[Dev] [Gnewsense-dev] New project: gNewSenseToMips-3A

Samy Boutayeb s.boutayeb at free.fr
Wed Dec 12 15:30:27 GMT 2012

Le dimanche 09 décembre 2012 à 15:44 +0000, Michael Dorrington a écrit :
> Does this project enjoy support from the FSF?

Yes, provided there is no non-free blobs (as it might be the case for
the firmware used for the video acceleration).

> Let's discuss and share on this free hardware/software project in the
> Is the Loongson 3A laptop (Yeeloong 8133?) free hardware?
> The last thing I read was interview with RMS where he said that he used
> a Yeeloong but specifically that it was *not* the new one [8133] as it
> need non-free firmware for the video.  These need answering for the 8133:

The radeon/amd graphic chipset requires a non-free firmware in order to
enable hardware acceleration. However, the data under "3aXorg" (in [1])
seem interesting.

This said, very few people seem to have got their hand on this hardware
AND have reported about it (excepting a Gentoo user, see [2]). This may
change and result in more first hand reports. Then, one will be able to
execute some tests (as in [2]), in order to assess the components, the
available firmware and the possible workarounds.
Until then, on may consult the few available reports (as in [4] [5]).

This said, on the positive side, the manufacturer do provide extensive
help with documentation + sources + support. Of course, it's work in
progress, but it's a very appreciable factor as hacking the hardware or
installing a new distribution is concerned.

> 1. A list of all the non-free firmware inside the hardware.

This has to be confirmed on the real hardware (seeing is believing).

> 2. Is that non-free firmware inside the hardware currently replaceable
> with a free version?
See [1].
> 3. What non-free firmware in software is required to run the hardware?
> (Such as, to display on the screen, use an external display or to use
> the wired Ethernet.)
> 4. What are the features of the hardware when run with maximum free
> software on it?  (Such as, does the Ethernet only do 100 Mbps rather
> that 1 Gbps, can it still display to an external screen.)
> 5. Is the 8133 a step back in terms of software freedom compared to the
> 8101 and 8089?

Not sure about that. However, my intuition is that the hardware running
the 3A CPU is a transition announcing a next generation (with the 3B
CPU) and more freedom-complient components

> 6. Are Lemote going to work to getting any required patches into
> upstream?  (For instance patches to Xorg?  The Xorg patchesi for 8101 and
> 8089 are still not in upstream AFAIK and from what I can tell Lemote
> didn't try to get them upstream.)
See next generation

> People are free to work on what they want but, depending on the answers,
> from a software freedom point of view it might be better improving the
> software for 8101 and 8089.

The performances achieved with the 3A machine may benefit for the actual
porting projects targetting the 2F machines. See the GCC compile
buildfarm, which provides a remote access to 3A machines ([6]).

[1] http://www.loongson.cn/dev/ftp/3aXorg/
[2] http://teknohog.godsong.org/hardware/naga/
[3] http://h-node.org/wiki/page/en/Discover-your-hardware
[4] http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI0NzE
[5] http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTEyOTE
[6] http://lists.parrot.org/pipermail/parrot-dev/2012-March/006660.html

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