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

Lee Revell rlrevell at joe-job.com
Wed Mar 14 15:34:38 UTC 2007

On 3/14/07, Paul Davis <paul at linuxaudiosystems.com> wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-03-14 at 10:21 -0400, Lee Revell wrote:
> > Why should Linux sacrifice stability just so vendors can keep their
> > hardware interfaces secret?
> although i broadly agree with lee on most things, i think that this way
> of approaching this issue is unnecessarily confrontational. just flip it
> around ... why should vendors expose their hardware interfaces just to
> keep linux' reputation for stability up?
> i don't have a non-confrontational alternative, though :)

I guess my response would be that the main reasons for the success of
Linux are stability and performance which are direct results of the
kernel source being open.  Take that away and it's just a lame
proprietary Unix that only the vendor can support.  Whereas, secret
interfaces are really tangential to the the quality of the hardware.

My other response would be to point to all the successful vendors who
*do* provide open Linux drivers.  Creative released a GPL emu10k1
driver and went on to sell gazillions of those devices to Linux users,
and the competition never cloned their hardware, because they patented
their hardware innovations.

Finally, hardware vendors are of course free to require a binary blob
to use their gear, as long as it runs in userspace, like the newer
Intel wireless and video stuff.


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