[ILUG] GPL source code for embedded systems
niall at mailtest.inpho.ie
Thu Mar 16 11:08:29 GMT 2000
On Wed, Mar 15, 2000 at 05:55:55PM +0000, John P. Looney wrote:
> I don't agree with that. As long as you tell people "this will change.
> Write for this chip natively, and it'll not work on Crusoe chips released
> in four months", people won't write for it.
History shows that this is not correct. Both Apple and Microsoft have been
plagued down throught the years by the need to maintain backwards
compatibility with applications which used un-documented but well-known
interfaces to their OS. It was a smaller problem for Apple as they have much
better defined API and programming guidelines, but it was a big issue for
MS. Every version of MS-DOS needed to maintain backwards compatibility with
little tricks used by application programmers - nobody would upgrade their
OS if Lotus 1-2-3 suddenly wouldn't work, and they didn't much care if MS
said "Well, it's Lotus' fault"). 'doze users are still paying the price for
this today. If Transmeta released the specs to program to their metal, they
expose themselves to the danger that somebody will code a really hot app. to
that because it gives them an edge, and then Transmeta are stuck between a
rock and a hard place.
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