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SubjectRe: [PATCH] Re: Move of input drivers, some word needed from you

On 22 Aug 2000, Jes Sorensen wrote:
> I agree with you that we should not try to share code at any price.
> However, we have seen many many times that someone copies a driver,
> changes a couple of lines of code such as the device detection code
> and possibly the register access macros and adds him/her-self as the
> author and voila we have a `new' driver.

Note that this too can be beneficial.

Not for technical reasons, but for purely psychological ones. Which can
often be as important as the technical ones in the end.

The reason? People feel uncomfortable modifying other peoples drivers.
This is often true even if the original author hasn't even been a very
active maintainer for the last few years. So you find somebody new come
in, who cares about the new cards, but is not willing to maintain the old

So he creates a "new" driver that works for him, and in the end he may end
up maintaining it a lot better than the non-existent maintenance that the
old driver gets. The old driver ends up working with the old cards, and
the new one gets the new ones. And in some cases this eventually gets the
old maintainer involved again and things work out.

Yes, this has happened.

And yes, it can go the other way too. It can become a source of painful
and unnecessary duplication.

On the whole, people tend to _want_ to share, because it ends up being the
easier "quick hack" in many cases. So I'm not worried about that part
overmuch. I'm worried about people who share even when it doesn't make
sense. And I'm worried about people having bad interfaces, which makes
even sensible sharing end up as a experiment in horror.

That's why I'm so un-interested in the "let's share" argument. I don't
think that is where the problems are.


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