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Subject: Re: Random numbers et al

Re: Random numbers et al

From: Björn Stenberg <>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 16:32:32 +0200

Blue Chip wrote:
> My hope had been to offer something to Rockbox community.

You appear to have much to offer. But rewriting existing code in assembler is not a top priority for the project. I'm sure you have read the docs/CONTRIBUTING file:

   Write all code in C. Sometimes assembly is faster, but C is always more
   readable and maintainable.

If you rewrote, say, sprintf in assembler we'd have a much harder time adding new formatting options to it, for example. Hence the doubt: "Is it a benefit?"

> There are zero docs on how the firmware works or how it "hangs together"
> (its basic structure) and code comments are almost unheard of.

No comments? We must be reading different sources. In fact, we have received much praise about how our code is simple and easy to follow.

However, I admit we are severely lacking in the documentation department. This is a common problem in voluntary projects, since it's often more rewarding to write new code than to write documentation about the old. That, plus documentation quickly becomes outdated. This is one area where we need help.

> I thought that I would offer you the benefit of my skills
> I am _genuinely_ surprised at how much resistance I have come across!

Your skills are most welcome. But you must expect people to question your assumptions, especially when you come out with all guns blazing ("a horribly complex and memory hungry block of code").

This is a project with many highly skilled people, and hence many great egos. We should all strive to act and speak in a humble fashion, and the general discussion will be more pleasant.

> You can imagine how I felt when it was suggested that my skills would
> be best applied to "making the cursor flash" (see IRC logs.)

I just checked the log. It looks like a simple misunderstanding. Nobody talked about flashing a cursor. adi|work mentioned a problem which might actually spark your interest:

There is a general desire to change the current cursor into an inverted line, but the only attempt so far suffered from poor performance while scrolling through a file list, and thus was rejected. It's a tricky problem due to the lcd memory layout, our dynamic font system and the fact that lcd update is done over a rather slow serial link (written in assembler, by the way).

In closing, this is a voluntary project. Everyone does whatever tickles their fancy. Therefore, we don't assign tasks to people. We have a feature request tracker ( and I keep a loosely written TODO (, but nobody decides who does what.

Rockbox project leader
Received on 2003-04-08

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