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SubjectRe: Challenges with doing hardware bring up with Linux first
2010/11/21 Gábor Stefanik <>:
> On Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 10:44 PM, Ted Ts'o <> 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.

I've actually have been told GPL drivers for windows are possible with
some hard work. I have yet to investigate further on what that "hard
work" means. But yes, that is a good example.

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