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Re: rawhide report: 20060226 changes

Hans de Goede wrote:
The extremely small subset of users for whom this driver actually
works, and is stable, are free to recompile things if they like, but
with the obvious caveat that we don't support it at all, and don't
support systems that have it loaded any more than we support 3rd
party proprietary drivers.

I understand the don't support part, but I have to disagree with the any more then propietary drivers,

You can disagree with me all you like, but we have never supported
software that does not ship with the OS.  That includes open source
kernel modules, X drivers, or any other software.  People using
drivers that do not ship with the OS, take full responsibility for
any problems they may encounter doing so.  In particular for kernel
modules and X drivers, both of which can cause complete system hangs.

By all means, feel free to install/use whatever drivers you like, but
if they break, and we didn't ship them - you get to keep both pieces,
wether they are open source or not.

> that is saying sure its open source but it really is no better then
> a closed driver since its reversed engineered.

That's your personal thoughts, not mine.  My claim is essentially:

"if we don't ship it, we don't provide maintenance it, wether it is
open source or not period."

If you have a driver installed/loaded in your system which we do not
support, and you have a system hang, you'll need to reproduce the
hang with the unsupported driver removed before we touch the issue.

This is not something new.  It's been like this from the beginning of
time, I am only restating it to make sure people are fully aware of it.

> I agree reverse engineered is less good then based on specs, but it
> still beats a closed driver hands down.

That depends on your perspective I guess.  An open source driver is
better than a closed source one from an OSS advocacy perspective, and
that is where my personal ideologies are.  However many people would
argue with you that "a functional driver that allows me to use all
of the features of my hardware and actually works" is a better driver,
regardless of wether it is open source or closed source.

The fact is, each individual person has different needs/requirements,
and different ideologies of "what is better".  I strongly prefer
open source drivers over proprietary ones - to the point where I have
never installed any of the proprietary drivers on my systems.  So in
that regard I agree with you.

Having said that, an open source driver that is non-functional or
which locks up most people's systems is not particularly what I would
call "better" in any sense.  At least not until the people developing
it get it into a useable and reliable state anyway.

Mike A. Harris  *  Open Source Advocate  *  http://mharris.ca
                      Proud Canadian.

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