OT: A call to arms (sort of)

From: Philip.Belben_at_powertech.co.uk <(Philip.Belben_at_powertech.co.uk)>
Date: Tue Jul 6 12:47:51 1999

> Well, in my case it was supposed to lead to the development of a really
> open hardware platform.
> As for Allison's comment that SPARC is to "high end" I have to disagree.
> The SPARC architecture was initally a lot less complicated than the PDP-11
> architecture. It is the funky MMUs that get in the way.

I'm reluctant to enter this rather heated debate, but:

Has anyone tried to build a SPARC - compatible processor out of standard SSI and
MSI chips?

Has anyone any thoughts on how easy, or otherwise, it would be?


PS since I'm in here:

Dick - it's all very well to choose a bus because it is a popular, de facto
standard, but if you don't conform pretty closely to the standard, you may as
well not have a standard at all. And what other reasons are there for choosing

Tony - OPEN doesn't mean everything is documented. It means you can connect
what you like to it. And know what to do to get it to work.

Chuck (wasn't it) suggested having an OPEN hardware architecture for which
anyone can build periphereals and CPU cards which, if they conform to the OPEN
spec, will be guaranteed to work. I think this is an excellent idea.

However, there is nothing wrong with using undocumented cards on the OPEN-spec
bus which happen to work because they were designed for the system on which the
spec was based. Win-win! Those like you who want a fully documented system can
have one. Those like Dick who want to be able to use cheap cards from the 50p
bin at that shop in Notting Hill can do that too. As I said, win-win.


PPS I am concerned aboout the report that the open software movement is losing
momentum. Does anyone have any more news on this? I read quite recently that
Intel is trying to negotiate with some of the Linux community to get Linux
available for their next generation of processors right from the start. The
difficulty seems to be NDAs, not surprisingly. I hope they solve it (e.g. no
disclosure until launch date, free thereafter).


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Received on Tue Jul 06 1999 - 12:47:51 BST

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