[OpenBIOS] Intel holding back information

Timothy J. Massey tmassey at iname.com
Mon Aug 9 00:41:02 CEST 1999

On Sun, 8 Aug 1999 20:23:36 -0700, William Meyer wrote:

>> How might we implement such an approach.  It would probably require two
>> separate mail lists.  One for the group to reverse engineer the other BIOS
>> and a second for the group creating the new BIOS.  The could be no
>> communication between the two groups about the BIOS's other than the
>> "identified functions."
>It would require a rigid protocol. E-mail is not likely to be an acceptable
>record of communications. Rigorous note keeping using traditionally accepted
>methods would be essential. Those participating in coding would have to be
>able to swear out affidavits attesting to their complete prior ignorance of
>BIOS coding.
>There are paper notebooks which serve well for documenting developments
>which are potentially of legal importance. One supplier is the Laboratory
>Notebook Company. The notebooks are stitched, the pages are gridded and
>numbered, and each page provides space for the author and a witness to sign
>and date. I've used these on projects for over 20 years, and they are
>generally adopted as a standard in companies where patentability is a
>consideration. They should be equally useful in documenting freedom from
>infringing practices.

We used these exclusively in Chemistry class.  With these, pages couldn't be
ripped out, moved, changed, etc.  The problem is, what prevents me from
e-mailing what I remember to the other side?  Nothing.

In addition to proving what actually happened (the clean room procedures),
you need to prove that what didn't happen didn't happen.  Without extremely
tight control (a level that is impossible for a distributed group like us),
it can't be done.

>True enough, but the split can't be based merely on people's preferences.
>Coders have to be free from any prior knowledge of BIOS source code. Many
>won't like this, but there is no other way I am aware of to keep the group
>legally untainted.

And I have a feeling that because of this a project like OpenBIOS is doomed.
 The best coders are the ones that have "seen too much"...  :(

Tim Massey

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