Re: KDE gone, Linux next ?
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 13:00:52 +0200
From: Martin Schulze <joey@finlandia.Infodrom.North.DE>
Reply-To: Martin Schulze <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Matthew Parry wrote:
> I think a much more important implication of the KDE debacle is
> what problems the GPL might make now that Linus is allowing
> proprietary drivers to be loaded into the kernel. Isn't this
> effectively the same as linking against a library?
b) A non-free driver links against the free Kernel.
Compared with the KDE debacle, Linux would be the library
and the driver would be the program. For me it looks like the
situation is exactly the other way round.
If Linux were under the LGPL then that would be OK, but if the relavent
parts are under GPL it's still the same problem.
> And even if it isn't, what are we going to do if proprietary
> drivers become common? We'll have a main dist that is useless
> on a lot of computers.
Maybe we're not able to distribute them. So what? People should
instead buy hardware for which the specs are available.
That's just ridiculous. There might be a small number of people like
myself who bought a computer so I could run Linux on it, but most
have a computer already and want to try Linux out. What sort of
advocates would we be if a lot of people's first experience
with Linux was a CDROM that did nothing? Linux isn't just a hacker
> I think Debian should take a stand against proprietary drivers
> and only distribute kernels with the proprietary driver code
> removed. I mean people were worried about the proprietary QT
Define "proprietary driver code".
The parts of the kernel code that would allow closed source modules
to work with it.
> becoming a standard on Linux - I think a much more worying
> prospect for Linux (and the free software community as a
> whole) is having Linux boxes that won't function *at all*
> without proprietary drivers!
This won't be the case for regular machines. It might be the
case for boxes that use crappy hardware where the manufacturer
holds back the specs and doesn't allow development of free
I'm not really worried about winmodem style hardware. I'm more
worried that if hardware manufacturers start releasing non-free
drivers then people might be less inclined to write free ones
from scratch. Allowing crucial parts of Linux to become closed
source is inherently evil - Hence the importance of the KDE/Qt
"There now, didn't I tell you to keep a good count? Well,
there's and end of the story. God knows there's no going on
with it now." - Sancho Panza.