Hi David,

Also, a thought on the topic of Windows 3.1 drivers: what is the feasability of reverse-engineering an existing video driver to work out what the interface is? I guess the interface would be simple, at least relative to Windows XP :) I guess it may still be quite hard.

I'd say this is jumping to a conclusion that is probably wrong. The "big deal" with Win2000/XP (and above) was the "unification" of the driver model. In many ways everything got easier because Microsoft provided higher and higher level frameworks. Look at some INF files released in the last few weeks - they've suddenly got smaller than ever!

This is a similar debate to the one about DOS GUIs. In the "bad old days" everyone had to make their own GUI with their own API and then they didn't want to share their work. After Windows, suddenly the GUI was programmable to anyone, was uniform and had a published API. A similar thing has occurred with driver models.

Personally, I'm not convinced the PnP "Unified" model gives the capability of performance we had under NT4, but it's certainly easier to program. Companies such as ATI are obsessed with getting into bed with Microsoft, so they design everything to fit with whatever DirectX specification is the flavor of the month although the good news is that I'm seeing more and more Linux drivers on sites that used to be Windows only.

Gerry Hickman (London UK)

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