Has development stopped? Is it possible to get hold of the source code and build instructions?

OS1

New Member
Hi,

I hope everyone is keeping well in these uncertain times.

I see that the last firmware release was in 2017. Has development stopped? Is it possible to get hold of the source code and build instructions?

Thanks,
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I see that the last firmware release was in 2017. Has development stopped?
No, but the "firmware" is just a framework for the rest of the CF to use. With all the hooks in place, there is no need for it to be updated very often. For a proper appreciation of development and release history you need to include package updates and new packages (which run from HDD not Flash, and therefore software not firmware).

Is it possible to get hold of the source code and build instructions?
Check out the GIT.
 

MymsMan

Ad detector
Release of the next custom firmware has been delayed due to the unavailability of the lead developer but as @Black Hole pointed out most of the enhanced functionality is delivered through packages that dont require CF changes.

If you give us some idea of what you would like to add or change we can give you some clues of how best to make the changes
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Are there any instructions for building the CF itself?
I doubt it; historically AF has been fairly tight-lipped about it, and considering the effort involved it is not unreasonable he keeps it as his IP. Much of the subsequent development has been with community input, but those initial stages were his toil alone. Also, at the time, it was not clear whether the reverse-engineering involved was strictly legal (I now believe it is, where the reverse-engineering is necessary for the production of compatible products rather than copying the IP).

We know the principles involved, and there's nothing stopping somebody else putting in the leg-work to reproduce the raw CF, but that will be from scratch.
 

MymsMan

Ad detector
Modifying the firmware is very rarely needed and nowadays only for packages such as fixdisk that need to run in Maint mode without access to the disk.
For almost anything that runs during normal operation there is no need to change the firmware,
Where necessary hooks can be installed at boot time
Making a mess of the firmware could turn a Humax into a brick so not for the faint at heart.
 

/df

Active Member
... Is it possible to get hold of the source code and build instructions?
If you search the forum and Wiki you'll find details about the downloadable GPL software used by Humax and the cross-compilation tools and flash tools that might be used to make the CF.

In principle, as BH says, the OEM firmware, unpacked, is overlaid with additional/modified/updated packages and scripts and re-packaged as a firmware update. However not all the additional/modified binaries used in the CF and repository packages have source available for download.

The Humax settop program is the main closed source component of the OEM firmware. Therefore the CF hooks it in various ways to achieve additional functionality. What has never (yet) been achieved is to command it to display user-supplied text or media.
 
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Oatcake

Member
What has never (yet) been achieved is to command it to display user-supplied text
That's not strictly accurate, see this post. This experiment has not been "moulded" into a package yet. (There's a lot of work involved to make it flexible/ useful. So I don't know if it will ever reach release stage.)
 

everthewatcher

Forum Supporter
The Humax settop program is the main closed source component of the OEM firmware.
Has approaching Humax to see if they would make the source available been considered? The product has been obsolete for some time and any IP issues presumably no longer a problem.
 

/df

Active Member
It's not just the Humax code, though that would obviously be of interest. The build must rely on Broadcom (interface to SoC AV processing) and Opera (web browser and display) SDKs which the aspiring set-top box programmer would also need to acquire, and whose IP might be less obsolete. Eg:
https://archive.eettaiwan.com/www.eettaiwan.com/ART_8800633476_676964_NP_ad2dbe37.HTM - translated by Google said:
Embedded technology

New version of Opera Devices SDK will support Broadcom STB chip
Online time: February 01, 2011
Keywords: set-top box STB BCM7420 BCM7405 BCM7335

Opera Software announced that version 2.9 of its Opera Devices SDK development kit will begin to support Broadcom's BCM7420 set-top box (STB) single-chip platform.

In the future, the Broadcom set-top box application programming interface (API) will integrate the latest Opera browser to provide the Internet environment for cable, satellite TV and digital set-top boxes and other single chipsets. These devices include this generation of products such as BCM7400, BCM7405, BCM7335, and the next generation of 40nm devices, such as BCM7231 and BCM7425.

Opera Devices SDK 2.9 is a further improvement on the basis of Opera Devices SDK 2.8, adding more support to the next-generation network standard HTML5, including Application Cache, Web Workers, Web Storage, And OPIF (Open IPTV Forum) and HbbTV compatibility, etc. The browser’s JavaScript engine uses the latest Carakan JavaScript engine and uses JIT compilation to improve performance. Users can use Opera’s built-in interface on the TV to access the websites they want to visit, bringing the complete Internet experience into the consumer’s living room.

In addition to the general set-top box application programming interface (API), Opera's software development tool suite uses Broadcom's DirectFB and high-performance graphics to transplant the bottom layer, as well as 2D and 3D image engines to execute web animations and effects. On the latest 40nm devices, the Broadcom decoding and playback hardware built into the software development kit can support high-resolution (HD) videos, as well as high-end features such as SVC and MVC.
That's probably a version ahead of what's in the HD/HDR build.
 
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