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Kernel Developers Say No To Binary Blobs

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  • #16
    "short-sightedness" is not an argument itself. Please argument more.

    His opinion is important, but Linux kernel work is done by _A LOT_ of individuals.

    The opinion of a lot of devs is _A LOT_ more important than the opinion of Linus itself, he is free to do whatever but he isn't the only copyright owner of the source code and there are lots of very imporant developers than him.

    Of course we have seen the BSD project splitted into different flavors because certain differences and that may happen someday in the Linux world if differences between parts go bigger. As I see the BSD world, I think this could be quite negative for the Linux kernel.

    Ignoring the issue will not solve it or make it less important, in the long term this is the worst decission ever.

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    • #17
      Well, great. Just keep the closed-source drivers functioning properly.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by timofonic View Post
        "short-sightedness" is not an argument itself. Please argument more.

        His opinion is important, but Linux kernel work is done by _A LOT_ of individuals.

        The opinion of a lot of devs is _A LOT_ more important than the opinion of Linus itself, he is free to do whatever but he isn't the only copyright owner of the source code and there are lots of very imporant developers than him.

        Of course we have seen the BSD project splitted into different flavors because certain differences and that may happen someday in the Linux world if differences between parts go bigger. As I see the BSD world, I think this could be quite negative for the Linux kernel.

        Ignoring the issue will not solve it or make it less important, in the long term this is the worst decission ever.
        I completely disagree, trying to force anyone into releasing any individuals IP to be open, is just as evil as forcing a individuals IP to be closed. The true freedom is being able to pick and choose the best solution for your property. Linus is a realist, he knows that you are never going to be able to get 100% agreement from both sides and he repects the individuals right to keep their IP private if wanted to do so, it's their right. Siding with either side 100% simply means you put that degree of separation even further apart hurting compatibilty and flexibilty rather then improving it.

        All those individuals that gripe about it and think that their way is the only way have the freedom to do something else, leave. Nobody is holding a knife to their throat. Linus is the project founder and leader and he has final say. Thank God his opinions are heavily seated in reality instead of 'utopian' dreams.

        Every successful endevour is full of comprimises of varying degrees.

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        • #19
          The hubris!

          NVidia says no to request to release open source drivers, once again

          If distros like Ubuntu/OpenSuse/Fedora had backbone, they'd plaster warnings to users with NVIDIA hardware urging them to boycott this unscrupulous company. Educating Linux users to spend money to FOSS-friendly manufacturers like AMD/ATI is the only way to make a meaningful statement and vote with their wallet.

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          • #20
            Doesn't anybody else see that as being hypocritical?
            *Raises Hand*

            There are far too many people in the Linux community pushing their own ideals and agends to the detriment of personal choice and freedom for everybody else.

            I do not need my Linux distributions to educate me.

            I do not need my Linux distribution to be my conscience.

            I have the right to spend my money on closed, proprietary hardware and software.

            I have the right not to be harassed or disriminated against because of my personal choices.

            Take away my right to buy and run closed source drivers and software and you are no better than individuals, corporations and governments which would seek to force upon me their ideals, their principles and their agendas against my will. Kernel contributors who cannot abide closed source drivers should begin a new and seperate kernel with a license which instead properly allows them to restrict the freedoms of their users as they see fit.
            Last edited by immudium; 06-24-2008, 01:17 AM.

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            • #21
              I have the right to spend my money on closed, proprietary hardware and software.
              that essentailly means "i have the right to limit my freedom, and give up some of my rights".

              of course you can use proprietary drivers. it's just that they harm linux development model.

              what do you think would happen if nvidia would try to enforce a certain api on the kernel, threatening that they will not adapt the driver, and the kernel should be fixed instead?

              linux developers would have to choose - agree to nvidia, or ignore them and have them fix their driver; kernel is more important.

              they would definitely do the latter, despite the angered users, left with broken drivers.

              also - bug reports from using a kernel with proprietary driver are usually rejected immediately, because this kernel is referred to as 'tainted' by proprietary software. the problem might exists within the blob, which is not kernel devs responisibility.

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              • #22
                Sorry, Yoshi, but I'm with Linus and the others.

                I thought open source was about choice. I didn't choose this laptop with an ATi graphics card (my college did that for me, another story), but I chose to run Linux on it. And I should be able to choose to run the binary drivers until a distro-shipped open source driver does what I want it to, because I choose not to use git and recompile my graphical backbone every other day.

                GNU is all about freedom and choice. I don't think they should take away my choices, even if said choice limits my own freedom.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                  ah, but of couse. that's totally irrelevant. but the pc is also a device, isn't it?

                  think for a moment about custom open-source firmware for routers (esp linksys wrt54gl series). do you still think it's irrelevant if the firmware remains a blob, or is it better to provide an open firmware, which often provides more features than standard stock blob?

                  some modems/tuners/wi-fi cards require firmware, that you have to forcefully extract from windows drivers in order to obtain it.what if that would mean violating the software licence? (actually it might be this way already, as most driver licenses prohibit you from messing with the files).
                  i wasnt talking about routers like those..

                  Sure, it would be by far best to also have free firmware for every device, what i was saying, is simply, that whether the nonfree binary blob exists in the form of a rom chip on the device itself, or in a blob in userspace, being loaded to the device at driver start, doesent matter to me, and furthermore, i said that there is a HELL of a difference between this, and having a blob like nvidias piece of shit, running inside the kernel.

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                  • #24
                    Well binary blobs exist when parts of the code are not under your control. When you look at ID software then you get the idea, they write basically the complete game and do not rely on 3rd party - therefore they could open the code much more easyly than for example Sun for Java - they had to rewrite parts which have been bought. I don't think that you can release the full kernel module code for a driver when it is derived of 3rd party code which has been only licenced - but without the permission to distribute the code. Therefore you see now a complete rewrite as this does not conflict with other copyrights. It seems only Intel did the same as ID for games and has the full source under its control.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by stan View Post
                      The hubris!

                      If distros like Ubuntu/OpenSuse/Fedora had backbone, they'd plaster warnings to users with NVIDIA hardware urging them to boycott this unscrupulous company. Educating Linux users to spend money to FOSS-friendly manufacturers like AMD/ATI is the only way to make a meaningful statement and vote with their wallet.
                      Ubuntu does give the annoying warning actually.

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                      • #26
                        Kernel Developers Say No To Binary Blobs
                        And nvidia says no to open drivers again?

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                        • #27
                          Just a point:

                          You say binary blobs should not be in the kernel,... and they aren't,...

                          NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

                          They are no more in the kernel than Reiser4.

                          So you want binary blobs out of the kernel. Great. They are not in the kernel.

                          However, you have to be crazy (or motivated by some other devious factors) to demand that NO binary blobs should ever be able to interact with the kernel.

                          This just results in Linux being a poor sad undesirable product, that won't work with heaps of hardware.

                          Only those who want to destroy Linux will push hard for this.

                          If a hardware maker refuses to open up the specs to his hardware, but offers to provide binary blobs for each kernel, then why would you say no to this offer.

                          Of course, it is better to have the specs and write your own drivers, but no hardware maker is compelled to give them to you.

                          I suspect the motives of those who demand that NO binary blobs should ever come in contact with the kernel.
                          Last edited by Jade; 06-24-2008, 09:40 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jade View Post
                            Just a point:

                            You say binary blobs should not be in the kernel,... and they aren't,...

                            NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM.

                            They are no more in the kernel than Reiser4.

                            So you want binary blobs out of the kernel. Great. They are not in the kernel.

                            However, you have to be crazy (or motivated by some other devious factors) to demand that NO binary blobs should ever be able to interact with the kernel.

                            This just results in Linux being a poor sad undesirable product, that won't work with heaps of hardware.

                            Only those who want to destroy Linux will push hard for this.

                            If a hardware maker refuses to open up the specs to his hardware, but offers to provide binary blobs for each kernel, then why would you say no to this offer.

                            Of course, it is better to have the specs and write your own drivers, but no hardware maker is compelled to give them to you.

                            I suspect the motives of those who demand that NO binary blobs should ever come in contact with the kernel.
                            Whenever I read your comments I ask myself wether you actually believe what you say or just write it because you're "The Conspiracist"

                            EDIT: oh wait, I actually read what you wrote this time and completely agree with you.
                            The first time I read I stopped when I came to the "Reiser4" thing, because I thought you'd just talk the usual stuff about that ;-)
                            Last edited by NeoBrain; 06-24-2008, 09:56 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                              that essentailly means "i have the right to limit my freedom, and give up some of my rights".
                              Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.

                              Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                              of course you can use proprietary drivers. it's just that they harm linux development model.

                              what do you think would happen if nvidia would try to enforce a certain api on the kernel, threatening that they will not adapt the driver, and the kernel should be fixed instead?

                              linux developers would have to choose - agree to nvidia, or ignore them and have them fix their driver; kernel is more important.

                              they would definitely do the latter, despite the angered users, left with broken drivers.
                              No argument from me. In such a scenario, the kernel devs should tell the offending party to go to hell. Nevertheless, you've provided nothing more than a weak hypothetical scenario. If based upon such insubstantial hypothesis, then the kernel devs' symbolic gestures accomplish nothing more than to create an atmosphere of ill-will and uncertainty.

                              Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                              also - bug reports from using a kernel with proprietary driver are usually rejected immediately, because this kernel is referred to as 'tainted' by proprietary software. the problem might exists within the blob, which is not kernel devs responisibility.
                              I find that to be extremely short sighted and arbitrary, but that's their choice. I'm not going to tell them how to do their work.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by NVIDIA via ZDnet
                                “NVIDIA doesn’t expect Linux kernel developers to debug issues in NVIDIA’s kernel module.”
                                Gotta love the obvious misinformation NVIDIA spews. The kernel developers are not compaining because they can't debug Nvidia's driver. They are complaining because anyone who files a bug report who has also tainted their kernel with Nvidia's (or ATI's) blob, is basically S.O.L. when it comes to getting any kind of assistance for their problem. Having tainted kernels on every desktop keeps kernel developers from properly debugging the Linux kernel.

                                Those of you who just love their blobs are welcome to keep them, and the unending, never-fixed bugs that go with them. I for one am longing for the day when I can actually use the features my video hardware came with, without being stuck with a bugfest of a closed driver.

                                Originally posted by immudium View Post
                                I find that to be extremely short sighted and arbitrary, but that's their choice. I'm not going to tell them how to do their work.
                                It's not a matter short sightedness, I believe it's more a matter of no-sightedness. With the blob loaded into the kernel, NODBOY BUT NVIDIA(or whoever's blob it is) can say what it's doing. That's just the way it goes if you want to load a binary-only module into your otherwise-open kernel.
                                Last edited by oblivious_maximus; 06-24-2008, 02:30 PM.

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