[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu Profile

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Mon Oct 29 12:04:28 GMT 2007

Sean Miller wrote:
> [...]
> In other words, it isn't the fault of Linux that these cards don't work 
> but the manufacturers.

Hello, Sean.

Actually, I disagree - It's Debian fundamentalists who discourage SIMPLE 
solutions like installing the NDIS 'wrappers' in Ubuntu because using 
NDIS requires the WiFi manufacturer's proprietary drivers to be loaded.

If lots of Ubuntu users used NDIS, then manufacturers would see a demand 
for Linux drivers. This has already happened with e.g. AMD open sourcing 
their ATI drivers because of demand from Linux users. Note that 'demand' 
from Linux users is very different to 'demands' by Linux developers ;-)

> In a scenario where a Linux PC is sold in Tesco or whatever with 
> wireless this won't be an issue, because the people won't be having to 
> check compatability.  It will be a given.  Upgrades will also be less of 
> an issue moving forward because if people start buying Linux in numbers 
> then manufacturers will have to get themselves in order and state 
> categorically on the box whether a peripheral will work in Linux or not.

I've got a HP Pavillion dv5000 with a "Designed for Windows XP" sticker 
on it - To me, it makes more sense to devote time and effort to making 
sure Ubuntu runs on main-stream commodity PC's 'designed' to run Windows 
than asking people to limit their purchases to PC's 'designed' to run 
Linux. By and large Ubuntu does run on 'commodity' PC's, most of which 
are supplied with Windows drivers for WiFi suitable for use with NDIS.

Manufacturers respond to competition and, like it or not, Ubuntu on the 
desktop is still a very small niche market. If large manufacturers like 
Dell and HP start to perceive Linux support on their products as a good 
competitive advantage then they will provide it, as they are now doing. 
I personally think that complaining about lack of support for Linux from 
manufacturers who don't see a Linux market for their products is futile.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                     |  mailto:ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Rowett Research Institute,          |    http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,          |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB21 9SB, Scotland, UK.    |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687

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