view www/history.html @ 728:14b9373956a7

Teach squashfs to create /dev/console and change default image time to squashfs.
author Rob Landley <rob@landley.net>
date Mon, 11 May 2009 01:06:39 -0500
parents 9e2ea545b5be
children fc7d646d1ebf
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<b><h2>History</h2></b>

<p>I've been working on this project on and off since 1999; it's what 
got me into BusyBox and uClibc and compilers and so on.  Now it's where I put
together everything else I'm doing (like toybox and the relocatable gcc
wrapper) to see what actually works and give it a good stress-test.  (Eating
your own dogfood, and all that.)</p>

<p>When the Firmware Linux project started, busybox applets like sed and sort
weren't powerful enough to handle the "./configure; make; make install" of
packages like binutils or gcc.  Busybox was usable in an embedded router or
rescue floppy, but trying to get real work done with it revealed numerous
bugs and limitations.  (It hung, it segfaulted, produced the wrong output,
refused to run due to unrecognized command line options...  You name it.)</p>

<p>So I spent about 3 years improving Busybox (and pestering other people into
improving their bits), and along the way accidentally become the BusyBox
maintainer (at least until the project's crazy-uncle founder showed up and
<a href=http://lwn.net/Articles/202106/>drove me away again</a>).  The result
is that in Firmware Linux, Busybox now functions as an effective replacement
for bzip2, coreutils, diffutils, e2fsprogs, file, findutils, gawk, grep,
inetutils, less, modutils, net-tools, patch, procps, sed, shadow, sysklogd,
sysvinit, tar, util-linux, and vim.  I was in the process of writing a new
shell to replace bash with when I left.</p>

<p>Firmware Linux stalled while I was BusyBox maintainer (2005-2006) due to
lack of time, and since that ended most of my spare programming time has gone
into launching toybox.  But one of the main goals of toybox is to replace
BusyBox in Firmware Linux, so as toybox matures it'll naturally lead to more
of my time spent working on FWL.</p>

<p>The server behind this website does not currently run on Firmware Linux.
Making it do so is a TODO item.  After that, I'd like to get it to the point
where I can use it on my laptop. :)</p>

<p>A snapshot of the old website is <a href=old>available here</a>.</p>

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