Building a free future in embedded devices
Posted Oct 21, 2006 19:35 UTC (Sat) by cventers
In reply to: Building a free future in embedded devices
Parent article: Free gadgets need free software
Sure they would. Now, don't get me wrong - it's a scary proposition at
first. People were really nervous about relying on Linux for anything
When you say that relying on independent third-party software that a
company has no control, influence, or power over to power their product is
mind-bogglingly retarded, I have two answers:
1. Free software gives you perfect control, influence and power over the
independent third-party software
2. Lots of product and service providers _do_ make that mind-bogglingly
stupid move already - just look at Symbian and Windows CE.
All the doomsday scenarios you mention:
1. No control? Not true. They can make whatever changes they want to the
software, and if upstream doesn't like them, that doesn't stop them from
using those changes in their own version.
2. No influence? Not true. They can hire / employ one or more Rockbox
developers, just as some companies hire Linux developers today.
3. Mainline goes in a different direction? No problem, you can still keep
using _your_ Rockbox.
4. Mainline devs lose interest and the project goes away? No problem, you
can still keep using _your_ Rockbox.
Relying on proprietary software leaves you in a mess any time one of these
scenarios comes true. Home-brew software, and free software, do not.
Home-brew software costs more to make and maintain than free software, so
free software is indeed an interesting option.
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