Reverse engineering takes longer than a product cycle
Posted Oct 11, 2006 2:19 UTC (Wed) by bronson
In reply to: Reverse engineering takes longer than a product cycle
Parent article: Device drivers and non-disclosure agreements
It's perfectly possible to sign an NDA to write documentation. In fact, it's happened in the past. Typically the NDA will include a stipulation that any materials produced must be authorized by the company before they can be distributed.
For example, let's say you enter into an agreement with Motorola. They can give you their Verilog code, and ASIC floorplan, or any other highly proprietary information that might be relevant. You would then write the documentation being careful to avoid writing about anything that would be proprietary. Once both you and Motorola are are satisfied with what you've produced, your work can be distributed publicly.
But, if you're under NDA anyway, why not just write code and some extremely well-commented header files? I've written a few drivers in my day and I found that even crappy reference drivers tend to be more useful that the most perfect English documentation. (Bad documentation: S3. Good documentation: Philips. But S3's part was much easier to bring up because they included code)
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