Closed vs. open development methods (Was DVI output, ATI or nVidia)

Tim ignored_mailbox at
Thu Jun 28 06:23:14 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-06-27 at 17:35 +0200, Walter Garcia-Fontes wrote:
> It also escapes to me completely why a hardware producer would like to
> have close-source drivers, since it does not sell software but
> hardware. What does it gain? If the driver was open code, would it
> loose any revenues? Is it giving any information to competing hardware
> producers? 

Closed source doesn't stop copycats.  They can hook up logic analysers
and see how the hardware works.  They can pull apart boards and work out
the wiring and parts.  They can decompile software and firmware, to
discover its operating principles.  They may not make a perfect clone,
but they may have discovered all the tricks that the original
manufacturer made, to make their own similar product that works just as
well, or even better.

Just about all electronic devices are open source, so to speak.  There's
nothing really secret about how a television set works, even a
particular model.  Likewise for a personal stereo system, or a telephone
exchange.  Yet none of those devices have their sales killed.  They even
benefit from being able to check on each other, and avoid dumb ideas.

All closed source does it make it more difficult for someone to work on
without all the toys that I talked about in the first paragraph.  I
think the wealth of what can be done with open source on Linux, and
other OSs, does demonstrate why it's good.

[tim at bigblack ~]$ rm -rfd /*^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Huname -ipr
2.6.21-1.3228.fc7 i686 i386

Using FC 4, 5, 6 & 7, plus CentOS 5.  Today, it's FC7.

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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