Is this a true statement? (fwd)

David C. Ullrich ullrich at
Mon Jun 25 10:32:29 EDT 2001

On Sun, 24 Jun 2001 22:48:34 -0400, Peter Hansen <peter at>

>"David C. Ullrich" wrote:
>> On Sun, 24 Jun 2001 10:14:31 -0400 (EDT), "Steven D. Majewski"
>> <sdm7g at Virginia.EDU> wrote:
>> >I concede, David!
>> >Your logic is unassailable
>> >and your point is significant.
>> The "point" about device drivers is certainly not
>> "significant" in any way I can imagine. This _did_
>> start with honest _questions_, which actually
>> nobody's answered. For all I know "write a
>> device driver" _could_ mean something other
>> than "write a certain sequence of bytes to
>> a file".
>"Write a device driver [in language X]" means to use
>language X as the *source language*, and with existing
>(i.e. not theoretical) tools, turn that source into
>an output file (usually "machine code") capable of
>performing the functions typically defined as requiring
>"device drivers".  For more of us it does, anyway.
>It does not mean "using a program written in language X,
>generate a file containing an identical sequence of bytes
>to that which would have been generated using the above
>method with some other language".
>Or something like that. 

Something like that indeed.

> Really, it isn't that hard.
>(If it will help, since your words above suggest the 
>possibility you actually might be missing something here,
>look at the distinction between "write a device driver
>in Python" and "write a device driver file using
>Python".  The word "in" in the former suggests using
>Python as the direct source language of the driver,
>not as a utility or compiler to be used in the process.)

If someone had said this yesterday would have saved a lot
of space. (Not a complaint, there's no way anyone could
realize that this actually is what I was missing about
the terminology.)

>Something tells me this won't be an epiphany for you... :)

And exactly what tells you that? Up to this line my
reaction was "thank you very much". My reply to this
bit would be a little different...

>possibility you don't understand

I asked _repeatedly_ whether "write a device driver"
means something other than "write a certain sequence
of bytes to a file". Nobody answers the question.
I point out it hasn't been answered and ask again.
Nobody answers the question. Yes, I did have a hard
time understanding answers that did not exist.

"Really, it isn't that hard" is really not
condescending, I guess. If you think it's
possible to deduce what people mean by a
phrase when they're not telling you you're

David C. Ullrich
"Sometimes you can have access violations all the 
time and the program still works." (Michael Caracena, 
comp.lang.pascal.delphi.misc 5/1/01)

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