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    SubjectRe: [Off Topic Conspiracy Theories] RE: UDI and Free(tm) Software
    In message <13850.12112.481854.981690@pc-eng-013>, Kevin Quick writes:
    | Most hardware vendors are probably not out to sabotage their own
    | products by "deliberately" writing bad drivers. There are probably:
    | (a) some cases of drivers written by people who aren't
    | qualified/knowledgeable,
    | (b) some cases of drivers written by people who are driver geniuses,
    | (c) lots of cases of drivers written by people who don't have as much
    | time as they'd like because they have to hurry up and finish the
    | driver for OS A so that they can write the driver for OS B, C, D,
    | E, F, and G.
    | (d) rare exceptions of hardware manufacturers intentionally
    | instructing their developers to write poor drivers.

    You neglected to include

    (e) many cases of drivers slapped together "because so-and-so says we
    must", with no serious work put into it because it's not considered all that
    important --- the company's focus is making hardware, not writing drivers,
    after all.

    Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by laziness or not caring. I
    suspect (e) covers most lousy drivers.

    Case in point: does *anyone* really believe that the general lousiness of
    Diamond's video drivers on any platform (I've seen a lot of crappy drivers
    from them, on every platform they "support" including all versions of
    Windows) --- is intentional sabotage, as opposed to simply not caring?

    With respect to Windows driver crashes: the Windows driver developers I've
    spoken with all seem to think that the Windows 3.1 device driver model was
    nonexistent, the 95/98 model is lousy, and the NT model is horrible. The
    latter I fully believe, having seen the OS/2 1.x driver model it evolved
    from :-) (This should, BTW, be taken as a warning by the folks designing
    the UDI interfaces --- bad interfaces can make it nearly impossible to
    develop good drivers.) It's not impossible that the best intentions of
    device driver writers run afoul of a badly-designed device driver interface.
    Heck, we've even seen that in Linux: anyone remember net-1 drivers?

    brandon s. allbery [os/2][linux][solaris][japh]
    system administrator [WAY too many hats]
    electrical and computer engineering KF8NH
    carnegie mellon university

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