Re: Debian based GNU/Solaris: pilot program
On Thu, 3 Nov 2005, Erast Benson wrote:
Let me enlighten you in regards of CDDL benefits. The great thing about
CDDL is that it is file based. So, all files which are licensed under
CDDL-terms works exactly as GPL does. i.e. any change made by anybody
(including propriatery distributors) *must* be contributed back to the
This only means that they can add any hooks within the CDDL code to their
leisure. All the juice can be kept within the proprietary file, and thus
be not open in any way.
That is why OpenSolaris CDDL'd kernel allowes HW vendors to hide their
IP in their own proprietery files but at the same time forces HW vendors
to contribute their changes to CDDL-licensed files back to the
OpenSolaris community. This fact is a killer for Linux kernel. IMHO.
And it is exactly the reasons why Linux kernel is as good as it is. Have
you used the proprietary nVidia drivers from around two years ago? They
used to cause kernel oopses around twice per day (within my usage
patterns), often causing complete lock-up and even (in the very last oops)
a massive filesystem corruption.
Armed with a backtrace, even with my meager kernel hacking skills, I would
have a good chance at fixing the crasher had I access to the code. And
even if I didn't succeed, Debian developers and users include a multitude
of people who can recite kernel code in their sleep. Such a bug would be
gone in no time. Even if you disregard the ideologic reasons, being able
to make code usable is an important freedom.
Since recently, I dare to use a newer version of the nVidia driver. And
yet, although that crasher bug is either gone or doesn't apply to the
hardware I am using, the very first time X is started after a boot, it
somehow assumes the console is only 80x25 big, making me unable to
reasonably switch back to text mode which I prefer. As a workaround, I
need to start X, kill it, run SVGATextMode then start X again. And, can I
fix this annoyance myself? No way. I can either beg nVidia, use the
crippled driver or suck it up.
HW vendors will *never* open their IP in
drivers. Some HW vendors will never give NDAs for their user guides. So,
GPL kernels will always suffer as the result it forces Linux community
to reverse engineer binary drivers.
Uhm, who's left? nVidia (an only for the 3D part), ATI, some wireless
network adapters, and that's basically it.
The idea behind Nexenta OS is to bring GNU software to the level, when
end-user will not suffer from GPL kernel *limitations*.
Or, *freedoms*. If a hardware vendor wants to profit from Linux users,
they need to lift the limitations on the access to knowledge about their
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Segmentation fault (core dumped)