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Re: Possibly offtopic : Binary only driver

On Sun, November 21, 2004 1:06 pm, Mike Hearn said:
> On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 12:37:48 -0500, Sean wrote:

> So what? It still involves debugging programs with binary components.

Its a matter of consequences, and who is responsible for the mess.  When a
user level program crashes the kernel makes sure the consequences are
minimal, at least at the system level.   The kernel developers have more
important things to do than debug problems created by binary components.

> I think you missed the point: if nVidia took a (let's be optimistic) 5%
> performance hit to move stuff out of the kernel, ATI would make a big deal
> of the fact that their systems were faster. Performance is one of the
> primary factors people use to choose which vendor to go with, so more
> people would go with ATI.
> If you keep making those sorts of decisions you end up bankrupt, because
> ultimately you're not meeting the customers needs. For once, patents and
> other "legal entanglements" don't enter into it.

Lets be really optimistic and imagine that one of the companies open
sourced their drivers and gained all the benefits of being in the kernel,
being debugged by everyone, having all the benefits without the downside. 
 They would prosper and have a competetive advantage both in marketing and
in performance/supportability.   The only reason they don't do it, is
because of unfortunate patent laws and other legal problems.   But then,
that isn't the problem of those who are involved with Linux for the very
reasons that propelled it to the position it enjoys today, which has
_nothing_ to do with binary only components.


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