Barr Group TwitterBarr Group Vimeo

"Only bad programmers expect their code to be defect free." --Michael Barr

In this issue:

  • Embedded Linux and Copyright Law
  • C's goto Keyword: Use it or Lose it?
  • Save Now on Spring 2019 Firmware Trainings
  • Industry News That's Not Boring

Firmware Update is a free, monthly-ish newsletter by embedded systems expert Michael Barr. Firmware Update is a trademark and this issue is Copyright ©2018. You may forward whole issues to colleagues that design embedded systems.  No other uses are permitted.

Embedded Linux and Copyright Law

The rising popularity of Linux has spurred many embedded developers to choose it for their operating system. But, when not used with care, the Linux copyleft can create legal trouble that imperils the secrecy of the source code for their product-specific software.

When multiple pieces of open source software developed are used in a product, it’s important to have an attorney read the license agreement for each component and assist with strategy.  Fortunately, when you only use Linux there's a three-step process you can follow to preserve your rights in your proprietary code.

Learn how

C's goto Keyword: Use it or Lose it?

According to the authors of the C programming language, “Formally, [the goto keyword is] never necessary” as it is “almost always easy to write code without it”. They officially recommend that goto “be used rarely, if at all.

Having myself reviewed all of the arguments in favor of and against the use of goto across more than a dozen C programming books as well as other C/C++ coding standards and computer science papers, I believe there is just one best (bug-killing) argument in favor and also just one best against.  Which convinces you?

Read on

Save Now on Spring 2019 Firmware Trainings

Aimed at individual engineers and smaller teams, Barr Group's public training courses are held in a state-of-the-art training facility near Washington, DC.  The following courses will be offered this coming Spring:

Through December 31, save 10% off of current list prices with coupon "EARLYBIRD2019".

Register now

Industry News That's Not Boring

Bruce Schneier on the need for stronger cybersecurity laws for IoT devices:

How many Turing machines comprise your "computer"?

Self-driving cars will be for sex. --"scientists"

3-D Modeling used to be hard.  Now all you need is your phone and this app:

Who needs PCBs anyway?  Beautiful design at Circuit Sculpture Contest

Quick Links to Useful Stuff

How to Contact the Author

I'm always interested in hearing from embedded systems designers and happy to take a few minutes to help you find the resources to get a design done right. Send me an email anytime. And be sure to also connect with me on Twitter (@embeddedbarr) and LinkedIn (