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[bluetooth-dev] free-unix device drivers for digianswer pc cards

> Here at Digianswer, we would like to provide hardware support for our
> devices on Linux. As our hardware interface is strictly confidential,
> driver support will be on a binary-only basis. The source-code will,
> under no circumstances, be freely available.

Hi Antony,

Maybe you can answer my questions and concerns. If not, would you kindly
pass them on to someone at Digianswer who can?

My first question is why was it that Digianswer decided to make the
hardware interface "strictly confidential"? Who can reverse this decision?

Is there some problem with the hardware interface that demands this
secrecy? Can Digianswer give me written assurance that no security
or reliability problems will arise from my use of their confidential
drivers?  How can Digianswer assure me that all possible performance
gains achievable at the hardware interface level have been made?

Why is Digianswer paradoxically embracing the open source model with the
BTSWS effort yet ignoring the open source model w.r.t. free operating
system device driver support? Is it not true that Digianswer is just
cynically using BTSWS for public relation reasons? How can Digianswer
claim to support one public, collaborative effort, yet reject and indeed
inhibit another within exactly the same model?

If/when Digianswer do release a closed driver for Linux, won't an
avoidable cost of quality be passed on to the customers? i.e. Digianswer
must choose between an expensive, high-quality closed driver, and/or
a cheap, low quality driver. Both alternatives are cost-ineffective
when compared to a device driver developed by open source enthusiasts
from a completely open hardware interface. How can Digianswer remain
cost-competitive by keeping their hardware interface confidential?

Won't customers who have purchased Digianswer PCMCIA devices lose all
support for the accompanying software when Digianswer disappears? Isn't
this a kind of cross-vendor lock-in? E.g. a future version of Linux or MS
Windows may not be compatible with the last released Digianswer drivers.
What risk or cost will customers have to bear when Digianswer inhibits
them from changing to different or newer versions of an operating

How can a customer's investment in purchased hardware be justified when
the information required to make general use of that hardware is kept
from them. Isn't Digianswer dictating the scope of the customer's
ability to use their purchase?

And a question that someone else may be able to answer: Why didn't the
Bluetooth specs include a basic interface for PCMCIA? Why was it
explicitly left as vendor-determined? Isn't this a blatent endorsement of
non-interoperability that is wholly contraditory to the purpose and intent
of publicly released standards?

Looking forward to any answer, although I expect to be ignored.

David Leonard                           David.Leonard@xxxxxxx.au
CRC For Distributed Systems Technology  Room:78-632  Ph:+61 7 336 58358
The University of Queensland            http://www.dstc.edu.au/
QLD 4072  AUSTRALIA                     B73CD65FBEF4C089B79A8EBADF1A932F13EA0FC8

[Opinions expressed or implied above are mine, and not of my employer's.]

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2001 13:19:06 +0100
From: "[iso-8859-1] Mattias Ågren" <mattias.agren@xxxxxxx.com>
To: bluetooth-dev@xxxxxxx.com
Cc: "Bluetooth (tm) News and Discussion ** VOTE-->" <bluetooth@xxxxxxx.com>,
Subject: RE: [Bluetooth/PAN] Bluetooth Card

> Hi,
> I search cards for Bluetooth's connection between two Pcs on Linux.
> I use Axis stack and i search compliant cards.
> If my understanding is good i can't use PCMCIA card.
> Have you find solutions for use it ?
> 	Tanks for your help
>         	        Tony

not yet... but take a look on this article on digianswers site (or below) :


Linux Driver Support - Help us to help you

By Antony C. Roberts, Digianswer

Here at Digianswer, we would like to provide hardware support for our devices on Linux. As our hardware interface is strictly confidential, driver support will be on a binary-only basis. The source-code will, under no circumstances, be freely available.

The goal is to enable customers to run on open source stacks such as those sponsored by Axis and IBM (Blue Drekar).

I am currently personally undertaking this goal on a low-priority basis and am hereby requesting help. I am an experienced Windows and Solaris device driver developer but I think I can more effectively achieve my goal with help from experienced Linux PCMCIA driver developers, especially as the kind of time I can dedicate to this project is very limited.

For initial development purposes, the target platform is RedHat 7.0 and the target itself is a PCMCIA client driver.

I have already started on the development and have made a skeleton driver that currently does nothing more than attach.

I would like to start by appleaing for pointers to relevant resources, such as good documentation on the Linux PCMCIA initialization process and source code to similar drivers - the Digianswer PCMCIA devices use the Analog Devices ADSP 1801, so the ideal goal would be a driver for a device which also uses this DSP.

If you can help, please contact me at acr@xxxxxxx.com">news://news.digianswer.com

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