Technology and Trends
 USENET Archives
  
Path: gmd.de!xlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!cs.utexas.edu!koriel!
newscast.West.Sun.COM!coca-cola.East.Sun.COM!dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM!
missmarple!bobp
From: b...@missmarple.east.sun.com
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Support for the Matrox MV II+ ?
Date: 24 Feb 1994 20:16:01 GMT
Organization: Sun Microsystems Inc. - BDC
Lines: 6
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <2kj1u1$jli@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM>
Reply-To: b...@missmarple.east.sun.com
NNTP-Posting-Host: missmarple.east.sun.com
X-Newsreader: mxrn 6.18-6



Is there X Window support for any of the Matrox boards yet?

--bob

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!darwin.sura.net!howland.reston.ans.net!
cs.utexas.edu!uunet!virtech!dwex
From: d...@aib.com (David E. Wexelblat)
Subject: Re: Support for the Matrox MV II+ ?
Message-ID: <CLt773.CE6@aib.com>
Organization: AIB Software, Inc.
References: <2kj1u1$jli@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 1994 02:06:37 GMT
Lines: 22

In article <2kj1u1$...@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM> b...@missmarple.east.sun.com writes:
>
>
>Is there X Window support for any of the Matrox boards yet?
>
>--bob
>

No.  Nor will there likely ever be, unless the commercial folks do it.
Matrox is absolutely anal-retentive about non-disclosure on this stuff.

--
David Wexelblat <d...@aib.com>  (703) 430-9247  Fax: (703) 450-4560
AIB Software Corporation, 46030 Manekin Plaza, Suite 160, Dulles, VA  20166
  Formerly Virtual Technologies, Inc.

Mail regarding XFree86[TM] should be sent to <xfre...@physics.su.oz.au>

"A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere,
  Or a cataclysmic earthquake, I'd accept with some despair.
    But no, you sent us Congress!  Good God, sir, was that fair?"
      -- John Adams, "Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve", from "1776"

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!xlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!wupost!crcnis1.unl.edu!
news.unomaha.edu!news.nevada.edu!jimi!ftlofaro
From: ftlof...@unlv.edu (Frank Lofaro)
Subject: Reverse-engineering (Re: Support for the Matrox MV II+ ?)
Message-ID: <1994Feb26.225716.11466@unlv.edu>
Sender: n...@unlv.edu (News User)
Organization: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
References: <2kj1u1$jli@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM> <CLt773.CE6@aib.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 94 22:57:16 GMT
Lines: 48

In article <CLt773....@aib.com> d...@aib.com (David E. Wexelblat) writes:
>In article <2kj1u1$...@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM> b...@missmarple.east.sun.com writes:
>>
>>
>>Is there X Window support for any of the Matrox boards yet?
>>
>>--bob
>>
>
>No.  Nor will there likely ever be, unless the commercial folks do it.
>Matrox is absolutely anal-retentive about non-disclosure on this stuff.
>

Or unless/until someone reverse-engineers the stuff.
Using debug on a device-driver under DOS might help.



As for it being illegal, I don't think so.
Heck I've done something similar myself. Not with anything as big and 
complicated as X drivers, but I did figure out how to change the CPU clock 
speed on an Everex Tempo in software from their .COM program. (output 0xa2 
or 0xa3 out 0x64 to decrease/increase clock rate). Uh-oh! I think I hear the 
FBI at my door, I better flee the country before I get a 20 year prison 
sentence to serve. ;)

Someone did find out how to program Diamond clocks by 
reverse-engineering.

Anyway, is a company really going to bother with suing an individual 
because he/she found out information via reverse-engineering. If they signed 
an NDA and violated it, of course they'd be in trouble. HOWEVER, if someone 
does not sign any NDA and find things out on their own that should be legal.

I am not a lawyer, but the above seems reasonable. If one can get 
sued for reverse-engineering, then things are really sad. Even the U.S. 
legal system isn't THAT bad, I hope. If it IS that pathetic, people outside 
the U.S. or anonymous people could do it. Users using it would be safe, 
no one can go after hundreds/thousands of people.

P.S. To those who thing reverse-engineering is immoral or whatever it is 
not. If it is the only way to can find out something what are you supposed to 
do, remain clueless? You got the binary, assuming you didn't steal it, 
you can disassemble it as you wish. Some license agreements prohibit this, 
but unless you signed something, you should only be bound by the copyright 
laws, which just say to cannot COPY stuff.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!Germany.EU.net!EU.net!uunet!virtech!dwex
From: d...@aib.com (David E. Wexelblat)
Subject: Re: Reverse-engineering (Re: Support for the Matrox MV II+ ?)
Message-ID: <CLw8tB.37v@aib.com>
Organization: AIB Software, Inc.
References: <2kj1u1$jli@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM> <CLt773.CE6@aib.com> 
<1994Feb26.225716.11466@unlv.edu>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 1994 17:34:22 GMT
Lines: 117

In article <1994Feb26.225716.11...@unlv.edu> ftlof...@unlv.edu (Frank Lofaro) writes:
>In article <CLt773....@aib.com> d...@aib.com (David E. Wexelblat) writes:
>>In article <2kj1u1$...@dr-pepper.East.Sun.COM> b...@missmarple.east.sun.com writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>Is there X Window support for any of the Matrox boards yet?
>>>
>>>--bob
>>>
>>
>>No.  Nor will there likely ever be, unless the commercial folks do it.
>>Matrox is absolutely anal-retentive about non-disclosure on this stuff.
>>
>
>Or unless/until someone reverse-engineers the stuff.
>Using debug on a device-driver under DOS might help.
>

XFree86 does not do this.  We do not condone it.  We do not knowingly
accept code that done this way.

>
>
>As for it being illegal, I don't think so.
>Heck I've done something similar myself. Not with anything as big and 
>complicated as X drivers, but I did figure out how to change the CPU clock 
>speed on an Everex Tempo in software from their .COM program. (output 0xa2 
>or 0xa3 out 0x64 to decrease/increase clock rate). Uh-oh! I think I hear the 
>FBI at my door, I better flee the country before I get a 20 year prison 
>sentence to serve. ;)

No one said that it couldn't be done; we said it shouldn't be done.
If you knew that Everex considered that information a trade secret, then
I'm quite certain you would have (or should have) thought twice about
doing this and making it public.

>
>Someone did find out how to program Diamond clocks by 
>reverse-engineering.
>

That's right.  We've known how to deal with Diamond boards for well over
a year.  Do we support them?  No.  Because we know that Diamond does not
want this information released.

>Anyway, is a company really going to bother with suing an individual 
>because he/she found out information via reverse-engineering. If they signed 
>an NDA and violated it, of course they'd be in trouble. HOWEVER, if someone 
>does not sign any NDA and find things out on their own that should be legal.
>

No, they probably wouldn't bother suing an individual, depending on the
magnitude of the disclosure and the damage done by it.  They might, however,
consider an organization like The XFree86 Project, Inc, with its structured
development efforts, a worthwhile target.

>I am not a lawyer, but the above seems reasonable. If one can get 
>sued for reverse-engineering, then things are really sad. Even the U.S. 
>legal system isn't THAT bad, I hope. If it IS that pathetic, people outside 
>the U.S. or anonymous people could do it. Users using it would be safe, 
>no one can go after hundreds/thousands of people.
>

You certainly CAN get sued.  You can get sued for anything.  Whether or
not you will lose the suit is another matter entirely.  Can you afford
the cost of the suit?  If you don't defend yourself, you lose by definition.

>P.S. To those who thing reverse-engineering is immoral or whatever it is 
>not. If it is the only way to can find out something what are you supposed to 
>do, remain clueless? You got the binary, assuming you didn't steal it, 
>you can disassemble it as you wish. Some license agreements prohibit this, 
>but unless you signed something, you should only be bound by the copyright 
>laws, which just say to cannot COPY stuff.
>

To each his own.  We consider it an unethical practice, if not an illegal one,
to knowingly obtain and release information that another individual or
organization does not want released.  Suppose I just happen to walk by the
payphone and see you using your calling card.  Is it not illegal or unethical
for me to disseminate that information?  How is this any different?

This is hacker-ware, for God's sake, not a business.  Even if it were a
business, I would consider it an incorrect business practice.  Whu on 
earth would you, as a hobby, steal information others don't want released?
I suppose that's a stupid question - I could never understand the glee
people got from breaking copy-protection schemes back when I was in high
school.

Why do you think BSDI releases drivers in binary form for BSD/386?  Because
the vendors want it that way.  We could do that with XFree86, too.  In fact,
Diamond offered us that alternative more than a year ago.  But with a dozen
operating systems to support, we didn't want to take that tack.

Here's the bottom line.  Learn this and learn it well:

	XFree86 has far too much to do.  We always have; we always will.
	We can't keep up with the demand for support of products for 
	which documentation is freely available.  We have vendors who
	are giving us documentation, hardware, sample code, hands-on
	support, etc, etc.  WHY ON EARTH SHOULD WE WASTE WHAT LITTLE
	TIME WE HAVE BOTHERING WITH OBNOXIOUS VENDORS?  Go buy another
	card.  Ask us before you spend N hundred dollars on a video card
	whether it will be supported by the available software.

Why is this so hard to understand?

--
David Wexelblat <d...@aib.com>  (703) 430-9247  Fax: (703) 450-4560
AIB Software Corporation, 46030 Manekin Plaza, Suite 160, Dulles, VA  20166
  Formerly Virtual Technologies, Inc.

Mail regarding XFree86[TM] should be sent to <xfre...@physics.su.oz.au>

"A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere,
  Or a cataclysmic earthquake, I'd accept with some despair.
    But no, you sent us Congress!  Good God, sir, was that fair?"
      -- John Adams, "Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve", from "1776"

Path: gmd.de!xlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!agate!ihnp4.ucsd.edu!pacbell.com!
decwrl!nntp.crl.com!crl2.crl.com!not-for-mail
From: bho...@crl.com (Bill Hogan)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Date: 28 Feb 1994 23:17:07 -0800
Organization: Planet Earth
Lines: 48
Message-ID: <2kuq5j$e0p@crl2.crl.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: crl2.crl.com

>|> ... We consider it an unethical practice, if not an illegal one,
>|> to knowingly obtain and release information that another individual or
>|> organization does not want released.  Suppose I just happen to walk by the
>|> payphone and see you using your calling card.  Is it not illegal or unethical
>|> for me to disseminate that information?  How is this any different?

 I am certainly willing to grant that it would not be right for me to give
out *information* about you if that information can be used to deprive you
of something that belongs to you, but that way of putting it begs the
question, which is, does *knowledge* belong to anyone? 

 If I have a dollar bill with serial number n, then you don't; if I give 
you my dollar bill, then you have it and I don't.
 
 But if I know X, *that* fact is not lessened in any way if you know X.

 True, if I learn X *before* you do, I may elect to try to turn *that*
fact to my personal pecuniary advantage by trying to keep X a secret, but
that only underscores the point I am making. 

 Since the only reason I am trying to keep X a secret from you is to
prevent you form cashing in on it (the way I am or plan to), I am hardly
in a position to get sanctimonious if you manage to penetrate the
artificial veil of secrecy I have thrown up specifically to *prevent* you
from learning X. 

 I think we would all be much better off in the long run if, instead of
investing time and money trying to extract short-term advantage from
knowledge by keeping it secret as long as possible, we invested that same
time and money into making knowledge equally available to anyone who wants
it, and competed on the basis of the ability to *use* knowledge better. 

 When I think about this, I remember a remark then-Governor Ronald Reagan
made during his 1979 Presidential campaign -- a remark that was not made
much of by the press at the time but which, nevertheless, I think
prefigured what was to happen when he and Gorbachev met later at Reykjavik
(sp?) -- namely, that there really was "only one economic system". 

 Bill
 
 
 

 
 
-- 
  Bill Hogan
{bho...@crl.com}

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!xlink.net!zib-berlin.de!uni-paderborn.de!
urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de!newsserver.rrzn.uni-hannover.de!
ina.zfn.uni-bremen.de!marvin.pc-labor.uni-bremen.de!news.uni-stuttgart.de!
news.belwue.de!news.dfn.de!darwin.sura.net!howland.reston.ans.net!
cs.utexas.edu!chinacat!rpp386!jfh
From: jfh@rpp386 (John F. Haugh II)
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Message-ID: <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386>
Reply-To: j...@rpp386.cactus.org (John F. Haugh II)
Organization: River Parishes Programming, Austin TX
References: <2kuq5j$e0p@crl2.crl.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Mar 1994 04:28:01 GMT
Lines: 40

In article <2kuq5j$...@crl2.crl.com> bho...@crl.com (Bill Hogan) writes:
> I think we would all be much better off in the long run if, instead of
>investing time and money trying to extract short-term advantage from
>knowledge by keeping it secret as long as possible, we invested that same
>time and money into making knowledge equally available to anyone who wants
>it, and competed on the basis of the ability to *use* knowledge better. 

The problem with RMS's communist utopian version of informatin
socialism is that I have to earn a living in order to buy the "hard"
goods that it takes to live.  The time I spending earning a living
in some other arena, perhaps as a ditch digger, will take away from
the time I have to spend in such noble pursuits as "thinking".

In reality an "idea" has value just as a "process" or "hard" object
does.  And in a similar manner, that "idea" has a cost of
development.  Linus took "free" time and instead of earning money,
he wrote the Linux kernel.  The "value" of the ideas in Linux are,
at a minimum, the value of the time taken to create the kernel, and
at a maximum the value of the time or money its saves the users of
Linux.

The simple fact that the FSF has to rely so heavily on charity proves
the point -- there is no profit to be made in "hand holding" or
"consulting" or even "distribution" services as Stallman claims in his
GNU [Communist] Manifesto.  But the real world demands that we pay our
mortgages, children's doctor bills, and provide for our retirements.

Programming might be "fun" or "easy", but =good= programming is a quite
different matter.  Ever wonder why GCC or G++ oscillate between
"working" and "not working"?  There is no profit motive to keep them
working.  And there is no profit motive to make the compilers
compatible, reliable, etc. so you wind up with unique behaviors all
throughout GNUware.  Hell, I went to compile some Linux program on my
POSIX 1003.1 compliant, XPG/3 branded system and guess what -- it
didn't compile at all.  Such a deal ...
-- 
John F. Haugh II  [ NRA-ILA ] [ Kill Barney ] !'s: ...!cs.utexas.edu!rpp386!jfh
Ma Bell: (512) 251-2151 [GOP][DoF #17][PADI][ENTJ]   @'s: j...@rpp386.cactus.org
 There are three documents that run my life: The King James Bible, the United
 States Constitution, and the UNIX System V Release 4 Programmer's Reference.

Path: gmd.de!urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de!tornado.oche.de!rnihd.rni.sub.org!
subnet.sub.net!xlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!sunic!ugle.unit.no!
trane.uninett.no!alf.uib.no!129.177.30.3!magnus
From: mag...@ii.uib.no
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,gnu.misc.discuss
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Date: 4 Mar 1994 09:27:54 GMT
Organization: Department of Informatics
Lines: 80
Message-ID: <MAGNUS.94Mar4102640@lomvi.ii.uib.no>
References: <2kuq5j$e0p@crl2.crl.com> <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386>
Reply-To: mag...@ii.uib.no
NNTP-Posting-Host: lomvi.ii.uib.no
In-reply-to: jfh@rpp386's message of Fri, 4 Mar 1994 04:28:01 GMT

>>>>> "John" == John F Haugh <jfh@rpp386> writes:

John> In reality an "idea" has value just as a "process" or "hard"
John> object does.  And in a similar manner, that "idea" has a cost of

Yes, but while the value of a 'hard' object decreases when you
distribute it, the value of an 'idea' increases when you distribute
it.

As many people as possible should share ideas and information. When
capitalism and market economies prevent this they are working against
the good of the people.

John> The simple fact that the FSF has to rely so heavily on charity
John> proves the point -- there is no profit to be made in "hand

Proves what point? It proves that people are willing to pay for
software without getting the exclusive rights to it.

John> Stallman claims in his GNU [Communist] Manifesto.  But the real

Grow up.

John> world demands that we pay our mortgages, children's doctor
John> bills, and provide for our retirements.

Let me tell you again - the core of the FSF / GNU philosophy is not
that programmers shouldn't be paid. It's the non-exclusive use of
software. Let me show you two scenarios:

Scenario A.

Company Gadgets Inc needs a program to manage their document database.
They have a big Unix box running a generix Unix variant. They hire a
programmer to do the programming. The programmer buys a proprietary
database engine and customizes it for keeping documents. He then
programs a user interface in C++ for Windows. It takes months, but
it's a satisfactory solution and the programmers gets paid. Well.

Company Widgets Inc also needs such a database. They hire the same
programmer. The programmer buys the same database engine. The
programmer does the same customizing. The programmer programs the same
user interface as in Gadgets Inc. He gets paid again. Well.

Scenario B.

Company Gagets Inc needs a program to manage their document database.
There is such a program available, free, but like much free software
it is not quite satisfactory. It is not terribly efficient, and the
user interface is text-only. Someone wrote it in his spare time. The
company hires a programmer. The programmer improves on the memory
allocation and builds a user interface for X-Windows. The improvements
are then sent back to the maintainer of the code and integrated in the
normal release. The programmer still gets paid well.

Company Widgets Inc also needs such a databaser. They hire the same
programmer. He grabs a copy of the program he made for Gadgets Inc and
configures it for the needs of Widgets Inc. Takes him five minutes.

John> a quite different matter.  Ever wonder why GCC or G++ oscillate
John> between "working" and "not working"?  There is no profit motive

Because FSF release it as they change it. If you wanted a stable GCC
you would use v1.x.x. As of now 2.5.8 is considered a stable release.
Ever wonder why GCC is better than all those commercial compilers?

John> to keep them working.  And there is no profit motive to make the
John> compilers compatible, reliable, etc. so you wind up with unique
John> behaviors all throughout GNUware.  Hell, I went to compile some

Tell me about a C compiler that has better ANSI compliance than GCC.

John> Linux program on my POSIX 1003.1 compliant, XPG/3 branded system
John> and guess what -- it didn't compile at all.  Such a deal ...  --

Oh. Well, you must be right then.

-Magnus

(Stupid git.)

Path: gmd.de!urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de!newsserver.rrzn.uni-hannover.de!
ina.zfn.uni-bremen.de!marvin.pc-labor.uni-bremen.de!news.uni-stuttgart.de!
rz.uni-karlsruhe.de!xlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!uknet!EU.net!
sun4nl!hacktic!draconia.hacktic.nl!draconia.hacktic.nl!ron
From: r...@draconia.hacktic.nl (Ron Smits)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,gnu.misc.discuss
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Followup-To: comp.os.linux.misc,gnu.misc.discuss
Date: 5 Mar 1994 11:08:34 GMT
Organization: Draconia, the land of fantasy
Lines: 103
Message-ID: <2l9p7i$re@draconia.hacktic.nl>
References: <2kuq5j$e0p@crl2.crl.com> <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386> 
<MAGNUS.94Mar4102640@lomvi.ii.uib.no>
NNTP-Posting-Host: localhost.hacktic.nl
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]

mag...@ii.uib.no wrote:
: >>>>> "John" == John F Haugh <jfh@rpp386> writes:

: John> In reality an "idea" has value just as a "process" or "hard"
: John> object does.  And in a similar manner, that "idea" has a cost of

: Yes, but while the value of a 'hard' object decreases when you
: distribute it, the value of an 'idea' increases when you distribute
: it.

: As many people as possible should share ideas and information. When
: capitalism and market economies prevent this they are working against
: the good of the people.

: John> The simple fact that the FSF has to rely so heavily on charity
: John> proves the point -- there is no profit to be made in "hand

: Proves what point? It proves that people are willing to pay for
: software without getting the exclusive rights to it.

: John> Stallman claims in his GNU [Communist] Manifesto.  But the real

: Grow up.

: John> world demands that we pay our mortgages, children's doctor
: John> bills, and provide for our retirements.

: Let me tell you again - the core of the FSF / GNU philosophy is not
: that programmers shouldn't be paid. It's the non-exclusive use of
: software. Let me show you two scenarios:

: Scenario A.

: Company Gadgets Inc needs a program to manage their document database.
: They have a big Unix box running a generix Unix variant. They hire a
: programmer to do the programming. The programmer buys a proprietary
: database engine and customizes it for keeping documents. He then
: programs a user interface in C++ for Windows. It takes months, but
: it's a satisfactory solution and the programmers gets paid. Well.

: Company Widgets Inc also needs such a database. They hire the same
: programmer. The programmer buys the same database engine. The
: programmer does the same customizing. The programmer programs the same
: user interface as in Gadgets Inc. He gets paid again. Well.

: Scenario B.

: Company Gagets Inc needs a program to manage their document database.
: There is such a program available, free, but like much free software
: it is not quite satisfactory. It is not terribly efficient, and the
: user interface is text-only. Someone wrote it in his spare time. The
: company hires a programmer. The programmer improves on the memory
: allocation and builds a user interface for X-Windows. The improvements
: are then sent back to the maintainer of the code and integrated in the
: normal release. The programmer still gets paid well.

: Company Widgets Inc also needs such a databaser. They hire the same
: programmer. He grabs a copy of the program he made for Gadgets Inc and
: configures it for the needs of Widgets Inc. Takes him five minutes.

He gets paid a bit less than in scenario A, BUT Company Widgets Inc will
remember him as on honest guy that didint bleed them to death. His name
will come up again for the next job and it will be heard when the people of
company widgets Inc talk to other companies. This is called long term
good will!!

: John> a quite different matter.  Ever wonder why GCC or G++ oscillate
: John> between "working" and "not working"?  There is no profit motive

: Because FSF release it as they change it. If you wanted a stable GCC
: you would use v1.x.x. As of now 2.5.8 is considered a stable release.
: Ever wonder why GCC is better than all those commercial compilers?

: John> to keep them working.  And there is no profit motive to make the
: John> compilers compatible, reliable, etc. so you wind up with unique
: John> behaviors all throughout GNUware.  Hell, I went to compile some

: Tell me about a C compiler that has better ANSI compliance than GCC.

: John> Linux program on my POSIX 1003.1 compliant, XPG/3 branded system
: John> and guess what -- it didn't compile at all.  Such a deal ...  --

: Oh. Well, you must be right then.

: -Magnus

: (Stupid git.)

I use Linux and GCC 2.5.8 and XFree86 to write programs and applications
that run on NCR 3000 systems. It takes one (1) xmkmf and one (1) make install
I call this compliant enough. The Gcc compiler is good, sturdy and smarter
then other compilers I've worked with!!
--



		Ron Smits
		r...@draconia.hacktic.nl
		Ron.Sm...@Netherlands.NCR.COM

/*-( My opinions are my opinions, My boss's opinions are his opinions )-*/
/*-(                They might not be the same                         -*/

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc,gnu.misc.discuss
Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!howland.reston.ans.net!gatech!swrinde!
cs.utexas.edu!chinacat!rpp386!jfh
From: jfh@rpp386 (John F. Haugh II)
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Message-ID: <1994Mar7.031821.11418@rpp386>
Reply-To: j...@rpp386.cactus.org (John F. Haugh II)
Organization: River Parishes Programming, Austin TX
References: <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386> <MAGNUS.94Mar4102640@lomvi.ii.uib.no> 
<2l9p7i$re@draconia.hacktic.nl>
Date: Mon, 7 Mar 1994 03:18:21 GMT
Lines: 39

In article <2l9p7i...@draconia.hacktic.nl> r...@draconia.hacktic.nl (Ron Smits) 
writes:
>: John> to keep them working.  And there is no profit motive to make the
>: John> compilers compatible, reliable, etc. so you wind up with unique
>: John> behaviors all throughout GNUware.  Hell, I went to compile some
>
>: Tell me about a C compiler that has better ANSI compliance than GCC.

This morning I tried to compile GNUPLOT with GCC.  It blew up.  I changed
the auto-configured Makefile to be "cc".  It compiled just fine with the
stock compiler in Dell's SVR4.

>: John> Linux program on my POSIX 1003.1 compliant, XPG/3 branded system
>: John> and guess what -- it didn't compile at all.  Such a deal ...  --
>
>: Oh. Well, you must be right then.

Glad you see things my way.

>I use Linux and GCC 2.5.8 and XFree86 to write programs and applications
>that run on NCR 3000 systems. It takes one (1) xmkmf and one (1) make install
>I call this compliant enough. The Gcc compiler is good, sturdy and smarter
>then other compilers I've worked with!!

Then you've never used XLC from IBM.  It is fully ANSI compliant, the
OS is XPG/3 branded, and it produces code that is significantly faster
than that produced by GCC.

But you say, "How can this possibly be?"  It "be" because IBM holds most
of the interesting compiler patents.  IBM also employs quite a few really
slick compiler writers.  And IBM can afford to employ all those Canadians
because there is a profit motive.  The state of the art in commercial
software will always be vastly better than the state of the art in free
software.  There is only so much "research and development" you can do
in your spare time.
-- 
John F. Haugh II  [ NRA-ILA ] [ Kill Barney ] !'s: ...!cs.utexas.edu!rpp386!jfh
Ma Bell: (512) 251-2151 [GOP][DoF #17][PADI][ENTJ]   @'s: j...@rpp386.cactus.org
 There are three documents that run my life: The King James Bible, the United
 States Constitution, and the UNIX System V Release 4 Programmer's Reference.

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!stevens-tech.edu!vaxc.stevens-tech.edu!p1nadeau
From: p1nad...@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Message-ID: <1994Mar8.170350.1@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu>
Lines: 53
Sender: n...@dmi.stevens-tech.edu (USENET News System)
Organization: Stevens Institute Of Technology
References: <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386> <MAGNUS.94Mar4102640@lomvi.ii.uib.no> 
<2l9p7i$re@draconia.hacktic.nl> <1994Mar7.031821.11418@rpp386>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 1994 22:03:50 GMT

In article <1994Mar7.031821.11418@rpp386>, jfh@rpp386 (John F. Haugh II) writes:
> 
> But you say, "How can this possibly be?"  It "be" because IBM holds most
> of the interesting compiler patents.  IBM also employs quite a few really
> slick compiler writers.  And IBM can afford to employ all those Canadians
> because there is a profit motive.  The state of the art in commercial
> software will always be vastly better than the state of the art in free
> software.  There is only so much "research and development" you can do
> in your spare time.
	Nobody is going to be researching advances into IBM compilers in their
free time. "Lots 'n' lots" of people will be researching Gnuware in their free
time. The idea is that the free time of us commie programmers far exceeds the
paid time of those IBM deckslaves.
	In "The Mythical Man-Month", Fred P. Brooks puts forth some axioms of
software engineering he learned after managing the OS/360 project at IBM. As
you may or may not know, OS/360 was the kind of big-time commercial bone-headed
blunders that IBM is so famous for and that would NEVER happen with a labor of
love like Linux.
	Some of the postulates state that informality increases productivity.
The best debugging takes place after-hours in a machine room, where the
programmers can relax despite the large amounts of caffeine present simply
because the 9-to-5 pressure is off. In the FSF paradigm, software is developed
in a COMPLETELY informal environment, becoming formal only after the maintainers
of the code freeze a release.
	Another suggestion made by Brooks is that programmers be given a
"playpen" area to fool with their code before its sent to the integrators. The
size of the "playpen" for any given FSF project is astronomical compared to the
tiny little development labs of IBM.
	Brooks also shows that the more communication necessary between members
of a software development team, the more time will be wasted and the bigger
chances for a SNAFU. Figures show that the average amount of time a software
engineer spends on spec/design/code/test is roughly HALF his working hours, the
other half going to all those boring meetings and phone conversations. Most FSF
patches aren't done by teams. They are done by one or two people working
togethor, needing only to communicate with their own memories. Only when the
project is finished need it be pushed into a high-traffic environment.
	The biggest argument in favor of the argument that Free Software is
Better Software comes from the software life cycle. Boehm's Spiral Model for
Software Development (loosely) shows that software is made in a series of
Spec/Design/Code/Test cycles that get smaller and more atomic as the product
approaches the "Ideal". Statistically, once the initial work on a project
is done, the fastest progress is made by flying through the spiral as fast as
manpower allows. The inference is obvious.

> -- 
> John F. Haugh II  [ NRA-ILA ] [ Kill Barney ] !'s: ...!cs.utexas.edu!rpp386!jfh
> Ma Bell: (512) 251-2151 [GOP][DoF #17][PADI][ENTJ]   @'s: j...@rpp386.cactus.org
>  There are three documents that run my life: The King James Bible, the United
>  States Constitution, and the UNIX System V Release 4 Programmer's Reference.
                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
	But why am I telling you any of this? It's equally obvious that you are
out of touch with the history of the industry if you can espouse a negative
philosophy to the FSF and still regard this book as a holy work.

Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!yale.edu!nigel.msen.com!well!pacbell.com!
ihnp4.ucsd.edu!mvb.saic.com!MathWorks.Com!europa.eng.gtefsd.com!
howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk!pavo.csi.cam.ac.uk!ucs.cam.ac.uk!ag129
From: ag...@ucs.cam.ac.uk (Alasdair Grant)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Date: Thu, 10 Mar 1994 18:25:25
Organization: University of Cambridge
Lines: 71
Message-ID: <ag129.551.2D7F667C@ucs.cam.ac.uk>
References: <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386> <MAGNUS.94Mar4102640@lomvi.ii.uib.no> 
<2l9p7i$re@draconia.hacktic.nl> <1994Mar7.031821.11418@rpp386> 
<1994Mar8.170350.1@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: seaeagle.csi.cam.ac.uk

In article <1994Mar8.17035...@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu> p1nad...@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu 
writes:
>        Nobody is going to be researching advances into IBM compilers in 
their>free time. "Lots 'n' lots" of people will be researching Gnuware in 
their free>time. The idea is that the free time of us commie programmers far 
exceeds the>paid time of those IBM deckslaves.

You seem to have little idea of what is involved in "research".  I can't
remember if Chaitin won the ACM Turing award (computer science's top
annual award), but Backus did, to name two of IBM's compiler developers.
The number of people who are capable of improving GCC's parsing or code
generation is far, far, smaller than the number of its users.

>        In "The Mythical Man-Month", Fred P. Brooks puts forth some axioms 
of>software engineering he learned after managing the OS/360 project at IBM. 
As>you may or may not know, OS/360 was the kind of big-time commercial bone-
headed>blunders that IBM is so famous for and that would NEVER happen with a 
labor of>love like Linux.

OS/360 was a massive success, technically _and_ commercially.
OS/360 is probably what's driving your payroll (if you work for a 
living, which I doubt).  OS/360 was so advanced that modern microkernels
and RISCs have more in common with it than with PDP-11s, Vaxes, BSD Unix
and suchlike.  People have claimed innovations for RISC that have been 
in OS/360 all along (some people seem to think that all early computers
looked like a Vax).

Also, top managers don't write books about their failures!

>        Some of the postulates state that informality increases productivity.
>The best debugging takes place after-hours in a machine room, where the
>programmers can relax despite the large amounts of caffeine present simply
>because the 9-to-5 pressure is off. In the FSF paradigm, software is developed
>in a COMPLETELY informal environment, becoming formal only after the maintainers
>of the code freeze a release.

Really?  What about Linux changes made hurriedly as a result of 
breakages in production environments?  Or are you saying Linux works
100% correctly in production environments?

>        Another suggestion made by Brooks is that programmers be given a
>"playpen" area to fool with their code before its sent to the integrators. The
>size of the "playpen" for any given FSF project is astronomical compared to the
>tiny little development labs of IBM.

In size but not variety.  The fact that Linux doesn't support MCA, and
doesn't talk AppleTalk or NetWare, just shows how limited the scope of
most peoples' "play" really is.  IBM (or Microsoft or Novell) don't
test things on a few thousand Dell 386s; they get lots of different
stuff, plug it all together, and fix the bits that break.

Incidentally, which IBM development labs have you been to?

>        Brooks also shows that the more communication necessary between members
>of a software development team, the more time will be wasted and the bigger
>chances for a SNAFU. Figures show that the average amount of time a software
>engineer spends on spec/design/code/test is roughly HALF his working hours, the
>other half going to all those boring meetings and phone conversations. 

Well I may be stupid but I don't pretend to complete superiority.  
Even when the software I'm working on is "mine", conversations and 
discussions with colleagues and users are what makes it meet their needs.  
If you choose Linux as the strategic operating system for a million 
dollars' worth of hardware (plus whatever as yet unknown hardware you 
are going to replace it with in 3 years' time) you don't just throw 
it in and hope for the best.

>Statistically, once the initial work on a project
>is done, the fastest progress is made by flying through the spiral as fast as
>manpower allows. The inference is obvious.

So when can we expect Linux v1.0?

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!warwick!
lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk!pavo.csi.cam.ac.uk!iwj10
From: iw...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Ian Jackson)
Subject: Re: "Reverse-engineering"
Message-ID: <1994Mar13.204656.10648.chiark.ijackson@nyx.cs.du.edu>
Originator: iw...@bootes.cus.cam.ac.uk
Sender: n...@infodev.cam.ac.uk (USENET news)
Nntp-Posting-Host: bootes.cus.cam.ac.uk
Organization: Linux Unlimited
References: <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386> <1994Mar7.031821.11418@rpp386> 
<1994Mar8.170350.1@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu> <ag129.551.2D7F667C@ucs.cam.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 1994 20:46:56 GMT
Lines: 40

In article <ag129.551.2D7F6...@ucs.cam.ac.uk>,
Alasdair Grant <ag...@ucs.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>>        Another suggestion made by Brooks is that programmers be
>>given a "playpen" area to fool with their code before its sent to
>>the integrators. The size of the "playpen" for any given FSF project
>>is astronomical compared to the tiny little development labs of IBM.
>
>In size but not variety.  The fact that Linux doesn't support MCA, and
>doesn't talk AppleTalk or NetWare, just shows how limited the scope of
>most peoples' "play" really is.

The reason Linux doesn't run support MCA or NetWare is in each case
difficulty in obtaining relevant information.  I expect that the same
is true of AppleTalk, though a lack of people wanting the facility may
well have some impact there.

>  IBM (or Microsoft or Novell) don't
>test things on a few thousand Dell 386s; they get lots of different
>stuff, plug it all together, and fix the bits that break.

This is exactly what is being done with Linux.

For starters, Linux users can't afford Dells :-).  Seriously, Linux
*is* being used on a very large range of hardware, and it constantly
amazes me how little it breaks (especially considering the brain
damage in the ISA architecture).

>>Statistically, once the initial work on a project is done, the
>>fastest progress is made by flying through the spiral as fast as
>>manpower allows. The inference is obvious.
>
>So when can we expect Linux v1.0?

No more than two months.  An alpha version of 1.0 has been out for a
week now; my best guess would be another two weeks.

-- 
Ian Jackson, at home  <ijack...@nyx.cs.du.edu> or <iw...@cus.cam.ac.uk>
PGP2 public key available on server.  Urgent email: <iw...@phx.cam.ac.uk>
2 Lexington Close, Cambridge, CB4 3LS, England;  phone: +44 223 64238

Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!yale.edu!yale!gumby!newsxfer.itd.umich.edu!
sol.ctr.columbia.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk!
pavo.csi.cam.ac.uk!nmm
From: n...@cl.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: IBM MCA and Novell Netware [
Date: 15 Mar 1994 17:41:20 GMT
Organization: U of Cambridge Computer Lab, UK
Lines: 37
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <2m4s00$nl1@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>
References: <1994Mar4.042801.9338@rpp386> <1994Mar7.031821.11418@rpp386> 
<1994Mar8.170350.1@vaxc.stevens-tech.edu> <ag129.551.2D7F667C@ucs.cam.ac.uk> 
<1994Mar13.204656.10648.chiark.ijackson@nyx.cs.du.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: ouse.cl.cam.ac.uk

Nick Maclaren
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street,
Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Email:  n...@cl.cam.ac.uk
Tel.:   +44 223 334761
Fax:    +44 223 334679
was Re: "Reverse-engineering"]
Keywords: 

In article <1994Mar13.204656.10648.chiark.ijack...@nyx.cs.du.edu>, 
iw...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Ian Jackson) writes:
|> 
|> The reason Linux doesn't run support MCA or NetWare is in each case
|> difficulty in obtaining relevant information.  I expect that the same
|> is true of AppleTalk, though a lack of people wanting the facility may
|> well have some impact there.

According to some relevant people in IBM, MCA should be fully documented in
publicly available manuals.  I know that it wasn't at one time, and the myth
persists.  The comments in the Alpha release of the MCS driver imply that it
is lack of time, facilities and incentive that are preventing a complete MCA
port, rather than lack of documentation.

As far as I know, Netware is a totally closed design.  While it would be
easy for someone to become a registered Netware developer and get access
to the information, it would cost real money.  I would be surprised if the
Linux development community feel like paying real money to Novell for the
privilege of supporting their system.


Nick Maclaren
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street,
Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Email:  n...@cl.cam.ac.uk
Tel.:   +44 223 334761
Fax:    +44 223 334679

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!xlink.net!howland.reston.ans.net!news.cac.psu.edu!news.pop.psu.edu!
ctc.com!news.mic.ucla.edu!library.ucla.edu!galaxy.ucr.edu!ihnp4.ucsd.edu!
swrinde!cs.utexas.edu!convex!news.utdallas.edu!corpgate!bnrgate!bnr.co.uk!
uknet!cf-cm!cybaswan!iiitac
From: iii...@uk.ac.swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: IBM MCA and Novell Netware [
Message-ID: <1994Mar17.105709.11433@uk.ac.swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <ag129.551.2D7F667C@ucs.cam.ac.uk> 
<1994Mar13.204656.10648.chiark.ijackson@nyx.cs.du.edu> <2m4s00$nl1@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 1994 10:57:09 GMT
Lines: 24

In article <2m4s00$...@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk> n...@cl.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) writes:
>In article <1994Mar13.204656.10648.chiark.ijack...@nyx.cs.du.edu>, 
>iw...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Ian Jackson) writes:
>|> 
>|> The reason Linux doesn't run support MCA or NetWare is in each case
>|> difficulty in obtaining relevant information.  I expect that the same
>|> is true of AppleTalk, though a lack of people wanting the facility may
>|> well have some impact there.
>
IBM are normally very forthcoming with often good quality documentation. They
tend to charge 'market prices' but they do deliver.

>As far as I know, Netware is a totally closed design.  While it would be
>easy for someone to become a registered Netware developer and get access
>to the information, it would cost real money.  I would be surprised if the
>Linux development community feel like paying real money to Novell for the
>privilege of supporting their system.

Netware is a closed design, and if you pay them money ($30,000 for server docs)
last time I investigated this you then can release binary only and must pay
royalties. You can reverse engineer it but in the states if you do this they
still have patents for you to worry about.

Alan

Path: gmd.de!xlink.net!news.dfn.de!darwin.sura.net!howland.reston.ans.net!
agate!doc.ic.ac.uk!lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk!pavo.csi.cam.ac.uk!ucs.cam.ac.uk!ag129
From: ag...@ucs.cam.ac.uk (Alasdair Grant)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Subject: Re: IBM MCA and Novell Netware [
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 1994 17:25:59
Organization: University of Cambridge
Lines: 10
Message-ID: <ag129.570.2D88930B@ucs.cam.ac.uk>
References: <ag129.551.2D7F667C@ucs.cam.ac.uk> 
<1994Mar13.204656.10648.chiark.ijackson@nyx.cs.du.edu> 
<2m4s00$nl1@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk> <1994Mar17.105709.11433@uk.ac.swan.pyr>
NNTP-Posting-Host: seaeagle.csi.cam.ac.uk

In article <1994Mar17.105709.11...@uk.ac.swan.pyr> iii...@uk.ac.swan.pyr (Alan Cox) 
writes:
>Netware is a closed design, and if you pay them money ($30,000 for server 
docs)>last time I investigated this you then can release binary only and 
must pay>royalties. 

Novell's DOS client is just a piece of 80x86 machine code in a certain 
format of executable file and making certain assumptions about interrupts 
and control blocks.  All Linux needs is a general mechanism for 
supporting this kind of code.  Why reverse-engineer or licence a program
you already have?

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.misc
Path: gmd.de!newsserver.jvnc.net!nntpserver.pppl.gov!princeton!att-in!
fnnews.fnal.gov!uwm.edu!math.ohio-state.edu!howland.reston.ans.net!pipex!
uknet!cf-cm!cybaswan!iiitac
From: iii...@uk.ac.swan.pyr (Alan Cox)
Subject: Re: IBM MCA and Novell Netware [
Message-ID: <1994Mar21.141547.19212@uk.ac.swan.pyr>
Organization: Swansea University College
References: <2m4s00$nl1@lyra.csx.cam.ac.uk> <1994Mar17.105709.11433@uk.ac.swan.pyr> 
<ag129.570.2D88930B@ucs.cam.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 1994 14:15:47 GMT
Lines: 15

In article <ag129.570.2D889...@ucs.cam.ac.uk> ag...@ucs.cam.ac.uk (Alasdair Grant) 
writes:
>Novell's DOS client is just a piece of 80x86 machine code in a certain 
>format of executable file and making certain assumptions about interrupts 
>and control blocks.  All Linux needs is a general mechanism for 
>supporting this kind of code.  Why reverse-engineer or licence a program
>you already have?
This is like the great int13 hard disk saga but worse. It's almost impossible
to do without emulating the whole of DOS. In addition read your netware
license carefully. I seem to remember the DOS client is licensed for DOS only.

Linux supports both NFS (client/server) and Lan Manager/Pathworks/WfWg (server)
so why support a company who are being awkward.

Alan