Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Nov 2006 23:05 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Mark Shuttleworth is trying to entice OpenSUSE developers to join Ubuntu. "Novell's decision to go to great lengths to circumvent the patent framework clearly articulated in the GPL has sent shockwaves through the community. If you are an OpenSUSE developer who is concerned about the long term consequences of this pact, you may be interested in some of the events happening next week as part of the Ubuntu Open Week."
Permalink for comment 185321
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Why is proprietary bad?
by thebluesgnr on Sat 25th Nov 2006 15:26 UTC in reply to "Why is proprietary bad?"
thebluesgnr
Member since:
2005-11-14

Imagine a world where everybody needs proprietary drivers to run GNU/Linux. That would be terrible and make it extremely difficult to innovate. When security problems appear, it's up to the vendor of the hardware to decide if GNU/Linux will be secure or an easily exploitable platform.

You can read more about "Linux in a binary world" here: http://lwn.net/Articles/162686

It's important to realize that having proprietary drivers available and making them a default part of an otherwise Free system are two completely different things. Is it important that things just work? Absolutely, which is why we should pressure companies to release their hardware specs. It's not a catastrophe if drivers have to be downloaded from the internet, which is how a lot of drivers are installed on the most popular OS anyway.
Canonical could use some of their money to fund projects like noveau. AMD will release some specs for their video cards, and the noveau project might produce usable drivers in a year or so for nVidia cards. An experimental version might even be shipped with Fedora 7.

There's also a problem when a distribution that aims to be a part of the free software community endorses proprietary drivers, because it sends the wrong message. For example, read "The community, stupid" http://www.kroah.com/log/2006/11/24#community. It's less of a problem when a company that mostly ignores the community (for example, Xandros) does it.

Reply Parent Score: 5