[sane-devel] Please give me some help to solve the license issues in using sane

kilgota at banach.math.auburn.edu kilgota at banach.math.auburn.edu
Tue Jun 10 14:27:46 UTC 2008

On Tue, 10 Jun 2008, m. allan noah wrote:

> On 6/10/08, Daniel Glöckner <daniel-gl at gmx.net> wrote:
>> Hello Wang Mengqiang,
>>  On 10 Jun 08 16:24, Wang Mengqiang wrote:
>> > For example, you are building the high-way,
>> as we are talking about writing drivers, a more obvious analogy comes to mind.
>>  Hardware producers build cars. But these days they don't tell you how to drive
>>  these cars and there are no labels on the controls. Instead they provide a
>>  chauffeur that you must talk to in Spanish. Of course this is not a problem
>>  for the 400 million people that can speak Spanish.
>>  Some would like to drive these new cars themself. They don't care how to build
>>  cars. It's usually the same for all cars anyway. Asking the manufacturers for
>>  the documents that are used to train the Spanish speaking drivers only works in
>>  few cases. Owners resort to spying on the chauffeur and taking the cars apart.
>>  There are manufacturers that want to help these people. But the manufacturers
>>  prefer to do this by training English speaking chauffeurs. Of course this is
>>  no real solution for the French community...
>> > Perhaps I should think, in my example, the goal of the open source world is
>> > to establish the free trafic system including high way, auto... or the final
>> > goal is to establish the extrem free world.
>> We don't aim for making hardware manufacturers obsolete.
>>  I think they should learn to see their own value in electronics, mechanics,
>>  design, and manufacturing techniques and not in communication protocols.
>>  Few people have the knowledge, tools, and parts to build a scanner.
>>  That's where we need the manufacturers.
> wow- that is a GREAT analogy. Dont forget also the cases where the
> manufacturer decided to stop updating the chauffeur after Latin, so
> even those users that wish to drive the car in Spanish can't do it.
> They are forced to buy a new car...
> allan
> --

I agree, too. This is beautifully said.

I think that Mr. Wang, or perhaps his company which he represents, is not 
understanding what is being said here.

Software and communication protocols are not part of the hardware, as we 
see it. Thus, to us, a hardware manufacturer which acts as though the 
opposite were true is appearing to be difficult, obstreperous, and obtuse. 
A hardware driver which is issued on a CD and is only good for certain 
versions of Microsoft Windows is NOT part of the hardware.

Now, I said things along these lines in some of my previous posts, but 
perhaps I should say them again: we do not want to manufacture hardware. 
We want the hardware to work, for us and for other people. What could 
possibly be unreasonable about this?

As an example of how this recalcitrance of hardware manufacturers can 
cause problems, let me mention a story from my own experience. Several 
years ago I got a request for help from the National Forensics Institute 
of the Netherlands. The police had seized a camera during a drug raid in 
Amsterdam and given it to them for a forensic examination. When it was 
hooked up to a computer with the Windows driver, it showed that there were 
no photos in it. As we all know, the mere fact that there were "no photos" 
in the camera does not show that there was no data in the camera, only 
that certain bytes in the allocation table had been set to zero. An 
official letter was sent by the government of the Netherlands to 
manufacturer of the chip in the camera, in Taiwan, requesting their 
assistance in dumping the memory of the camera in order to aid in a police 
investigation. When that letter was totally ignored, someone at the 
National Forensics Institute scoured the web looking for information, 
found me, contacted me, and I was able to help them.

Now, I hope it is obvious that neither I nor the Gphoto project nor the 
National Forensics Institute of the Netherlands are desirous of entering 
the camera business in order to compete with that company in Taiwan and 
put them out of business. And it ought further to be obvious that just to 
use the Windows driver for that camera would not have gotten the job done. 
I hope that this story will help to bring it home, how ridiculous is the 
current extreme secrecy on the part of some of the hardware manufacturers.

Theodore Kilgore

More information about the sane-devel mailing list