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SubjectRe: Linux, UDI and SCO.

On Fri, 18 Sep 1998, Terry L Ridder wrote:
> Given that Mr. Quick is clearly indicating that Linux and thereby the Linux
> Community are "the key is adoption of the UDI initiative", it would seem to
> me that this places the Linux Community in an extremely awkward position. If
> we do not support Project UDI, it will be because of "us" that Project UDI
> "died on the vine". This would also seem to run the risk of being labeled,
> "unsupportive", "you can not count on the Linux Community for support",
> "contrary", etc.
> If we do support Project UDI, and the UDI device drivers are only released
> under GNU GPL, will we not also be labeled? Yes we supported Project UDI, but
> no one other than Linux is able to use the UDI drivers.

What happens will depend on the individual writers of Linux drivers.

1. Those who do not want their drivers used on commerical Unix systems will
ignore UDI and write normal Linux drivers and license them under GPL.

2. Those who don't care if the commercial Unix systems use their drivers,
but don't want to actually help them, if that means Linux performance of
the driver suffers, will write normal Linux drivers, but use a license like
the X license, so the commercial Unix vendors can take and port the drivers
(maybe even to UDI).

3. Those who actually want commercial Unixes to use their driver will use
UDI and use a license like X. There are two kinds of people who will fall
into this group:

3a. People who want UDI to succeed so that hardware vendors will ship new
hardware with UDI drivers.

3b. People who want to help the commercial Unix vendors because they think
that helping them hurts Microsoft. (A big chunk of the Linux community seems
to be primarily motivated by wanting to see Microsoft lose, and are only
really using Linux because they see it as being a blow against MS).

4. Those who don't want the commercial Unix vendors to bundle their drivers,
but don't mind if individual SCO or Solaris or whatever users install them,
will use UDI and GPL their drivers. It's not clear that this makes it
illegal for SCO or Sun to distribute the driver, but it should cause enough
concern that they won't risk it.

Any Linux driver writers care to declare which of my categories you are
in, or add new categories?

--Tim Smith

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