Promoting open-source collaboration

User communities are a helpful way for developers with common goals to network and collaborate. Software developers are especially adept at forming user communities.

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Figure 1
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At embeddedworld2009, MontaVista Software unveiled Meld, a new noncommercial community for device developers. Meld provides a forum for developers of all skill levels to connect and share information, ideas, and software related to embedded designs, accelerating their efforts to develop and deliver commercial products.

“The Meld community will offer embedded Linux engineers a compelling, connected environment to find and share valuable information and engineering experiences as well as collaborate on best practices,” states Chris Rommel, an analyst in VDC’s and Tools Practice. “VDC expects that the embedded Linux development community will be particularly receptive to this new forum, especially given the increasing interest in Linux device development and the prominent position of online social networking in today’s society.”

Developing embedded Linux devices is a difficult process requiring developers to gather accurate, credible information from different resources such as the Internet, peers, and manuals. Meld addresses these challenges by bringing embedded Linux developers together in an online community. By participating in Meld, developers can take advantage of many networking opportunities, including:

n Joining discussion groups to collaborate on difficult design problems and lend their expertise

n Using Meld’s People Map to find others who share similar interests in architectures, host operating systems, and so on

n Identifying and leveraging knowledge and experience from subject matter experts to solve design challenges

 

GENIVI Alliance www.genivi.org

In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) is a rapidly growing and evolving field that encompasses automotive infotainment products and services including music, news, Internet and multimedia, navigation and location, and telephony. Automobile manufacturers and their suppliers must develop, test, deploy, and support these IVI products and services across multiple automobile models and generations. These tasks are becoming more complex and expensive as the rate of innovation and number of applications continue to expand exponentially.

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Figure 2

Officially launched in March at CeBIT 2009, the GENIVI (pronounced gen-ee-vee) Alliance is heralding a new era of cooperation among automakers, suppliers, and technology providers in the interest of streamlining IVI product and service development and support. The open-source GENIVI platform is currently in development, with summer 2009 targeted as the launch date for the first technical deliverable. Running on the Intel Atom processor and Wind River Linux, this platform will be based on a tested and proven automotive prototype developed by GENIVI members during the past 18 months. The reference implementation will be made available as open-source code to stimulate innovation among developers.

Founding members include BMW Group, Wind River, Intel, GM, PSA, Delphi, Magneti-Marelli, and Visteon. GENIVI is developing a reusable, open-source IVI platform comprising the essential core services (for example, media and graphics) required by IVI systems. The GENIVI platform will establish a foundation upon which automobile manufacturers and their suppliers can add their differentiated products and services, resulting in faster time to market and dramatically reduced development costs.

The alliance is structured to bring multiple industries with a similar vision together to collaborate, align requirements, and produce reusable components based on the GENIVI IVI platform. GENIVI’s work is accomplished through technical working groups with oversight from a steering council that manages the overall platform architecture. The group’s open-source mission enables continuous platform improvement through technical contributions from developers in both the automotive industry as well as the open-source community.

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