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    SubjectRe: Challenges with doing hardware bring up with Linux first
    On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 10:44 PM, Ted Ts'o <tytso@mit.edu> wrote:
    > On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 08:31:24PM +0000, Alan Cox wrote:
    >>
    >> Which we know in practice they won't. They'll sit on fixes (often
    >> security fixes) and tweak and add private copies of features. In turn the
    >> Linux one could then only keep up by adding features itself - which would
    >> have to be GPL to stop the same abuse continuing.
    >>
    >> It's a nice idea but the corporations exist to make money and adding
    >> proprietary custom stack add-ons is clearly a good move on their part to
    >> do that.
    >
    > Hence my recommendation that if someone is going to do the work to
    > create a 802.11 layer that has shims that work on multiple operating
    > systems, it be GPL with explicit exceptions to allow said layer to
    > work on legacy operating systems like QNX, et. al.  That way it forces
    > the hardware specific code to be released under the GPL --- if they
    > want to take advantage of the "write onces, work on multiple operating
    > systems" feature.
    >
    > If someone is going to go through all of this work to make it possible
    > --- particularly if it's at a company such as Luis's employer, or any
    > other wifi chipset provider --- why should it allow their competitors
    > to do closed source drivers?  Better to structure the driver licensing
    > such that (a) there is benefit for companies to make a Linux driver by
    > using this common stack, and (b) but in exchange, it forces them to
    > make a driver which is guaranteed to be usable by Linux by virtual of
    > the fact that (1) the native interface is Linux's wireless stack, and
    > (2) the license forces them to GPL their driver.

    By forcing the driver to be GPL, you automatically exclude Windows
    from the list of platforms supported by such a cross-OS driver, as the
    Windows NDIS headers are AFAIK under a GPL-incompatible license, so no
    GPL driver can be written for Windows.

    >
    >                                   - Ted
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