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RE: FezOpen


#1

Hello Gus,

What prompted the release of FezOpen? Is GHI releasing their code for the Fez devices or is this something else?


#2

Its not USBizi firmware, more like a LITE version of it(I think).

My question is can we flash FEZopen and later on flash back USBizi without sending the board to GHI?


#3

Read the porting E-book. it explains it in there…


#4

Yes it’s this “Lite” version that I’m trying to understand. I just need to know that it’s not the full USBizi.


#5

FEZopen really has everything you need but some of the very high-end features are kept closed to keep them under tight control. Remember that GHI has a lot of commercial customers, not just hobbyists, so tight version control and closed architecture are requirements for those big customers.

We are still adding to FEZopen and the community will be adding to it to so the limits are really NONE! So, what is included is what is not is up to the community really. So, let us dream big and say the open source firmware will have everything.

FEZ ships with USBizi but once you erase it then you have to send the board back to us to reload USBizi firmware. The good news is that if someone wants open source then why go back to USBizi? And at under $20 for FEZ Panda, why not have 2 boards? One FEZopen and one USBizi?


#6

Heh that the plan gus :>


#7

Kewlio, just wanted to make sure that it wasn’t the USBzi firmware that was open sources. It’s bad luck to give your end users the specs to the house foundation.


#8

Kurt - I think the entire world-wide linux community would disagree… and .Net MF, and Apache, etc, etc, etc.

I for one love to see this kind of stuff happen! Good going GHI.


#9

like everything else, open source has its advantages and disadvantages.

The good news is that we have both and it is up to you to pick what you want to use


#10

Agreed Gus - there is no “right answer” but this way people can choose their path which is fantastic. Thanks again!


#11

Hi Gus,

I see that you just introduced yourself and FEZOpen over on the Netduino forums. It’s a pleasure to meet you. Please feel free to e-mail or contact me anytime.

Regarding FEZOpen: I just downloaded it and it looks like it’s a copy of the free Microsoft-provided EA_LPC2478 solution renamed as FEZOpen (but with a few features removed, memory readjusted, and USB device names inserted). I see that it builds against the Microsoft-provided NXP port, and not your custom NXP/USBizi codebase.

You can compare the files with the existing Microsoft code (after installing the .NET Micro Framework porting kit) at:
C:\MicroFrameworkPK_v4_1\Solutions\EA_LPC2478

Is there any plan to release your actual custom NXP port for the USBizi chip? There must be tens of thousands of lines of code there that could be released with all your bugfixes, enhancments, etc… It would be great to see the actual USBizi core and enhancements contributed to the open source community.

And great news on removing the license restriction from your driver. I see that the original thread and a few dozen user posts was deleted from your forums–but the confirmation you wrote on ours is very welcome news indeed.

Thanks again for the post,

Chris
Secret Labs LLC

P.S. We’ll continue sharing open source drivers and your users can continue using them with FEZ boards. They’re 100% open source.


#12

Yes Chris, this is a work in progress as the download says (“Still under development.”). The firmware basically reflects where the book is at. Read the book and it will all make sense.
Once I am finished with the book (maybe 2 weeks) then we will have the firmware complete with everything needed for everyone to use the port, just like netduino if not more. We have the drivers, we just need to copy them to the open source version ;). I may also include the Atmel chip you are using too so this should be good book for everyone I hope. This Atmel chip is already in the porting kit, I think, so porting it is much easier than what I am detailing in the book. This is why I selected the NXP chip to cover all sides of porting.

Since all sources are open on both sides, drivers for things like one-wire can be simply moved from one port to another easily. Should be a great benefit for everyone.