Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 5th Oct 2006 20:44 UTC, submitted by jasper
Red Hat Red Hat has an NDA cooperation with Marvell for the wireless chips that they want to use for the One Laptop per Child-project. The idea of this is that both parties think Marvell will be more open in the future, but this is absolutely not the path they should walk, according to OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt. "I am getting really tired of 'open source' people who work against the open source community. Our little group can probably take credit for having 'opened up' more wireless devices than the rest of the community, and therefore we feel we have a better grasp of the damage OLPC has done here."
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by diegocg on Thu 5th Oct 2006 16:53 UTC
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Red Hat just got permission to write a 100% opensource driver, one that you can use to port to openbsd!

This is undobtely the same than 100% propietary drivers!

And let's not speak about intel - the one hardware company that it's writing 100% free drivers for most of their products, but that does not release SPECS!

Now seriously: Can't Theo use his mouth to critize only companies that do _not_ release opensource drivers NEITHER specs instead? In my not so humble opinion, releasing 100% free driver without specs is certainly great. f--k, I _WHISH_ all hardware companies released 100% free drivers without specs. That day, I'll find sense to Theo's words but meanwhile open drivers are a REALLY HUGE STEP forward. Apparently Theo doesn't relizes how importanting are the open Intel video drivers and how critical are they going to be to the progress of open source graphical subsystems in the open source world.

Theo, _stop_ offending companies that allow to write open source drivers with an NDA. Those companies are the _exception_. It's not that the opensource world should try to ask to do even more efforts, it's just not fair. With your attitude you're *damaging*, not helping, the opensource world.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Right!
by twenex on Thu 5th Oct 2006 22:38 in reply to "Right!"
twenex Member since:

I'm confused. How can you write an open-source driver with an NDA? The source should clearly show details of the implementation the NDA was meant to keep private, non?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Right!
by diegocg on Thu 5th Oct 2006 22:48 in reply to "RE: Right!"
diegocg Member since:

Yes, the source code does indeed reveal many of the things that the NDA spec tells you. But certainly it's _not_ a spec, it doesn't reveals everything.

In my book:

- closed drivers: bad
- open drivers, no spec: good
- open drivers and/or specs: great

Just don't ask me why Theo spend his time arguing that "open drivers, no spec" are somehow a openness crime. It's not the best situation possible but certainly they're great news for the open source community. Except for Theo, that is. I hope this is not related to the fact that the open driver redhat is writing is for linux and not for openbsd...

Edited 2006-10-05 22:56

Reply Parent Score: 3

v RE[3]: Right!
by Mitarai on Thu 5th Oct 2006 23:19 in reply to "RE: Right!"
RE[2]: Right!
by Soulbender on Fri 6th Oct 2006 03:26 in reply to "RE: Right!"
Soulbender Member since:

"The source should clearly show details of the implementation the NDA was meant to keep private, non?"

It's perfectly possible to obfuscate code to the point that it's virtually impossible to understand without having the specs.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Right!
by Morty on Fri 6th Oct 2006 08:43 in reply to "RE: Right!"
Morty Member since:

The source should clearly show details of the implementation the NDA was meant to keep private, non?

No, not neccesary, lots of implementation details will not have any relevance on the driver sourcode. It's more a convinience thing. It's hard and expensive work to go through an internal specification and design documentation, to remove the information desired or requred to keep private. And you still have to include enouch information to make the specifiaction usefull.

In many cases it's plain simpler and cheaper to make anyone needing the info sign an NDA, and give access to the internal specification and design documentation.

Reply Parent Score: 2