TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Anyone want to get the source code for the Linux (etc.) in your car?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by neroden, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,572
    Location:
    Ithaca, NY, USA
    I'm asking this of anyone who's received delivery.

    Tesla is legally required to provide the source code, or a written offer to provide source code, for the GPL-licenced components of the firmware. As you all know, Tesla has not done so. (Correct me if I'm wrong, of course --)

    I can put you in contact with the people who have the power make sure that Tesla obeys its legal commitments, and I would like to do so.

    Please contact me if you would like to assist. You will mostly be searching your documents to verify whether Tesla gave you source code or an offer to produce source code.

    If nobody else volunteers, I'll be making sure Tesla obeys its legal commitments when I get my car. But it would be better to have someone who's received a car early do this. The fewer cars which Tesla has ships in violation of copyright law, the better for Tesla Motors.

    Thank you.
     
  2. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,499
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Dude. Seriously? Do you not think Tesla already has enough issues at the moment, between, you know, trying to make the damn cars to begin with, no doubt having to sue their suppliers for breach of contract to deliver quality parts, and the god awful NADA lawsuits in 4 states???

    I'm all for free software believe me, and in that I do mean free as in liberty, not free as in beer, but please. Just. Stop.

    Besides which, it's unlikely they made any changes to the kernel or GNU user space programs. Anything proprietary they built as separate programs they have no obligation to release - this no doubt is the case with their car control systems. So all your efforts would likely result in is a plain vanilla copy of a standard distro. Woopdie friggin do.
     
  3. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,019
    This movement (as small as it is) reminds me of the ADA lawsuit abuse that's going on. There are some who get their kicks on the power trip, with zero effect. Tesla isn't the abuser here; while Stallman's rather eccentric and extreme views would have you believe that every single piece of software in the world should have source code available, economic reality simply doesn't permit that.

    As EA said, it's very highly unlikely that Tesla developed their own code as modifications to existing GPL pieces that would require them to disclose the meat of the car's code. Instead, as EA said, you'll get a copy of Linux 2.x or 3.x kernel code perhaps with a slight modification that allows them to hook their own (non-GPL). You'll get a copy of the source code to GNU utilities (woo!) that are already available from thousands of mirrors around the globe.

    ...and in the end, all the posturing and noise-making will be unproductive heat, producing less than a single lumen of the light of productivity.
     
  4. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,920
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    I second EA's post. I'd rather Tesla engineers fix bugs instead of packaging busybox for you.
     
  5. agileone

    agileone CDN P#40

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Montréal, Québec
  6. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    4,822
    Location:
    Middelburg, The Netherlands
    I agree with neroden d that they should release it, but I think this is not the time.

    I'm a open source guy, I work daily on multiple GPLv2 projects and I think that every company should meet it's legal requirements. Cut Tesla some slack however, they are busy building cars!

    Hopefully they just make a "open source" page on their website at some point where we can all download a copy of the 3.x kernel and some other GPL libraries.
     
  7. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Of course Tesla should be held to the terms of the license agreement, but it's a little premature to talk about "making sure Tesla obeys its legal commitments". It's very possible the car comes with some info about getting the source code. I have no reason to assume it doesn't. Why not just ask Tesla?
     
  8. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I'm not sure what the real intent is here, but it seems as though it is less of wanting to know the source code because of curiosity and because one wants to continue to develop the code and more of holding the gun to Tesla's head in a moment when everything else is so much more critical.

    How about you let Tesla fix the existing problems, continue to trouble shoot some of the newer problems owners, etc. are identifying and get the damn cars out?
     
  9. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,424
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'd guess the intent is to teach Tesla a lesson.
     
  10. ddenboer

    ddenboer MODEL X #1770

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    San Martin, CA
    If I was in charge of the OS and firmware at Tesla, the first thing I would do is get rid of anything with the GPL virus attached. Perhaps go to FreeBSD, or from a security POV, OpenBSD.
    And I agree with most others here, asking Tesla to release this at this time is a waste of their efforts at a critical moment. But again, whoever is in charge should have understood the ramifications of attaching themselves to the virus.
     
  11. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    You seem very eager to find something (no offence intended), but why not just write Tesla and ask?
     
  12. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,703
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Yeah I would agree with your approach Nigel... the tone is a bit hostile / not constructive.
     
  13. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,453
    Location:
    Weston, Florida, United States
    I certainly *hope* they made kernel changes. The "vanilla" kernel is not well-suited for real-time applications like this one. But I have no idea what kernel they used.
     
  14. PureAmps

    PureAmps Model S P85 (#2817)

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #14 PureAmps, Oct 22, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
    I have worked on several commercial products that use Linux and know many others in the industry that work on commercial Linux-based products including some of the early TiVo developers. No commercial software development organization is going to expose their unique intellectual property to the GPL. For example, TiVo needed a custom filesystem for their DVR, but rather than write it as a kernel module that would be subject to the GPL, they exposed a few kernel hooks and wrote the entire thing as a user process that was not subject to the GPL. So any request for TiVo's GPL modified code would only provide some new kernel hooks that would be useless to you without the non-GPL source code.

    I have no knowledge of Tesla's hardware/software architecture, but I can assume the car is quite complex with dozens of micro-controllers and processors. But I'd bet money that anything having to do with the drivetrain, safety (braking/airbags, etc), is not using Linux at all. Linux is probably only used for the displays and all of the real value-add will certainly have been written as a user process and not subject to the GPL.

    Embedded Linux systems are fairly mature at this point, so they probably haven't even done that much kernel work and heavily leverage existing work done by others. For example, most cars use the CAN bus to communicate with the car's micro controllers, and Volkswagen open sourced a Linux driver ages ago:

    SocketCAN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    While Tesla should demonstrate good copyright hygiene by releasing their GPL tainted code (if any), it would be of little or no value to us as end users.

    So what's the point again?
     
  15. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I don't think there was one, really. Just to point another finger at Tesla...
     
  16. drees

    drees Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,121
    Location:
    San Diego
    He has no legal right to ask for source until he has received a copy of the software (aka, his car).

    I'm a bit surprised at all the people who are defending Tesla. I suspect that most of these people have not written any GPL software themselves. Tesla should know better than to violate software licenses - didn't they ship GPL code with the Roadster as well?

    It is Tesla's legal responsibility to provide source for any GPL software shipping in the car and any modifications to said GPL software. If Tesla doesn't like the terms of the license - they are free to use other software instead.
     
  17. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    14,241
    Location:
    Columbia River Gorge
    I think it's more that people are questioning 1) if there is even a violation, 2) why it matters, and 3) wishing the focus would be on getting out cars instead of stirring up problems. That's how I read this thread, anyway.
     
  18. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Messages:
    2,015
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Having not written any GPL software excludes me from defending Tesla? I think not wrt this issue. It's not defending Tesla per se; it's acknowledging that the request was more malignant than one made in the spirit of fairness and openness. And, it came during an inopportune moment.

    Agreed.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    Messages:
    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Some world class programmers have been driving the Roadster for 4 years now without code. And the world is working just fine.
     
  20. drees

    drees Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,121
    Location:
    San Diego
    JB Straubel (CTO) has stated that they use Linux.

    It opens up the car to many user-modifications which otherwise would not be possible.

    This is just another problem that Tesla needs to address. It's really is quite simple to fix. Or it could bite them in the arse.

    This topic has been covered before: Copyright (and Libel) Discussion
     

Share This Page