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SubjectRe: Honest does not pay here ...
On Tue, 7 Jan 2003, Jesse Pollard wrote:

> On Tuesday 07 January 2003 10:32 am, Bill Davidsen wrote:

> > For Linux, there are not only dozens of kernel versions around, but the
> > uni and smp versions are not the same. Vendors who want to provide drivers
> > really want to provide the binary even if the module is open source, just
> > because the average person has no desire to build any part of a kernel.

> > Try to understand why vendors want to ship binary modules and why they
> > don't always work before making accusations.
> Been there (though it wasn't within the last 20 years). The only justification
> for not releasing the specifications is incompetent hardware design worked
> around by software. Releasing the software would reveal how incompetent
> some designers are.
> > All that said, an independent testing service would be of use to the
> > vendors, because they could find things before shipping and have someone
> > to share the blame if the module didn't work with another kernel.
> Releasing the source would save more money than the testing service costs.
> Besides, I'm not buying a driver - I only want the device, and the specs on
> the device that may allow me or someone else to create a driver for Linux
> or some other purpose (ie - a dedicated, embeded system not necessarily based
> on Linux)...
> Personally, I view binary only drivers as evidence of incompetence, or
> embarassement over how poor a design is in the first place...

Either you didn't read or didn't understand the points I was making that
even if the driver is open source the vendors still have good reasons to
release a binary module with the hardware.

I'm sorry I don't know how to state it more clearly than I did the first
time, it has zero to do with open source or not, and all to do with what
the majority of users are capable of installing.

bill davidsen <>
CTO, TMR Associates, Inc
Doing interesting things with little computers since 1979.

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