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Re: Possibly offtopic : Binary only driver

On 11/21/2004 04:21:17 PM, Sean Middleditch wrote:
Sure, some mythical company releases fully GPLd drivers, or
specs, a six months before their hardware is released. The kernel has
it in-tree a couple months before the hardware is released. Six
after the hardware is released, a distro is released that actually
that kernel. Several months after that you might be able to expect 5%
of the non-uber-geek OS consumer base to have a distro using that

My experience differs.
Bought an nforce2 (ayn8x deluxe) board shortly after they were released.

RH8 did not support the NVidia nic, the 3com nic, or the sound card.
I had to get them from nvidia.

The sound card (nvidias driver was basically the kernel driver) and the 3com nic (I think a two line patch to the existing 3com driver) were already in the alan cox tree, and were in the next kernel - and in every singly linux distribution that shipped after 2.4.21 I think it was. Update to RH8 kernel also provided for both.

Bought Windows XP SP1 about 7 months later - were those drivers in there? No. I had to install a tulip nic just so I could download the drivers - because MS did not change their 3com driver to support the onboard 3com nic.

The Linux community was very fast at including drivers for my new hardware in the kernel, and in every distribution after it was in the kernel - and in distributions released before it was in the kernel through kernel updates (often same kernel they shipped, but they patched the 3com driver and i810 audio driver for my hardware)

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