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Old 28-11-2013, 14:28   #1
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Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

Has anybody managed to obtain the source code for the Simrad NSE12/8 chart plotter as it is Linux based and compiled using GCC ?
The unit is lacking in some functionality which should be easy to add.
Under the open source licence agreements, aren't Simrad suposed to provide source code to allow building their application ?
I can't find it on their web site.
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Old 28-11-2013, 15:10   #2
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

The update file is here
ftp://software.simrad-yachting.com/N...Standard-1.upd

Warning it is around 87MB !

No source files though
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Old 30-11-2013, 12:42   #3
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

Quote:
Originally Posted by tayana55 View Post
The unit is lacking in some functionality which should be easy to add.
Under the open source licence agreements, aren't Simrad suposed to provide source code to allow building their application ?
Uh, no. Developers are only required to release their source IF their software 'product' incorporates or is based upon software components that are under an open-source licence.

You don't need to release source just because your app happens to run in an open-source OS, or was compiled using an open-source tool.
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Old 30-11-2013, 13:03   #4
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Uh, no. Developers are only required to release their source IF their software 'product' incorporates or is based upon software components that are under an open-source licence.

You don't need to release source just because your app happens to run in an open-source OS, or was compiled using an open-source tool.
Are you saying that Simrad don't use ANY open source libraries, drivers e.t.c. that aren't open source and fall under the share-alike licence agreement?
I find that hard to believe, that they generated EVERYTHING from scratch and only used commercial versions of everything
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Old 30-11-2013, 13:07   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tayana55 View Post
Are you saying that Simrad don't use ANY open source libraries, drivers e.t.c. that aren't open source and fall under the share-alike licence agreement? I find that hard to believe, that they generated EVERYTHING from scratch and only used commercial versions of everything
There are tools to help the ferret out any open source code. Not saying they used those tools, but they do exist.
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Old 30-11-2013, 13:45   #6
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

It looks like the app uses QT, it is likely that they used a commercial version.
The kernel config file is available so it should be able to compile the kernel, the modules are standard Linux, with some additional proprietary ones for various hardware.
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Old 03-12-2013, 15:05   #7
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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Originally Posted by tayana55 View Post
Are you saying that Simrad don't use ANY open source libraries, drivers e.t.c. that aren't open source and fall under the share-alike licence agreement?
I find that hard to believe, that they generated EVERYTHING from scratch and only used commercial versions of everything
If Simrad's commercial product is a reworking of an existing open-source project, then yes they would be required to publish their source.

But just using an unmodified, publicly available open-source library or driver does not obligate the maker to reveal the source of what they themselves have created. I think the only obligation there is to note in their commercial licence the open-source libraries that were used.

Think of open-source stuff as community property, or a set of tools at a co-op. No penalty for just using it. Penalty/obligation if you take community property, change it, then pass it off as your own.
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Old 03-12-2013, 15:12   #8
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
If Simrad's commercial product is a reworking of an existing open-source project, then yes they would be required to publish their source.

But just using an unmodified, publicly available open-source library or driver does not obligate the maker to reveal the source of what they themselves have created. I think the only obligation there is to note in their commercial licence the open-source libraries that were used.

Think of open-source stuff as community property, or a set of tools at a co-op. No penalty for just using it. Penalty/obligation if you take community property, change it, then pass it off as your own.
Please point me to where Simrad admit using Linux as their OS. I don't see a mention in their brochures, neither do I see a credit to the OS community, is this called passing off ?
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Old 03-12-2013, 16:02   #9
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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Originally Posted by tayana55 View Post
Please point me to where Simrad admit using Linux as their OS. I don't see a mention in their brochures, neither do I see a credit to the OS community, is this called passing off ?
After a little more research (Google) it appears that Linux/QT is "passed off" as Navico Operating system (NOS)

Here's the link from the GUI developers QT
http://news.cision.com/digia-qt/r/na...range,c9313237
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Old 03-12-2013, 16:21   #10
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

I would guess then that Simrad is getting all the app libraries, drivers etc it needs from a commercial Qt framework, and have either written themselves, or commercially licenced whatever else they need.

In any event, it now seems clear that Simrad hasn't made any open-source use that obligates them to divulge their source, right?
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Old 03-12-2013, 16:34   #11
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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I would guess then that Simrad is getting all the app libraries, drivers etc it needs from a commercial Qt framework, and have either written themselves, or commercially licenced whatever else they need.

In any event, it now seems clear that Simrad hasn't made any open-source use that obligates them to divulge their source, right?
I would guess that QT is the commercial version, no problem there but to claim that they developed the WHOLE OS when all they did was stick an app and some drivers onto Linux and claim it as Navico Operating System is a bit underhand, don't you think ?

Just to put you in the picture, I am a long time software developer and have worked with Linux since its original versions. Simrad made a good decision to use a stable OS, however they should credit the other developers or at least not hide the fact they stuck their App onto Linux, after all, they have ridden on the back of others and their contribution is probably less than 10%.

I have no doubt that if they used Microsoft or Ios, they would have had to advertise that fact.
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Old 03-12-2013, 17:11   #12
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

Linux has found its way into most corners of the computerized world. Wifi units, routers and switches, video security systems, etc etc - most run on some form of Linux. We don't call them underhanded.

That's the big point of Linux - instead of everyone re-inventing the wheel, or being enslaved by the owners of the dominant OS, all developers and innovators have a dependable, well-supported framework upon which to build, without further obligation - EXCEPT where one's product is itself an adaptation of an existing project that's been provided under an open-source licence.

Simrad clearly has a commercial licence for Qt. Even given the use of Linux and other open-source libraries in their products... don't underestimate the amount of novel thinking and effort that goes into something like a chart-plotter. (which makes me that much more grateful for the work that's gone into OpenCpn)

(also a developer)
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Old 03-12-2013, 17:29   #13
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Linux has found its way into most corners of the computerized world. Wifi units, routers and switches, video security systems, etc etc - most run on some form of Linux. We don't call them underhanded.

That's the big point of Linux - instead of everyone re-inventing the wheel, or being enslaved by the owners of the dominant OS, all developers and innovators have a dependable, well-supported framework upon which to build, without further obligation - EXCEPT where one's product is itself an adaptation of an existing project that's been provided under an open-source licence.

Simrad clearly has a commercial licence for Qt. Even given the use of Linux and other open-source libraries in their products... don't underestimate the amount of novel thinking and effort that goes into something like a chart-plotter. (which makes me that much more grateful for the work that's gone into OpenCpn)

(also a developer)
I don't disagree with you, however I would like to add that the Linux kernel is GPL and is somebody wants to add a new display driver, network driver or anything else, they should be allowed to do so under the terms of the licence. In paragraph 2, you write "That's the big point of Linux - instead of everyone re-inventing the wheel, or being enslaved by the owners of the dominant OS", yet Navico are taking Linux and cutting off options for their users/customers.

There have been many cases of GPL violations that have been won by the copyright owners, notices sent to distributors for selling equipment in violation of licence agreements.

In the words of one copyright owner who pursued his case and won, "i am not a big fan of many types of copyrights and patents, however, i do expect that my contributions to open source projects such as the linux kernel be honored for the license i have provided the work under. if they can't play by the rules then they don't deserve to play......"

The result of his action was first, all product sales ceased until the source was made available, which it was, very soon ....
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Old 03-12-2013, 19:22   #14
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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Navico are taking Linux and cutting off options for their users/customers.
I dunno - to me it seems a perfectly rational and fair use of an open-source OS. Running a closed app on an open OS isn't a violation of the GPL.

Doing your own compile of Linux, rolling your own distro to run on a specialized processor... is not an impediment or cost to other Linux users. Simply using Linux as the OS for a custom app doesn't confer user rights to the app's source...

The benefits to end-users:

- lower cost, because the supplier hasn't had to write an OS from scratch or pay for a commercial OS, which would get charged through to the end-user. Ditto for libraries, drivers, compilers, etc.

- improved reliability - is any other OS subject to as much scrutiny and updating as Linux?

-it lowers the bar to entry - you or I are on an equal footing with Simrad to write a chart-plotter, using the same OS and libraries.

[edit] maybe it's like smart phones... I wonder if anyone has 'rooted' a Simrad chartplotter
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:55   #15
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Re: Simrad/Navico NSE12 & NSE8 Linux open source

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-it lowers the bar to entry - you or I are on an equal footing with Simrad to write a chart-plotter, using the same OS and libraries.

[edit] maybe it's like smart phones... I wonder if anyone has 'rooted' a Simrad chartplotter
As OpenCPN is advancing at such a rate, with new features being added all the time, I would imagine that the Simrad hardware could be used as a marine hardened host for OpenCPN or others.

The hardware and drivers required should be easy to identify.
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