Subject: Re: The future of NetBSD
To: Marc G. Fournier <email@example.com>
From: Matthias Kilian <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 09/01/2006 01:08:13
On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 06:50:00PM -0300, Marc G. Fournier wrote:
> 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
They don't have to write device drivers at all, they just should
write good documentation. Some ten or twenty years ago, if you
bought arbitrary hardware -- be it a radio, an audio tape drive, a
television or even a computer -- you always got thorough documentation
for the device, often including schematics, description of used
integrated circuits etc.
If your tape drive was broken, you could contact your local HiFi
engineer, handle him the drive and the schematics, and got it
repaired within a few days, even if he (the engineer) never got his
hands on a device of the same brand. Even if the manufacturer of
the device had vanished.
Today, people happily accept and even *encourage* the use and
inclusion of black boxes that only the vendors can fix (if they
want to, and if they still exist when problems occur). Even worse,
people involved in free and open source operating systems encourage
this habit. This is incredible.
And for Adaptec, please remember the big aac(4) debacle popping up
at the OpenBSD lists about a year ago.
 Sometimes, the black boxes aren't black but white and have fruit
printed or engraved on them. Ever tried to repair a broken iPod or
let someone fix a bug in MacOS X?