Subject: Re: Free Software in Embedded Systems (was Re: Studies)
From: Bernard Lang <>
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 15:41:23 +0200 (MET DST)

--> Russell Nelson <>
> I got paid to write a cs89x0 Linux Ethernet driver for a Schlumberger POS ...

  Does this mean that they use Linux as an embedded system
  (just trying to make sure I understand correctly)

  If yes... any public info on this, on other similar cases ???

 To come back to the original post about a study on the economic role
of Free Software, that is precisely what I am working on.

  But gathering data, papers, arguments is a hell of a lot of work.  I
have been trying to collect them on a web site, but I am missing a lot
input from actual industrial users. I learned from 2 separate sources
(wired, and an independant company specialized in system security)
that corporate users of free software do not want it to be known.
Ashamed, I guess :-), afraid for their image.

Thanks to James Horton <> for bringing the issue of
embedded system, that is indeed one of the major arguments. Do you
have examples that could be credibly cited of such use of freeware -
or of raping of the embedded world by RTOS vendors. Figures?

--> Michael Tiemann <>:
> I've heard the same thing.  In fact, we're going to be supporting Linux
> as a standard host platform for embedded development in our next
> release, and a number of our F500 companies are very happy about that.

  Any name you can release ?


--> Chris Maeda <>
> software.  Free software only seems to work in niches 
> that are too small to support proprietary vendors. Once 
> a market gets big enough, the superior economics 
> (cheaper for users, more profits for vendors) of the 
> proprietary model always win.

  Could you elaborate your argument. What makes the proprietary model
economically better.


--> "Niels P. Mayer" <>
> Speaking of embedded systems, I've been chartered to investigate using
> Java as a glue language to support custom-programmed applications in
> point of sale terminals. Anybody else thinking about embedded java?

   I know one fellow who has been developing a reduced Java VM for
that purpose. I am afraid though that the work may be proprietary.
I will check.
   Alternatively, there is a very good VM that could be used freely,
as good (probably better than Java), but it is not for Java but for ML
(which is probably a better language too, but that is another story).

Thanks to all for a most interesting discussion.


    Bernard Lang

For the data I collected see and the list of
pointers at the bottom of that page.
 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Contributions are welcome. <<<<<<<<<<<<

P.P.S. What is the (IMHO brain damaged) Brooks paper doing in the FSB
archive, some kind of a joke? Granted he proposes to use freely
redistributable software, but it does not mean free software by any
stretch of the imagination.             ,_  /\o    \o/    Tel  +33 (1) 3963 5644  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  Fax  +33 (1) 3963 5469
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