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SubjectRe: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
Brian Gerst <bgerst <at>> writes:

> The problem with this statement is that Linux users are a drop in the
> bucket of sales for this hardware. Boycotting doesn't cost the vendors
> enough to make them care. And this does nothing for people who are
> converting over to Linux, and didn't buy hardware with that
> consideration in mind.
> The only way to break the stalemate is to reverse engineer drivers.
> Turning the screws tighter isn't going to make open drivers magically
> appear. More likely, the vendors will abandon Linux as being too
> hostile and/or too costly to support, leaving everybody back at square one.
> --
> Brian Gerst

I see binary drivers as a problem, too.
How does a customer find out, if a piece of Hardware works in the free software
world? Yes there are a few places, where you find a hardware compatibility list,
but these are scattered and often incomplete. And they only include hardware
that someone thinks is working, added a couple of month after sales launch.

The only solution is to create pressure on these companies, as suggested.
Ideally, there should be a label "designed for Linux" (or "designed for free
software" (maybe getting the bsd people on board as well?)) straight on the box.
So customers that start to care about linux, can see this right away and make
the right choice, when buying hardware.
And because the driver is already included/licensed before the product makes it
into the shelves, its a plug and play scenario for the customer. They don't need
to worry about drivers at all. Stick it in and it just works(tm).
This would be a real value added in favor of linux for the customer and could
create some real pressure on companies with binary only drivers.

Which Authority would be best to release such a Label?


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