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SubjectRe: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...
Date
----- 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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