Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Apr 2010 13:10 UTC
Linux We all know Synaptics, the company that seems to produce just about every touchpad you can get your hands fingers on. Their touchpads also do a lot of multitouch and gesture stuff, but up until now, their set of gestures, the Synaptics Gesture Suite, was only available on Windows. Luckily, they've ported it over to Linux, and made it available for OEMs building Linux laptops.
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RE: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman
Member since:
2008-10-23

Linux can only gain a lot of market share when hardware just works, just like it does on windows.

Well, it doesn't. Have you tried Windows recently? Most hardware does not work out of the box. You've got to hunt the internet, download the driver for your hardware and hope you didn't download a virus instead. When you install Mandriva, Ubuntu or any recent distro, it all works out of the box. That is one of the advantages of the drivers being free (as in freedom): it works out of the box, no need to download anything, no need to give your email address to get the damn driver, no need to download malware. It just works. And linux supports more hardware than Windows anyway. You get the feeling that Windows works out of the box because the OEM did all the work of integrating the right driver and selecting the components to sell the computer with Windows. It just doesn't and sometimes it is a big mess.

The easiest way to achieve that is by drivers from the manufacturers themselves. I do understand those when they create closed source drivers, they want to protect their product.
I also do understand the people who want open source drivers, because I do see the advantage of that.
I also do understand your point. Free driver is better than closed driver and closed driver is better than nothing. My expectations are a free driver though. Actually I would say closed driver is less bad than nothing rather than better.

But if a company creates a closed source driver that actually works pretty good, why not help to improve it instead of complaining that it is not open source?

Because we just can't. A closed driver can not be improved but by the company that did it.

If the company gets a lot of support to improve the driver, they might also create drivers for future products and who knows, maybe open the source up in a nearby future.

That's the other way around. Maybe if the open their source they can get a lot of support to improve their driver. They just can't get support if it is closed.

If they only get complaints that have nothing to do with the driver quality at all what reason do they have to invest more money?

To sell their hardware maybe? There is one thing you should never forget: You are the customer. They are supposed to work for you. You are paying them for that. The money they invest is yours. You decide where they should spend the money when you buy their products. Synaptics didn't wake up one morning and decided they would do the world a favor by releasing a driver for linux. They are not into charity. They saw they are loosing market and money by not releasing their driver for linux and they fixed that. Unfortunately, the fix is not optimal.

Edited 2010-04-20 12:32 UTC

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