Amlogic releases their BSP codebase which is the same awful code from 3.10 ported to 3.14 ported to 4.9 ported to 4.19 (in process) where each iteration focusses only on supporting their latest/greatest chipsets. Their technical focus on new devices frequently stomps on support for older devices so it's a long-term nightmare to support a wide range of devices with and you cannot take the latest buildroot release and use it with Meson 8. It's also fragile code which is a pain in the arse to maintain; fixing one problem constantly breaks something else. LE's strategy is to move all of our target hardware platforms onto mainline kernel to solve these issues; mainline provides a maintainable codebase that supports a broad range of hardware using well written drivers using modern kernel API frameworks. The root of the problems with the BSP drivers is they were written long before many of the upstream frameworks existed (or matured) so Amlogic evolved their own proprietary ones (with no external scrutiny, hence the many architectural and code quality issues). This means the BSP drivers don't fit modern kernels and writing from scratch is cleaner and usually easier than attempting to adapt them. The solution for Meson 8 is someone (Martin B unless anyone else starts contributing) writing a new HDMI driver that fits into the current kernel DRM (direct rendering manager) framework. There's been a lot of work in the last 18m on the dw-hdmi IP Amlogic used with GXBB and up (and common with Allwinner/Rockchip). Meson 8 uses different IP so it needs a different driver, but dw-hdmi provides strong guidance on what the structure of the missing driver needs to be like. I'm confident it will happen, but HDMI drivers are complex, there is limited documentation on the IP used (and the in-use BSP drivers frequently disagree with Amlogic's internal documentation) so it's a reverse engineering effort. Martin has been experimenting with HDMI code for a while now, but it's only quite recently that surrounding core board support was really in a stable enough or complete enough state to start making a serious effort. And I'm sure he has a life outside of poking Meson 8 code, so it won't be quick.
Thank you for the explanation. It's great to read how so much effort is being put by so many people into te LE project, even keeping meson 8 up and running.
I feel it's sad that soc builders like amlogic maintain their focus on android and stb use, not really putting real effort in suppporting their products for the opensource community. It seems, from an economic point of view, it is not in their interest to spend developing cost in that area.
When i read this article:
it seems they got a goot deal. And to be fair, with having 500+ personnel on payroll, revenue is needed for the company to survive. They probably feel that investing in opensource wont give them enough profit. Well, seems the rasberry foundation is proving that things can be different.