Why FreeBSD not popular on hardware vendors

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Sat Dec 13 12:09:58 PST 2008

On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 08:37:09AM -0800, Charlie Kester wrote:
> On Sat 13 Dec 2008 at 01:44:03 PST Chad Perrin wrote:
> >
> >I rather suspect that a much stronger, and more common, reason for
> >obstinate refusal to open specs is the short-sightedness and general
> >ignorance of daycoders and pointy-haired bosses -- all of whom think Java
> >is the best programming language around because that's what "most"
> >programmers use and have some vague, unsupported (but stubborn) notion
> >that secrets are good for business.  At least it *seems* they all think
> >so.
> There's no need to impute any insidious or lazy motive to them.  If they
> can sell their product without documenting any API's, they will tend to
> do so, as a way of cutting costs and thus increasing their profits.

What about that isn't either insidious or lazy?

> As for their "obstinate refusal", I think they often have a reasonable
> fear that if they do provide documentation, it will create an ongoing
> demand for support.  No matter how much effort you put into
> documentation, there always seem to be some questions you haven't
> answered, and people will be pestering you for the answers. More costs!
> But once you've opened the door by publishing the documentation, it's
> hard to close it gracefully.  So they probably figure it's better to
> just say no at the outset.

I think that fear is, in fact, *unreasonable*.  I also don't think it's
the only unreasonable fear they have -- and that the bigger fear is
probably that they would create "competitors" somehow, magically, without
providing any information that directly encourages competition for their
hardware.  If they wanted to provide per-incident paid software support
or simply charge people extra for drivers, *then* I could see this being
a problem, but I haven't seen a whole lot of that kind of rent-seeking
behavior from graphics adapter vendors.

Chad Perrin [ content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
Quoth Albert Camus: "An intellectual is someone whose mind watches
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