Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 8th Apr 2008 12:40 UTC, submitted by SEJeff
Linux Here's an update on the Linux Driver Project. "The Linux Driver Project is alive and well, with over 300 developers wanting to participate, many drivers already written and accepted into the Linux kernel tree, and many more being currently developed. The main problem is a lack of projects. It turns out that there really isn't much hardware that Linux doesn't already support. Almost all new hardware produced is coming with a Linux driver already written by the company, or by the community with help from the company. There are two main classes of hardware, video input devices and wireless network cards, that is not well supported by Linux, but large efforts are already underway to resolve this issue, with the wireless driver issue pretty much taken care of already, however there are a few notable exceptions. Because of this, our main effort has turned into one of education. Educating vendors of how to become members of the Linux kernel community, proper coding standards and procedures, and how to get their code into the kernel tree."
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CaptainPinko
Member since:
2005-07-21

Ridiculous. This is a typical arrogant "all developers are demons that must be killed" kind of arrogant comment that seems to plague the Linux world these days.
...
There is a difference between kernel developers and userland developers... It doesn't matter what you say about end users "not caring", it doesn't make the difference go away


I am a developer, I hear these kinds of things from users too. It's not just Linux, but users in general and a practical truth. Have you never received an issue filed against the UI for not showing certain class of products when they haven't even been entered into the database? The correct business* response is to solve the problem not reply "Oh that's not my job."

Users don't care where the issue is, they care that it exists at all. A user really doesn't care where the issue is.

E.G. If there was a bug in Windows that made Firefox ( unusable even if it was coded against the proper of the behaviour of the API users won't use it. Sure the Firefox developers can say that its not their job... but in that case people won't switch from IE.

The fact that the user said "driver" is immaterial, what they mean is that their hardware is not supported, nor does a user want to shop around for specific hardware that is supported.

* While Linux is not a business per se, if it wants desktop share it needs to behave as one.

Edited 2008-04-08 22:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Ridiculous. This is a typical arrogant "all developers are demons that must be killed" kind of arrogant comment that seems to plague the Linux world these days.
...
There is a difference between kernel developers and userland developers... It doesn't matter what you say about end users "not caring", it doesn't make the difference go away


I am a developer, I hear these kinds of things from users too. It's not just Linux, but users in general and a practical truth. Have you never received an issue filed against the UI for not showing certain class of products when they haven't even been entered into the database? The correct business* response is to solve the problem not reply "Oh that's not my job."

Users don't care where the issue is, they care that it exists at all. A user really doesn't care where the issue is.

E.G. If there was a bug in Windows that made Firefox ( unusable even if it was coded against the proper of the behaviour of the API users won't use it. Sure the Firefox developers can say that its not their job... but in that case people won't switch from IE.

The fact that the user said "driver" is immaterial, what they mean is that their hardware is not supported, nor does a user want to shop around for specific hardware that is supported.

* While Linux is not a business per se, if it wants desktop share it needs to behave as one.
"

It is necessary to caveat this heavily.

You wouldn't try to run Vista on a Sony Playstation ... the Playstation is not designed to run Vista.

Therefore, you only run Vista on hardware that is designed to work with Vista.

Likewise, you only can run OSX on Apple Macs.

So apply the same rules to Linux ... only attempt to run Linux on hardware that supports Linux.

Therefore, shun hardware that is not designed to support Linux ... such as Broadcom wireless chips. Do not buy.

Similarly Lexmark printers. Steer well clear of them.

Complaining at Linux for not supporting (say) Broadcom wireless chips (or this or that closed hardware device) is most decidedly the wrong way around ... compared to the way that one evaluates the hardware support of the other two major desktop OSes anyway.

BTW ... even counting such no-go hardware such as Broadcom wireless chips and Lexmark printers ... there is still far more hardware that works with Linux than there is hardware that works with either Windows Vista or Mac OSX. Just to bring this discussion back to the ideal of "apples-with-apples" comparisons.

Reply Parent Score: 4

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Complaining at Linux for not supporting (say) Broadcom wireless chips (or this or that closed hardware device) is most decidedly the wrong way around ... compared to the way that one evaluates the hardware support of the other two major desktop OSes anyway.


If it were a metter of complaining you'd be right.

Since many of us have the goal of Linux destroying Windows and coming to dominate the desktop market, we naturally want to do anything that furthers this goal. We advocate the production of (and write the software for) friendly end-user applications, installer routines, etc. so that Windows users may be converted with ease to Linux.

Understand please that outside the enthusiast and advocate circles users are efectively stupid. I mean no disrespect, but few purchasers of a Dell are going to be able to figure out what chip drives its wireless card, even if they knew enough to try and find out. You cannot tell these people "Shun Broadcom." The only viable solution is to make sure that *no matter what they buy*, it works. The same goes doubly for those who have existing hardware.

Thus it is not *complaining* when people say that Linux sucks. What a user might mean is "I could not get my broadcom chip to connect to a WPA network" but what they *say* is "Linux doesn't work." If they complain to Canonical because they found this to be the case in Ubuntu, an answer of "We don't write the kernel" would not be appropriate. The user is stupid, remember? he isn't going to know how to post a bug report to the LKML, he doesn't know that it's really Broadcom's fault, and he wont try to find out. He'll just switch back to Windows.

Maybe you're okay with that, I know a lot of people say that if you can't make Linux work for you you should just stick with Windows (with a subtext of "You useless ignorant lunk.") I, as a Linux advocate who would like to see it come to dominate Windows in the desktop market, do not want to see users switch back to Windows. I want to make sure that whatever a user tries to do he succeeds in doing. I don't want to shun Broadcom, I want to get Broadcom wireless chipset support fixed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

Sure, but people from this driver project are not a business. They're volunteers who want to help the world by writing kernel drivers - for free even! Complaining to them - as opposed to complaining about RedHat or whatever commercial vendor - about non-related issues, is nothing but rude and pointless. If you pay them to do their work, then you'd have something to complain about.

It's like complaining to your neighbor that the cake he gave you yesterday doesn't suit your taste. He's *not* a business. The cake is a gift.

These people have also never claimed that they want desktop domination. They're just trying to help via the best way they can, namely writing kernel drivers. The only thing they expect is some gratitude, but instead they'd have to deal with ungrateful people who apparently can't stand them trying to help the community for free.

Why not take your complaints to your commercial vendor? You're a software developer. Suppose some commercial vendor (say, "FooCompany, inc.") takes your (free) software and sell it with commercial support. Would you feel that it's justified if people came complaining to you about issues that are related to the commercial addons that FooCompany added to your software? Would you take the time to stay polite, and forward any and all complaints to FooCompany for the complainers, even though you don't get paid for it? Frankly I have a hard time believing that you wouldn't think "fsck these ungrateful freeloaders, show me some money, THEN we'll talk".

Edited 2008-04-09 07:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

I am a developer, I hear these kinds of things from users too. It's not just Linux, but users in general and a practical truth. Have you never received an issue filed against the UI for not showing certain class of products when they haven't even been entered into the database? The correct business* response is to solve the problem not reply "Oh that's not my job."

Users don't care where the issue is, they care that it exists at all. A user really doesn't care where the issue is.

[snippage...]

* While Linux is not a business per se, if it wants desktop share it needs to behave as one.


You are confused. Linux is nothing but a kernel. And a user, as you describe him -- not understanding and/or not caring about the underlying structure of his OS -- has as much business knowing about Linux as he has knowing about the NTOS. He doesn't even have to know that he runs GNU/Linux! He has, however, a business knowing his distributor, his vendor, and that's the one he should talk to.

If you think you are talking about an OS when you say "Linux" you are wrong and you are doing other users a disservice in doing so, they get as confused as you already are. If you think Linux is something it is not, it is no wonder you are frustrated. You need to understand that you, as a user not understanding and/or not caring about the underlying structure of your OS, are talking to the wrong people if you talk to anybody else but your vendor/distributor.

"Linux" therefore does not want "desktop shares", not even GNU/Linux wants "desktop shares". Ubuntu wants "desktop shares", SUSE wants "desktop shares", any number of distributors want "desktop shares" and for the time being their mutual goal may be to gain "desktop shares" for any GNU/Linux based operating system. I won't bet on it, though.

Ironically this kind of confusion is something Richard Stallman predicted years ago, albeit from a different angle, and now it comes apparently around to bite not only GNU but also Linux in the ass. Funny.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Ironically this kind of confusion is something Richard Stallman predicted years ago, albeit from a different angle, and now it comes apparently around to bite not only GNU but also Linux in the ass.

No. It's just as unimportant and as much of a distraction as it always was. Like Jan 1, 2001 being the "real" first day of the millennium. It simply does not matter outside of casual dinner conversation. Richard's penchant for obsessing on minutia (and obvious minutia, at that) has always seemed odd to me. Though not as odd as the way some people herald it as an uncanny ability to see into the future.

Let's focus on real problems and challenges... and not end up off in the weeds, arguing trivia, and wasting time.

Reply Parent Score: 3