Can't figure out whether I should write this as an article, so (due to the large yellow stripe down my back) I'll write it here and it'll get no coverage, but I'll feel better :)
What am I talking about? I'm talking about everyone concerned with "alternative" OS's (by that I mean anything that isn't Windows) working together and boycotting certain hardware manafacturers. Why? Well, there are a lot of hardware companies that publish enough details of their hardware that people with enough time and desire can write drivers for any operating system. There are however a lot more companies that don't publish any details making drivers almost impossible to write in some cases.
These companies only seem to understand sales and have ignored efforts, in some cases concentrated efforts, and requests to have the details made available. Whilst this is annoying it's actually counter productive but at the moment it's hard to figure out ahead of time whether a company is "alternative OS (AltOS) friendly" or not. It's time we fixed that and published lists of companies that are willing to work with the AltOS community. Of course we should also publish lists of companies that are NOT AltOS friendly - boycotting their products totally as this seems to be the only form of signal these companies will understand.
The commonly supplied arguments against releasing enough specs to write a driver never seem to hold water.
1) It's propriety and we don't want to give our competitors the information.
Surely these companies aren't niave enough to think that as soon as their products are available their competitors don't do some reverse engineering on them anyway? 2) It costs too much.
As the information must be avilable to these companies own engineers why not simply publish it on the web? It doesn't have to be pretty or well organised(though it's better if it is) as long as there is sufficient detail. I mean how much does FTP cost?
Those are the most common arguments I've seen and as I pointed out I don't think either really hold water. Given the way the industry is moving I really don't understand why companies are so resistant to having their products useful on as many computers as possible. The windows market is shrinking and will continue to shrink. Despite the Linux fanatics shouting there isn't a single OS replacing it nor will there ever be (IMHO).
So, here is my first list of companies I won't be buying anything else from and would urge others to follow my example.
- Logitech - Sony (memory stick port and jog dial thingy on their laptops)
I'm sure there are others that I meant to add and have forgotten!