Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 24th Nov 2012 04:12 UTC
Linux Software for the Raspberry Pi is quickly moving forward. Beyond the several core Linux distros, another couple dozen systems are available, with NetBSD, FreeBSD, and Chromium imminently stepping into the mix. (Ubuntu will not join them as it requires ARMv7 and the Pi is ARMv6). Two dozen programming languages are available, including Python, Perl, Java, Ruby 1.9.2, BASIC, and more. Since the Pi is a full fledged ARM computer, it should run nearly any ARM app within its system requirements. See the RPi Wiki or Foundation website for more info.
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The argument is that, if a firmware is so complex that there's a GLSL compiler in it, then it's a co-processor with a closed-source OS of its own, not mere firmware on a subordinate processor.

As further clarification. The GPU runs what you'd consider a graphics driver on an RTOS (threadX). The application processor running linux then sends commands to the GPU much like an application would send commands to the OGL driver.

Things that require direct access to the hardware like OpenCL, or even X acceleration (Render) cannot be done (without broadcom offering updated firmware).

Objectively, it is quite an interesting encapsulation, but ultimately a useless one if you want access to the hardware. Ultimately, the Rpi foundation was mischaracterising the open nature of their driver.

Edited 2012-11-24 13:25 UTC

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