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SubjectRe: Linux, UDI and SCO.

On Sat, 19 Sep 1998, Gerhard Mack wrote:

> On Sat, 19 Sep 1998, Michal Jaegermann wrote:
> >
> > Why do you think that you will ever see a free driver? A pat answer
> > will be "You may buy our binary driver which works on your machine so
> > why do you need specs? Our driver is the best possible in any case".
> > And of course non-Intel Linux crowd (Alpha, Sparc, m68k, ARM, MIPS, .... )
> > will be screwed. You will maybe hear "Ah, those!" or maybe even not that.
> Does anyone pay for drivers for Windows? I haven't seen any sources for
> that. The cost of the windows driver is built into the cost of the
> hardware whether we make our own drovers or not, I don't see that changing
> any time soon.

At least some Linux drivers have been created by reverse engineering
the binary-only drivers. In some extreme cases, people have sat down
with oscilloscopes and worked out what the hardware is doing.

So one immediate benefit of UDI is that it makes reverse engineering
much easier. The UDI layer can report a lot of what is going on, and
having an already working Linux driver reduces the reboot cycle.

The danger, as people have already pointed out, is that UDI can give
the hardware manufacturer an excuse not to release specs. I see that
the benefits of UDI outweigh this (pessimistic) possibility.

Other issues - technical, political, licensing, cost - are all of no
interest to the user who can't use their hardware under Linux.

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