Suggestion: Actively support reverse engineering projects

Joel Bryan Juliano joelbryan.juliano at
Thu Aug 9 07:22:38 UTC 2007

On 8/7/07, Magnus Blomfelt <d98mb at> wrote:
> Hi,
> I have a suggestion about how to actively support
> reverse engineering projects.

I think reverse engineering is important for developing a driver
or any particular interface that communicates with a hardware (ie winmodems)

or software. (ie. wine)

But I do not believe that we should continually reverse engineer something
in order for a hardware or software to work.

The roots of the problem is the proprietary software, firmwares, bioses,

There are some FOSS drivers in the works that is not yet
> suitable for Ubuntu. However helping them along the way might
> get us there sooner.
> My suggestion is a program that would match the hardware a
> user have with the hardware a reverse engineering project
> needs information about. If it is a match the program would
> ask the user if he/she wants to help the project.
> Preferably it should be simple things like taking an automatic
> dump of a piece of hardware or a quick test to see if a driver
> works.
> One example would be to help Nouveau[1] with cards that need
> dumping. There is currently 44 up to date dumps, 105 old dumps
> and 104 cards still missing. The program could have a great
> impact here.
> [1]
> Another example would be to do a quick test to see if some
> wifi or modem driver could retreive something over the net.
> For instance "Can you see the picture below?". Answering yes
> could send some information to the project and answering no
> could also send some info to the project if the user has some
> other means of connectivity.
> There are some alternatives of when the program should be run:
> - Automatically for all new versions of Ubuntu
> - Automatically for all betas of Ubuntu
> - When the user actively wants to run it.
> It would of course be important to communicate with the reverse
> engineering teams to make sure they get information they want.
> My hope is for someone to pick up this idea and make something
> out of it. I think 'revenge' would make for a cute name for a
> reverse engineering project, if it's not already taken.
> I realize this might not be a new idea, it might already be
> implemented or it might be too much for the user to deal with.
> Sincerely
> Magnus
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