[Oberon] A2 on ARM Linux Platform

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Wed Oct 4 13:36:35 CEST 2017

On 28 September 2017 at 17:08, Skulski, Wojciech
<skulski at pas.rochester.edu> wrote:
> Liam:
>   please consider a general "ARM Linux Platform" rather than just Rpi. The latter is closed source and bound to a particular company. They try hard to make it look like open hardware, which it is not. Broadcom is not even selling the Rpi processors to anyone except their subsidiary who is building Rpi boards.
> The "ARM Linux Platform" would cover Rpi, BeagleBone which is open source, and a whole variety of chinese-built open source boards. This would be much more in the spirit of Oberon, which is open to everyone. Supporting shrewd business M$-like strategy, which Rpi really is, is much less in the spirit of Oberon.

I do see what you mean, but there are other issues.

[1] The Pi has some of the richest support of any small ARM board. It
has a wide range of software and hardware, more than any other such

[2] The sheer numbers of Pis out there is remarkable. They have sold
many millions. It's the 3rd best-selling computer of all time:


In fact, since #1 is "all PCs ever" & #2 is "all Macs ever", I reckon
it's the best-seller ever. There have been half a dozen models, but
they're all *far* more similar to one another than the vast profusion
of Macs and PCs, both of which had had dozens of different processors
and OSes.

Measure the most popular model of Pi -- the model 3B -- and I reckon
it's outsold any single model of Mac or PC ever made.

And yet they're quite inter-compatible and it's possible to make OSes
that can run well on any Pi.

[3] It's very cheap for its price. In its home country, it's £25,
which is the price of a modest restaurant meal. This places it in the
territory of an impulse buy from idle curiosity, unlike devices such
as the BeagleBoard and the like which are 3-4× the price.

[4] It's a complete desktop-capable machine, unlike say the BeagleBone
or BeagleBoard Black, which are more intended as embedded controllers.

And finally...

The Pi was meant for education and for children.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I suspect that many here, like me,
do not much like Linux as a platform and Python as a programming
language. I think they're not good choices for teaching kids.

But something like the Oberon language on A2 might be a better choice.

If something could outdo Linux on the Pi, a machine designed and built
to run Linux -- could be smaller, faster, easier, cleaner, simpler --
then it could attract more attention to Oberon and make the Pi a far
more useful educational device.

But at this point, if you will excuse the pun, it's just pi in the
sky. I do not have the skills to do it myself. I am still testing the
water to see if I might be able to acquire them.

Liam Proven • Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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