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SubjectRe: Why the DOS has many ntfs read and write driver,but the linux can't for a long time
On Tuesday 10 January 2006 02:33, Denis Vlasenko wrote:
> Andrew, I think this is a rare (on lkml at least) case when guy
> does not want to participate in development in a Linux way
> but wants to just pay for development instead:
> "I want this <hardware> to work good under Linux. I want to pay
> up to <sum> to whoever will agree to do that. Anybody?"
> Do not dismiss him lightly. There are LOTS of people which aren't
> hackish at all. An order of magniture more than 'us' computer geeks.
> M$ is successful because it uses this resource.
> We may want to think how can we use it too.
> No, I don't think you, or someone else on this list can efficiently
> use it, but distros, being more commercially oriented, maybe can.

This is true. The types of bounties I have seen in OS development do not
usually reach much beyond $500. If distro's were to get behind this and start
offering bounties of large sums for _working_ code for hardware there might
be a response. As you've said, M$ is successful because it can throw money at
the problems. Sadly, another reason why M$ is successful are their NDA's and
the terms of any number of the contracts they offer hardware vendors and the
like. (And yet another reason is the fact that they got their foot in the doo
at just the right time. However, IMHO (and I have seen this recently), Now is
the time for Linux to start really stepping up to bat. I have had any number
of freinds and relatives ask me if there is an alternative to Windows and how
it takes so much work to keep running (I teach them basic windows maintenance
so I don't have to spend weekends going from house to house fixing problems)
- sadly I've had to tell them they are stuck with Windows for various
reasons. (Nothing to do with the Kernel, but the state of the available

But if the larger distro vendors would start offering bounties, all the
various small kernel problems that would stymie them would probably
disappear. Then the only problem is the market penetration and the
availability of software many people have come to depend on. (I have two
relatives who rely on the newest Yahoo IM clients voice chat and web-cam
abilities. Yahoo has not, and apparently will not, update their "Official"
client for Linux to have these capabilities and none of the alternative
clients have them.) When (I'm quite hopeful) Linux begins to get more market
penetration these problems of software should start to disappear.

_That_ is a goal Linux is (hopefully) aiming towards. This one persons offer
of money isn't enough - but more than likely larger offered sums will lure
more of the "Less Hackish" developers to start doing work for Linux. The
other problem is one of the legality of binary-only modules. I, personally,
have seen _very_ few with any "binary only" code that directly accesses
kernel facilities - those interfaces are always released openly. (I cannot
verify this for the two binary only modules I have had to deal with recently
- if just because I don't actually have the time to disassemble the object
files they ship to check for kernel function use. (Which would mean inclusion
of portions of the Kernel Headers. Which, I'm afraid, to me would signify
them being derivative works and therefore in violation of the GPL.)

I've wasted enough bandwidth here. Note that all flames will be read and
laughed at :)

D. Hazelton
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