The "Yocto-Yumminess" of our BSPs

This is cross-posted from my blog on the Yocto Project website. Please look over there for more Embedded Linux content.

If you're a geek like me, you might find yourself watching some science fiction movie or show and wondering "why is it that we have no problem talking to extraterrestrials?" Sure, a wookie on Star Wars may speak some strange tongue, but the humans all seem to understand wookie and Chewbaca can understand human really well. How can this be possible?

One of the goals we have for the Yocto Project is to get everyone in the embedded Linux world to speak the same language when it comes to Board Support Packages. It's because without some standardization here, the effort to get your OS working with a new board can be quite difficult. And if you have done the hard work to get Linux running on a new board, it's hard to share that work with a truly broad community of developers.

Think about it: in a world where everyone's embedded Linux OS can understand all of the BSPs that are out there, developers no longer waste time porting their boards to new OS's or struggling with porting their embedded software to new boards. In this kind of world, Linux can grow freely without impediment in the embedded world.

To get us closer to that world, a number of Yocto Project developers got together last Monday, April 2, and held a BSP Summit. This event was held prior to the 6th Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, and was hosted by our good friends at Mentor Graphics.

Tom Zanussi shared with us a terrific presentation on our BSPs and the new Yocto Project BSP tools designed to make it easier to get started with your own BSP. Then Denys Dmitriyenko shared about Texas Instruments' work with the meta-ti repository of BSPs.

There was a lot of discussion and conversation through these talks. The good news is that the summit participants agreed to keep the existing format for Yocto Project BSPs. There was a request to add some documentation for the case where someone is taking modifying an exising BSP and making only a few changes to it, which is likely the most common case. We also had some discussion about some broader Yocto Project issues, but the BSP summit successfully agreed on the BSPs.

There were a lot of people to thank for the event:

    • Sean Hudson of Mentor did a hurculean job pulling the event together, making sure we had a great space to work in, providing us breakfast, lunch and dinner and connecting up with folks on the phone. Thank you Sean for doing such a terrific job!


    • Tom and Denys for their presentations.


    • Jeffrey Osier-Mixon for organizing and collecting survey results.


    • All of the many participants who came from far and wide to add their voices and expertise - thanks to you all!


    • And, thanks finally to Bill Mills who took off time from his family vacation to join us ... and came up with the phrase "Yocto Yumminess".

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