[ELDK] Roadmap

Wolfgang Denk wd at denx.de
Mon Jun 7 21:10:41 CEST 2010

Dear Karl,

In message <l3ngjn.htlrbo at webmail.variomedia.de> you wrote:
> I have three short questions:

Short indeed, but nevertheless not so easy to answer.

> 1) What is the release interval of the ISO releases? If we look in the past,
> we find releases in 2006/06, 2007/01 and 2008/04. When is the next release
> planned?

This actually requires a longish reply...

- Release cycle: There has never been such a thing as a fixed release
  interval. ELDK gets released when it is ready.
- Community contributions: allthough always been intended to be a
  community project, this never worked out. One part of the problem is
  probably the somewhat exotic requirements on the build host - but
  even providing a complete build environment to be run as a virtual
  machine did not help much.
- Customer impact: ELDK development has always been driven
  significantly by customer request. With the background of the
  financial crisis of 2007-2010 many people considered the existing
  ELDK versions to be "good enough" for their purposes, and funding
  dropped significantly.
- Migration path: ELDK 4.2 is based on Fedora Core 7; between Fedora 7
  and Fedora 8 many significant changes were introduced; several of
  these have a "global" impact in the sense of causing fast and wide
  spreading dependencies. In the result, it is basicly impossible to
  attempt am incremental update path, i. e. updating package by
  package. The next release will more or less have to be a restart
  from scratch.
- Unclear code base: so far the focus of ELDK has been on the Power
  Architecture. This seems to be no longer a good choice: first, the
  focus of the merket is clearly shifting towards ARM processors
  instead; second, the Fedora Project stopped supporting the Power
  Architecture as a primary target. At the moment we are closely
  watching the activities of the new Linaro foundation.

> 2) If we want to get more recent tools, is there another source than the ISO
> files? I found a git repository, but it contains just the files from the ISO
> image.

True. No other release is available yet. If you need more recent
tools, please consider contributing to the project - either in form
of collaboration or as funding. Please feel free to contact me
directly if you have questions aout details.

> 3) Do you recommend to replace tools - e.g. using the most recent GCC instead
> of the GCC from 2008?

That's a difficult question, too. In general, I like using recent
code. But when it comes to something like a distribution intended for
production environments (and this is where ELDK is frequently being
used) you rather tend to stick with known to be working, stable
releases, instead of frequent updates. In the past, we saw more
benefits then disadvanteages from not using bleeding edge versions of
GCC and related tools, especially on ARM.

You really need in-depth toolchain knowledge to decide if using a
specific version (or rather combination of versions) of the tools
makes sense, or which additional patches might be needed.  I cannot
give a general recommendation here.

Best regards,

Wolfgang Denk

DENX Software Engineering GmbH,     MD: Wolfgang Denk & Detlev Zundel
HRB 165235 Munich, Office: Kirchenstr.5, D-82194 Groebenzell, Germany
Phone: (+49)-8142-66989-10 Fax: (+49)-8142-66989-80 Email: wd at denx.de
An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a  pessimist
fears this is true.

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