Sun Opens Chip Documentation and Appoints an Ombudsman

Aug 28, 2007

Sun has publicly released developer hardware for older proprietary hardware on a Wiki site entitled "FOSS Open Hardware Documentation".

The new site is designed as an addition to the documentation for Sun's current processors on the OpenSparc website. Before releasing the manuals, Sun is checking if they infringe on third-party rights. The Wiki site offers PDF documentation of older chipsets and controllers, and links to the source code of existing implementations in OpenSolaris and OpenBSD, following cooperation between David Gwynne from the OpenBSD project and Sun.

The Open Source Ombudsman will handle requests for documentation. Sun has set up this new role whose holder will liaise between free software projects and the corporation, passing anonymized requests from the community to the right people within the company.

The Ombudsman will be a personal contact for Open Source projects to avoid misunderstandings such as the purported revocation of the FreeBSD Java license in 2004, writes Sun's Open Source boss Simon Phipps in his blog. Phipps is currently acting Ombudsman.

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