Like any software, the embedded software development process needs to be supported by development and maintenance practices. In the first part we saw why in modern embedded systems the use of Free and Open Source Software can no longer be ignored, and the difficulties this introduces in the software development process. In the next part, we’ll look at testing, debugging and optimization. In this part, we look at the software development process support tools that are suitable for embedded system development with FOSS. These include version control systems, issue tracking systems, documentation systems, managing the build process, and managing releases. Bringing these practices together allows you to deal efficiently with FOSS in your embedded software development.
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Hardware vendors claim they support Linux when they give you some patches that add drivers or BSPs for their particular chip. Any open source developer can tell you this is a recipe for disaster, and I have a recent experience proving the point. This article describes what went wrong, and how I was able to work around it.
A customer had bought a development board for the TI OMAP3 processor from Logic, and a slave board with a camera chip. The development board came with a series of 80 patches on the 2.6.28 kernel. The camera came with a single patch file, and a readme specifying it was based on TI’s OMAP35x-PSP-SDK-setuplinux-02.01.01.08.bin. This SDK is a series of 450 patches on a particular commit of Tony Lindgren’s linux-omap-2.6 repository.