The removal of the Philips webcam driver from the kernel set off a long and
sometimes inflammatory discussion. Its return has, instead, been greeted
with almost total silence. Once people take a look, however, they might
see something worth yelling about.
The new maintainer is Luc Saillard. He has posted a patch which restores the PWC driver to the
kernel, but without the problematic hook for the proprietary compression
module. As an added bonus, the driver can deal with compressed streams
from some cameras (those using chipsets 2 or 3), in some modes. Work still
needs to be done for chipset 1 and the Bayer mode.
The final result is yet to be seen, but it would appear that the whole PWC
episode is heading toward a best-case conclusion: a 100% free driver. It
would be hard to see that outcome as anything but a good thing.
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