Open Chips Wiki Open

Pantheon Roof

You may remember that just over two months ago I wrote about Hardware Archaeology, the need for documentation for hardware features from Sun's past to be made available so members of communities such as OpenBSD and FreeBSD could include support for those features. Actually, it goes further than that - now that OpenSPARC and OpenSolaris exist, there's plenty of information for current products too, and I hope we'll be able to go even further in future.

Well, in the intervening time the engineering teams in Sun's Microelectronics Group have been hard at work digging out documentation, checking it for legal obstacles and then getting it published. The results are on Sun's new public wiki site on the FOSS Open Hardware Documentation page. We've worked with a number of people, especially David Gwynne of OpenBSD, to identify an initial set of manuals for publication, and we have more in preparation. If you have a genuine need for documentation that's not listed, please do request it as shown on the wiki. We can't promise to make it available (see my earlier posting for why) but we do promise to try and to tell you the result.

The wiki is intended as a collaborative resource. We'd like to see links to implementations as well as links to documentation, so if you know of source code that implements features documented there please do add links. Sun employees can log in as usual to wikis.sun.com, and others may create an account and then apply to the page owner for access.

Comments:

Simon,
Continue SUN Microelectronics efforts towards 'open' IT hardware assuring future business and financial success!
Appropriate quotation attributed to 'Wee' Willie Keeler -
"Keep your eye clear and hit'em where they ain't!

Posted by William R. Walling on August 27, 2007 at 07:37 AM PDT #

Thank you very much for doing this work!

Posted by Craig Skinner on August 27, 2007 at 07:57 PM PDT #

This is great news--thanks Simon. I think I'll go buy some SUNW... I mean JAVA stock now.

Posted by Daniel M on August 27, 2007 at 11:15 PM PDT #

Great news! I applaud Sun for this effort - keep it coming!

Posted by Gimlet on August 28, 2007 at 04:45 AM PDT #

Hi,

I know my question will look quite strange, but would it be possible to release the source code of SunOS 4.1.4 with drivers's code ?

Since SunOS is a derivative of BSD, the licensing problem should be less hard to solve than the one of Solaris (maybe not that easy for IP in drivers, but they are so old !).

Thanks,
Pascal.

Posted by Pascal on August 28, 2007 at 06:51 AM PDT #

Sorry,

in my previous post I forgot to say thanks for
this:

http://wikis.sun.com/display/FOSSdocs/Home

Pascal.

Posted by Pascal on August 28, 2007 at 06:53 AM PDT #

Confluence? Really? Sun wants to promote open source stuff on a commercial wiki package?

Posted by allenw on August 31, 2007 at 12:41 AM PDT #

allenw: If I had the budget and staff to run my own wiki I would be using MediaWiki but I don't and so I'm not. Doesn't in any way detract from the content, intent or enthusiasm of the developers using it.

Posted by Simon Phipps on August 31, 2007 at 12:59 AM PDT #

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