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SubjectRe: Open letter to the UDI folks?: Killing two birds with one stone
>> Here are some of my thoughts:
>>
>> Adam is right. While LI embraces the OSD concepts, it is not exclusive.
>> We encourage people to be Open Source, but LI's main goal is to have them use
>> the Linux(R) operating system as an alternative to Microsoft.
>
>This places Linux in a rather fragile position.
>Please refer to
>
>http://www.internetworld.com/print/current/webdev/19981012-underdev.html
>
>I quote a brief section:
>
><Begin Quote>
>
>But Linux will fail if it is forced to serve the wrong goal. If,
>instead of being a better tool to solve developers' needs, Linux
>becomes the latest proxy for Microsoft's competitors, it will
>fade into obscurity. This is where Apple, Borland, Novell,
>Netscape, et al. went wrong. By becoming obsessed with
>Microsoft instead of serving their customers, these companies
>forgot that the point of making products is developing solutions
>to real problems, not dinging the largest competitor.
>
><End Quote>

I am really tired of having to explain to people that I was basically quoting
what Linus Torvalds has said many, many times in speeches: "Alternative
to Microsoft", an "alternative operating system". I did not say why it
was an alternative, or why people would agree it was an alternative
(superiority of code?), because the letter was NOT ABOUT THAT.

Normally I answer that LI's goal is simply to "promote Linux". And quite
frankly Nate Zelnick, the author of the article that you are quoting is
dead wrong about Linus. ANYONE who has ever heard him speak knows that.

>>
>> Third, while UDI does have the capability of allowing binary-only drivers
>> to be generated and distributed, its larger capability is to allow the same
>> APIs to go across operating systems. Therefore people who write device drivers
>> for *BSD or SPARC or Digital Unix will also be writing them for Linux. This
>> is a win-win situation.
>
>It is not a win-win situation when you consider I2O in the picture.
>Currently there is no way for Linux to incorporate I2O support.

I have not only read them, but I have had long talks with Michael LoBue,
who is the head of the SIG, and the SIG representative from Intel. Both of
them have told me that the issue of the specification being closed is a
temporary thing. Maybe they were lying, but I just called Micheal's office
and asked for an appointment tomorrow (I am flying out to San Fransico), and
I will see what he says now.

>It is that very nature of products which have a "six month or less
>lifetime"
>that would lead the hardware vendor to slap a driver together which
>offers
>poor performance, or just plain does not work. This would be no
>different than
>what we currently have today. Anyone who has installed Windows lately
>understands
>this. After the market lifetime of a product has passed what incentive
>is there for
>the hardware vendor to keep updating the device driver?

You made an assumption that people start working on the follow-on
product's driver either from scratch (bad assumption) or that they actually
wait until the current product is shipping before they work on the next
product. These days most large companies are working on two generations of
products, banking on the fact that the products which will let them build the
next generation of products are now being created themselves.

>The end-user is not going to blame the hardware vendor about the driver
>he will blame Linux/*BSD/Solaris/HP-UX/IRIX/etc.

From where do you draw this assumption?

It is late, and I have a plane to catch early tomorrow. Bottom line (from
what I can see) is this:

The Linux community can be paranoid, not trusting anyone, and doing things
their own way (no I2O, no UDI), whack and hack everything from scratch.
That is o.k., if that is what they want.

Or they can be openly trusting, try to work with I2O, UDI and take the
chance of getting screwed.

Or they can go a middle route, of trying to work with these groups, but
keep an eye out. Take the best of what is offered.

I prefer the third alternative, since I think that there are some gains
that could be made. And to this goal I will try to see Michael LoBue
tomorrow. I may not succeed in seeing him, since it is short notice for
an appointment, but I will try.

md

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