Subject: Re: The future of NetBSD
To: None <>
From: John Baldwin <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/01/2006 11:57:27
On Friday 01 September 2006 11:27, Charles M. Hannum wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 01, 2006 at 01:08:13AM +0200, Matthias Kilian wrote:
> > They don't have to write device drivers at all, they just should
> > write good documentation.
> Unfortunately, the "documentation" often isn't so hot either.  I'll
> give you an example.  Even with both code and "documentation" from
> Realtek, we still had to reverse engineer how some parts of the RTL8180
> work.  And though it works now, our understanding is still incomplete.
> It is far easier for a manufacturer to spew out a Windows driver
> in-house, where they have direct access to the people who designed the
> hardware, so this is what they do.  The Windows driver model is pretty
> much designed around this approach.
> What we really want is not just documentation, but support from their
> engineers.  The Linux community is starting to get this in some places.

Yes.  In many cases, the reason a company doesn't want to release 
documentation is because it doesn't really exist, except in phone calls or 
e-mails between the Windows driver writer and the hardware guys.  Software 
folks are notorious for poor documentation.  It would be unrealistic for us 
to expect hardware folks to do a substantially better job.

John Baldwin