Re: [LONG RANT] Re: Linux stifles innovation...

Werner Almesberger (
Mon, 19 Feb 2001 13:00:22 +0100

Jeff Garzik wrote:
> 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.

Maybe a good analogy is that drivers are to hardware companies like
excrements are to living creatures: in order to stay alive, they have
to produce them, but you don't put much love into their production,
and their internals (like their development) may be a little

> Same reasoning why many companies won't release hardware
> specifications... The internal docs are bad. Really bad.

A fair number of hardware documents I have came with "here's all the
material you'll need, but please don't show this to anyone" (but no
NDA), which is fine with me: it doesn't complicate development in any
way, and in those few cases where I really needed to share a document,
they were flexible enough to allow this.

Of course, it's better if documentation is entirely in the public too,
but considering the typical overhead of clearing a document for public
release, I can understand why companies frequently don't do it.

- Werner

 / Werner Almesberger, ICA, EPFL, CH  /
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at
Please read the FAQ at