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[2]: Why is proprietary bad?
by valnar on Sat 25th Nov 2006 15:27 UTC 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[4]: Why is proprietary bad?
by miscz on Sat 25th Nov 2006 16:12 in reply to "RE[3]: Why is proprietary bad?"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

Your point is quite good, but FreeBSD still lacks something like UbuntuBSD. PC-BSD is on this but Ubuntu has a very good software base thanks to Debian (big repository of fairly recent version of apps) and there's still lots of software that is developed with Linux in mind and porting it to other operating systems takes time, HAL has only recently been ported to FreeBSD for example.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Why is proprietary bad?
by twenex on Sat 25th Nov 2006 17:24 in reply to "RE[3]: Why is proprietary bad?"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

On the contrary, despite the FBSD community's protestations to the contrary, Linux's hardware support is MUCH better (despite qualms over binary blobs which the FBSD folks claim not to worry about), and their communities tend to be much more helpful and more polite.

I realise that "politeness" is orthogonal to the question for many FBSD folks, but that's exactly the problem.

In fact OpenBSD claims to support more wireless chipsets than FBSD without using binary blobs.

Reply Parent Score: 2

w00dst0ck Member since:
2006-02-01

The next version of FBSD will contain the free non-binary blob version of the wireless drivers...

Just to let you know.

Reply Parent Score: 1

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

Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

"No pc hardware business model has ever proven to be viable in the long run if it's based on secrecy of something essential."

Should read

"No pc hardware business model has ever proven to be viable in the long run."

Secrecy or lack thereof has not proven to be a point in favor or to the negative to the success of a hardware company. While it will hopefully change in the future, support for non-windows based systems makes only a small difference in desktop targeted hardware.

Would I like for nvidia to release their drivers in an open source format? Absolutely. Do I think we have the right to demand it? Absolutely not. A great deal of time and effort has gone into the drivers and hardware designs for Nvidia and ATI. It is up to them what they do with it. It is up to us to decide if we are willing to accept it by buying the products.

Mark Shuttleworth has come to the reluctant conclusion that the user experience can be made better by including the capability of configuring the vendor supplied drivers by default. i see nothing wrong with this provided that it is optional and the user is given a credible explanation as to advantages and disadvantages.

It is about consumer choice. The consumer can choose to use the open source drivers, or they can use the vendor provided ones. As long as they make an educated decision I see no problem with either decision.

Edited 2006-11-25 18:18

Reply Parent Score: 2