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Old 12-14-06, 10:16 AM   #13
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Default Re: GPL Only Modules in Linux Kernel After January 1, 2008

Originally Posted by Skrot
Thanks for the link. Very clear and wise words from LT :-)

And even if the "anti-non-GPL driver patch" would go into the
mainstream kernel some day in distant future: i'm pretty sure
that most commercial distibutors would apply a patch reversing
the situation, because which adventage a distibutor would have
when their user could do less with it?

Second, there are a couple of ways how you could overcome
such a patch for pre-build kernels: LT mentioned user space
drivers (which would be a good thing for complex 3D drivers
anyway, IMHO). Another variant would be the firmware interface.


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Old 12-14-06, 10:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: GPL Only Modules in Linux Kernel After January 1, 2008

Do you propose that we kowtow to those same devs when they allow emotion to rule over reason?

I criticize MS, Apple and any other "vendor", whether open, closed, for profit or not, when this kind of crap happens.

I am highly disappointed with nVidia right now, because it seems to be taking forever to fix what is clearly a basic design issue with respect to the current set of compositing managers, all seemingly related to a poor TFP implementation. How many of the posts in this forum (and many others) over the past couple of months are a direct consequence of this underlying issue, which manifests itself in rather varied ways. It is enough to make one go back to using XGL and mesa-cvs with the old stable drivers before TFP was introduced.

That being said, I still think that nVidia has done a yeoman's job (notably compared to ATI) in supporting Linux, keeping in mind that they are in business to make money, and I suspect that Linux support is net cash flow negative for them. The proportion of HW sales that they may be making relative to any Linux use has got to be negligible, given Linux' marketshare.

When Linux devs allow emotion and religious evangelism to make their knee jerk decisions, rather than considering the "big picture" and taking time to engage in appropriate debate to consider the impact of their decisions, then we have an obligation to criticize. That is the nature of an open community.

Hell, we teach our children that part of "growing up" and becoming a mature adult is to consider the consequences of their actions.

At the end of the day, the free market will determine how this all plays out. If Greg's patch were allowed to stay in place, the downstream impact could be anything from a kernel fork (sans patch) to any number of possibilities across the spectrum of distros, commercial and free, which might have been forced into making descisions about what they distribute in response to user pressure.

How would nVidia and others such as ATI or Cisco (vpn client, and no, vpnc does not handle all situations) react? How about those, like me, who still need to use ndiswrapper for wireless support, because the current bcm43xx in the kernel does not work properly and even when it does, still requires the proprietary modules from the Windows side.

Who knows? It would be a risk/benefit decision for them, coming from a perspective of the bottom line. User pressure is one thing, but there has to be a financial risk for these companies to react the way that we might like and right now, it is not there, again because Linux' market share is too small.

For those of us using free Linux distro's, we have a "money back guarantee" on our purchase price if we don't like things. As some on the OSNews thread noted, if this kind of crap continues, it could easily benefit Apple, because a lot of folks, me included, would rapidly switch to Mac OS X and given the current dynamics with Vista, Apple's market share and hopefully Linux', may very well benefit.

The Linux evangelical's need to temper their reactions, because the overwhelming majority of people don't use hardware, operating systems and applications due to religion or philosophy. They use them because they solve a problem.

The bottom line, is that we need to be open to debate and constructive criticism when it is rightly needed. This is a case where it is rightly needed and thanks to Linus for bringing reason to the table.

BTW, something else that I am disappointed in. /. finally has a post on this issue this morning (my time). Why did it take so long? ;-)

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Old 12-14-06, 01:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: GPL Only Modules in Linux Kernel After January 1, 2008

before posting here, please read the whole mail thread.

a) removing the block might be illeagal (read Alan Cox' mails)

b) Greg won't push the patch anymore

c) re-read all Linus' mails

d) think about why important devs are supporting Linus's view

e) think again

f) then post here.
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Old 12-14-06, 02:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: GPL Only Modules in Linux Kernel After January 1, 2008

I don't have a driver that works properly for linux, but it does for windows. just the mere possibility that opening the driver up would make this happen to me makes nvidia look extremely bad. As a customer, I'm annoyed that we still have a beta driver when I feel that nvidia is hardly doing everything they can to resolve the situation. If they can't keep up support with new hardware then they really should open up their drivers, IMO. And maybe I'm wrong and opening the drivers up wouldn't make us have better drivers or drivers with support earlier, but I can't imagine that it would take any longer.

I kind of expect that ati/amd has a reason to do this first, and hope they will so we can at least have an example of the improvement that could come from it.
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