Archos devices: time to let them rest?
Frank Gevaerts <frank <at> gevaerts.be>
2014-02-09 12:06:10 GMT
When rockbox started about twelve years ago, the Archos Jukebox was
still a shiny new device, only slightly outclassed by the Recorder with
its wonderful bitmap display.
Rockbox pushed these devices far beyond what anyone could have imagined
when they were released.
Rockbox now runs on many more devices than these old Archoses, and with
each new device, new challenges and opportunities arose. We now support
colour screens, CPU decoding, touchscreens, and many features that were
inspired by new and more powerful hardware.
These newer devices are now vastly more popular than the Archoses, and
this combined with the Archoses being different in some important ways
(using a hardware codec, and for the Jukebox, using a character cell
display) has meant that during the last few years Rockbox for the
Archoses has not had the maintenance it really needs. This is e.g.
visible on the build page , where you can see that the build for the
Archos Recorder has been broken for more than a year, due to it (and
soon, probably, some of its siblings) really needing to move to a
different way of booting (a move the non-Archos ports made back when
The work needed to keep the Archos port alive is not impossible, but at
least for the past two years, nobody has stepped up. We don't even know
if anyone still has one of these devices in active use.
I think it's now time to let the Archos port rest. Without it, rockbox
would not have existed, but the way we treat it currently is not what it
deserves. We don't want people to Rockbox on the Archoses as an
annoyance that keeps breaking the build.
Let us try to remember Rockbox on the Archos in its glory days, when it
showed the world what a digital audio player could really do.
I propose we let 3.13 be the last rockbox release that supports the old
Archos devices, and that we won't try to force them into the 3.14
I also propose we stop auto-building the Archos ports right away, and
that we consider any HWCODEC or CHARCELL code to be available for
cleanup after 3.14 has been released (such cleanup can destabilise the
code, and we want 3.14 out soon)
"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
by definition, not smart enough to debug it." - Brian W. Kernighan