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SubjectRe: Linux, UDI and SCO.
Hello;

For background on my comments I would suggest reading the original
reports at:

IT Week: Intel looks to Linux community for help with UDI
http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/1998/37/ns-5501.html

A Brief Quote from the above article is below

<Begin Quote>
"The advantage of releasing to the Linux community is that their
work will give Unix OS vendors a basis to work from," Quick added,
though he stressed that the specification will still be tightly
controlled and standards based.
<End Quote>

Uniform Driver Interface (UDI)
http://www.sco.com/udi/

Below is a brief quote from the above Web Page:

<Begin Quote>
To demonstrate the feasibility of the UDI architecture and to gain
real-life experience before finalizing the specification, a prototype
environment implementation was created and ported to the following
platforms,
running a SCSI driver from Adaptec and/or a network interface
driver from Interphase.

Operating System Processor Type
Compaq Digital UNIX Alpha (64-bit)
Hewlett-Packard HP-UX PA-RISC
IBM AIX PowerPC
NCR MP-RAS IA-32 (x86)
SCO OpenServer 5.0.5 IA-32 (x86)
SCO UnixWare 2.1.3 IA-32 (x86)
SCO UnixWare 7 IA-32
(x86)
Sun Microsystems Solaris Sparc
<End Quote>

Last but not least read the GNU General Public License at:

GNU General Public License
http://www.fsf.org/copyleft/gpl.html


Notice that the first URL which I quoted clearly indicates that
the commercial vendors would use the Linux UDI drivers as a basis
to work from. This is very clearly stated by Quick.

Background on Mr. Quick:

Kevin Quick, chairman of Project UDI.
Kevin Quick's e-mail address is kquick@iphase.com

Now notice the proof of concept quote from the Project UDI home page:

Listed here are Digital UNIX, HP-UX, Solaris, AIX, UnixWare 2.1.3,
UnixWare 7, and OpenServer 5.0.5.

Hardware platforms lists are Alpha, PA-RISC, PowerPC, Intel, and Sparc.

Linux runs on all the above mentioned platforms.

Assume for the moment that the Linux Community does write Linux UDI
device
drivers. Let us assume for the moment that all peripheral vendors will
release
all needed/wanted/required documentation for their peripherals to the
Linux
Community. It would be the option of the UDI device driver author to
release
the driver under alternate software licenses in addition to the GNU
General
Public License. This would not present a problem for the commercial OS
vendors
nor for the peripheral vendors, they would just use the alternate
software
license. However, if the author only releases the UDI device driver
under
the GNU GPL the commercial OS vendors could not use that driver in
their own closed source OS. The only way they could use it was if their
source code was released under the GNU GPL, or *BSD license without the
advertising clause.

It is important to note that the commercial OS vendors, and peripheral
vendors are relying on the Linux Community to perform the "daunting"
task of writing the UDI device drivers. Below is another brief quote
from the first URL.

<Begin Quote>
However, writing new drivers for the thousands of peripherals on
the market is a daunting task. Hence, Project UDI is hoping the
Linux community will help. Linux will be, said Quick, key to
the
adoption of the UDI initiative. A reference platform will be
distibributed as freeware for Linux, and the Project UDI members
will be counting on the Linux community to work on device drivers.
"We have talked to Linus Torvalds (the creator of Linux) and he
was very interested in the idea," Intel's Demshki said.
<End Quote>

The first two lines are of special interest to the Linux Community:

"However, writing new drivers for the thousands of peripherals on
the market is a daunting task. Hence, Project UDI is hoping the
Linux Community will help."

Another important phrase in this quote is made by Mr. Quick:

"Linux will be, said Quick, key to the adoption of the UDI initiative."

Perhaps David would be able to have Mr. Quick clarify his statements?

Please note that no where in the first URL web page are there any
statements
concerning either the commercial OS vendors supporting Linux or the
peripheral vendors supporting Linux with UDI drivers. The entire point
of the article is that the Project UDI, the commercial OS vendors, and
peripheral vendors are "hoping" that the Linux Community takes on this
"daunting" task.

Given that Mr. Quick is clearly indicating that Linux and thereby the
Linux
Community are "the key is adoption of the UDI initiative", it would seem
to
me that this places the Linux Community in an extremely awkward
position.
If we do not support Project UDI, it will be because of "us" that
Project UDI
"died on the vine". This would also seem to run the risk of being
labeled,
"unsupportive", "you can not count on the Linux Community for support",
"contrary", etc.

If we do support Project UDI, and the UDI device drivers are only
released
under GNU GPL, will we not also be labeled? Yes we supported Project
UDI,
but no one other than Linux is able to use the UDI drivers.

Please also note that neither the Porject UDI nor the ZDnet article Web
Page
give any indication that all the peripheral vendors will provide the
needed/wanted/desired/required technical documentation that would be
needed
to write the UDI device drivers. There are two peripheral vendors
mentioned
on the Project UDI Web Page namely Adaptec (recently joined Linux
International),
and Interphase.

There is also no mention of any of the video chip manufactuerers backing
Project
UDI. Having worked on the XFree86 project in the past, we would need the
support of S3, Cirrus Logic, etc.

Assume the Linux Community does support Project UDI there is still no
guarantee
that each and every peripheral marketed will be supported. If some
commercial
OS vendor can not make sales because there is no UDI driver for some
clients
particular brand/model/make/etc of peripheral card is the Linux
Community going
to be blamed for the lack of support?

In some respect Mr. Quick has jumped the gun by making these statements.
The UDI reference platform is not due out till February 1999 when the
complete
specification is released at the next Intel Developer Forum. It is not
until
then that the Linux Community particularly Linus sees what changes would
be
required to the Linux kernel to accomadate the UDI device drivers.
Given the awkward position that Mr. Quick and Intel representatives have
placed the Linux Community by this annoucement, what is going to be the
reaction of those outside of the Linux Community if Linus decides not
to accomadate UDI?

I am open to suggestions.

I again see only two good solutions to the current awkward position
Mr. Quick seems to have placed both Project UDI, and the Linux
Community in.

There are basically only two ways this UDI scenario can work.

1. All the commercial backers of it, switch to using Linux for their OS
and they just build hardware, or in SCO's case additional software
add-ons.

2. SCO releases all UNIX source code under the GNU GPL,
HP releases all sources code of HP-UX,
Sun releases all source code for SunOS and Solaris.
You might as well ask Apple to release all the source code to
NextStep/OpenStep/Rhapsody.

In either scenario there would be no problem if the UDI drivers were
released only under the GNU GPL.

Once again I ask who is going to represent the Linux Community in this
current situation? It is clear that someone preferablly a couple of
people should represent the Linux Community, and keep the rest of the
Community informed of the current status of Project UDI, the
reference platform, and the release of the complete UDI specification.

Since the commercial OS vendors, and peripheral vendors are making it
known here and now that Linux is the key to UDI adoption, and that the
Linux Community is being asked to help in the "daunting" task of writing
the UDI drivers so that the commercial OS vendors can use our work as
a basis, we as a community better have some say in the Project UDI.


David Hollister wrote:
>
> Terry L Ridder wrote:
> >
> > Hello;
> >
> > There are basically only two ways this UDI scenario can work.
> >
> > 1. All the commercial backers of it, switch to using Linux for their OS
> > and they just build hardware, or in SCO's case additional software
> > add-ons.
>
> In addition to what I say below, I don't understand what you're getting
> at by this statement either.
>
> > 2. SCO releases all UNIX source code under the GNU GPL, HP releases all
> > sources code of HP-UX, Sun releases all source code for SunOS and
> > Solaris.
> > You might as well ask Apple to release all the source code to
> > NextStep/OpenStep/
> > Rhapsody.
>
> Why would the OS guys have to release their OS source code? Their
> source code has nothing to do with a Linux driver written to conform to
> UDI. The only piece of UDI code that is of any real concern to the
> Linux community is the Linux OS environment piece. THAT would have to
> be released under the GPL for it to be publicly accepted. Anybody who
> wrote UDI drivers for Linux would also want to release their drivers
> under the GPL. In that case, the entire Linux UDI driver environment is
> then released GPL. What does HP-UX, SunOS, etc. have to do with
> anything?

Please see above.

>
> Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point... Or maybe there is a lack of
> understanding by many about how UDI is architected.
>
> --
> David Hollister Interphase Corporation dhollist@iphase.com
> Software Engineer Dallas, TX

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

When the toast is burnt
and all the milk has turned
and Captain Crunch is waving farewell
when the Big One finds you
may this song remind you that they
don't serve breakfast in hell
==Breakfast==Newsboys

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