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Re: Hardware manufacturer lobbying

On Tue, Feb 02, 1999 at 16:28 -0600, Zed Pobre wrote:
> On Tue, Feb 02, 1999 at 12:27:15PM -0500, James A. Treacy wrote:
>     Just so people know, I am currently in contact with 3dfx over
> this.  I started a couple of months ago and am finally getting through
> to people who should be in the know (had bad problems with people not
> calling me back, but it seems to be getting better now.  Specifically,
> I've been guided towards a fellow named Al Reyes who is supposed to be
> in charge of Glide licensing and the like.  I have stated that I am
> with the Debian project but have not stated that I am doing this in an
> official capacity.  I am currently waiting for a callback.  I am
> currently looking at only the licensing/distribution issue, and making
> the argument only from the effect that it has already had (loss of
> mesa-glide package, etc.).  If someone wants me to bring up another
> issue in addition or otherwise coordinate something with me, drop me a
> line.  My mail was bouncing for a while (I've changed ISP's and am
> getting a new domain name) but mail to zed@debian.org should work
> again now.

As I mentioned in my mail I think it would be darned excellent if they
would open up the specs to their old, obsolete hardware (ie V1 and Rush).
AFAIKS they have nothing to lose and all to gain by doing this. If they did
this it would set a great precedent for other companies. If you would like
to work on reasons why they would want to do this get in touch and we'll

One licensing issue which has bugged a few people I know who code using
Glide is the texus utility library - as I understand it basically cannot be
used in any code at all without permission from 3dfx. Opening that up would
be very handy I believe (from what I gather it is a very useful set of
functions ie matrix transformations etc etc - mainly useful to beginning

I firmly believe the model of binary-only drivers for the first 6-12 months,
followed by open specs should be acceptable to the vast majority of
hardware vendors (at least on the graphics and sound side). Not the ideal
solution, but better than nothing or binary only...

On another note I did go over to the openhardware site, and I have to say
it looked rather, umm, pathetic. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they don't
seem to very aggressive in their attempts to woo companies into the fold.

One idea I have had is to set up a hardware boycott site, which would
basically list any companies which refuse to support linux in any way,
shape or form (ie a blank NO to any question regarding drivers or specs).
Not very subtle, but it would allow people to make an informed choice, and
perhaps it would increase companies awareness of linux and other free OSs.

Just a few random thoughts (every now and then enough of them collide to
make up a coherent argument ;)


         Dave Swegen           | Debian 2.0 on Linux i386 2.1.125
<dave@recursive.prestel.co.uk> | PGP key available on request
      <dsw@debian.org>         | Linux: The Choice of a GNU Generation

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