Re: How Open? How Free? OpenBSD? NetBSD?

"John D. Hays" <john@...>

On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 11:59 PM, dsp_stap@... [UniversalDigitalRadio] <UniversalDigitalRadio@...> wrote:

How open/free will the platform be?

Different people have different definitions of these terms.  Here is our vision.

NW Digital Radio builds hardware.  We depend on many outside software developers, mostly open source, to support our hardware.

NW Digital Radio believes that the Amateur Radio community is best served when that hardware runs software developed by the Open Source community and specifically by amateur radio operators.

Some components, e.g. the AMBE-3000 chip, microprocessors, etc. are protected intellectual property and we will honor established intellectual property law.

NW Digital Radio will publish the source to its drivers and supporting software, with the caveat that NW Digital Radio does not anticipate such limitations, but some hardware components that go into a product come with non-disclosure requirements, in which case we will divulge as much as we are permitted and will document when we are unable to share additional information. 

Should NW Digital Radio enter into agreements with commercial customers that require some information and/or code be kept confidential, we will honor those agreements, and treat such as a separate product, but will continue to provide amateur radio products with open access to our hardware and amateur radio specific software as stated above.

Will I be able to port OpenBSD, compile all of the device drivers, and have the computer/radio run on OpenBSD instead of Linux?  (Requiring GPL for some software is fine with me, and even preferred, to make sure it stays open and free.)

Assuming the requisite skill, NW Digital Radio, encourages independent development and support.  However, we cannot be liable for any damages that arise out of that development, as it is independent and not under our control. Selection of licenses is up to the authors of the software.

(I prefer OpenBSD for all interfaces to the outside world, for its greater security.  A radio interface is certainly an interface to the outside world.)

How will the system boot?  U-Boot?  PXE?  Either?

Our current implementation uses U-Boot, but could be subject to change.

Will it be possible to completely control/configure the system via text-based files, or will the web server be required?  If I want to, can I disable the web server, and control it via text-based files in /etc?  I don't mind if the GUI is provided for other people to use, but I prefer a traditional text-based interface for myself.

There is no requirement to run the web server or a gui.  In a complex and evolving system such as the UDRX, control of various components may have varying requirements whether text base configuration files, api, or other mechanisms, we cannot guarantee that implementations (often done by others and adopted by NW Digital Radio) will always meet every user's expectations and preferences.

Ken N8KH

PS  Having NetBSD ported to the platform would be another feather in your cap.  And you don't have to do the work.  The NetBSD folks will do it for you if you are open enough.

Even within our small staff we have BSD advocates.  With limited resources we will likely settle on a single OS/Distribution for direct delivery on the UDRX.  This does not prevent others from providing distributions with accompanying support.

PPS  I'm interested in helping to develop mobile ad-hoc mesh networking algorithms and protocols.  I also do DSP.

We are very interested in mobile ad-hoc mesh networking and DSP development (especially for modulation and demodulation using I/Q). If you possess the skills, we would love to hear what you have done and what you have in mind.

PPPS  I'm also interested in the next generation radio, which should be capable of roughly 400 kHz - 1 MHz of instantaneous bandwidth, and correspondly higher data rates, perhaps on the microwave bands.

Our focus for now is getting the UDRX ready for market.  We have made provisions for somewhat higher bandwidth in the UDRX, however, in the US we are limited by regulations as well as being good neighbors to other spectrum users.

There are many microwave products out there which provide higher bandwidth at reasonable prices, we have to determine if we would add value with our offerings. 


John D. Hays

PO Box 1223, Edmonds, WA 98020-1223 

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