It's been a while since we had not offered you a little interview. This time we decided to talk with Paul Cercueil, a leading figure of the OS OpenDingux and is very involved in the success of the zer0 GCW! If that name means nothing to you maybe its old pseudonym will enlighten you: Ayla.
Paul (he allowed me to call it!), Gives us in his interview the genesis of OpenDingux (OD) and how is the link with the GCW Zer0.
Without further ado, I invite you to discover the interview.
- Who is Paul Coffin?
A young French 23-year expatriate in Chile. I have a diploma in computer pocket and I'm almost finished my engineering in embedded and mobile networks cycle.
- Should we call you Paul Coffin or Ayla?
Just call me Paul! Ayla is an old nickname, I buried some time ago.
- You are the origin of the OS OpenDingux, how it comes to creating such a program?
In 2008-2009, I actively followed the "Craiginator" project before it becomes OpenPandora project.
I finally decided to buy a Dingoo A320 in late 2009, at the inception of Dingux on the console. I started to improve gradually as the RootFS sience had at the time in the decompiling and recompiling each modification. Then I met Maarten (mth) which at that time was working on a new port of the Linux kernel on the Dingoo, together with our neighbors to the project Ben NanoNote , which shares the same type of CPU (Ingenic jz4740).
The Ben NanoNote from Qi Hardware
The project was born OpenDingux about when we joined forces, each working on its part (the kernel Maarten and me on RootFS), although this is no longer true now. Since early 2010, we work in tandem on the project, we never really stopped.
A word of the question bothers me: develop and improve an operating system is not comparable to the development of a program by which I mean an OS contains a multitude of very different parts that can be developed and improved in parallel, which allows us to vary constantly that on which we work.
- OpenDingux arose from Dingux project Booboo, do you have contact with him?
This is not quite true that the OD was born Dingux project. Of course, we inherited some parts, but OpenDingux sharing much more with the Ben NanoNote project, and many others have been developed from scratch.
I have quite a few contacts with Booboo , our last discussion was in a long time.
OpenDingux on Dingoo A320
- What are the next steps in OD? (OpenGL, ...)
It is difficult to answer this question, mainly because we do not plan anything. I think the next part where I work is a new video driver, which is a necessary step before starting to develop pilot HDMI and TV-out. Or on "standby" function or the management of energy consumption ... This is not the work is missing.
- You are working actively on GCW Zer0, how did you integrate this project and can you tell us how was the work between the devs?
About a year ago, Justin contacted me and we Maarten, he wanted to market a new portable type-GP2X Caanoo console. He already had a few prototypes (the famous H-350) built, but it lacked the software part. The prototype ran on a pseudo-Linux installed at the factory, but really lousy, very ergonomic, without sources, etc.. In short, an OS that stood out in anything that we are used to seeing on the Chinese consoles.
The idea of OpenDingux as OS based on an open-source console immediately enchanted me. It's a little baby.
It is also a good card to play for my future, a beautiful line on my resume, and also a way to learn a max (I learned 100 times more working 1 year 3 years in OD school Engineer ...). SoJustin each sent us a prototype, and the port OpenDingux 'of the Zero was born.
So we all started from scratch, even if Zero has Ingenic processor as the Dingoo A320,most of the equipment needed new drivers. The beginning was the most fun: since we do not have the Linux source code factory, we had to write and run the "pirates" programs auscultate the equipment and study the behavior of the plant Linux to know, for example, the operation of the LCD screen, the way to turn on WiFi, how to read the state of the buttons and analog stick, etc ...
There is so much to do on this project that there is never a problem of organization is still working on different parts with few exceptions, in parallel, and each other informed of the progress and problems of each IRC.
- What do you think of GCW-Zero project and the console itself?
Zero project allows me to show my work on a product that will be launched on the market. What more?
The console is really good. The Dingoo A320 was not bad, but there is another class in boxing. The console is very ergonomic, the buttons respond well, the analog stick is accurate. HDMI and USB Host are dreaming of multiplayer games on a HDTV TV with Xbox 360 or PS3 controllers wirelessly. WiFi open fields possibilities: appstore, online multiplayer games, file transfers without cables ... [Editor's note: Our comparative test between Dingoo and Zer0 ]
And console the potato. We are far from having pushed to its maximum capacity ... I can not wait to see what she will be able to do once other developers have in hand, and also once they pay OpenGL ES.
- What is your level of involvement in the project beyond the development of OD?
I'm working on OpenDingux any more. All the business side does not interest me.
- What is the daily life of a CPOS programmer?
The same as everyone I guess!
- Other Activity PRO? Hobbies, Passions?
I wander in South America, I'm in Chile right now. In a few weeks, I'm going to Argentina and Uruguay.Travel, meet people, learn about other cultures, it's really what I like, so that now I feel like working in tourism in the computer ...
- What is your opinion on ANDROID and the explosion of Chinese consoles?
Android is great for phones. For consoles, I'm really not a fan. I have an Xperia Play, and although the screen and speakers are a good step up from those of the Zero in the end I never play it, because I can not stand the little jerks that are time to time. Play Sonic Zero gives the impression of playing on the real console, there's not a lost image, the animation is extremely fluid. The only other time I saw Sonic run so it was on the original Xbox. Even on PC emulators are not as fluid.
- What did you CPOS in your possession (DINGOO. ..)? Your opinion on each?
Just the Dingoo A320. It's a great console, once installed OpenDingux!
But I find it hard to adjust after testing the Zero. The grip is terrible, gives cramps, and the screen messes up the eyes (240x320 placed horizontally ...).
- What is your favorite console or PC?
The SEGA Dreamcast. [Editor's note: This is what a man of taste is recognized! ]
- What are you playing right now?
Actually, I do not play video games almost. Maybe an hour accumulated over a whole week, and especially to test the functionality of OpenDingux under development.
- The Xbox One has just been unveiled, what do you think?
- What are your future projects (Chili, or elsewhere)?
Find work, I guess. Or continue traveling.
- Before this interview did you know Open Consoles.com? What do you think of the Forum?
I know the forum name. I never signed up above, discussions are much more oriented emulation development that is what interests me.
To conclude this interview, I just will indicate that the GCW Zer0 SE (Special Edition) are on the move to find the way to our homes and we will be able to realize the work of Paul and his colleagues! A big thank you to him for accepting this exchange and for the work done so far on OpenDingux!