Behringer [was Re: [linux-audio-user] Re: [linux-audio-dev] RME is no more]

Frank Barknecht fbar at
Sun Nov 28 12:12:49 EST 2004

Jan Depner hat gesagt: // Jan Depner wrote:

> On Sat, 2004-11-27 at 15:36, Lee Revell wrote:
> > IMO the issue is not whether RME's concern is valid - clearly it is.
> > Sorry, but arguing otherwise makes us look stupid and naive.  The issue
> > is how to address this concern.  If that means a closed source Linux
> > driver, fine.
> > 
> 	Man, I've been waiting all day for someone to say this.  Personally,
> open source is not a religion for me so a closed source driver would be
> fine and dandy.  Let the flames commence - now where did I put my
> asbestos underwear?

Closed source drivers are *the* evil force threatening open source
and free software. Closed source drivers means no open source drivers,
that's a simple fact.

Why? Because with the availability of closed drivers the (market)
demand for open source drivers suddenly becomes as small as the
handful of Libre Software supporters like I am one. The "just make my
hardware work" type of Linux users is not interested in Open Source
drivers anymore, so why should someone still write this kind of
drivers? NVidia is the prime example. They provide closed source
drivers, a lot of (probably most) users are happy about this, NVidia
makes millions of dollars also in the Linux market. No free software
drivers? Bah, who the heck cares? And who the heck cares, that you
cannot buy a single modern 3D-card anymore, which has open source
drivers, by any manufacturer? Oh, that's not the fault of the linux
community, Matrox simply sucks, they don't provide binary only
drivers, NVidia rulez.

If RME doesn't want to support Linux for their FW card, that's fine
with me. There are still enough alternatives. But think about this:
There are no alternatives in the graphics card market anymore. Think
about, why this situation is so?

In this regard, providing closed source drivers and not providing docs
is even worse than not providing specifications only. It's a trojan
horse, and a big part of the Linux community bites it.

"Just working" may be enough for most users, but it is not enough for
me. And that's not because I would be an RMS zealot (at least, RMS is
smart enough, to not let the Trojan horse in). It's simply, what
decades of open source history have told those, who know about it:
It's not Linux, that's the threat to the Big Bosses, it's the idea of
Free Software.

 Frank Barknecht                               _ ______footils.org__

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