Is xilinx source code license ok with rtems?

Robert S. Grimes rsg at
Wed Feb 28 14:27:44 UTC 2007

Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-02-28 at 07:45 -0500, Robert S. Grimes wrote:
>>> And where do you propose it be located?
>> I would think the actual Xilinx driver code wouldn't actually be part of
>> the RTEMS tree; that certainly avoids any legal issues. 
> Well, let me point out another issue: I do not want RTEMS to depend on
> any external sources/files but to let it stay self-contained as much as
> possible.
Oh, I agree 100%.
> I.e. I would probably veto against a driver which is using code from
> outside of source tree, because this would render this driver
> unbuildable and untestable.
Really?  Obviously, if the choice was between two existing and working
drivers, Driver A (no external dependencies) or Driver B (depends on
external code), clearly the choice is Driver A.  But what about if only
Driver B exists?  And, as is the case here, it depends on code that is
provided with the hardware?  Would you really want to turn away users of
this platform just because there was no RTEMS-only solution?

Look at it from my (an RTEMS user's) point of view.  I've been
campaigning for RTEMS for five years or so, and have finally gotten a
chance to use it.  But sadly, no BSP exists for my platform, and my
budget and schedule don't permit developing one.  So I have to turn to
something else.  In my case, the only reasonable choice, given the
budget and schedule, is to use the vendor-provided software to interface
RTEMS to my hardware, which is what I've been up to.  If Xilinx hadn't
provided these drivers, I probably would have had to turn elsewhere.

An obvious reply is fine, go ahead.  There is no problem with my using
RTEMS, adapting a BSP for my target, and using the Xilinx code.  Hell,
what I do on my own is my business, right?  And sure, that is exactly
what I'm doing.  But what I'd like to do, is contribute back to the
RTEMS community, even if only in the smallest of fashion.  If I can
provide a BSP that works for a new platform, but it relies on platform
vendor software, isn't that better than nothing?  I know that I would
have appreciated such a BSP myself, as a user!  It's been a steep climb,
and fortunately external forces have combined to keep me off the
critical path, but I've certainly lost time during this process.  Of
course, it's all worth it...

But isn't there a middle ground here?  Can't there be a "user
contributed" BSP class?  Wouldn't that be better than a very small
number of publicly-available BSPs?  Wouldn't that encourage more users
of RTEMS, a larger community, and ultimately, a better product in the
long run?

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