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SubjectRe: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...
before you go to far in condemming companies, note that even transmeta is
in this situation with their docs. when Linus was asked about
documentation for the longrun config stuff he stated that whil trasmeta
was planning to release both docs and source, they were not willing to
release them in the state that they are in currently.

and to be perfectly honest, they do have a point, if the internal
documentation is so poor, releaseing it will cause a flood of calls for
clarification of the docs. it's better to spend the time before release to
fix it then to spend the time (a much larger chunk of time) after the
release explaining it multiple times AND fixing the docs.

sometimes companies are not willing to spend that much time on what they
see as a minor market. that's just the fact of life.

the real fix isn't to yell at the companies, it's to show them that it is
a significant market and worth them spending their money there.

David Lang


On Mon, 19 Feb
2001, Nicholas Knight wrote:

> Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 03:28:56 -0800
> From: Nicholas Knight <tegeran@home.com>
> To: Jeff Garzik <jgarzik@mandrakesoft.com>
> Cc: linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org
> Subject: Re: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jeff Garzik" <jgarzik@mandrakesoft.com>
> To: "Werner Almesberger" <Werner.Almesberger@epfl.ch>
> Cc: "Henning P. Schmiedehausen" <hps@tanstaafl.de>;
> <linux-kernel@vger.kernel.org>
> Sent: Monday, February 19, 2001 3:07 AM
> Subject: Re: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...
>
>
> > On Mon, 19 Feb 2001, Werner Almesberger wrote:
> > > Now what's at stake ? Look at the Windows world. Also there, companies
> > > could release their drivers as Open Source. Quick, how many do this ?
> > > Almost none. So, given the choice, most companies have defaulted to
> > > closed source. Consistently complaining when a company tries to release
> > > only closed source drivers for Linux seems to generally have the desired
> > > effect of making them change their policy.
> >
> > FWIW, -every single- Windows driver source code I've seen has been
> > bloody awful. Asking them to release that code would probably result in
> > embarrassment. Same reasoning why many companies won't release hardware
> > specifications... The internal docs are bad. Really bad.
>
> While I understand that internal docs and source are often simply a mess, I
> fail to see why this should prevent a company from releasing specs or
> source.
> Sure somebody will come along and say "What on earth were you people
> THINKING?!", and then they'll get over it and do something useful with the
> specs and/or source to the drivers (or if they don't, somebody else will)
> I seriously doubt it'd lead to a company seeing a drop in sales because of
> it... and even if they did, I'd say it's a calculated risk, as they could
> well pick up a higher number of new customers than the number of old
> customers they lost due to wider ranging support.
> And even if their specs and code were the worst peices of trash on the
> planet, I'd still thank them for opening them up to the public.
>
> -NK
>
> -
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