[linux-audio-dev] Getting out of the software game

Lee Revell rlrevell at joe-job.com
Wed Mar 14 15:16:46 UTC 2007

On 3/14/07, Christian Schoenebeck <cuse at users.sourceforge.net> wrote:
> Am Mittwoch, 14. März 2007 15:21 schrieb Lee Revell:
> > Binary drivers make the kernel impossible to debug,
> That's an exaggerated statement. I would accept "harder" though. ;)

With binary drivers kernel debugging requires the cooperation of the
vendor in the best case, and lots of guesswork and reverse engineering
in the worst case.  The main technical argument in favor of open
source is that anyone can fix a bug.  With binary drivers, you're at
the mercy of the vendor.  At that point you might as well run Windows.

Another technical argument for open source drivers is that vendors
will put all kinds of garbage like AC3 encoding in the kernel if
they're allowed to keep the code secret.  Have you ever
disassembled/decompiled a Windows driver?  It's shocking what you

> > and if the kernel
> > devs created such a DBI, vendors would stop releasing open source
> > drivers and pretty soon Linux would be no more stable than Windows.
> > Why should Linux sacrifice stability just so vendors can keep their
> > hardware interfaces secret?
> Not Linux' stability might suffer, but what you fear is that its reputation
> could do.

Who says it's about reputation?  I am talking about real world stability.


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