Subject: embedded customers are asking for linux
To: None <>
From: <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 09/17/2003 12:53:03
At least half a dozen real high volume 
development projects I've helped scope in the 
past year have had linux as a consideration
for the embedded system software by the
customer themselves! Whereas, just a few
years ago, I'm sure we all remember suggesting
open source operating systems and getting
strange looks.

It would be "real nice" to have a well 
developed (read: somewhat canned) response
which offers a BSD approach to the embedded
system -- that would mean netbsd.  

The wasabi marketing is a great start and 
getting better ("a guide for FAEs"), but is 
not quite enough, from my vantage point.  
Customers need to know:

 - what "linux" is (a bunch of independently
ported kernels) vs. what netbsd is (both a 
single kernel and complete system); I'm not
suggesting FUD regarding linux, but I see some
real problems with using it as a solution.

 - what the GPL really means for embedded 
systems, besides just "it's not friendly"

 - what the SCO lawsuit really means.  (One 
customer assumed it would "test" the GPL.  
I'm not sure it goes that far.)

 - quality measurements between linux
and netbsd (of the design, the implementation,
and the performance), and possible pitfalls
which might accompany either choice.

 - what resources are available to actually
begin development of netbsd: tools, docs, 
current best practice development examples.

Note from the outside, when someone says
"open source", that means two things: GPL
(which is generally not well understood)
and linux.  So there's plenty of customer
education in order.  I could go into a huge
amount of detail here, as necessary.