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SubjectRe: [Off Topic Conspiracy Theories] RE: UDI and Free(tm) Software
Hello All;

Comments are intermixed below:

Kevin Quick wrote:
<major snip>
> I disagree. I'm not aware of any other conformance specification
> which requires distribution of: source code, schematics, wiring
> diagrams, mechanical drawings, or other intellectual property. When
> you purchased your UL or TUV certified toaster, did it come with
> schematics? Source code for its microprocessor brain? Thermal
> transfer equations and thermal flow vectors? Instructions for
> creating and assembling plastic and metal moldings to build the
> toaster components?

Let us forget about the toaster but rather focus on something
relevant to computers. There is the Common Hardware Reference Platform
( CHRP) conformance specification, which was originally designed by
Apple, IBM, & Motorola.

Specifically the following items are available for download from
Motorola Semiconductor Product Sector (SPS).

Yellowknife is a Motorola designed evaluation system that supports
PowerPC 600 and 700 series CPUs and features the MPC106 Bridge/Memory
controller. Motorola provides full schematics, parts list, PAL code,
and Gerber files royalty-free.

Yellowknife X4 Documentation

X4 Fact Sheet (3.0) (19K pdf)
X4 Engineering Specification (1.0) (187K pdf)
X4 User's Manual (318K pdf)
X4 Bill of Materials (10-07-97) (11K pdf)
X4.1 Schematics (2.2M pdf)
X4 Orcad files (792K ZIP)
Yellowknife PAL Equations (5K pdf)
Yellowknife Thermal Design Paper (704K pdf)


Interposer Schematics (295K pdf)

Gerber Files are available from any Motorola SPS Sales Office.

Basically everything a person needs to build a YellowKnife

Next there is the IBM Microelectronics Lang Trail Reference Design.

<Begin Quote>

The Long Trail Reference Design comes with schematics, including
physical design models, software, documentation, and board-level

<End Quote>

On a different note Digital/Compaq have the Digital Network Appliance
Reference Design at

Where a person is able to download everything needed to build the
reference design.

Solder masks, PCB Layers, Component placement, etc.

The point I am making is that yes companies do release everything
concerning hardware.

Andrej Presern wrote:
> >
> > They may, in which case everything is fine since everybody wins.
> > Then again they may for some reason not care about this particular
> > competitive advantage and just do a binary driver. In order to be
> > sure you get to benefit too, you make sure you are at least _able_
> > to produce your own driver if the hardware vendor doesn't feel like
> > doing it - for whatever reason. And you need a reference source or
> > hardware specs for that, unless you'd like to resort to practices
> > like reverse engineering.
> You are arguing that companies must provide information to you, even
> if there's no competitive advantage to them, even if they don't want
> to, even if it *hurts* them or even drives them out of business... all
> because it's inconvenient to you.

Kevin that is pure rubbish.

As Jon "Maddog" Hall has recently pointed out the OpenSource and Linux
Communities will vote with their money. If a company does not want
to provide the technical information that is necessary for an
GNU GPL/GNU LGPL device driver and another does provide that information
both Communities will reward the latter with purchases.

> An extrapolation of this argument is that if this were to happen we
> would end up in one of two distinctly unpleasant situations:
> 1) hardware vendors would not see any competitive advantage to
> producing the hardware in the first place, therefore the hardware
> never gets created, therefore growth in the computer industry
> stagnates and we all suffer, or

I have already addressed this issue in a separate posting.

The Opensource/Freeware/GNU GLP/Linux Communities need to expand
into hardware design to ensure that the hardware designs are truly
open, and cannot be taken "private" by anyone, but anyone would be
able to build them.

A current example of this is the Yellowknife Evaluation Board Design
from Motorola SPS. Anyone can build the design. Motorola SPS
released it because they really do not care who builds the boards
they want to sell the chips which go on the boards.

To promote further designs of not just motherboards/mainboards
but also peripheral cards we need to work with the Chip manufacturers.
The goal being we bypass the hardware manufacturers and deal with
the chip manufacturers directly.

> 2) the big hardware vendor can copy all of the innovation made by the
> "little guys" as soon as they make it available and use it's
> marketing capabilities to insure that consumers are only aware of
> or use the big vendor's products. The result is that all the
> little guys can't compete and we end up with a monopoly.

Again see above.

> >
> > It's of little use to the open source community if you can write a
> > driver only after you've signed an NDA because that means that you
> > can't share the source. On the other hand, commercial vendors may
> > not care so much if they have to sign an NDA - they just want to
> > ship to the customer a binary driver for a particular platform and
> > particular UDI environment that they're selling, one that is
> > radically different than the one you're using. This means that
> > now commercial vendors have competetive advantage, ie they have
> > drivers which you don't, which is not the intention of UDI,
> > and certainly not the reason to accept UDI now is it?
> Actually that has nothing to do with UDI. That's status quo.

It is not status quo. UDI will promote hardware vendors to
furnish binary-only device drivers. It is only after they
learn that their sales suffer because of it will they release
the necessary technical information to the OpenSource/Linux Communities.

> > Andrej
> >
> > --
> > Andrej Presern, andrejp@luz.fe.uni-lj.s
> Regards,
> Kevin

Terry L. Ridder
Blue Danube Software (Blaue Donau Software)
"We do not write software, we compose it."

entertaining angels
by the light of my computer screen
24-7 you wait for me
entertaining angels
while the night becomes history
host of heaven, sing over me
==Entertaining Angels==Newsboys

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