RE: [forum] Re: "Drivers? We don't need no stinking..."
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> -----Original Message----- > From: forum-admin@XFree86.Org > [mailto:forum-admin@XFree86.Org] On Behalf Of Jim Howard > Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 4:29 PM > To: forum@XFree86.Org > Subject: [forum] Re: "Drivers? We don't need no stinking..." > > > Let's see, now... > > Alan Cox tactfully implies that a dearth of register-level > documentation is moot in a dearth of mentally competent > programmers to use it. > > David Wexelblat, wandering down his line of ancient databooks, ignores > current and future chips and seems to imply that any attempt > at keeping up with hardware is doomed. > In a word, please bite me. Alan wrote: >>>The are documented drivers not ported from 3.3.6. There are >>>documented drivers with bugs. here are unaccelerated documented >>>chipsets. There is full documentation for old sis 3d, for trident >>>3d and there is broken code for sis3xx 3D. Both of us were discussing the issue of devices/drivers that were supported by XFree86 3.3.6 and are still not supported by 4.x. I was explaining that documentation exists for everything that was supported by 3.3.6, that I had a copy of the vast majority of them, and that David Dawes now has them. I also indicated that doing this work (porting old drivers to 4.x) was a really good way to help address the "dearth of mentally competent programmers" as you so tactfully put it. So show me exactly where I said anything about issues of keeping up with current hardware. > Neither addresses my, uh, treatise on bloatware, which > implies a problem with future maintainability of code. > You didn't write a treatise. You wrote a flame, to which Alan responded by pointing out that there is still plenty of hardware with plenty of documentation for which documentation exists for which drivers need to be written/ported/fixed. > With the Wretched Offender's 'kdrive' as an example, perhaps > it is possible to prune the code. As for chips, maybe I > should replace my aging G400 and 300 MHz K6-2 with a > 2 GHz CPU or two, and run dumb framebuffer mode; that was > Intel's suggestion, several years ago. > Vote with your dollars. If you are committed to the Open Source-only path, the don't by hardware from vendors that don't release docs. This has worked in the past, rarely. > For the future of XFree86, then, my two main concerns are the > same as form certain other "large" Open Source projects: > ongoing hardware support, and sustainability of the code base. > I have chronically parted company with the prevailing views on > how to deal with both of these issues, throughout my 9 > years running Open Source systems: > > 1. On hardware: A lawsuit should have been pursued years > ago, already. With the finding that Microsoft is an > illegal monopoly, that would be much easier now. The > prevailing argument against this ignores the "reasonableness > clause", such that the legal remedy cannot impose an > unreasonable burden on the defendant in a suit. > You're kidding, right? There is no correlation between any finding w.r.t. Microsoft and intellectual property rights protection. Somehow Microsoft having been found guilty in its case has implications on whether hardware vendors are allowed to choose their own paths for protecting their intellectual property? Sigh... > 2. On the code: Separate components are preferable to > monolithic systems (Linux does this, of course). > For each component, render a basic version extremely lean > and mean, with more elaborate and ambitious alternatives > available as options, using separate but coordinated code > bases (God help me if I ever have to put my code where > my mouth is on this one, but I am serious). > And the issue with the XFree86 4.x loadable modules architecture is exactly what? The entire point of the loadable architecture was to enable vendors to choose their own IP protection policies and release their own drivers if they have a business case to do so. Unless you're an "intellectual property is evil" zealot, this should be good enough. > I don't know what to say about the dearth of mentally > competent programmers. > I could make a REALLY rude comment here, but I think I won't. > > -- Jim Howard <email@example.com> -- David Wexelblat, Chief Architect mailto:DavidWexelblat@aol.com America Online, Inc http://www.aol.com/ 44900 Prentice Drive - 24B:P08 (703) 265-1158 (voice) Dulles, VA 20166 (703) 265-1301 (fax) Please send private email to: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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