HAL must die!

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Fri Mar 18 00:38:40 UTC 2011

On Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 07:48:58PM -0400, Jerry wrote:
> On Thu, 17 Mar 2011 16:36:37 -0600
> Chad Perrin <perrin at apotheon.com> articulated:
> > 
> > No, not really.  It's more the fault of the hardware manufacturer.
> Chad, up until this point I had taken your response seriously. In fact,
> I thought it was well presented. Then, you went and blew it.

You're joking -- right?

You haven't taken anything seriously so far other than your own attempts
to misrepresent everything I've said.

If you want to continue misrepresenting what I said back at me, I
recommend you do so off-list rather than clutter up this list any further
with it.  Maybe, if you contact me off-list, you can explain your clear
anti-Chad bias a bit, too.

> I know you are now going say that the hardware manufacturer should be
> responsible for the driver.

Once again, you demonstrate only that you do not know anything about me.
This seems to happen every time you use words like "I know" when
referring to me, my motivations, my actions, and my opinions.  Maybe you
should stop.

The manufacturer does not need to take responsibility for any driver
development it does not want to undertake.  That does not change the fact
that many manufacturers bend over backwards to support one OS and fail to
provide sufficient documentation for their hardware interfaces to make it
easy for the developers of other OSes to develop drivers independently,
so that though the hardware manufacturers are in no way obligated to
write drivers (or even provide the documentation needed to support
independent driver writers), they *are* to some extent susceptible to
blame for the lack of drivers.

Even as simple a step as opening up the source to the drivers they
provide, preferally under maximally reusable (i.e. copyfree or public
domain) licensing terms, for some OSes would be a big help to independent
driver writers -- but many hardware manufacturers and vendors fail to do
so for no good reason they have ever articulated.  That is part of what
is to blame for the lack of drivers for some hardware in some OSes.

You act as though all it takes for a driver to get added to an OS is for
some developer with commit access to snap his fingers, and it must be the
fault of the OS developers that a driver is missing.  The truth of the
matter is that developers must prioritize their work, and tend to do so
based not only on what they think is important but also on what they are
most qualified to address and what will take more time than they have to
devote to the project.  Requiring developers to reverse-engineer drivers
for other OSes creates some really awful speedbumps on the path to driver

> Look how much trouble nVidia had getting 64 bit drivers into FreeBSD.

If nVidia opened the source to just one of its drivers under a license
that effectively guaranteed everyone could use the code, it would give
everybody in the open source community a tremendous leg up on doing the
work that nVidia did, saving nVidia a lot of time.  I have read that
there are some patent issues that make it difficult for nVidia and
AMD/ATI to do so, involving patents that Intel holds in fact, but I also
see that while nVidia goes to the trouble of producing closed source
drivers for FreeBSD, AMD/ATI has been working with an open source
development group to provide documentation for everything not protected
by patent to aid in the development of open source drivers.  While the
latter takes a little longer up front, it also offers much greater
returns on investment in the form of someone other than internal
development teams doing the work to create drivers for many OSes.

Somewhere in the chain, there's someone involved in those network
adapters' manufacture that is standing in the way of easier development
of drivers.  As a result, somebody -- a patent holder, a vendor
executive, whatever -- is preventing the documentation and release of
clear specs or source code that could be used to jump-start driver
development.  If nobody does that, then yes, someone out there in the
hardware manufacturing chain is at least in part to blame for the lack of
drivers, given that it is obvious no developer has unlimited resources to
write all the source code the universe needs in the next thirty seconds.

> You can blame the open-source community in general and *BSD in
> particular for that problem. Even if they did come to some consensus,
> they would end up in a pissing contest over the license.

There wouldn't need to be any arguments over licensing if the most basic
functionality were provided under licenses that are broadly compatible.
I really don't see why anyone would think that using a license that
precludes license compatibility with other software is a good idea.  It
just forces people to duplicate effort endlessly:

    Code Reuse and Technological Advancement

> >
> > I don't know why you have such a problem with me that you are
> > unwilling to read my words as written, and just make up your own
> > unreasonable interpretations and misrepresentations instead, but it
> > isn't very amusing.
> I wasn't trying to be amusing. Like I previously stated, I thought your
> response was fine, until you stated preaching the company gospel.

I think you thought it was fine until you found an excuse to get pissed
off by way of misinterpreting something I said -- to some extent,
*wilfully* misinterpreting it.  That's really your problem, and not mine.

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 196 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-questions/attachments/20110318/5cac54ca/attachment.pgp

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list