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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 25, 2006 21:55 UTC (Wed) by sfeam (subscriber, #2841)
In reply to: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper by drag
Parent article: GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

I look forward to your contribution of a reverse-engineered driver for my old HP S20 PhotoSmart slide scanner.

Even if you are correct about 90% of current ndiswrapper use being for network cards, that leaves the remaining 10% as being for less generic devices. Less generic, and hence less likely to be tackled by your hypothetical driver developers with free time on their hands.

Yeah sure, if HP were to release the specs, and someone were to write a driver, I'd use it. But I'm not holding my breath. Notwithstanding your rant about wireless support, ndiswrapper serves a need. And it does so in a way that doesn't trample on any kernel developer's copyright or on GPLv2 license terms.

You, yourself, say that "ndiswrapper is legitament way of getting oddball hardware to work.. but maybe, just maybe the Kernel developers are tired of putting up with this crap". Maybe so, but preventing legitimate end use because of frustration with distro beta-testing is an strange response. This comes across as political posturing, and a sad case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 6:56 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

"HP S20 PhotoSmart slide scanner"

Since I don't own one and don't care much about it I think that it's you that should be in a much better position to provide a driver for it.

Anyways I have no freaking clue what the hell your scanner has to do with either ndiswrapper or wireless drivers or the fact that distributions are telling people to remove a working open source in-kernel driver and telling them to use a binary blob.

Especially doubly-so that your scanner wouldn't have any sort of kernel driver anyways.

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 7:01 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

he's saying that his scanner is able to work with a windows driver and the ndis wrapper. if ndiswrapper isn't available he has no way to use his scanner.

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 10:53 UTC (Thu) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

That's odd.

I didn't know people used ndiswrapper for anything other then wifi stuff. Learn new stuff everyday, I guess.

Like I said before though, I know that ndiswrapper has legitament uses. It's just that the kernel developers can't afford to have people ignoring open source driver development over binary blobs.

However, if they let end users get comfortable with binary blobs then they would end up being forced to support binary only drivers.

Intel 802.11g, Broadcom 802.11g, Ti 802.11g, Ralink 802.11g, Realtech 802.11g, all of these things have open source drivers for Linux, but all the time people are recommended to abandon everything except for the Intel for the ndiswrapper driver.

If kernel developers sit on this then they are essentially saying:
'Hey, your a dipshit if you release your IP (documetation, code, etc) for open source developers to write drivers when end users will just use the windows drivers anyways. Other guys aren't doing it and their stuff runs in Linux just fine, so why should you?'

GPL-only symbols and ndiswrapper

Posted Oct 26, 2006 23:38 UTC (Thu) by Hawke (guest, #6978) [Link]

"the fact that distributions are telling people to remove a working open source in-kernel driver"

But they're not. From my understanding, the advice from distro fora and such comes from other users, not from anyone official at the distro.

I don't recall ever seeing any bugs that were closed with "here's a workaround, use ndiswrapper" -- at the most, the closed-source drivers might be suggested as an interim solution until the open-source drivers are fixed.

I'm pretty sure most users will be happier getting to use their shiny new network card with proprietary drivers than not using it at all, and between replacing a distribution or replacing the network card, I can guess what most people will pick.

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