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Understanding and choice of tactics

Understanding and choice of tactics

Posted Oct 10, 2006 2:33 UTC (Tue) by jreiser (subscriber, #11027)
Parent article: Device drivers and non-disclosure agreements

If we want to bring about an improvement in the hardware documentation situation, it behooves us to understand which tactics work best.

That is too simplistic. Achieving effectively free and maintainable drivers for much or most of the interesting hardware is a game. Both the payoff matrix and the cost matrix are likely to have time-varying, non-linear, non-positive entries. Until there are effective feedback systems involved, then the best strategy is to play the game as many times as possible [produce drivers for many different "adverse" devices, including simultaneously by multiple teams per device], develop a catalog of histories, and adapt dynamically based on observation and history. Insisting on knowing and using only the best tactics can be counter-productive. Play, and play again, and keep on playing; observe, record, and share the history; adapt. Play enough times to find and/or create one or more feedback systems with positive, non-epsilon gain. Then exploit those positive feedback systems vigorously [and _still_ keep on playing as many times as possible.]


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