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I am fresh back from OSCON and my brain is exploding. More on that soon, but first some news from the world of automotive “infotainment”.

First, go read Eric Brown’s piece on LinuxForDevices outlining GENIVI’s selection of MeeGo as the reference software stack for GENIVI. Also stop by ComputerWorld to read Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols’ summary from Friday’s blog.

For those who don’t know, MeeGo is the result of a merger between Intel’s Moblin platform and Nokia’s Maemo platform, managed by the Linux Foundation. I was able to speak briefly with folks at Intel in the booth this week at OSCON and they are definitely buzzing hard about MeeGo, and they have a right to be proud – MeeGo is a great accomplishment and a testament to Intel’s commitment to open-source. Kudos to Intel’s Open Source Technology Center.

For background information about GENIVI, go read this post on the MontaVista blog. In short, GENIVI is an alliance among auto manufacturers, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) developers, and embedded Linux providers who are developing a new Linux-based reference platform for IVI. MontaVista is a member of the GENIVI board, as is Intel.

Now, for more background, see this blog post that explains MontaVista’s recently-announced relationship with Robert Bosch Car Multimedia, a premier IVI provider.

What does all this add up to? Hard to say, but from my perspective as an open-source philosopher and embedded Linux cheerleader, I’d say it is a big multi-way win among GENIVI and all of its members, Intel, embedded Linux developers in general, and, eventually, end users. Collaboration works so well it makes one wonder why some companies and industries still insist on competing the hard way.

What I want to know next… GENIVI has promised both x86 and ARM reference systems, so which ARM platform will GENIVI choose?


Linux Pro Magazine this morning posted an article on a new definition of “open source hardware” (version 0.3) by several industry leaders. There are 11 basic tenets that are defined in the article and in the official document on freedomdefined.org, which also takes cues from the TAPR Open Hardware License. Here are the tenets:

1. Documentation
2. Necessary Software
3. Derived Works
4. Free redistribution
5. Attribution
6. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
7. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
8. Distribution of License
9. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
10. License Must Not Restrict Other Hardware or Software
11. License Must Be Technology-Neutral

I think it is fantastic that open-source hardware is being taken so seriously. In fact, it is taken seriously to the point of a summit, the first Open Hardware Summit Sept. 23 in Queens, NY. If you’re in the area for ESC Boston, definitely stop by.


This week, I am traveling to Oregon to attend the Community Leadership Summit Sat-Sun and O’Reilly’s OSCON Mon-Fri. That’s a full week of high community involvement, and I am looking forward to every minute of it.

As regular readers know, I’ll be speaking at OSCON on the subject of the BeagleBoard, my favorite inexpensive single-board computer based on the ARM Cortex-A8. I’ll present detailed instructions on how to boot several flavors of Linux (with demos!) and I’ll have a prototype of the new BeagleBoard xM that is set to debut at the end of July. My talk is Wednesday at 2:30 just after Bryan Smith’s presentation on the SheevaPlug, which I am very much looking forward to hearing.

I’m also looking forward to the Embedded Linux Community BoF, which I’ll be running on Wednesday evening at 7pm. This BoF is opposite the recently-announced Android Hands-On, but I am hoping to stimulate a conversation more about the embedded community in general than about specific distributions. The roundtable discussion will likely focus on non-mobile embedded computing, particularly build systems like OpenEmbedded and the new crop of inexpensive reference platforms, and how communities can accelerate development, even among corporations (witness GENIVI, open-source success in the automotive industry).

I will also be joining the Teaching Open Source crowd at the Education BoF on Monday evening, where we hope to discuss many issues surrounding the Open Source Way and its impact on open-source concepts in education. A splinter group (ha!) will very likely stay late to discuss the schedule for the upcoming Education Mini-Summit at LinuxCon, which I have the honor to help organize. I’m also speaking at LinuxCon about desktop Linux and holding another Embedded BoF.

Yes, I love participating! Life is a contact sport, if you do it right.

Feel free to comment if you plan on attending any of these events, and you will win one (1) Jefro.net business card and a hearty handshake at the event in question. See you at the show!


The annual Linux Plumbers Conference has opened its call for participation, with a lot of very interesting tracks. If you have something important to discuss about the way Linux works, make sure to submit an abstract and attend the conference, which is in Cambridge, MA, November 3-5.

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