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SubjectRe: Open letter to the UDI folks?
Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> Before Linux International sends a "formal response", I suggest that
> LI's Executive Director have an informal chat with the UDI folks first.
> There's no point going off half-cocked on this one --- it will only make
> the Linux community look immature. (Heck, I'm pretty embarassed by some
> of the uninformed trivil on the linux-kernel list, and I'm hoping the
> vendors are reading it and assuming that its representative of the
> entire Linux community.)

An informal chat with the UDI folks is appropriate, I would ask that
LI's Executive Director report back to the linux-kernel mailing list
concerning those informal chats.

Theodore, I assume that you meant "vendors are reading it and _not_
that it is representative of the entire Linux Community"

> Note that UDI has been around for years --- companies have been working
> on this since 1993. Hence, in a long-running project like this, almost
> everybody will have slightly different visions about what its goals are
> and what they hope to achieve.

This is true. Given the number of years I am sure that their hopes
and expectations have also become confused.

> Quite frankly, I don't understand the comments in the press release
> about their hoping that the Linux community will provide UDI drivers for
> all of these devices. That simply doesn't make any sense; a native
> driver will be faster, more efficient, and in all likelihood, easier to
> implement. And whether you write a UDI driver or a native driver, you
> still need the cooperation of the manufacturer to give you programming
> specs.

If we take Mr. Kevin Quick's statements as they are stated in the
article it would seem clear what they want. The reference platform
will be released as "freeware" ( I am assume GNU GPL since it would have
ti link with the kernel. ) to the Linux Community, and the Linux
Community is to undertake the "daunting" task of writing all those UDI
device drivers. Once we have written them the commercial OS vendors and
peripheral vendors will use our work as a "basis" for their work.

Look at the time line:

UDI started in 1993 still no complete specification. February 1999 it
is due out. Linux since 1993 with no "official" specification has native
drivers are many of the peripheral on the market. There may be a time
lag between the peripheral first hits the market and when there is
in Linux for it but eventually most are supported. What "group" has
more expertise at writing device drivers than the Linux Community?
None come to my mind readily.

> What's much more likely to happen is that hardware manufacturers will
> start shipping UDI drivers with their hardware, and that will allow them
> to ship, say, Winmodem cards that will actually work on operating
> systems other than Windows 95. (Winmodems currently don't even work
> under NT).

I do not have that feeling. They do not want Winmodem drivers they want
the "serious" stuff, SCSI and Network. Remember the context of the
is about Intel-arch UNIX servers. Servers basically require two things
disks and bandwidth.

> Given that scenario, my personal take is that UDI is relatively
> harmless. But before we start send a formal response, we should make
> some informal contacts first. And one of the first questions I would
> ask is a fuller explanation of their vision about the Linux community
> providing UDI drivers. What they've written in their press release
> simply doesn't make any sense. (But that's most likely a failure by
> some marketing dweeb who was writing the press release than evidence of
> something dirty and underhanded. "Never ascribe to malice what can be
> adequately ascribed to stupidity.")

I do not see it as harmless. If the Linux Community "buys" into Project
without getting I2O opened up, we are dealing with the same
Using the analogy that Alan Cox used, it is hard to shake the right hand
of Project UDI when the left hand is on the binary-only sword of I2O.

Which I why I advocate the price for our help that I do.
Basically the price translate to:

We will help provided you remove your other hand from the
binary-only sword of I2O. Please kindly show us two open hands.

That I hope LI's Executive Director conveys to them either informally
or formally, just as long as it is conveyed.

> - Ted

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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