Strategy for fixing Bug #1
Scott J. Henson
sjh at sjhserv.net
Thu Dec 28 18:58:33 UTC 2006
Andrew Jorgensen wrote:
>> Here are the "what it will take win" points from the essay:
>> 1. Drivers for all major existing hardware.
> Unfortunately what we need is not drivers for all major existing
> hardware but drivers for all major hardware soon to exist. We're
> always one step behind (or several) in this area. In other words,
> what we really need there is for hardware component vendors to
> actively push for their hardware to be supported in Linux so that when
> they release their hardware there are already drivers written for it.
I think that you will find that some vendors are releasing
open source drivers for their hardware when they release
their hardware. The most recent and most public example is
Intel. I think its time for the Open Source community to
start using its bully pulpit to reward vendors that do the
right thing. Maybe an Ubuntu "Preferred Hardware" list
needs to be created that lists hardware in certain areas
that Ubuntu recommends because it has vendor supported, open
For instance, the graphics cards list would have Intel
cards as Preferred. Obviously people who have AMD
processors can't use Intel graphics cards, so we would be
recommending Intel processors by proxy. This would push AMD
to release open source ATI drivers, or at least give
official specs to the people reverse engineering those
drivers. If this happens, we could move ATI ahead of Intel
because of Intel's lack of open source support for its
Centrino wireless cards (not sure about this, but the
original article said it was so).
Speaking of wireless drivers, we could recommend cards with
cisco and ralink cards. Both of these chips have open
source drivers that the vendor seems to be active in
developing. This section of the recommended hardware could
be taken almost verbatim from the FSF's page.
In fact, the FSF's hardware database is exactly what I
was thinking about. Except, prominently linked from the
front page of ubuntu.com. If Ubuntu is the most popular
Linux distribution, a page like this should create waves and
make hardware vendors want to support open source drivers.
This would help anyone using Ubuntu and wishing to support
Open Source to vote with their money. We are customers and
we should be supported.
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