Re: abi/abi -- Double Vision!

Subject: Re: abi/abi -- Double Vision!
From: Thomas Fletcher (
Date: Tue Dec 21 1999 - 07:13:42 CST

On Mon, 20 Dec 1999 wrote:

> Thomas Fletcher wrote:
> > Well I think that we can do two things ... I'd be happy to
> > re-check things in if it is easiest for you (the whole
> > rm -fr abi/abi/abi) since there have been quite a few
> > changes. In fact the more I think about it the more
> > that is what I would prefer to do.
> It would be easiest for me if you could check in the files to
> the right places (just a copy of them), and then send me mail,
> and I'll handle the "rm -rf /cvsroot/abi/abi" on the CVS server
> to save you the (tedious) work of recursively removing files
> and directories through CVS.

Right-o, I'll check it in during the week. Just got a
few more things to take care of first though.

> Sounds cool. Right now I just have two concerns over the QNX
> port. I'm unfamiliar with QNX and its available extensions
> (if that's the right word for things like the Photon GUI). The
> GPL specifies that software licensed with it must depend only
> on other free software ( for
> their definitions) or other software provided with the operating
> system. The paragraph reads:
> The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
> making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
> code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
> associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
> control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as a
> special exception, the source code distributed need not include
> anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
> form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
> operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
> itself accompanies the executable.
> This is why writing GPL software on Windows is almost always OK.
> Using the standard Win32 libraries is in compliance with this clause.
> Using proprietary custom controls or components would not be,
> and an author would not be allowed to use the GPL as a license
> for his software.

 No worries here ... you can just think of QNX as another
Unix. You can buy the core OS ... which comes with the
standard libraries and API's. Then you can buy the windowing
system ... which comes with a standard/documented API and
programming tools. The main difference here is that because
QNX is a micro-kernel you can in fact just buy the components
that you need. There is lots of other GPL software running
on it so I don't think that this is any kind of an issue.
There are no secrets hidden in the AbiWord code, all just
standard API calls.

> Now to come to the point: is Photon (and all of the libraries or
> run-time environments that AbiWord for QNX would need) "normally
> distributed (in either source or binary form) with the major
> components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the operating
> system on which the executable runs"?

Yup ... If you buy the photon window manager components then
you would be able to run a binary version of AbiWord. If you
buy a development kit (compiler etc) then you could compile
your own version of AbiWord.

> The second concern, and this one is much ligher than the first, is
> over the build host for QNX releases. I realize QNX is quite
> an efficient little operating system, but what kind of machine
> will it require to build in a reasonable amount of time (under
> 10 minutes)? The way our build farm works, we have one dedicated
> host for each operating system, so we can do concurrent builds for
> releases. Each host takes care of the packaging, etc., and report
> back to the master machine which takes care of making CD images
> with mkisofs, and pushing them to the web site tree. I assume a
> hard drive can simply be partitioned with a partition for the QNX
> file-system, and perhaps a swap partition, and the machine be set
> to boot from that device? Also, what kind of network devices does
> QNX support well (besides disk, RAM, and CPU, the build hosts generally
> just need good Ethernet)?

Yeah I explained that to our company head and the R&D
manager. I'm using Neutrino (QNX Softare Systems next
generation OS ... it is the successor to QNX 4.xx) here
to do my development. We have a couple of different
installation options and I'm in the process of getting
permission to ship you guys a free copy of the software.
You should be able to get it up and running on any x86
machine that you have in house. I'd like to get you
guys into the Beta program for Neutrino ... but there
would be NDA's to sign and the like so let me know if
you would be interested.

For a better idea of what is supported under NTO you
can look at:

Basically though we support most major devices. The
graphics cards right now are the big issue, more
so in Neutrino than in QNX4, but that will change
soon as well.

Thomas (toe-mah) Fletcher QNX Software Systems Neutrino Development Group

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Tue Dec 21 1999 - 07:13:41 CST