Obtaining interface documentation without restrictions

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at xsec.it
Thu Jun 10 12:44:41 UTC 2004

Hello James,
there's another way to obtain the informations you need.

Through the classic clean room technique you can as some other people
who is not interested into contributing to Free Software in this filed
to sign up the NDA, and then make up new documentation where he describe
in words the aspects of programming you need.

You will never touch the NDA covered material, but only use the provided
document to code up your app. If at all possible it is better this
documentation is made public before you work on it.

Of course all depends on the NDA and what it permit or prohibit.


On Tue, 2004-05-25 at 20:37, James Davis wrote:
> I've recently bought myself a Nikon D70 digital camera which supports 
> the PTP (ISO 15740) protocol for transferring images from the camera and 
> controlling the hardware. Although basic functionality (transferring 
> images for  example) is available through tools such as libptp,gphoto2 
> and gtkam, the more advanced features are as yet, not supported in Free 
> software.
> Essentially PTP allows the user to read, and set a number of properties 
> on the camera. The properties are referenced by numerical values ( a 
> subset of which are common to all devices) and not by a descriptive label.
> According to Nikon's customer support the documentation for this 
> properties is available gratis in the SDK for the D70 and not available 
> separately. The application form for the SDK requires the signing of an 
> NDA which would prevent me from contributing any patches back to 
> gphoto2/gtkam. The SDK contains, besides the documentation, binary 
> libraries which I presume is essentially a PTP client customized for 
> this camera. I'm not particularly concerned by a NDA covering the 
> binaries as I have no absolutely no interest in looking at them or using 
> them but I'd really like use the PTP interface fully in Free software.
> I could reverse engineer the PTP properties and it wouldn't be too 
> difficult but I'd rather not have to. Has anyone on the list got any 
> recommendations or experience with approaching hardware manufacturers 
> with requests of this type?
> Regards,
> James
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Simo Sorce - simo.sorce at xsec.it
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