Posted Dec 7, 2005 22:44 UTC (Wed) by bojan
In reply to: Alright, BUT.
Parent article: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
Exactly what I feel every day at work too. The battle for freedom is an uphill one. I'm lucky enough that people around me are old Unix hands, so pointing out that source is the ultimate "everything" when it comes to software is relatively easy.
But what about regular folks that only care if the system works or not? How to convince them that having a slow driver for their NVidia graphics chip, that doesn't support 3D and/or dual head on the same card is better than the latest and greatest proprietary driver? And how to convince them that a system that requires manual intervention on a kernel change (not that they wuold know what that means anyway) is better than the one that doesn't? Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to this question. Not without sounding silly from their point of view. For them, their computer is just like their mobile phone, TV, fridge or the car. They want it to be cheap to buy and run and to be reliable and hassle free. All else is a non-issue.
As I posted above, I'm all for full source drivers. But I'm not so sure where and how the pressure needs to be applied to convince hardware manufacturers to drop binary only drivers.
If only there was one manufacturer that openly supports Linux, like IBM or HP, that had a complete line of products that work 100% with vanilla Linux, at least there would a "fallback" plan. At least we could say that if you want a 100% free Linux OS, you can buy models of PDAs, notebooks, desktops, workstations and servers from them, where every imaginable hardware feature is turned on and works. A bit like what Apple does with their systems, only with vanilla Linux.
I know. I should keep dreaming...
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