Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 9th Sep 2010 17:40 UTC, submitted by kragil
Linux Ahem. I just had to write that all-caps headline. Broadcom's wireless chips - used by just about everybody in this industry - have been a major pain in the bum for Linux users, because the company did not release open source drivers. Workarounds had to be created, lots of pain was had in the process, but now, Broadcom has finally seen the light: they have open sourced their wireless Linux drivers.
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RE: Great news...
by kaiwai on Fri 10th Sep 2010 00:31 UTC in reply to "Great news..."
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

That pretty much leaves only nVidia as the only idio^h^h^h^h company holding out on us. Granted there are other graphic card options that make an nVidia announcement less important than this one. But it will be nice when the day finally comes that closed hardware is no longer an issue and we can concentrate on competing with closed solutions higher up the stack.


What the open source world needs to provide is a Mesa stack with a good interface so that at least the driver itself can remain closed source (for the short term) and the OpenGL part of the equation is then pushed off to the open source world thus to have a standardised single library as with the case of MacOS X rather than the current situation of Linux where you have a mixture of OpenGL implementations each introducing their own peculiarities and bugs.

With that being said, there is always ATI but even then the open source drivers are always behind the times when it comes to performance and support - the man power just isn't there and open source isn't the silver bullet that'll solve problems as some try to make it out to be.

Thanks Broadcom


Well BroadCom have been providing a driver for quite some time:

http://www.broadcom.com/support/802.11/linux_sta.php

Sure it includes a binary blob but all what is required is provided in an open source way which doesn't prohibit developers from shipping it with their Linux distributions. I guess the big step forward is having an entirely open source driver rather than a hybrid which is a step in the right direction.

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