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Re: My Summer of Code Project

From: Marco Gerards
Subject: Re: My Summer of Code Project
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2007 14:28:23 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.110006 (No Gnus v0.6) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

"Alex Roman" <address@hidden> writes:

Hi Alex,

> My name is Alex Roman and I have been selected as a Summer of Code
> student for the GRUB2 project. I thought I'd introduce myself and my
> project. I am a second year student at the University of Waterloo
> (just finished 2A, first term of second year). I have experience
> developing in low-level environments in C and assembly.

Welcome!  If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask on the
list and I won't mind if you ask me things about GRUB 2,
etc. off-list.

There is also a GRUB 2 IRC channel (#grub on where
GRUB 2 developers waste some of their time :-).

> Now about my project. I will be adding CD-ROM booting functionality to
> GRUB2. The first stage of the project will attempt to use BIOS calls
> to achieve this functionality (which is, of course, dependent on the
> BIOS's capabilities, standards compliance, etc.). The second stage
> will involve writing a complete ATA/ATAPI driver which would bypass
> the BIOS completely, thus allowing it to work on virtually any system
> out there.

That sounds great!

> Unfortunately I only have access to ATAPI CD-ROM drives, so I won't be
> able to work on SCSI and/or USB, however I will try to separate the
> system to load the boot image from the driver itself as much as
> possible so that future driver developments for SCSI and USB will just
> be sort of drop-in replacements.

There is an iso9660 fs implementation already, so you only need to
provide a block driver.  After that it is easy to test if it works.

If you want to know how to write a block driver for GRUB, have a look
at loopback.c.  Or have a look at the block driver for open firmware.
Both are quite easy to understand.  But don't be afraid to ask
questions about the design of GRUB 2.

> So, just thought I'd talk a bit about what I'll be doing...

Please keep talking :-).  Really, it is a waste of time if you are
heading in the wrong direction.  Share your ideas, send patches to the
list if you want us to review your code, etc.

Feedback is one of the things that makes it great to work on Free
Software projects.  You communicate with lots of people, you learn new
stuff, it improves the quality of your code, etc.

Don't be afraid to look stupid by asking stupid questions or by
sending in patches which don't look really nice.

> Thank you for your attention and time. I'm sure I'll have lots of
> questions in the months to come. :)



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