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SubjectRe: Challenges with doing hardware bring up with Linux first
On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 12:31 PM, Alan Cox <> wrote:
>> Right -- which is why ideally I think it'd be nice to have an open
>> permissive stack people shared. My preference would be to just pick up
> 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.

I agree completely with you. Its up to companies to decide whether or
not they want to do that and ultimately traditionally companies have
preferred not to. I actually think there is more to it than not
wanting though... As I see it without people upstream working for some
of these companies its really hard for them to get these ideas and
actually believe in the possibility of it and the benefits. I'm
voicing this publicly to our own managers and lkml because I'd like to
see that companies get the message because realistically I really
don't expect anything like this has been *seriously* considered
before. When I ask people about it, I often hear people say they think
it'd be nice, but that's about it. Nothing more. No push, no action.
Its to the industry's best interest IMHO. Even if a common 802.11
stack was shared, if it was permissive licensed companies could still
go on and hack their own proprietary crap on top if they so wish, so
that would still be an option.

My point with all this thread is this: companies tend to not think out
of the proprietary box they have been put in by old driver development
habits, and driver development should not be so hard and tedious. They
should start considering working on more open solutions even for
proprietary operating systems, under a permissive license. I suspect
this will help out with resources considerations, bug fix propagation
and coordination between supporting different Operating Systems. We
also stand to gain from this on Linux too, after all a driver bug fix
for hardware sensitive code will need to be propagated to other OSes

I can surely ignore the other OSes and their IMHO their terrible
software practices but I can't because although it only affects Linux
in a tedious way I think we can do better and strive for that. If
sharing an 802.11 stack seems like a pipe dream oh well, at least I
think we should consider opening up the code for the other OSes and
let communities help with that crap for our company. Let it evolve
naturally. The benefits of FOSS cannot just only benefit Linux.


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