Subject: Re: The future of NetBSD
To: Marc G. Fournier <>
From: Siju George <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/01/2006 10:34:52
On 9/1/06, Marc G. Fournier <> wrote:
> On Fri, 1 Sep 2006, Gilles Chehade wrote:
> > Marc G. Fournier wrote:
> >>>
> >>> I doubt that'll be productive -- NetBSD, FreeBSD and OpenBSD have all
> >>> different goals...
> >>
> >> Even at the kernel level?  Look at device drivers and vendors as one
> >> example ... companies like adaptec have to write *one* device driver, for,
> >> what, 50+ distributions of linux ... for us, they need to write one for
> >> FreeBSD, one for NetBSD, one for OpenBSD, and *now* one for DragonflyBSD
> >> ... if we had *at least* a common API for that sort of stuff, it might be
> >> asier to get support at the vendor level, no?
> >>
> >
> > How would a common API provide more support from the vendor ? What does the
> > API have to do with releasing documentation ?
> I'd rather have Adaptec provide a source code driver for their cards
> directly, then have Scott Long have to fight with unavailability of
> documentation itself ... if the driver works, what do we need
> documentation for?

Some time back we ( OpenBSD community and some others in other
BSD/Linux communities ) had mailed Adaptec to release the
Documentation for their RAID Chipsets.

One of the mail's from the adaptec personnel said.

"We have a disclaimer because there may be corner cases"

Which adaptec would not have encountered before releasing the drivers.

A *working* driver doesnot mean much when you bring to the picture
things like these.

Forget Corner cases if you want to use your card on newer hardwre that
comes out everyday you will find that the driver needs to be worked
on. And it is very important if you are interested in the Stability
and Security of your System.

Forget about the vendor giving you a fix for every problem you face.
The would most probably tell you to upgrade your hardware.

But if you had the documentation available for all if not you some one
who knows to Code could fix it for you.

The vendor loses nothing by freeing the docmentation of their
hardware. On the contrary by doing so they ensure their is supported
on wider OS platforms and work together well with other hardware. This
helps in selling more of their hardware and also since it is used by
more people the corner cases will be less because there is a chance
that people would encounter them more quiclky and since the
documentation is free it will be fixed more quickly.

And there is no real reason ( in my opinion ) in exerting some
pressure on vendors to release the documentation. Actually it is for
their benefit :-)

Hope this Helps

Kind Regards