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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Member since:

"We believe in open source where it makes sense," Fear said.

'nuff said

In other words, we believe in freedom when it benefits us. When it's inconvenient, we don't believe in freedom. You may not agree, but those against proprietary software believe in principle, not convenience. Pragmatists believe in convenience, not principle. And everyone else compromises a little principle for convenience, and a little convenience for principle. Where you draw the line determines what you believe. In other words, 'nuff said is not enough.

Reply Parent Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:

Users want convenience not politics.

So yeah, 'nuff said.

Reply Parent Score: 3

rattaro Member since:

"Users want convenience not politics.

So yeah, 'nuff said."

Thanks. I didn't realize you knew every single user in existence and can speak for them all. Btw, freedom does not equal politics, and I never even mentioned politics. If having principles equal politics, then I would agree that many people don't have many politics. But I would still disagree with that position, and so do many kernel developers. Just because everyone else jumped off a bridge, doesn't make it right. Sometimes it's important to stick to your politics, and sometimes not. If you don't understand that, then I guess you can always say, "'nuff said," which seems silly after the next person posts.

Reply Parent Score: 5

ma_d Member since:

So do children, what's the point?

Everyone wants a free lunch, doesn't mean scarcity will magically go away.

Reply Parent Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:

Users want convenience not politics.

Not all users want the same thing. To argue otherwise is a mistake...

That said, there's nothing illegal about using proprietary drivers with a GPL just can't redistribute it. So all we need is a script that checks for a Nvidia or ATI chip at install time, download the latest driver and sets it up automatically. That way you're not distributing illegal kernels, and yet you allow users to make best of their hardware.

Meanwhile, I don't believe ATI and/or Nvidia when they say that they can't open-source their drivers for competitive's the cost/performance ratio that makes the card, and not the drivers. Now, if they use some licensed technology, then it makes more sense, but the least they could do is reveal what licensed code they use, so the community could try to provide open alternatives.

Reply Parent Score: 3

tomcat Member since:

And everyone else compromises a little principle for convenience, and a little convenience for principle. Where you draw the line determines what you believe. In other words, 'nuff said is not enough.

Fine. So restrict yourself solely to open source code -- and live with the consequences of having inferior graphics. 'nuff said.

Reply Parent Score: 1

prismX Member since:

You are talking that the Open Source brings a freedom... OK, I could agree with you. However your statement is flawed (it is buggy by design :-)):
-freedom means not to apply restriction, consequently freedom cannot be due to principles, since they curb the same freedom to predefined dogmas. This kind of "freedom" resembles more a religion fanatism. Principles are not a freedom, but convenience is. This convenience enables people to be free in their choice, to opt OpenSoeurce software if it is better (when it is) or to choose a proprietary software.
Pragmatism is not evil, it is the real freedom. So people do not live for the sake of software, people want to use software for their purposes.
So I think the blind strive for free software and open source in everything and everywhere locks in this community with a intransigent aversion to everything good and favoring for users that are found in non-OpenSource World.

Reply Parent Score: 1

h times nue equals e Member since:

Sorry, but I can't agree with your statement. Beside the (in principal desireable, but very hard to achieve on large scales) state of an anarchy (in the original sense of meaning), most systems try to preserve their freedoms by putting restrictions in front of things, that could harm this freedoms.

It's convenient to rob a bank, if you don't have money, but (this is just an educated guess, mind you) most people won't tolerate this, since it interferes with their own freedom (e.g. to have money in this bank or banks in general).

This is of course a silly, simple example. But it should illustrate, that most people seem to be able to live with a limited set of restrictions, that helps to prevail basic freedoms. It can get difficult to draw the line what rules are necessary to prevail the freedom of the people within a system (simply because the definition of freedom can differ), compared to when rules get too tight.

With respect to the Linux kernels policy regarding closed source kernel modules, this is a restriction I can both understand and live well with, since the license the kernel is distrubuted (exclusively, I might add) under rules this possibility out. If my memory serves me right, the first license the linux kernel was distributed under was more restrictive than the GPL, so with the GPL (and it's restrictions), they settled for the license they (= the kernel creators) thought to fit their needs and goals best. If you do not agree with their findings, you have several options left :

You are entitled to try to build something similar yourself, because it's not (despite the things some people might try to convince you) illegal to develope your onw OS kernel in most countries. You also have (as in theaters or cinemas) the right to leave, if what you see doesn't pleases you. In most cases however, you are not entitled to get your money back, if you leave five minutes before the film ends.



If someone probably tries to wind up one of this lame "which one is more free, the GPL or the BSD license?" discussions most of us seem to be already sick of : Please, don't turn this into one !

(To put it short and simple : I'm a GPL guy and *I* find what is commonly refered to be the BSD license and the GPL license to be equally free, since they both provide the same four freedoms, which is the reason, why the BSD is one way compatible with the GPL. The BSD is less restrictive, which I find somehow problematic in the light of aboves statements, and that's one of the reasons, why I prefer the GPL)

Reply Parent Score: 1