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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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