[coreboot] Time for a new project

Stefan Reinauer stepan at coresystems.de
Sat Apr 12 10:28:23 CEST 2008

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> NAK. This design is so unfinished it is not even funny. Hint: Certain
> fields in the LAR header are there for a reason (guess which).

Yes, and because that concept is so incredibly broken beyond belief, we 
fixed it up at the summit. Those completely archive-unrelated fields 
which just sneaked into lar because we did not do our reviews thoroughly 
enough will finally go away again. Way to go.

> There's also an obvious speed penalty for SELF (guess why). 
The opposite. There's a speed win because we do less work in lar walks.

> The concept of PIC is missing completely.
Because it is not needed.
> A LAR parser can't figure out if the archive is corrupt.
Plain wrong. There's checksums in the lar, and that wont change. Even 
here you will see a reasonable speed-up because you don't have to load 3 
segments to memory before you find the 4th being corrupted.
> Ron once stated the ability to figure out whether the ROM is
> corrupt before you flash it is one of the key features of LAR. SELF
> completely destroys that feature.
Not at all - The opposite: It makes lar finally more solid again. The 
feature of checksumming (could have) worked nicely with the very first 
version of lar that I wrote. Just the actual checking was not in place 
as it is a minor issue when you can't even boot.

> We might as well kill LAR completely
> and move to SELF only (and then SELF slowly will become a bad
> reinvention of LAR). 
You are seriously misunderstanding the concepts of LAR and SELF. While 
LAR is an archiver of arbitrary(!) files, SELF is the container for 
executable files. Mixing these two up was the biggest mistake in the 
history of the young LAR, making things irreversible and fragile.

When writing software, one should think about the problem that is going 
to be solved. The reason for unpacking segments was to get rid of the 
ELF loader and being able to streamload code. This has nothing to do 
with anything I designed LAR for and the fact that the implementation 
was married into LAR was obviously a foul hack.


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