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  • Atheros Publishes Open-Source WiFi Firmware

    Phoronix: Atheros Publishes Open-Source WiFi Firmware

    Atheros has been more friendly towards Linux customers in recent years with open-source WiFi/network Linux drivers. Atheros has even been kind towards BSD users. The latest Atheros open-source contribution is the opening up of their firmware for two wireless chipsets...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTMyNTY

  • #2
    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    The new Atheros code is under a combination of the GPLv2 and MIT.
    There are more licenses involved, see https://github.com/qca/open-ath9k-ht...ter/NOTICE.TXT - Example:
    Code:
    /*
     * Copyright (c) 2002-2005 Sam Leffler, Errno Consulting
     * Copyright (c) 2002-2005 Atheros Communications, Inc.
     * Copyright (c) 2008-2010, Atheros Communications Inc.
     *
     * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted
     * provided that the following conditions are met:
     * 1. The materials contained herein are unmodified and are used
     *    unmodified.
    ...

    Comment


    • #3
      OPen source drivers, even (especially) for commercial companies this is how it should be. Bring out drivers and open source them. This way they can let the community help themselves when they stop support for their older products.

      Comment


      • #4
        @ Michael: I think you should make clear that this is about USB devices, not the normal PCI(e) wireless products from Atheros. Also these USB devices use the ath9k_htc driver instead of ath9k.

        Comment


        • #5
          Awesome. I got one of the PCIe AR9285 cards recently, and it's been working like a charm out of the box. Glad to see that under Qualcomm they are continuing their good work at open-source.

          Comment


          • #6
            Also, these are chips, not chipsets!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TAXI View Post
              There are more licenses involved, see https://github.com/qca/open-ath9k-ht...ter/NOTICE.TXT - Example:
              Code:
              /*
               * Copyright (c) 2002-2005 Sam Leffler, Errno Consulting
               * Copyright (c) 2002-2005 Atheros Communications, Inc.
               * Copyright (c) 2008-2010, Atheros Communications Inc.
               *
               * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted
               * provided that the following conditions are met:
               * 1. The materials contained herein are unmodified and are used
               *    unmodified.
              ...
              This is not open source at all.

              Comment


              • #8
                You're right that not all firmwares have been freed yet, this is only about firmware for USB devices so far, not about the PCI(e) cards. (In the case of AR928x bridged to USB with an AR7010 chip, those chipsets use this USB firmware too - Linux sees that as one USB device in lsusb and it's using the ath9k_htc driver too, like the AR9271.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LightBit View Post
                  This is not open source at all.
                  its GPLv2 with modifications, not that surprising. Not even the kernel is under a flat GPLv2

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                    its GPLv2 with modifications, not that surprising. Not even the kernel is under a flat GPLv2
                    And also modified BSD license which is not open source (http://opensource.org/osd).
                    GPLv2 with modifications is not compatible with GPLv2. If kernel uses GPLv2 with modifications, it violates GPLv2.
                    Last edited by LightBit; 03-12-2013, 05:00 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LightBit View Post
                      And also modified BSD license which is not open source (http://opensource.org/osd).
                      GPLv2 with modifications is not compatible with GPLv2. If kernel uses GPLv2 with modifications, it violates GPLv2.
                      The GPLv2 is just a template LightBit, you can change or modify it as much as you want as long as you specify "Hey, this isnt stock GPLv2" which both this code drop and the kernel do. Also the BSD license is an open source license, its just not a Free-Open source license-- hence the difference between OSS and FOSS.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                        The GPLv2 is just a template LightBit, you can change or modify it as much as you want as long as you specify "Hey, this isnt stock GPLv2" which both this code drop and the kernel do. Also the BSD license is an open source license, its just not a Free-Open source license-- hence the difference between OSS and FOSS.
                        Yes, you can modify GPLv2, but it won't be compatible with original GPLv2.


                        Modified! BSD license
                        * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms are permitted
                        * provided that the following conditions are met:
                        * 1. The materials contained herein are unmodified and are used
                        * unmodified
                        .
                        https://github.com/qca/open-ath9k-ht...ter/NOTICE.TXT
                        3. Derived Works

                        The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.

                        4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

                        The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.
                        http://opensource.org/osd
                        Last edited by LightBit; 03-12-2013, 06:06 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CthuIhux View Post
                          Correction, BSD is not even Open source, it's free to close. so it's neither OSS or FOSS. Others say it's more like public domain but I say it's proto-proprietary software and I just can't understand why the FSF and stallman classify it as free software.
                          Public domain would probably be the best way to put it-- "Here's code, do whatever the hell you want with it, I dont care." And they probably classify it as freesoftware because of the above-- do whatever the hell you want with it. it is the MOST unrestricted license there is.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CthuIhux View Post
                            Correction, BSD is not even Open source, it's free to close. so it's neither OSS or FOSS. Others say it's more like public domain but I say it's proto-proprietary software and I just can't understand why the FSF and stallman classify it as free software.
                            So you're saying that Stallman doesn't go far enough?
                            Are you saying that he was wrong to advocate that Ogg Vorbis was released under a permissive BSD-like license to increase marketshare as opposed to other patent laden and closed standards like MPEG, do you think he was wrong in that regard?
                            Perhaps you don't understand him because he has a brain and you do not.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mYse|f View Post
                              Also, these are chips, not chipsets!
                              no it really is a chipset

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