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Subject: Re: Archos devices: time to let them rest?

Re: Archos devices: time to let them rest?

From: Thomas Martitz <>
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 11:22:59 +0100

Am 09.02.2014 13:06, schrieb Frank Gevaerts:
> Hi all,
> When rockbox started about twelve years ago, the Archos Jukebox was
> still a shiny new device, only slightly outclassed by the Recorder with
> its wonderful bitmap display.
> Rockbox pushed these devices far beyond what anyone could have imagined
> when they were released.
> Rockbox now runs on many more devices than these old Archoses, and with
> each new device, new challenges and opportunities arose. We now support
> colour screens, CPU decoding, touchscreens, and many features that were
> inspired by new and more powerful hardware.
> These newer devices are now vastly more popular than the Archoses, and
> this combined with the Archoses being different in some important ways
> (using a hardware codec, and for the Jukebox, using a character cell
> display) has meant that during the last few years Rockbox for the
> Archoses has not had the maintenance it really needs. This is e.g.
> visible on the build page [1], where you can see that the build for the
> Archos Recorder has been broken for more than a year, due to it (and
> soon, probably, some of its siblings) really needing to move to a
> different way of booting (a move the non-Archos ports made back when
> they started).
> The work needed to keep the Archos port alive is not impossible, but at
> least for the past two years, nobody has stepped up. We don't even know
> if anyone still has one of these devices in active use.
> I think it's now time to let the Archos port rest. Without it, rockbox
> would not have existed, but the way we treat it currently is not what it
> deserves. We don't want people to Rockbox on the Archoses as an
> annoyance that keeps breaking the build.
> Let us try to remember Rockbox on the Archos in its glory days, when it
> showed the world what a digital audio player could really do.
> I propose we let 3.13 be the last rockbox release that supports the old
> Archos devices, and that we won't try to force them into the 3.14
> release again.
> I also propose we stop auto-building the Archos ports right away, and
> that we consider any HWCODEC or CHARCELL code to be available for
> cleanup after 3.14 has been released (such cleanup can destabilise the
> code, and we want 3.14 out soon)
> Thoughts?

I wholeheartedly agree with all what you said. hwcodec has been a major
maintainance burden for me with very little gain. In fact I had a hard
time to keep them just working/building.

I also agree that 3.14 will not offer significant new features - in fact
some was removed so it keeps building - so that 3.13 should be the
recommended build even if we made a 3.13 for them. We should continue to
offer this build for download and welcome contributors to backport fixes
(or even features if they like) into a separate branch.

The master branch should be relived from the ongoing burden of
maintaining their build. But yea, we probably shouldn't go and remove
all the hwcodec build until after 3.14 so that we can offer a lots of
commits for potential backport up to an easy-to-rember point in time.

Best regards.
Received on 2014-02-12

Page was last modified "Jan 10 2012" The Rockbox Crew