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SubjectRe: Linux kernel modules development in C++
On Fri, 29 Sep 2000, Daniel Phillips wrote:

> Marty Fouts wrote:
> > My own opinion is that no, the nominal cost of standards documents has
> > little to do with why programmers don't have complete and up to date
> > definitions of the language.
> I can't change your opinion but I can tell you a fact: this is the
> reason that *I* do not have a copy of the standard. If I could just
> download it from a URL I would have done it long ago. Not that I can't
> afford it, it's just too much of a pain in the butt.

That sounds likely to be a common case. Every real bookstore I've seen
lately has had books on C, C++, Linux, Windows etc. programming - I have
yet to see one with a since ANSI or IEEE document for sale!

OTOH, these standards documents aren't the most readable of text. Perhaps
a human-friendly explanation of the standard would be more widely read?

> > Most of them, after all, are willing to pay
> > 3-4 times that much for tutorial or text books on the language, often more
> > than one. My opinion is that few C or C++ programmers actually possess
> > complete and up to date definitions of the language, because many of them
> > are unaware of or uninterested in the existence of such standards, because
> > they believe that the dielect of the language they are using on their
> > platform of choice is, for their purposes, the language, and so they believe
> > they only need the vendor reference for the language. Also, standards are
> > written in a peculiar style and dialect, and they require developing a
> > certain kind of reading skill to be useful.
> I think you are wrong. No, that's too week. I *know* you are wrong.
> If there was no cost in getting the standard every last one of us would
> have it, the same way every last one of us has a copy of the kernel.
> Consider this: if Linux costed $18, most of us wouldn't be here.

I wouldn't bet on that; I suspect most of us have bought a copy of Linux
at some point, even if only via a magazine cover CD. We don't all have
cable modems or OC-48s! (OK, I do as of this morning - even if the ISP is
part-owned by MS...)

> Charging a toll on the standard is just plain evil. If ansi needs
> money, let them get it some other way than by having a monopoly on this
> public information.

I'd be inclined to agree with this - except it is difficult to find money
other ways. Perhaps the companies concerned would be prepared to sponsor
the process enough to cover all the costs?


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