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
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
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
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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