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  1. #1
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    Question Free contribution to firmware/software development

    Hi, Philips team !

    I've bought a NP3900 about 6 month ago and - I can assure you - it's a very good product. However, the firmware/software embedded into the NP3900 has some lacks and/or (minor) bugs, and so, it could be enhanced. But it's now 5 months I haven't seen a firmware update.

    I think the firmware could be really better and more complete to reflect the user needs, if the users could participate to its development. I think (but maybe I'm wrong) that many of us are used to new technologies and also software development. I'm in this case and I like to think I'm a good experienced software engineer. I really would like to improve this firmware and I already have (many) ideas.

    Could it be possible to contribute to this firmware ? What could be the conditions ?

    Thanks,

    Emmanuel

  2. #2
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    Fully agree: great hardware - not so great software

    Hello Emmanuel.

    I fully agree to your proposal. The software is not as great as the hardware and could really need some contributions.

    When I bought the NP3900 as well as a NP3700, I did this strictly because of the nice hardware esp. the fact that it comes with a remote, touch as well as a few (and not too many) buttons.

    However, not updating the fireware for over 6 months is just not up to date anymore. A more open development process or just using open-source software would be great. Logitech does this nicely with the Squeezebox. (If they would improve the hardware, I would immediately switch.)

    I hope that Philips will listen to their customers and become more flexible and speedy in regards to software development.

  3. #3
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    I can clearly understand that Philips development team is essentially working on "coming soon" or "brand new" products. This is a classic business approach. So that "old products" become (after some months) not maintained at all.

    With user contributions (like in open source development) the firmware (or a part of it) could be upgraded/completed. E.g., some contributors implement a correction, an enhancement or a new functionality in a specific CVS branch. When the work is done, the official team checks the development (by diffs and "official" tests) and integrate it (or not) into the official firmware.
    With this approach (like a (free) external development), if the modified firmware is reused into "coming soon" products, these new products benefit from these contributions.

    Over the years, it becomes technically possible to integrate user contributions. Today, "brand new" products (like the NP3900) look like computers more than simple "radio/cd/tape" products (like the 1990 "sound machine").
    If Philips can understand these changes, Philips will take a real advance in this domain.

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