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Old 08-01-06, 04:29 PM   #39
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,026
Default Re: Opinions on driver license

You should not forget to mention that Microsoft goes to every possible effort to keep things compatible (sometimes making it more complex than it needs to be), thus Windows drivers tend to work for quite a long time. Only in a major release you need to update drivers, and even then not always.

On the other hand, open source developers (Linux, XF86/Xorg) find it rewarding to break the entire driver interface at each and every patchlevel. The more proprietary drivers fail for a new release, the better. They think.
This means the compatability problem is much more pronounced, and also costs the closed driver developer more time.

They probably think they can force manufacturers to give up and release the source to be done with it, but in cases where this does not happen they only hit the users (of Linux) with it. Contrary to developer's belief, there actually *are* people who use Linux, and are not kernel or X developers.

Even when you are a developer, there must be some base of things that works. When working on an application, it is no fun to be bothered by the effects of kernel updates all the time. This has driven me from compiling kernels from source into using a distribution long ago. And even now it irritates me that I have to re-install nvidia and vmware drivers even when completely unrelated security patches have been released by SuSE.
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