Looking at the links in Shem's explanations, I can believe the provenance of the technical details needed for the improved driver. Opening up a box, looking at the chip labels, and trawling the internet for manufacturers' documentation on same is pretty common practise, and I've had to do it a few times myself. (Sometimes the info turns up in surprising places -- FCC's website based on the manufacturer's FCC product registration number, for example.)
Shem also raises an interesting point -- how many other drivers, etc, have been required to document the provenance of their technical info? Yes, some of them do provide some references in code comments, but it would be nice if more of this were available, perhaps as URLs in the driver code. (A centralized location for copies of device specs would be nice too, if the manufacturers are willing to go along with it. URLs change, after all.)
If someone wants to bugfix or enhance a driver, having a ready link to this stuff saves all kinds of time.
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