'm totally blown away... That wasn't
there in 98, I'm sure. And I don't think it was in NT, but I'm not sure.



2005\08\21@143051 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 08:10 PM 8/21/2005 +0300, you wrote:

>On Sat, 20 Aug 2005, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
>
>>Yup. I paid something like $900 US for a CPM 8048 assembler and simulator
>>on an 8" floppy back in the dark ages. I'm pretty sure the author wrote it
>>in 8080 assembly. Nine hundred dollars was worth a lot more back in 1980.
>
>But I think that the *ratio* between tooling cost and expected revenue
>matters more. A $1000 compiler cannot be justified by someone who makes
>1000 units of something that costs $20 each and can budget $2 per unit for
>the tool cost alone. In 'those times' nothing electronic cost $20 and the
>tool depreciation and amortisation would occur respectively slower, and
>faster than today. Even if the margin would have been the same,
>procentually, in 'those times' developers would have been ten times better
>off than now. Now a $1000 compiler would last for about a year before
>becoming obsolete. For how long could you use that 8048 compiler ? 7 years
>? 10 ?
>
>Peter

A few years, IIRC. Then we got a PC and I bought another set of tools
from Pseudo Corp for about half the price, which were much faster. Those,
I used for many years.

I expect gcc will still be around, in one form or another, 20 years from
now. Same with Keil and Hitech.

But you're right, we never targeted products that had less potential than
$100K/year in sales, which would be more like $300,000 today.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffspamTakeThisOuTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2005\08\21@171305 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Russell McMahon wrote, "Yeah yeah yeah. That's all very well. But,
> where
> is Edlin when you really need it?"

> Try %systemroot%\system32\edlin.exe.  In most systems, %systemroot%
> will
> be c:\windows

> Enjoy it =)

Never did before :-)


       RM

2005\08\21@200208 by Mario Mendes Jr.

flavicon
face
Hahahaha.  It was never a tool to be enjoyed.  If anything, it was a
painful thing to use.  But, for the those who did like it, it is there.

I don't know why anyone would want to use it anymore than I know anyone
that can truly say they cannot live without VI.  Of course, edlin and VI
are 2 worlds apart, but for the die hards, there are no replacements for
either.

It's kind of like that 1980's Ferrari 308 GTS I've got my eyes on (and
one of theses days I'll get my balls together and buy it).  There are
plenty of better cars out there that I could want to by, but none of
them compares to it.

Like my grandpa once said "taste is like a butt-hole, kid, everybody has
their own." ;)

-Mario

{Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@210726 by William Couture

face picon face
On 8/21/05, William Chops Westfield <westfwEraseMEspam.....mac.com> wrote:
>
> On Aug 20, 2005, at 10:13 PM, William Chops Westfield wrote:
>
> > Intel has never offered free SW development tools for the x86,
> > ...  When it came out you could only program it in basic
>
> Oops.  Should be "when the IBM PC came out, you could only
> program it in basic."  And that's not quite right, since I
> remember using some sort of x86 cross-assembler than ran
> on CPM to produce code for an SDK-86 a couple years before
> the IBM came out...

Since "PC-DOS" (aka MS-DOS) was just 86DOS from Seattle
Computer Products with a (VERY) little paint on it, I was using
"PC-DOS" assembly before the IBM PC even became available.
I still have the assembler and the monitor ROM source code
around.

Bill  {86DOS version 0.1, serial number 11}

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2005\08\21@214452 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Actually people can also download from Microsoft website the other
old tools like qbasic (from olddos.exe). Edlin is not so good and
I doubt anyone will miss it. Back in the days of DOS 3.3, I liked
NE/PE. Debug was a nice tool when I learned assembly for 8086/8088.
Now I will try to learn gdb.

In those days, Turbo Basic/C/C++/Pascal/Prolog were quite popular.
We still use Turbo C++ in some in-house testing softwares. Actually
Turbo C 2.0 will do but it does not support mouse. Our testing
department just start to migrate to some new Window based software
quite recently.

For me I even use DosBox as well to play one very old game.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: James Newtons Massmind [EraseMEjamesnewtonspammassmind.org]
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 1:36 AM
To: 'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'
Subject: RE: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .


HOLY POOP! Windows XP has EDLIN! I'm totally blown away... That wasn't there
in 98, I'm sure. And I don't think it was in NT, but I'm not sure.

---
James.


2005\08\21@220557 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
And I have downloaded Visual C#/C++/Basic express edition Beta.
Even the final product will cost only US$59 (or $49, I forget).
That is really value for Money for beginners like me. Still I
mostly use GCC/Python since they are cross platform and free
and I know not much about GUI framework yet.

Actually Windows is really value for Money especially when bundled
with a new PC. I do not think commercial Linux Desktop software is
anywhere near value for Money. They are simple too expensive.
I like to use Linux (more choice is always good) but I will never
want to buy a box set of whatever Linux. I will rather download
Linux ISOs using my rather expensive broadband connection.

Microsoft Office is also way too expensive. The upgrade does not make
sense to most of the users. Office 97/2000 is good enough for most
of the users (even business users). Maybe Windows (new PC)+
OpenOffice is a good combination for companies. It is actually
more expensive to support Linux desktop for the normal Joe
user. I am worried about the commercialization of Debian and
other open source software. For servers that is another story.
However I believe there will be a day that Linux Desktop become
an possible alternative for Joe users as well but it takes time.
Therefore I will still maintain a dual-boot system for myself and will
continue to use Windows XP/Office 2k in the company.

It is strange that when Win32 SDK (or Win16 SDK) came out, Microsoft
did not offer free compilers. It almost make Borland a strong
competitor of Microsoft. Too bad their execution was lousy
at the time.

Regards,
Xiaofan

-----Original Message-----
From: ChrisPicList [RemoveMEChrisPicListEraseMEspamEraseMErocklizard.org]
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 2:00 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: RE: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .

If you have XP SP1 or have installed the .NET Framework you also get the
compilers and other tools you need to build .NET based Windows, console
or web programs. If you want an IDE, several flavors are available free
at the MSDN web site.

-Chris

2005\08\21@221213 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
I forward this to the GNUPIC list. this is really a good writeup.
Open source is not the solution to everything. I like to use
open source software. However it is not reasonable to require everybody
to open source their software (free or not free). And open source
does not equal to GPL. One can always ask, but the decision will be
from the owner of the software.

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\08\21@225335 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> It's kind of like that 1980's Ferrari 308 GTS I've got my eyes on
> (and
> one of theses days I'll get my balls together and buy it).  There
> are
> plenty of better cars out there that I could want to by, but none of
> them compares to it.

Just like my 1989 Supercharged MR2.*
I can't think of anything I'd rather drive.
Not even a Ferrari 308 GTS.
There's no accounting for taste :-)


       RM

FWIW - and it's not W much
When they were new (many moons ago) no production car on earth was
faster 0-30 mph.
Above that ...
(A supercharger works magic off the line).


2005\08\22@021012 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 21, 2005, at 6:07 PM, William Couture wrote:
>
> Since "PC-DOS" (aka MS-DOS) was just 86DOS from Seattle
> Computer Products with a (VERY) little paint on it, I was using
> "PC-DOS" assembly before the IBM PC even became available.
>
Alas, I never did get my Godbout 8085/8086 based computer working
to any significant level :-(  The CP/M systems I used belonged to
school, and the initial IBM-PC belonged to my employer.  I was a
"mainframe kind of guy", and didn't actually own my own computer
till the HP-150 timeframe...

BillW

2005\08\22@051506 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Russell,

On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 18:27:47 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

> > But I think that the original point was removed in all of this. That
> > point
> > was that since tools like MPLAB are free anyway, why not distribute
> > the
> > source.
>
> I think they are trying to protect the hardware interface protocol.

I think more than that, they don't want people to port MPLAB to other peoples' microcomputers - the
chip-specific stuff would be reasonably easy to replace (in some areas - debugging would be the hardest, I
reckon) and I'd guess about 80% of MPLAB would be useable for anyone else's chips.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\08\22@052143 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 19:51:37 +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:

> > Holy poop! Windows XP still has debug! How cool is that. (and how
> > did I miss it?)
>
> Yeah yeah yeah. That's all very well. But, where is Edlin when you
> really need it?

ROFLMAO!

EDLIN really has gone (in Win2k at least - maybe even have vanished in NT).  And Good Riddance, say I!

Cheers,

Howard Winter
St.Albans, England

"Windows XP - from the people who brought you EDLIN"


2005\08\22@053604 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 21, 2005, at 5:01 PM, Mario Mendes Jr. wrote:

> Of course, edlin and VI are 2 worlds apart, but for the die
> hards, there are no replacements for either.
>

Bah.  Ogg not like edlin.  edlin poor SOS clone.  Ogg
want TECO!  TECO good!

Ogg.
('nite)

2005\08\22@055318 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
James,

On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 10:35:44 -0700, James Newtons Massmind wrote:

> HOLY POOP! Windows XP has EDLIN! I'm totally blown away... That wasn't there
> in 98, I'm sure. And I don't think it was in NT, but I'm not sure.

Stone the crows, you're right!  I was sure it disappeared in NT, but it seems to have returned in Win2k
(contrary to my post a few minutes ago).  And REPLACE is back too - I'm sure that went some time ago (98SE I
think).  Well that's my "You learn something new every day" item for today...

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\08\22@055958 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


{Quote hidden}

Replace can be quite a usefull tool, but why anyone would want to use edlin is beyond me.  I used to use it to edit my autoexec.bat and config.sys files way back in the early DOS days, but as soon as DOS started shipping with QBASIC (whose editor was invoked by the "edit" command) I was happy to never use it again.

Regards

Mike

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2005\08\22@060021 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Mario,

EDLIN...

On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 20:01:58 -0400, Mario Mendes Jr. wrote:

> Hahahaha.  It was never a tool to be enjoyed.  If anything, it was a
> painful thing to use.  But, for the those who did like it, it is there.

Surely, SURELY, nobody *liked* EDLIN?  It had (has) the most obscure user-interaction of any program I have
ever encountered!  The only thing you could say in its favour is that every machine had it, so if you had to
do something on someone else's machine, you knew that it would be there - there may have been no alternative.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\08\22@060144 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Bill,

On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 21:07:25 -0400, William Couture wrote:

> Since "PC-DOS" (aka MS-DOS) was just 86DOS from Seattle Computer Products

I thought it was called QDOS?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\08\22@061548 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspamspamspamBeGonemit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesKILLspamspammit.edu]
>Sent: 22 August 2005 11:02
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [EE] I say it is spinach . . .
>
>
>Bill,
>
>On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 21:07:25 -0400, William Couture wrote:
>
>> Since "PC-DOS" (aka MS-DOS) was just 86DOS from Seattle Computer
>> Products
>
>I thought it was called QDOS?
>

It was called both!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QDOS

Regards

Mike

=======================================================================
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not make any use of this information, or copy or show it to any
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No part of this message can be considered a request for goods or
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2005\08\22@071051 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

>> No one probably would buy a car where you can't open the motor
>> compartment.
>
> Was it Volvo who designed the car with the sealed engine bay?
> Apparently aimed at women who didn't want to get their hands dirty with
> all that yucky oil & stuff.

Hm... possibly a place where the analogy ends.  Volvo has built a
reputation by now, with /open/ motor compartments :)

Gerhard

2005\08\22@071536 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>but as soon as DOS started shipping with QBASIC (whose editor was
>invoked by the "edit" command) I was happy to never use it again.

Amen to that. In fact the Edit command is a batch file that invoked Qbasic
with the parameter /edit IIRC.

2005\08\22@071614 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Peter wrote:

>> Software doesn't usually wear out (y2k notwithstanding) but it can fail
>> to cope with new situations ...
>
> Software wears out because there is a market pressure driving hardware
> upgrades (including in domains where this is not mandated).

The major problem with software IMO is not that it wears out, but that it
doesn't work as advertised in the first place.


>> DOS was a fairly support-free operating system, but almost nobody uses
>> it now because someone thought of WIMP interfaces (we won't argue
>> about who that was!).  

> DOS was not a support-free os. It used to take serious magic to make
> device drivers co-exist peacefully and the occasional corrupted disk
> would cause nightmares.

I agree... I think that recent versions of PCs and Windows (and
increasingly Linux) are much more "support free" than MS-DOS ever was.
There are many people who run PCs and do stuff with them who don't know
much more about system support than popping in the installation CD and
following the prompts.

Gerhard

2005\08\22@072838 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Spehro Pefhany wrote:

>> But I think that the *ratio* between tooling cost and expected revenue
>> matters more.

Exactly...

>> Now a $1000 compiler would last for about a year before becoming
>> obsolete. For how long could you use that 8048 compiler ? 7 years ? 10
>> ?

I have a license for a HiTech compiler. I don't remember when exactly I
bought it, but it was around ten years ago. And I expect to get still a few
years out of it before it becomes obsolete. (Of course, in the meantime I
also invested a few years of maintenance contract into the product.)

IMO, with embedded compilers, it mainly depends on the success of the chip
families it supports. If both the chip family and the compiler manufacturer
are reasonably successful, the compilers don't tend to become obsolete very
quickly.

Gerhard

2005\08\22@082607 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

>> This is true in an essentially closed source world. The problem with the
>> closed source vs open source thing is that it is not linear. It's
>> something that has "turning points": the behavior of the system depends
>> on a certain critical mass.

> You are assuming someone is taking the source illegally to make a new
> product.  I was only talking about using the product illegally.  Let's say
> the Windows XP source code was available.  Somebody would find the runtime
> license manager, remove it, build a new version, and pass it around.  Large
> companies and a few honest people would continue to pay a license for the
> real thing, but many many people would run the free bootleg copy.

That's exactly what is happening /now/ with closed source software. I don't
see a big advantage regarding this in closed source.


>> Open source is actually the only way to enforce software copyright.
>
> Only if you can enforce that the source of every executable is available
> somehow.  Clearly if I'm going to make a bootleg copy of an app I want to
> run for free, I'm not going to post the cracked code on my web page.  If
> I've got a compiler and know how to use it, there is really nothing you can
> do to stop me since it's nearly impossible to detect.

The only thing that can be used to detect whether the license you're
running is a legal one is your proof of purchase. That's not different now
with closed source software. Want a bootleg of Microsoft Office? Of
AutoCAD? Of Photoshop? All closed source, but all out there. The only
reason people do buy these programs (now) is because they want to be legal
(for whatever reason -- fear of getting caught, support, morals, who
knows.)

I don't know what they do to hack the programs, but it may be that building
them from source is more work than hacking them.

The short of all this is that I don't think that open source would have a
substantial impact on the availability of bootlegs. They are available now,
for closed source programs.

But just as open source is the only way to make source code copyright
effectively work, it is also the only way to effectively judge the quality
of a development process (from the outside). Programs are too complex for a
single user being able to black box test it before buying. Having the
sources available would help the developing companies to put more effort
into decent development procedures -- because quality would now be visible,
to a certain degree.

Gerhard

2005\08\22@082643 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 12:14:55 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> >but as soon as DOS started shipping with QBASIC (whose editor was
> >invoked by the "edit" command) I was happy to never use it again.
>
> Amen to that. In fact the Edit command is a batch file that invoked Qbasic
> with the parameter /edit IIRC.

Indeed - I used to carry around a bootable DOS 5 diskette that had QBASIC, the EDIT batch file and a few other
useful commands, for sorting out problems on clients' machines.  Very few problems needed more than that plus
whatever was on the machine itself.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\08\22@085341 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>> You are assuming someone is taking the source illegally to make a new
>> product.  I was only talking about using the product illegally.  Let's
>> say the Windows XP source code was available.  Somebody would find the
>> runtime license manager, remove it, build a new version, and pass it
>> around.  Large companies and a few honest people would continue to pay
>> a license for the real thing, but many many people would run the free
>> bootleg copy.
>
> That's exactly what is happening /now/ with closed source software. I
> don't see a big advantage regarding this in closed source.

But open source would make this substantially easier.  Certainly the number
of people that would have the skills to crack open source is much greater
than those that know how to crack (and are willing to spend the significant
effort it takes) executable binaries.

In any case, open or closed source is and should continue to be a decision
of the intellectual property owner.  I get really irked when I hear modern
day hippies telling others what they should do with their self-created
property.  I'm not necessarily against open source, only people telling me
that all source should be open.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\08\22@091627 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>> Hahahaha.

Indeed :-)

> Surely, SURELY, nobody *liked* EDLIN?

Not I. Which was my point.

> It had (has) the most obscure user-interaction of any program I have
> ever encountered!  The only thing you could say in its favour is
> that every machine had it, so if you had to
> do something on someone else's machine, you knew that it would be
> there - there may have been no alternative.

   copy con autoexec.bat

           :-)

   (Done that more than once)


       RM

2005\08\22@093344 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> In any case, open or closed source is and should continue to be a
> decision
> of the intellectual property owner.  I get really irked when I hear
> modern
> day hippies telling others what they should do with their
> self-created
> property.  I'm not necessarily against open source, only people
> telling me
> that all source should be open.

I haven't heard anyone say that on this list. People may say they'd
like it that way, or that they think it would be better that way, but
there's an important divide between that and saying "should". There is
a philosophical difference there but I don't think many on either side
invoke moral absolutes.

Note that the writer of "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" is a self
proclaimed libertarian and all in favour of personal rights. His
preference for the bazaar model does not require any "should".



       RM

2005\08\22@095359 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesSTOPspamspamspam_OUTmit.edu On Behalf Of William Chops Westfield
> Sent: Saturday, August 20, 2005 6:10 PM
>
> Interesting to note that Free Software vendors are doing rather
> better than most chip vendors.  Red hat is actually profitable,
> which is more than you can say about Atmel, Freescale, or AMD,
> for instance...
>
> BillW

RedHat is no longer a free software vendor, they changed to an annual
subscription based service over a year ago. Their pricing for server usage
is higher than Microsoft :-(. That's why I had to change to Suse after
having been a paying RedHat user for 7 years.

Paul


2005\08\22@100900 by William Couture

face picon face
On 8/22/05, Howard Winter <spamBeGoneHDRWSTOPspamspamEraseMEh2org.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> > Since "PC-DOS" (aka MS-DOS) was just 86DOS from Seattle Computer Products
>
> I thought it was called QDOS?

I've seen references to it under both names (QDOS -- Quick & Dirty DOS), but
the name I remember is 86DOS..

Bill

--
Psst...  Hey, you... Buddy...  Want a kitten?  straycatblues.petfinder.org

2005\08\22@135356 by Hasan A. Khan

flavicon
face
Hi,
I don't know what "modern day hippies" are telling you
to go open source but it is all about having a choice.
Open source and "free" gives me a better choice than
closed software so I will always choose OSS over
proprietary.  You are free to go your way.  The market
will decide what will be the dominant model or may be
they will stay equally dominant...we'll see.  Just so
you know which way the winds are blowing, there was an
article on news.com a couple of days back about how
quickly and why corporations are switching to OSS.  No
hippie is telling them what to do.  They are basing
their decisions purely on market economics.

Another aspect most of you may not realize is the
third world factor.  OSS is catching on like a wild
fire.  Most people in this world simply cannot afford
to buy a single copy of Windows XP.  Since the crack
down on piracy in past few years, the only choice left
for the vast majority is to use OSS like Linux,
OpenOffice etc.  Given the huge population of the
third world, the installed base of OSS is not going to
be ignorable.

I go away for one day and there are a million posts on
this thread.  Most of my professional life, I have
been involved in software (since the days of
Timex/Sinclair ZX81) and the debates surrounding the
business.  I am sick of it now.  Lets talk electronics
designs now - much more interesting subject than
software.  Agreed?  :-)

--- Olin Lathrop <KILLspamolin_piclistspamBeGonespamembedinc.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

*****************************************************************
> Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton
> Massachusetts
> (978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com
> --

2005\08\22@144957 by James Newtons Massmind

face picon face
Howard Winter said:
> I think more than that, they don't want people to port MPLAB
> to other peoples' microcomputers - the chip-specific stuff
> would be reasonably easy to replace (in some areas -
> debugging would be the hardest, I
> reckon) and I'd guess about 80% of MPLAB would be useable for
> anyone else's chips.

A classic example of this: You can use MPLAB to develop code for the Ubicom
SX processors and Microchip about laid a cow over that company. The SX is
basically a 16C5x clone with a 4x pipline that will clock up to 75Mhz and
ICD like ability built in. MC sued Ubicom (then Scenix) and the case was
settled without the SX going away. If I understood correctly, the only
concession on Ubicoms part was that they would no longer market the chips as
PIC clones. Parallax now markets the SX for Ubicom and there are lots of
cool things available and that you can do with a 75MIPS PIC clone for a
couple bucks.
http://www.parallax.com/sx/chips.asp

Ubicom moved on to a new chip called the IP2022 which is a 100 - 160 MIPS
controller
http://www.sxlist.com/techref/ubicom/ip2k.htm which IS backwards compatible
with the SX, and therefore the 16C5x, but they have really avoided the hobby
market and therefore, although I think it would be possible, there are no
tools available that make use of MPLAB to program the IP2022. It has a GNU
tool chain but their version of it costs $2000. Alternatives are available:
http://www.ultradense.com/product_sbc.html Complete development system for
$140 and a debugger for $120

I'm sure MC would love for people to forget that it IS a 16C5x clone and can
run BINARY code from those chips in "compatibility" mode (at lower speeds)
and in most cases in full speed SX mode as well. Or at lower power
consumptions when clocked slower while getting the same work done via the
pipeline
http://www.sxlist.com/techref/ubicom/picreplace.htm

Info on using MPLAB for SX development is here:
http://www.sxlist.com/techref/ubicom/languages.htm

The pure pleasure of being able to post things like this is why I don't seek
sponsorship from MC or Ubicom or anyone else. The truth is out there... If
you aren't paid to shut up. Microchip would do better to try to win back
users from SX chips when they reach a point that the SX can't handle due to
its lack of onboard peripherals.

So if you supply free development tools, you have to be aware that other
companies may make a processor that can use your development tools. Or if
you sell an OS, and you write a tool for development on the processor your
OS runs on, other OS vendors may take your code for their OS development.

---
James Newton: PICList webmaster/Admin
EraseMEjamesnewtonspamEraseMEpiclist.com  1-619-652-0593 phone
http://www.piclist.com/member/JMN-EFP-786
PIC/PICList FAQ: http://www.piclist.com

---
James Newton, Host of SXList.com
@spam@james@spam@spamspam_OUTsxlist.com 1-619-652-0593 fax:1-208-279-8767
SX FAQ / Code / Tutorials / Documentation:
http://www.sxlist.com Pick faster!


2005\08\22@150954 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 22 Aug 2005, Chen Xiao Fan wrote:

> Actually people can also download from Microsoft website the other
> old tools like qbasic (from olddos.exe). Edlin is not so good and
> I doubt anyone will miss it. Back in the days of DOS 3.3, I liked

If you will ever have to edit a 5000 line config file through a serial
modem link at 300 Bauds you will likely practically beg that the system
has ed or edlin installed. ed also exists on all modern *nix variants.
It is also 'inside' vi. Most non-visual editing in vi is actually ed
commands ... I use vi all the time (especially vim).

Peter

2005\08\22@154136 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 22 Aug 2005, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Peter wrote:
>
>>> Software doesn't usually wear out (y2k notwithstanding) but it can fail
>>> to cope with new situations ...
>>
>> Software wears out because there is a market pressure driving hardware
>> upgrades (including in domains where this is not mandated).
>
> The major problem with software IMO is not that it wears out, but that it
> doesn't work as advertised in the first place.

As it can't, since the buyer's requirements are 'make it work like the
other guy's' (inluding bugs which they often perceive as features), 'I
like the animation, it's so cool', 'can I use it on my $500 Windows
computer ?' and so forth. And in fact it does work as *advertised*. The
screen resembles the screenshots on the website, and interaction with
the limited set of external applications against which it was tested
does in fact occur, and was likely debugged to some extent.

Peter

2005\08\22@170240 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Peter wrote:

>> The major problem with software IMO is not that it wears out, but that it
>> doesn't work as advertised in the first place.
>
> As it can't, since the buyer's requirements are 'make it work like the
> other guy's' (inluding bugs which they often perceive as features)

It seems you didn't read my phrase. I said "it doesn't work as
/advertised/" -- I did /not/ say "it doesn't work to the liking (or
according to the requirements) of the buyer" .

Gerhard

2005\08\22@171342 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> But open source would make this substantially easier.  Certainly the
> number of people that would have the skills to crack open source is much
> greater than those that know how to crack (and are willing to spend the
> significant effort it takes) executable binaries.

I really don't know how easy it is to hack these closed source programs,
and I'm not sure you know. (I'd be surprised if you had experience... :)

In any case, the ease of /hacking/ is not really the point. Not everybody
who wants to run a bootleg has to hack himself one. The ease of /obtaining/
a bootleg copy couldn't be much greater with open source than it is now
with closed source.


> In any case, open or closed source is and should continue to be a
> decision of the intellectual property owner.  I get really irked when I
> hear modern day hippies telling others what they should do with their
> self-created property.  I'm not necessarily against open source, only
> people telling me that all source should be open.

I'm not sure you read my other messages about the subject; especially about
property rights themselves. I'm also not sure what you mean by the phrase
that you get "irked" by some people in the context of this discussion. Did
you get irked here? By whom (or better by what)?

Firstly, I didn't see anybody trying to tell you what to do. (I'm also not
sure how I would identify a "modern day hippie" here :)

Secondly, property rights are only existent to the degree that there are
laws that give people these rights -- meaning that everybody who is in
favor of property rights (of whatever color, in whatever context) is the
one who is trying to tell other people (through property rights laws) what
they can or can't do, not the other way round. How about a law that
essentially says "your IP is protected by law to the extent that it is
published"? In (more than) a way, this makes sense -- why should the
community carry the burden of protecting something that's not accessible to
the community? It would still be everyone's choice to publish or not to
publish.

Thirdly, there is really no other means of enforcement for source code
copyright than compulsory open source. I didn't really mean to say that I
think this is how it should be -- and I don't think I said that --, but I
think the statement is true. There's no way for anybody to tell how much
stolen code is in a closed source software product. Given this, I don't
think it to be impossible that enforcement of intellectual property rights
would be better, not worse, with compulsory open source. (Or maybe with
laws in the spirit of the last paragraph, which is similar and probably
better: you publish and get the community's protection, or you don't
publish, bet on the "secrecy protection" horse, and are on your own with
that.)

Fourthly, I'm not sure why nobody picked up on that. There are all kinds of
programs in public service, used to make all kinds of policy decisions,
down to providing the information that's used to decide who's going to
Congress and to the White House. Pretty much all of this is closed source.
And pretty much nobody knows what's going on in these devices and programs.
I think that would be a /very/ good place to start with checking out how
compulsory open source could work.

Gerhard

2005\08\22@175750 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Secondly, property rights are only existent to the degree that there
> are
> laws that give people these rights -- meaning that everybody who is
> in
> favor of property rights (of whatever color, in whatever context) is
> the
> one who is trying to tell other people (through property rights
> laws) what
> they can or can't do, not the other way round.

Deeeep philosophy involved in this area.
Is there an innate moral right to the possession of one's own
creations? Are there absolutes which can be invoked in defence (or
offence) of this assertion? Who will win the superbowl? ...
:-)

>How about a law that
> essentially says "your IP is protected by law to the extent that it
> is
> published"? In (more than) a way, this makes sense -- why should the
> community carry the burden of protecting something that's not
> accessible to
> the community? It would still be everyone's choice to publish or not
> to
> publish.

For which there is considerable precedent, as this is how patents
work. Which raises the spectre of software patents (as opposed to
copyright), which ... ;-)



           RM

2005\08\22@184441 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 22, 2005, at 5:54 AM, Olin Lathrop wrote:

>> That's exactly what is happening /now/ with closed source software.
>> I don't see a big advantage regarding this in closed source.
>
> But open source would make this substantially easier.  Certainly
>  the number of people that would have the skills to crack open
>  source is much greater than those that know how to crack
>  executable binaries.

bah.  Most software is "cracked" by people who google for "nanolimp
project crack" and follow the instructions.  Frequently it'll be a list
of published "license codes" that are supposed to come from the
fancy holographic label that's on the box your CD was in.  That
doesn't take much skill.  Having the would-be cracker need to install
a compiler and actually compile source would probably cut down on
cracked versions at least 80%.

(OTOH, the top-level cracker could compile a pre-cracked version
and distribute it through covert channels.  My impression is that
most illegally used software is copied from legitimate users and
used with un-owned license codes, rather than having been distributed
in cracked form.  I wonder what the actual statistics are like?)

BillW

2005\08\22@191322 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> (OTOH, the top-level cracker could compile a pre-cracked version

Which would make it as hard or harder to check on than closed source
is now as eg they could add minor changes entirely to obfuscate the
appearance of the related binary.

I discovered that modern Power BASIC was a superset of the defunct
Borland Turbo BASIC after noting similarities in code produced. When I
asked about this they said that(AFAIR) they were the original writers
thereof and had reacquired the rights from Borland after they lost
interest.

> and distribute it through covert channels.

eg on 1,000's of openly accessible sites on the net as is done now
with stolen programs.



               RM

2005\08\22@191424 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Aug 22, 2005, at 6:54 AM, Paul Hutchinson wrote:

> RedHat is no longer a free software vendor, they changed to an annual
> subscription based service over a year ago.

But they sell (for an annual subscription fee) software that is
"free" by virtue of open source, right?  Or have they managed to
circumvent the copyleft?  You're paying for convenience, bundling,
and support, as per RMS dogma, and Redhat is profitable following
that model, right?

BillW

2005\08\22@193139 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 22, 2005, at 10:53 AM, Hasan A. Khan wrote:

> I don't know what "modern day hippies" are telling you
> to go open source but it is all about having a choice.
>  Open source and "free" gives me a better choice than
> closed software so I will always choose OSS over
> proprietary.

Yeah, it all seems so easy if you're a programmer and think you
won't have problems doing the build/fix/maintain/etc yourself.
Till you find a problem that you can't fix for one reason or
another, and no one in the community is interested in fixing
it either.  If you're NOT a programmer, then it looks to me
like there's very little effective difference between open
source and proprietary software - you can't maintain either one
yourself, and are at the mercy of "vendors."

BillW

2005\08\22@200834 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Sun, Aug 21, 2005 at 08:34:56AM -0400, Olin Lathrop wrote:
> Byron A Jeff wrote:
> >You certainly can prevent distribution of those copies. I cannot take
> >a piece of code that you have written and redistribute it without your
> >permission.
>
> You are referring to "may not" when I was talking about "can not".  Yes you
> can put all sorts of licenses on open source, but it's nearly impossible to
> police since parts of the code can find themselves in applications with no
> way to identify the original code from the outside.  In the end, you have to
> assume that making source available is essentially giving away the software.

At the end of the day it's no different than closed source software in terms
of distribution. People make illegal copies of propietary software and
redistribute/sell it all the time.

It's all wrong. It's all subject to copyright violations, which has
significant penalties attached for infringement. The problem with both is
finding the infringers.

BTW my original open source point referred specifically to software that is
being freely distributed, such as MPLAB. I can certainly appreciate the
desire to keep intellectual property that is designed to make a living for
the developers locked up. But we can both agree that unfortunately pretty
much any software out there, both closed and open course, is probably going
to get illegally redistributed.

>
> >>and experience has shown that's exactly what will happen.
> >
> >That's terrible. I'm a firm believer that your code is your code and I
> >am obligated to follow your rules.
>
> You may be, but many many people aren't.  C'mon Byron, you seriously don't
> see rampant software stealing all around you?  It's just too easy.

Of course I see it. The thing I've never figured out is that the same people
who would never ever consider taking even a stick of gum out of a store have
absolutely no problem with making a redistributing illegal copies of
copyrighted material. I think that it's coupled to the flawed belief that when
you purchase intellectual property of some media, that you obtain ownership
of the property. When you buy gum, it's your gum. So when you buy a CD, it's
your CD. Totally wrong of course. The physical CD may actually be yours. However
the intellectual content is only licensed, and generally not with any redistribution.

>  Some
> people think it's their right, others justify it by saying the license price
> was too high, some may mean to buy additional licenses but don't get around
> to it.  I bet you've heard all these before and even know people close to
> you that do this.

True. And I call them on it. Of course I suggest Open Source software as an
alternative. Usually the notion is met with derision.

The interesting question is what's going to happen when the inevitable hammer
falls and all digital intellectual property falls under Digital Rights Management?
What's going to happen when OSes and software can only be loaded on one machine? When
you have true pay per use for audio, video, images, and possibly software.
Will people switch to Open Source? Will they pay? Will they rebel?

> The PIC code I make freely available at http://www.embedinc.com/pic is
> specifically licenses to let anyone do basically anything with it, including
> using it in a commercial product.  All I ask (require, actually) is that my
> copyright header be kept at the top of the module.  I know of at least one
> case where this got stripped off for use in a commercial product.  So even
> when it's free, some people will still steal it instead of the tiny
> remaining "payment" that would make it all legal.

Why? Why perform an illegal action? To save face?

The GPL has much more stringent requirements than yours. I see developers continually
try to circumvent the license so that they can get something for nothing. You're
giving that. And then to get dissed like that. Incomprehensible.

{Quote hidden}

Right. That's why I haven't actually attempted to implement it yet.

>  Most people overestimate their relative
> importance to a group project.  The other problem I personally would have
> with this is that most people write crappy code.  Even if they don't, I
> doubt they'd want to follow my style and I certainly don't want to follow
> anyone else's.  With only a single exception that I can think of,
> integrating other people's "free" code into my own has been more trouble
> than it was worth.

That's a struggle that most Open Source projects has. The Linux kernel for example
has pretty stringent insertion control by a small handful of developers. It uses
the weight of the reputation of the standard kernel to get folks to meet the
requirements.

Wouldn't work with a small project with no clout.

>
> By the way, the exception I can think of was the JPEG image file I/O code
> from the Independent JPEG Group.  Maybe that's because it was a relatively
> complex subsystem with small interconnects and basically worked out of the
> box as documented.  I wrote all the image format drivers for my image file
> I/O library except the JPEG driver, but everything works together
> seamlessly.

Cool.

BAJ

2005\08\22@203306 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Russell McMahon wrote:

>> Secondly, property rights are only existent to the degree that there are
>> laws that give people these rights ...
>
> Deeeep philosophy involved in this area.

Of course... the question was about spinach and rights. :)

> Is there an innate moral right to the possession of one's own creations?

For the creation itself you probably can claim some such thing (even though
I don't think there's much innate moral in anything -- you'll probably find
that moral is always extremely dependent on a specific context).

But what we are talking about are not the creations, it's the use of
something abstract that is related to the creation. Which is not something
inherent in the creation; it is something that needs a context to be able
to be defined at all. That context is given by the society, and the
definition is given by the law.

> Are there absolutes which can be invoked in defence (or offence) of this
> assertion?

No absolutes, but some simple logic. (As long as this is the case, we're
still far away from religion and politics, I think... :)


>> How about a law that essentially says "your IP is protected by law to
>> the extent that it is published"?

> For which there is considerable precedent, as this is how patents
> work. Which raises the spectre of software patents (as opposed to
> copyright), which ... ;-)

This of course opens the question of what exactly is worthy of protection.
Copyright says it's the exact form, patent says it's the general idea.
Between (and outside of) the two there's a lot of room to play with. Which
relates to my statement above that what is protected is not something
inherent in the creation, it is something that comes with the creation when
the creation is put into a community context, and can only then be defined.

IMO the patent system is about to break down, at least when measured by the
original aspirations, and it was originally not intended to be applied to
non-material IP. But it may help devise a better system...

Gerhard

2005\08\22@204023 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 08:08 PM 8/22/2005 -0400, you wrote:

>Of course I see it. The thing I've never figured out is that the same people
>who would never ever consider taking even a stick of gum out of a store have
>absolutely no problem with making a redistributing illegal copies of
>copyrighted material. I think that it's coupled to the flawed belief that when
>you purchase intellectual property of some media, that you obtain ownership
>of the property. When you buy gum, it's your gum. So when you buy a CD, it's
>your CD. Totally wrong of course. The physical CD may actually be yours.
>However
>the intellectual content is only licensed, and generally not with any
>redistribution.

Depends on the relevant laws where (and when) you happen to be at the time.

There's nothing inconsistent about a world where IP is "free" like air, and
only the physical CD is considered to be "property".

We are very close to that de facto situation wrt recorded music.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
spamBeGonespeffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2005\08\22@204053 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Actually I agree with Paul that Redhat is charging too much for
their product. That is why there are clones of Redhat
commercial product like CentOS or Scientific Linux by
rebuilding the RPMs from source. Redhat still sticks to
GPL so they have to distribute the source RPM. The problem
is that they dominate the Linux world by teaming with big
companies like Oracle and other ISVs. To me they are
almost the same as Microsoft. Anyway I am not against
Microsoft so why I am against Redhat? Maybe it is because
they just rip so many open source contributors out
there. Then IBM comes to my mind as well. They earn much
more money than they contribute to Linux. :(

For personal users, I think it is not a good idea to pay
for Redhat or Novel or others Linux vendors. Instead there
are Fedora and Debian for us personal users. The problem is
that even Debian is trying to push commercialization. To
differentiate from each other, there bound to be incompatibilities
between different distributions. ISVs then have to stick to
Redhat/Suse/(Future Debian?). It is a good thing for the
business user but may not be such a good thing for personal
users. We all like more choices, right?

For business users, to pay for support is of course more
convenient if cost is not a main concern. There are
different calculation of TCO though (total cost of ownership).

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

2005\08\23@123722 by Hasan A. Khan

flavicon
face
The scenario you describe happens very rare, I
believe.  Most OSS projects that a non-programmer
would use (openoffice?) have a bug tracking system
like bugzilla where they can log their requests and
sooner or later someone will fix the problem.

But you do make a valid point.  This is a problem even
though not a common one.  One related issue has been
quirky and non-standard (non-Windows like) user GUIs
developed and used by the OSS techies.  Non-techies,
who are Windows savy have had hard time switching over
to OSS.  This situation is fast improving though.

--- William Chops Westfield <.....westfwspam_OUTspammac.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\08\23@171433 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
>-----Original Message-----
>From: TakeThisOuTpiclist-bounces.....spamTakeThisOuTmit.edu On Behalf Of William Chops Westfield
>Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 7:14 PM
>
>But they sell (for an annual subscription fee) software that is
>"free" by virtue of open source, right?  Or have they managed to
>circumvent the copyleft?  You're paying for convenience, bundling,
>and support, as per RMS dogma, and Redhat is profitable following
>that model, right?
>
>BillW

RedHat is doing everything possible, without violating the Linux/GNU
licenses, to prevent anyone from using their distro who does not pay annual
subscription fees. You can get the source code and compile it all yourself
and repeat for every security update but, that just isn't practical for me.
IIRC, they even replaced some of their RedHat utilities with new improved
closed source versions so that even if you compile it yourself you'll be
missing some pieces.

Since the majority of the source code is available for free I guess RedHat
qualifies as a free software vendor but, a useless free vendor for most
users. If Open Office went to the RedHat source code only for free, pay for
binaries model, I think few people would use it and most would think of it
as no longer free.

I feel that even though they charge more than Microsoft it is only a little
more and the product is far superior to Windows Server so, for a business
that can write off the expense I think it is a good value.

Paul Hutch

2005\08\23@232947 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 23, 2005, at 2:14 PM, Paul Hutchinson wrote:

> You can get the source code and compile it all yourself and repeat
> for every security update but, that just isn't practical for me.
>
Well, yeah.  that's my claim; essentially that this sort of thing
isn't practical for ANYONE, and that's why redhat and their ilk
can make money.

When deriding microsoft, one tends t overlook the invisible parts
of windows that work incredibly well for what they do.  I mean;
automatically detecting, downloading, and installing updates that
fix security holes or make possible new hardware, for a multi-GB
operating systems and utilities set?  Wow...

BillW

2005\08\24@052821 by Chen Xiao Fan

face
flavicon
face
Actual CentOS and Scientific Linux are doing the thing for the good
of the public. Redhat lawyers have asked CentOS and Scientific Linux
distributors to remove all the Redhat logs and they can only refer
REDHAT as something like "a famous North American Linux company".

Regards,
Xiaofan

{Original Message removed}

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