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Re: Analogies (Was Re: Benchmarks and Notches)
(I sent this direct before I noticed that the author had meant the original
to go to the list, so I'm forwarding my response too. I also added a short
paragraph that I thought of later. <grin>)
On Sat, Dec 20, 1997 at 04:32:42PM +0100, email@example.com wrote:
To your knowledge, has anyone in the Linux community investigated emulating
the Windows driver interface, so they could use the Windows drivers? It
would be hard to get the performance as good, but all the devices would
automatically have support. I realize this is non-trivial technically, but
it would be a big help.
I haven't heard of anything outside of the Wine project. Since it's a
closed proprietary format, it's be hard to reverse engineer. And I think
Microsoft has some legal protection on it. Plus, it's renowned for its
inefficiency. Also, I believe it relies pretty heavily on the rest of the
Windows architecture being in place, which is why Wine is a potential target
for it but not Linux in general.
I think some people would see it as helping the Microsoft hegemony, even if
there were technical advantages to it, which there aren't. I agree that it
would be nice to buy any arbitrary new piece of hardware and be able to use
it immediately under Linux, but that may come about sooner than we think
through other means. However, things aren't always as rosy as they seem
from afar--if you use Windows, or if you listen in on the Windows chat
channels, you'll find that they have trouble with new drivers too. And
things are much worse for NT, OS/2, and Win 3.x--even if there are drivers
for those OS's (there often aren't, for *months* after a product's release)
they are frequently buggy or crippled or both.
The last several times that I've gotten the idea that the grass was greener
on the Microsoft side of the fence, a bit of investigation has revealed that
it's not only not greener, it often isn't even grass, but astroturf or even
gravel painted green. The sacrifices one makes running Linux grow fewer and
smaller every day, while the advantages grow even faster.
Perhaps we need to start gathering documentation on all of this, as it can
all support the DOJ suit (perhaps) or other anti-monopoly suits (surely).
The problem is, courts want the original parties to testify, and that isn't
going to happen as long as MS wields the power they do now.