Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:49 UTC
Linux Efforts to bring glitzy new graphics to Linux are fueling an old conflict: Does proprietary software belong in open-source Linux? The issue involves software modules called drivers, which plug into the kernel at the heart of the open-source operating system. Drivers let software communicate with hardware such as network adapters, hard drives and video cards.
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RE[2]: So What's the Problem?
by ecko on Wed 19th Apr 2006 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: So What's the Problem?"
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Ok time to poke holes in your argument.

Proprietary software is completely different than proprietary hardware. You can't change a CPU like you can change a piece of software so let's compare apples to apples otherwise there's no sense making the effort to prove anything. Anyway what exactly is proprietary in my computer? Ok maybe the way it moves bits around in the CPU and down the busses but the instruction set is the same on my Intel machine as it is on my AMD. I can do exactly the same things on both. My PCI bus isn't proprietary. A lot of hardware is comitee designed so everyone can play fair, that's not the case in software.

As for your second point there are already lots of open source cores out there. is an example of a program sun has to get developers on board and help address CPU design issues. These run much faster than 1mhz. Designing a CPU isn't voodoo, one can have enough understanding to design a basic MIPS-Lite CPU(No FPU, no pipelining, basic branching) and run in on a simulator even before finishing a degree in computer engineering or comp sci. It's not easy and not every student it able to but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

It's very difficult to explain why having source code is important to people who really don't know anything about computers other than Windows XP tweaks. You just don't see all the issues maintaining one binary that runs on multiple systems. You don't see the headaches of maintaining binary compatability.

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