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Silicon Motion Has Open-Source Driver, But Fails

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  • #16
    I see no problem with the treatment here.

    Let's go over the facts:

    1) The developer did absolutely zero research prior to his submission. He did not so much as Google "writing Linux drivers." There is naive and there is willfully ignorant. He was of the later.

    2) The code quality is low. This deserves ridicule all on its own. Low quality developers need to be fired, not coddled. The world has enough incompetent people making everyone else's life hard.

    3) The license shows that the company itself has done absolutely zero legal or professional research or effort to handle this driver. The entire effort might even be illegal due to use of some third-party code that can't be relicensed under the GPL.

    Again, he's not just a new developer, he's someone who intentionally avoided putting any effort into doing things the right way, but yet managed to spend time writing (or repurposing, more likely) around 20,000 lines of code. Unacceptable.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by elanthis View Post
      1) The developer did absolutely zero research prior to his submission. He did not so much as Google "writing Linux drivers." There is naive and there is willfully ignorant. He was of the later.
      That is someone else's job, Developers write code.

      2) The code quality is low. This deserves ridicule all on its own. Low quality developers need to be fired, not coddled. The world has enough incompetent people making everyone else's life hard.
      Style errors do not equate to low quality code.

      3) The license shows that the company itself has done absolutely zero legal or professional research or effort to handle this driver. The entire effort might even be illegal due to use of some third-party code that can't be relicensed under the GPL.
      Based on what evidence? He may have had all of the legal permission he needed to release the code under the GPL, from Michael's blog post and the thread on kernel.org you have no idea what happened beyond the wrong boilerplate license block.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by AnonymousCoward View Post
        Do they want to abandon it? Do they want to keep the incompatible license? To me it kinda looks like "hey, you, I heard we should put our drivers into the official kernel, do that" "how?" "how should I know, that's your job, go and find out!" Maybe they do just want to dump their code somewhere, but if that's the case, this article doesn't support it (and neither do the mailing list posts I found).
        There's this thing called Google. I guess Silicon Motion hasn't bothered reading the abundance of "How to get your driver in the kernel and not look like an idiot" posts. Greg Kroah Hartman has written quite a few of them.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by elanthis View Post
          I see no problem with the treatment here.

          Let's go over the facts:

          1) The developer did absolutely zero research prior to his submission. He did not so much as Google "writing Linux drivers." There is naive and there is willfully ignorant. He was of the later.

          2) The code quality is low. This deserves ridicule all on its own. Low quality developers need to be fired, not coddled. The world has enough incompetent people making everyone else's life hard.

          3) The license shows that the company itself has done absolutely zero legal or professional research or effort to handle this driver. The entire effort might even be illegal due to use of some third-party code that can't be relicensed under the GPL.

          Again, he's not just a new developer, he's someone who intentionally avoided putting any effort into doing things the right way, but yet managed to spend time writing (or repurposing, more likely) around 20,000 lines of code. Unacceptable.
          Regarding item 2, poor quality code is typical of proprietary drivers. You can get a whiff of it just by how many deficiencies become apparent when you load the module. Nvidia's blob and AMD's Catalyst are good examples of that. I have a feeling that if either of those ever got their source code released, it would be an absolute laugh riot as well. (Other than the "OMG, I was running THAT!? On a production system!?!?!?")

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          • #20
            Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
            Based on what evidence? He may have had all of the legal permission he needed to release the code under the GPL, from Michael's blog post and the thread on kernel.org you have no idea what happened beyond the wrong boilerplate license block.
            Actually, releasing nonfree source code is worse than not releasing anything at all. If a person so much as looks at it, then it can legally taint anything they write as a free software replacement for the offending proprietary code.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
              *text*
              Great write up!

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