Posted Sep 30, 2004 3:01 UTC (Thu) by elanthis
Parent article: Driver core functions: GPL only
And usability basically disappears with these kinds of changes.
Sure, all the drivers a user will ever need is in the latest kernel. Too bad the vast majority of users have no way to *get* that latest kernel. They're stuck with whatever is packaged for them and distributed on their OS. Which, for real users, will generally *not* be the latest 6-month cut of Fedora or Debian unstable.
The result? It's impossible for the users, ever, to get new hardware to work on their machine, or install the OS on new hardware. Both the hardware and the in-tree drivers will have to have existed for a couple of years before you can reliably expect most users to be able to use the hardware.
I don't really care if you say all drivers must be GPLd. Go for it. Just make it possible for users to install those GPL drivers on their systems without needing to be a Linux guru.
It's not that users are stupid and can't learn; it's that they shouldn't have to, and many flat out don't want to. That's that.
Without, at the bare minimum, API stability (which does *not* force stagnation, if you manage the API versioning intelligently!), Linux just isn't going to be usable for most real-life users that don't have a Linux kernel hacker around to manage everything for them.
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