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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
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A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Maybe in my netbook ...
But it is always nice to watch a company see the light.
A bit late
Posted Sep 9, 2010 23:58 UTC (Thu) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953)
The only surprising thing is how much business they let walk out the door before complying. Take a look at OEM offerings and I bet you will be hard pressed to find Broadcom chip-sets in new Laptops/Desktops. They've lost nearly their entire market share in their insistence on not open sourcing.
Posted Sep 10, 2010 0:13 UTC (Fri) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639)
OEMs making choices about open driver availability and having that impact a component maker's bottomline in a real quantifiable way. That's actually amazing. That's _the_ story to put in front of every device manufacturer from this point forward. Open your drivers...or lose business like Broadcom did. If its true and they lost significant amounts business revenue because of a lack of a an open driver for their chipsets..they are potentially the best spokebusiness we could hope for to make the case to other hardware companies to get with the program. Doubly so if Broadcom's business perks up in response to having open drivers available.
Posted Sep 10, 2010 0:44 UTC (Fri) by kragil (subscriber, #34373)
The problem is that the only major thing where closed drivers rule is ARM graphics and for this argument to work someone has to move to have the first mover advantage so that others can loose.
Thing is in the ARM graphics market there is no first mover. All drivers are closed and will probably stay that way. When nobody sees declining numbers it will be hard to convince ARM SOC manufacturers to demand FOSS drivers. Damn you chicken, damn you egg.
Let's hope the Linaro guys read this and come to the right conclusion. IMO ARM is hands down the most important arch for Linux.
Posted Sep 10, 2010 9:02 UTC (Fri) by bangert (subscriber, #28342)
Posted Sep 10, 2010 17:27 UTC (Fri) by robert_s (subscriber, #42402)
"Let's hope the Linaro guys read this and come to the right conclusion. IMO ARM is hands down the most important arch for Linux."
The chief player in Linario being ARM and ARM having their own "Mali" GPU, it would make a lot of sense for ARM to get the ball rolling themselves by releasing specifications / helping to develop an open driver for Mali.
Posted Sep 10, 2010 1:07 UTC (Fri) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953)
IIRC Broadcom WiFi devices began disappearing from most laptops about 3 months ago (despite an apparent price advantage over Intel and Atheros). The Big OEM's Ink supply contracts infrequently (they don't like to disrupt major parts and carry multiple parts in their supply channel) but it takes about 3 months for a contract to hit the supply chain, particularly for manufacturers like HP that don't do JIT manufacturing. Dell part changes hit quicker, usually less than 30 days. And Broadcom was a big at Dell, holding court over almost every Wifi Sold by Dell for a number of years.
My laptop had issues over Labor day so I was looking at options at various manufacturers, one thing that surprised me quite heavily was the apparently complete lack of Broadcom Wifi at Dell now along with HP and others. Everything was Intel Wifi. This is especially surprising because in the past Dell has said there was a significant price advantage to Broadcom over Intel when questioned about Linux drivers.
I deduced that Dell has finally dropped Broadcom because of Linux compatibility, but that may not be the reason. Either way something has happened in the supply contracts to make Broadcom FOSS drivers, something big because they were adamant in the past they would never FOSS drivers. Maybe I'm over optimistic, but HP has been talking about Linux drivers being a requirement for a year or more.
Posted Sep 10, 2010 9:03 UTC (Fri) by bangert (subscriber, #28342)
Posted Sep 11, 2010 8:31 UTC (Sat) by Los__D (guest, #15263)
But then again, things might have changed since then (the C620 is three years old).
Posted Sep 13, 2010 19:30 UTC (Mon) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953)
When I bought the 610 and for several years later the default Wifi on all the Dell Laptops (that I I looked at) were Dell branded Broadcom chipsets. The typical upgrade cost as I mentioned was anywhere from $20 to $50 dollars. That's a hell of a premium on Laptop even when they still cost upwards of $1500 and it's astronomical with prices half that.
But as I said when I checked the other day (on the models I looked at) the Dell branded option isn't even there anymore (and that's astounding in itself given Dell's desire to Brand everything possible). I couldn't even find laptops with Broadcom Wifi chipsets (I didn't look that far, just at a few major models and Brands). That's a hell of a change from default on every laptop at Dell. This is anecdotal evidence at best but for me it's pretty conclusive when taken into account against Broadcom's earlier statements that they would release FOSS drivers when Hell froze over (I believe the actual wording was Never because it would reveal competitive information). I can't see any other reason they would release FOSS drivers other than as mentioned in the thread that they got tired of updating their drivers and want to pass the burden to the Kernel team.
Posted Sep 14, 2010 19:57 UTC (Tue) by Los__D (guest, #15263)
Posted Sep 10, 2010 9:58 UTC (Fri) by robert_s (subscriber, #42402)
Unstable internal kernel API FTW.
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