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SubjectRe: Linux headed for disaster?
On Mon, 6 Dec 1999, Steve Underwood wrote:

> Alan Cox wrote:
> > > What I am trying to get across is that binary portable modules help
> > > to solve driver compatibility problems when you do new releases of
> > > the Linux kernel. I am not trying to say that the source code should
> > > be closed. Obviously the Open Source nature of the NCR 5380 driver is
> > > what allows it to continue to be supported.
> >
> > I've been helping maintain the Linux kernel for six or seven years. I don't
> > believe a word of your claim. Things like vmware are a problem, the et inc
> > modules were a problem, oss has its problems. And thats despite the fact
> > OSS especially, and also to an extent ET worked hard on chasing bugs

If Linux allows binary modules, the end of the world, as we know it,
has arrived. The result will be Trojan and other 'malware' inserted
into the kernel. Even if we trust the world to be on its best behavior,
we will become just like NT and other such crash-ware. Many/most/(perhaps
all) problems with NT are directly caused by 'drivers' which are written
by nitwits contracted by third-parties. You know, the ones who insist that
the kernel be rewritten as a polymorphic "object" because they learned
those buzz-words in some OO class at Three-Mile-Island.

If a company considers its drivers to be so secret that it will not
allow anybody to view its source-code, the company probably obtained
the source-code by theft. If so, the proper thing to do would be to
used the stolen source as a template from which to write an interface
specification. Then, from the interface specification, one writes the
target software. However, this is expensive. It takes time to write
a specification. Its quicker to steal source-code, hack it to run
the proprietary hardware, then keep it in the dark.

There is a good example of this kind of company policy at a one-time major
network company near the Great Salt Lake. It has been reported that its
President publically stated that he would never pay for something
he could steal.

The whole idea of an open-source Operating System is that it's open.
We must keep it that way.

Dick Johnson

Penguin : Linux version 2.3.13 on an i686 machine (400.59 BogoMips).
Warning : It's hard to remain at the trailing edge of technology.

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