Raspberry Pi computers require a piece of non-free software to boot — the infamous raspi-firmware package. But for almost as long as there has been a Raspberry Pi to talk of (this year it turns 10 years old!), there have been efforts to get it to boot using only free software. How is it progressing?
Turns out a lot better than expected.
Hah, I was wondering if anybody besides clever was working on that. Good to see that he’s still making progress.
In my opinion more should have been done in the last decade to de-blob Raspberry Pi. Doesn’t really feel this is a priority for them. If they would invest more money in this area. Then likely they would make big progress. On the other hand i do suspect they could lose partners doing that. As reading on how a single person is working on some area. And doing that more or less as a hobby project. It’s like saying we will get there. In the next century. Maybe. But there is no real interest for that as we are perfectly OK with the blobs. All in all Raspberry Pi please do more in this regard. Invest more money and employ more people to work on it full time.
Ahh, yes… That’s what the Raspberry Pi needs most: A replacement for a perfectly functional piece of firmware that boots the computer and isn’t bothering anyone, not -say- a working OpenGL driver that can be confidently enabled by default (so Raspberry Pi users can use the all those OpenGL application packages that exist for Desktop Linux).
Yes, I know that the Raspberry Pi officially supports OpenGL ES, but that’s not what most Desktop Linux apps use.
At some point, the FOSS community should understand they will never be able to purge all proprietary software. The HDMI monitor they connect their Raspberry Pi to most likely runs proprietary firmware too. A smarter move would be to focus on the things that matter, aka replacements for proprietary software that can create lock-in (via network effects) or fixing broken stuff.
“Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim”