By Davide Ricci
The year was 1998, I was walking through the aisles of a book store on campus at the Politecnico of Milano and a box of software caught my eye. It looked unconventional, sort of "homemade" and on its cover was an image of a man with a red hat.
It was Red Hat 5.2, and the box was big, much bigger than the bunch of DVDs inside would have justified. And heavy. Once I cracked it open, I figured out why – it included a thick manual that contained seemingly endless pages of instructions and mysterious lists of software packages.
It was 1998, and open source was starting to make its first serious steps into a world which, only a handful of years later would change dramatically. A revolution was about to begin.
Take for example, the world of servers - it has evolved significantly. Today, open source software is in most of the servers powering the web. You can commonly find databases working on open source operating systems. In fact, the entire cloud paradigm is being designed and built with open source software - an alternative to it is unthinkable.
However, the world of embedded is much larger.
Today, there are millions of devices being built with open source technology, yet there is still the feeling that a "homemade" market persists. It is not because there are teams out there enthusiastically wanting to build software from scratch. I still remember the pain of bringing up a basic system with some simple networking functionalities and having to start pretty much from scratch with what was in the box. Then, I had to change everything whenever the next new piece of hardware came in, and then change it again, and again, and again.
There simply hasn't been a unifying power, that thread of commonality, to help the open source community. Over time, there seemed to be a feeling that a major evolution was due.
Fast forward to 2010…open source champions have come together to work through a plan to further empower the community and the seeds of the Yocto Project were planted. By providing a common build system and collaboratively developed technologies, the Yocto Project provides developers with a strong starting point, reducing the time wasted on low value work such as porting, duplicating, recreating, and maintaining. For more information about the benefits of the Yocto Project and Wind River’s commitment to the project, check out my earlier blog post.
After two years, initially crawling and then walking, we’ve seen the early steps transition into a steady march for the Yocto Project. The project has made big strides , including recent work by the advisory board to define Yocto Project compliance requirements.
The Yocto Project has brought about a type of change that drives great things. That type of change which drives innovation and progress.
Wind River has played an instrumental part in the Yocto Project and our efforts on the project for the last two years have been incredibly gratifying. At the start of the project, we knew real change may take some time but the potential rewards to the open source community would be great, So, we dug in and spent years listening to our customers and fellow community members and invested serious time and energy behind the Yocto Project. Today, we’re seeing the fruits of our labor with the introduction of a new Wind River Linux.
The latest Wind River Linux is now based on the Yocto Project open source development infrastructure. Wind River Linux is also among the very first products to achieve the formal “Yocto Project Compatible” designation. Wind River Linux delivers the latest open source innovations, as well as compatibility and interoperability possible from the Yocto Project, coupled with the assurance that comes with the market leading embedded Linux.
By adopting the Yocto Project, Wind River Linux provides the open source community a base for further embedded Linux innovation. It's more open. It's more agile. It's Yocto Project Compatible, and as such, Wind River Linux has a level of interoperability that eliminates the pain of having to start from scratch….pain that could easily frustrate and drain the energy to innovate.
So, let's blow away that heavy manual that has long weighed down the embedded Linux box, and all that pain with it. Wind River Linux is changing the game again.
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