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."
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RE: Why is proprietary bad?
by nicolasb on Sat 25th Nov 2006 15:07 UTC in reply to "Why is proprietary bad?"
nicolasb
Member since:
2006-08-22

It's not a case of "proprietary is bad", it's a case of "respect what the developers meant in their license", period.

We, free software users, aren't distributing illegal copies of windows or doing something that's not permitted in the EULA. Why should it be different with proprietary guys ? why should we let them do something that's NOT permitted in OUR license ?

"So *other* than the GPL arguement (which I believe is a red herring because I can't believe that many posters are lawyers or REALLY care - You're just jumping on the bandwagon)"

Most of the kernel developers thinks proprietary drivers stink and are NOT allowed by the GPL. What Linus Torvalds and others did, is, merely TOLERATE some drivers, openening a door to the closed drivers in the form of a "permitted" EXPORT_SYMBOL. They are in the process of shutting all of the kernel doors the proprietary drivers can access.
No driver can use the EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL without being itself GPL compatible. A driver that uses EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL must be derivative of the kernel. And as the kernel evolve, the developers are shifting more and more export symbol into EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL. In one or two years, all the USB subsystem will be EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL and usb ndiswrapper keys will be illegal, for example. They will have to do their own user-space usb drivers.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Why is proprietary bad?
by valnar on Sat 25th Nov 2006 15:27 in reply to "RE: Why is proprietary bad?"
valnar Member since:
2006-01-17

OK, that makes sense.

However, my "not living in a bubble" statement stands. If the kernel developers lock-out proprietary drivers, I don't think it will benefit anyone. Not me... it'll just give me a reason to go back to Windows. Linux developers may be for FOSS, but hardware must still be purchased. Hardware vendors need money to make a living, do R&D, produce new products and market them. Hardware vendors have a need for privacy to protect their products, patents and shareholder interest. I understand many drivers are reverse-engineered - I'm not talking about those. If all hardware vendors open sourced their drivers, it could affect their edge in the competitive market. ATI vs nVidia is a prime example. I can see right away why vendors prefer to write for Windows instead of Linux. I don't think market share is the reason, it's that Microsoft, in all its' faults, respects their privacy. The GPL doesn't want any secrets, and that is not always a good thing. I certaintly don't want to see any hardware vendors going away because the Linux license pushed them to revealing too much. What would the world be like without nVidia vs ATI, Intel vs AMD, PC vs MAC, etc?

No doubt that FOSS and the GPL has its' place, but everybody has to realize the double edged sword it created. The stronger that Linus and the developers push to enforce the GPL, the more they will hurt themselves in the end.

I personally would love to buy a brand new PC that supported Linux out of the box by the vendors, instead of waiting 2 years for someone to figure out the hardware and write substandard open-source drivers.

Reply Parent Score: 4

nicolasb Member since:
2006-08-22

The world doesn't revolve around Linux. If you want proprietary drivers badly, you can use FreeBSD.
They have a license that does not prohibate the use of proprietary drivers. It's a "more free" license.

You know what ? FreeBSD supports most of the modern hardware, just like linux. And unlike the linux kernel, they are not against the existence of a "ndiswrapper-like". They distribute officialy a "ndiswrapper-like", called "Project Evil" that empower you by using the windows ndis drivers inside freebsd.

I don't understand why the people who doesn't like the GPL sticks with Linux. Linux is not THAT much better than FreeBSD. If you don't like the GPL, use FreeBSD, it's a fine system.

See this :
http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

Unlike the linux drivers, the FreeBSD drivers are perfectly legal. So, if you need them and FreeBSD supports your hardware, support the FreeBSD project and not a project like Linux that doesn't fit your goals.

Edited 2006-11-25 15:37

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Why is proprietary bad?
by h3rman on Sat 25th Nov 2006 17:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Why is proprietary bad?"
h3rman Member since:
2006-08-09

If the kernel developers lock-out proprietary drivers, I don't think it will benefit anyone. Not me... it'll just give me a reason to go back to Windows.

That would be the last, and least credible motive to ever start using Windows.

Linux developers may be for FOSS, but hardware must still be purchased. Hardware vendors need money to make a living, do R&D, produce new products and market them.

That's right. Not much wrong with that.

Hardware vendors have a need for privacy to protect their products, patents and shareholder interest.

Usually, the shareholders haven't the faintest idea what those specs are about. Patents must be public anyway, otherwise how can anyone know how to avoid violating them? So that makes no sense.
If you mean code specific to devices, I wouldn't want to be the shareholder of a manufacturer that believes that the only way to survive is to keep secrets about the stuff you make. Innovation is for those with guts, not fear.

I understand many drivers are reverse-engineered - I'm not talking about those. If all hardware vendors open sourced their drivers, it could affect their edge in the competitive market.

That's an odd statement. "If all hardware vendors open sourced their drivers", noone's "edge" is of course affected. Think about it: why do Intel and AMD cross license?

... I can see right away why vendors prefer to write for Windows instead of Linux. I don't think market share is the reason, it's that Microsoft, in all its' faults, respects their privacy.

Please, don't make me accuse you of being naive. "Prefer to write for Windows", does that mean "prefer to survive" in your language?

The GPL doesn't want any secrets, and that is not always a good thing. I certaintly don't want to see any hardware vendors going away because the Linux license pushed them to revealing too much. What would the world be like without nVidia vs ATI, Intel vs AMD, PC vs MAC, etc?

Look, it's real simple. You buy a pieve of hardware, so you pay the people that produce that. That sounds good. Then you want that piece of hardware to work. The better it works, the better the product. The crucial question remains, how do you make it work without opening up? There's no way of knowing what goes on in a kernel panic if you put a blob in it. That's cool for Microsoft, but it's not for free software. Anyway it inhibits innovation. No pc hardware business model has ever proven to be viable in the long run if it's based on secrecy of something essential.

No doubt that FOSS and the GPL has its' place, but everybody has to realize the double edged sword it created. The stronger that Linus and the developers push to enforce the GPL, the more they will hurt themselves in the end.

Has Linus T ever displayed more than average zeal for the GPL? I have yet to see the type of hurt you refer to. I would have no idea. IBM and HP, for example don't seem to feel that Linux threatens any hardware makers' business, ironically. Someone told me they're some of the big guys.

I personally would love to buy a brand new PC that supported Linux out of the box by the vendors, instead of waiting 2 years for someone to figure out the hardware and write substandard open-source drivers.

Me too. I did buy a brand new PC, and everything just worked, after I put my first Suse 9.1 in the drive. Admitted, that was before I heard of wobbly windows. Nevertheless, I've had a blobless existence for more than two years, and I don't think I've missed out much.

I'd also suggest you go for the PS3, that runs great with Linux. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3