Documentation [was: new FSF campaign ..]

Peter Stuge stuge-linuxbios at
Mon Feb 28 12:59:00 CET 2005

On Mon, Feb 28, 2005 at 10:12:33AM -0700, Ronald G. Minnich wrote:
> On Mon, 28 Feb 2005, Jamie Rollins wrote:
> > I agree very strongly on this point.  If linuxbios is going to move
> > forward, it's public face needs to be very well presented, which at
> > the moment, it is not.  The web site is very out of
> > date.  The page desperately needs a documentation section, and a
> > better way to download the most recent source code other than
> > through the CVS.
> volunteers?
> I've really got a day job that eats most of my waking hours. 

What is the official status regarding LANL support for LinuxBIOS?
Does LANL support LinuxBIOS development through your, Ollie's and
Greg's salaries, along with the other guys there that have

> I used to have more time for the web site but my free time is
> almost zero.

I understand what that is like. :(

Regarding what is needed, my personal impression is that there are
a couple of quite varying areas of LinuxBIOS that would benefit
from documentation.

1. Overview
Describes what LinuxBIOS is, what it is not and what it would like
to become. Historical information and development status goes here

2. Development

2.1. Basics and terms
List of/links to external documentation which is relevant for working
with various parts of LinuxBIOS. E.g. PCI spec.. And terms used
frequently that have particular meaning, e.g. device.

2.2. High-level overview
Shows the general flow for chip sources and how they work together in
the complete mainboard source. This includes a look at the source
tree directory structure.

2.3. Porting guide
What you need to know to make LinuxBIOS run on a previously unknown
mainboard. This includes documentation of the configuration file
formats and a general list of things required for a new port. (Chip
documentation for new chips, flash enable documentation for new
boards with previously known chips, etcetera.)

3. Utilities
romcc, flash_and_burn, getpir and all their friends. What are they
all used for, why are they needed?

There are probably more sections that would be useful too.

I find myself being able to contribute to the overview and maybe some
points about utilities, since I haven't actually used LinuxBIOS yet.
Anything about development is of course also tightly tied to the
source, which has been somewhat in flux lately (for the better, since
the new design is excellent!) rendering most existing docs obsolete..

..just some thoughts.. Feel free to add more!


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