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Re: Please Help - OBSD meets CEO...
- To: misc_(_at_)_openbsd_(_dot_)_org
- Subject: Re: Please Help - OBSD meets CEO...
- From: Marcus Watts <mdw_(_at_)_umich_(_dot_)_edu>
- Date: Mon, 09 Aug 2004 14:40:41 -0400
Mike Tancsa <mike_(_at_)_sentex_(_dot_)_net> writes:
> I dont think its an issue so much of the cost of providing samples of the
> hardware. The main issue is providing *documentation* on how to properly
> create drivers. I know of one developer who has been asking for over 6
> (six) months to get the necessary info in order to fix the problem in
> which is common to FreeBSD and OpenBSD. I myself would certainly buy more
> HiFn cards if I could use them. We are starting to look at VIA instead
> because of this lack of response from HiFn.
> For providing such documentation, there is an ROI for HiFn anywhere from
> small and up with no opportunity cost to speak of.
The reason to hand out hardware would be if you want to hand out things
in advance or develop new markets. The first Macintosh II I saw was in
a game company here in Ann Arbor - complete with a color monitor in the
ugliest metal box I ever saw. What that got Apple was that when the
Mac II came out, there was software that could take advantage of the
new hardware such as the color.
The documentation is just as important for existing products as new
ones -- that should just be considered "part" of the cost of
suppporting hardware. The best way to provide that support is freely
downloadable documentation - "pdf" files are quite common for this.
The worst way to provide that support is in the form of documentation
that is only grudgingly given out after people sign NDA's. This
guarantees the smallest number of people will even see the
documentation. If there is anything tricky or hard to understand about
the hardware, that also greatly increases the chances of flakey
hardware -- most developers will be looking at an existing driver and
guessing at the behavior of the hardware, rather than reading the
hopefully more correct information the maker could provide.
The question to ask is what business is the company in:
(a) Selling as much hardware as possible
(b) Becoming an industry leader and trend-setter
(c) Selling expertise on the hardware
(d) Crippling the competition
Hopefully they'll answer (a) and maybe see (b) as a way to
do (a). Hopefully they won't answer (c) or (d). (d) says
they don't want to be (b). (c) says they'll only succeed
at (a) or (b) by accident.
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