Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Qualcomm Calls To 'Kill All Proprietary Drivers For Good'

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-and-what-army dept.

Open Source 195

An anonymous reader writes "Next week at the sixth Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, two Qualcomm Atheros engineers will be making a stand for killing all proprietary drivers for good — across all operating systems. The Qualcomm slides go over their early plans. Do they stand a chance?"

cancel ×

195 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

chance or no... (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513849)

I know where I'm throwing my money the next time I need such hardware!

Re:chance or no... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513931)

I know where I'm throwing my money the next time I need such hardware!

In the opposite direction?

Re:chance or no... (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514517)

I know where I'm throwing my money the next time I need such hardware!

In the opposite direction?

According to Newton, that's exactly the right direction!

Re:chance or no... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514277)

Too bad that while their hardware may be fine their drivers thoroughly suck, which kind of undercuts their point. Thousands of commits to the FreeBSD Atheros driver in the last year, basically thrashing around and playing at being competent while seldom actually fixing anything or improving it.

Re:chance or no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516191)

I personally have 5 wireless adapters (802.11b/g/a) in a mix of PCI/USB and they all work smooth out of the box on pretty much any Linux distro I've run them with. Not sure what your problems are (maybe a Windows driver issue?). If you are continuing to have problems you can send it to me and I will take them off your hands.

Re:chance or no... (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516437)

Atheros has come to the FOSS party relatively recently and have been providing assistance to Linux and BSD devs to bring support for newer devices. There will have been a lot of commits because there's a lot of work happening. Perhaps YOU need the driver training?

In July 2008 Atheros decided to change policy and hired two key Linux wireless developers Luis Rodriguez and Jouni Malinen and released an open-source Linux driver for their 802.11n devices.[10]. Atheros also released some source from their binary HAL under ISC license to help the community add support for their abg chips. Atheros has been actively contributing towards the ath9k driver in Linux, with support for all current 802.11n chipsets.[11]. Atheros has also been providing documentation and assistance to the FreeBSD community to enable updated support for 802.11n chipsets in FreeBSD-9.0 and FreeBSD-HEAD.[12].

Re:chance or no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516625)

I think some of the points in the slide are worth smacking Linux and *BSD vendors with:

-Stop reinventing the wheel. (phrased several ways)

"Linux, BSDs: software architect assholes" (5th page)

This is so true. Dependency hell, and "if you disagree, fork it" attitude is causing more fragmentation than is politically necessary. For example, Gentoo can use the FreeBSD or Linux Kernel with the Linux Userland. FreeBSD, OpenBSD, DragonflyBSD, NetBSD, are largely just the kernel that is different. Linux, QNX, *BSD, Apple, etc, pretty much everyone at some point used the BSD TCP/IP stack, and where are we now? Hell.

Qualcomm Atheros suggstion is to stop reinventing the wheel by having one standard (802.11) Ethernet interface that everyone can use without the political bullshit brought on by licence politics, copyrights and patents. This isn't an excuse for proprietary binary blobs, but rather a plea from the hardware vender to stop fragmenting the market with 50 flavors of Vanilla *nix so that they can produce one good driver instead of 50 crap drivers.

Re:chance or no... (2)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514767)

I know where I'm throwing my money the next time I need such hardware!

I could not have said it better myself. Thanks for the post!

Quick Answer (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#39513859)

No.

Re:Quick Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513999)

I'm not so sure. Once you have one or two companies doing it, possibly saving money in the process, and NOT experencing any problems with it. It becomes harder to justify NOT doing it. It might just take nothing more then that first hole in the dyke.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514123)

Except that many proprietary drivers contain 3rd party licensed code (usually something covered by that company's atents as well) and they will most likely not see enough ROI in open sourcing and rewriting those swaths of 3rd party code especially if their drivers suffer in performance due to it. That and the fact that many companies see their drivers as containing valuable trade secrets the don't want to divulge. It's going to take way more than you state to convince them.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514603)

Except that many proprietary drivers contain 3rd party licensed code

When you replace a proprietary driver with a free one, it stands to reason that it won't contain any code from the proprietary version. Somehow I don't think any free driver writer would even be interested in having the 3rd party code available. Give them good HW specs and see them not repeating vendor programmers' old mistakes.

Re:Quick Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514643)

When you replace a proprietary driver with a free one, it stands to reason that it won't contain any code from the proprietary version.

It might, but only by coincidence, so that's alright.

Re:Quick Answer (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515079)

When you replace a proprietary driver with a free one, it stands to reason that it won't contain any code from the proprietary version.

It doesn't necessarily follow - the copyright holder can license his code however he likes. This is how dual-licensing projects roll. As long as they hold the copyright on all of their code, they could open-source all of it tomorrow.

But your other point is sound - there's a great deal of well thought out code in common in most of the OSS drivers in the kernel, and I suspect the binary blob drivers probably duplicate a lot of feature that can now go through the kernel routines instead.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515945)

When you replace a proprietary driver with a free one, it stands to reason that it won't contain any code from the proprietary version.

How does that stand to reason? In fact if they were to move fully to open source drivers the most obvious thing to do would be to open source the existing proprietary ones.

Re:Quick Answer (4, Funny)

themightythor (673485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514881)

It might just take nothing more then that first hole in the dyke.

They prefer to be called "lesbians" now, you insensitive clod!

Re:Quick Answer (2, Interesting)

spxZA (996757) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514053)

Yes, I somewhat agree. I was excited seeing this article appear in my feed, but have since sunken into a depression. The only way that proprietary drivers can be killed off (and I'm not talking drivers for specialist hardware) is if all hardware manufacturers agree on sticking to standards. Even within manufacturer, there are vast differences in hardware configurations, interrupts, etc. (Yes, of course, SATA, PCIe, are all standards, but you know what I'm talking about. How long does it take to get a flavor of *nix running 100% on a notebook? Fiddling with acpid.conf, patching, reverting, etc, etc)

Re:Quick Answer (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514129)

How long does it take to get a flavor of *nix running 100% on a notebook?

Half an hour. Even with a beta of Ubuntu 12.04.

And nobody ever installs Windows, themselves, either, on a notebook. So don't even go there.

--
BMO

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514213)

And nobody ever installs Windows, themselves, either, on a notebook.

Now, back to reality...

Re:Quick Answer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39516127)

And nobody ever installs Windows, themselves, either, on a notebook.

Now, back to reality...

In the land of Linux they believe no-one would ever think to use Windows by choice, it's all the evil corporations with their marketing and mind-control that make people use it.

Re:Quick Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514239)

Half an hour. Even with a beta of Ubuntu 12.04.

Depends on your notebook. On of my friends -- who is quite knowledgeable at Linux -- had one hell of a time getting his wireless card to work. That took a couple days.

And nobody ever installs Windows, themselves, either, on a notebook

Oooo ooo ooo! *Raises hand* I have! Multiple times, on different notebooks!

Re:Quick Answer (0)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515015)

Your "expert" Linux friend must be clueless.
Wireless cards are either fully supported automatically (most of the current ones) or are old obsolete hardware which deserves to die.
BTW, who even has a "wireless card" anymore? Every laptop made in the past 5+ years has built in WiFi.
Tell your cheap, clueless friend to spend $20 on a nice shiny new b/g/n wireless card. His life will so much better he may even get out of the basement.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515681)

That built-in wi-fi is almost invariably in the form of a mini-PCIe card.

Re:Quick Answer (3, Informative)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514435)

Half an hour? You're doing it wrong.

You can install Bodhi from a thumb drive in about 10 minutes. There's even a video floating around Youtube of somebody installing it in a virtual machine in less than 10 minutes, from first boot to working installed desktop. When I installed it on my Dell ultraportable, everything worked out of the box, no configuration needed. (though to be fair, the Dell came with Ubuntu preinstalled, so it's hardly surprising)

Ubuntu can be done just about as quickly, in my experience. As long as you have a reasonably fast optical drive or are installing from a good quality thumb drive.

Re:Quick Answer (4, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514653)

And nobody ever installs Windows, themselves, either, on a notebook.

Boy I hope that's sarcasm. Otherwise I fear I must question my own existence, as I've done just that many, many times.

Who in their right mind would leave the factory installation of windows on a notebook in the first place if they didn't have to? Why spend 2 hours cleaning all the adware bullshit off of it, searching the web to see what the hell half the start-up programs even are ("Gee, do I need kdjsdksjhdjsh.exe to run on startup? What about eroiuerrurrjkffl.exe???"), missing shit, and all of that, when you can spend 45 minutes doing a fresh install of Windows and then maybe another 45 minutes doing updates/driver installs and have a clean machine with all that bullshit removed from the get go?

Step one on any new notebook I buy is always a fresh install of windows. I don't play that "recovery disk" bullshit.

I know it used to be a lot more difficult in the past to find drivers and shit for notebooks, but it's really not that bad anymore. Certainly not in my own experiences.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515627)

You needn't worry. You exist. Your name is "Statistical Noise". Most people would try to eliminate you, so maybe you should pipe down. :>

Re:Quick Answer (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515659)

Slashdoters are not your average person your average person is intemidated by the idea of working on a computer.

Re:Quick Answer (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516061)

It took a year to get my brand-new netbook working correctly with Ubuntu.

First, the ath9k driver was written so that on hibernate it would set the sync to a random value. The fix was crtl-alt-t, sudo rmmod ath9k modprobe ath9k. This was fixed in 11.04, but required a patch until it was officially released.

Second, and this is really a driver issue, is that it required 3rd-party support to get the Fn keys working correctly. Apparently this has something to do with Windows automatically shutting down the Fn keys, which is something that Linux doesn't do.

Third, the elan touchpad (which was brand-new in 2010) didn't respond with a value on the kernel's magic knock list. It took a year of bug reports for the kernel dev team to accept that they had made an oversight (no, never a mistake!) and accept that new hardware would sometimes have different values than expected. Shocking. Anyway, I was using the touchpad as a PS/2 mouse for that whole time, while the Windows boot had full multi-touch. It's... it's not a recommended experience.

I also get about 3 hours less battery life in Ubuntu compared to Win7, but hey, 6 hours is still a lot of hours.

And every now and then when booting the speakers go into full volume screech mode. I'm not sure why that's a feature.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516145)

And nobody ever installs Windows, themselves, either, on a notebook. So don't even go there.

Yeah, for example i'm sure nobody has ever used Bootcamp on a Mac.

Re:Quick Answer (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514217)

The movement in this direction has already been creeping about. Big names like AMD/ATI are really doing a nice thing open sourcing their stuff. NVidia will be feeling even more pressure as time goes on and people continue hating them for not following in kind with ATI.

One of the problems which causes these closed drivers situations is that the chip makers contract their work to companies where the terms of their work ends up with some sort of copyright and other restrictions. (I don't know this first hand, just what I've heard... but like "Hey, I want you to write some drivers... and instead of paying you for your work directly, we'll give you a cut of sales! How's that sound?" or something like that... I don't know... it doesn't make much sense to me in the first place. People buy hardware. The software is only there to make it work with an OS.)

In any case, as far as standards and crap like that go? I don't think standards are much of an issue. As long as the software interfaces are documented, the driver interfaces between the hardware and the OS. The OS just talks to the driver and to the applications. That's all the "standards" I care about.

Re:Quick Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514307)

I have to admit, nVidia does proprietary right, given the choice.
Now, the question is, could the community improve upon it - absolutely. But,
could the community have come up with it in the 1st place...? Maybe, but it hasn't
happened yet.

Longer answer (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514087)

Accomplishing such a feat would require the market to be largely informed and interested. Neither is the case.

Re:Quick Answer (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514125)

No.

I don't understand why not. Hardware makers sell hardware, not drivers. Why protect something you stand to make no money on. What's the worse that can happen? Could someone write a better driver than the hardware company? So? Am I going to refuse to buy a video card because I can download good drivers for it? What am I missing here?

The only think I can figure is that, say nVidAMD for example, is able to drop support for an outdated video card by ensuring that there are no drivers available for the latest OS, forcing consumers that use the new OS to purchase new cards. But if that were the case, these guys wouldn't be writing drivers that support five year old hardware for Windows7.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Moses48 (1849872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514203)

Hardware companies make money selling you a product. The drivers are bundled in there. We buy video cards because they are fast. Let's say that if you removed all proprietary and patent encumbered parts of the video driver it slows the speed by 10%. Now it's in their interest to make sure the patented things are licensed and put in the driver so that you choose their "fast" video card.

Re:Quick Answer (5, Interesting)

Chatsubo (807023) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514305)

An example that leaves a particular bad taste in my mouth...

I bought a set of LCD shutter-glasses years ago. I had an nVidia card that had driver support for them. I got these babies, got the special nVidia driver, and I was blown away.

But soon I needed to upgrade my gfx card, and found nVidia no longer supported shutter-glass stereo on any of their new shiny cards. Weird right? All you need is software trickery.... but wait, yes.... Suddenly 3D LCD panels come out and nVidia simultaneously releases drivers that support them. And next thing you know, they have their own shutter glasses that cost way, way more than the ones I'd bought years before.

And still, there's no support for my set. Support that already existed.

My opinion: This is why hardware companies care about drivers, it lets them wrangle money out of people who'd like support for their products.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514599)

Hardware companies do this calculus all the time, and I'm not sure they're doing the math correctly.

Assuming that nVidia didn't sign some sort of limited time licence for the old set of glasses they should have continued support. Yes, if you can't use your old glasses, you might buy new nVidia glasses. Most likely, you'll be pissed off and buy a competitor's product. If you old glasses work, it keeps money out of the competitor pocket.

When a company supports an old product, yes they might be losing a sale, but they are definately keeping money away from a competitor.

Re:Quick Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514939)

Another example: Microsoft Sidewinder 3d Pro. Loved that joystick have never had one as good since. But with faster FSB on mobo's, the joystick wouldn't work in windows you could get it to work fine in Linux too bad games are shit in *nix.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515439)

You do forget that this existing feature takes time and money to support in newer driver releases. Even if it is not a lot of code, it still has to be tested etc.

Sure, it doesn't sound like it'll be a lot, but you totally neglect that.

Re:Quick Answer (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514693)

I don't understand why not. Hardware makers sell hardware, not drivers. Why protect something you stand to make no money on. What's the worse that can happen? Could someone write a better driver than the hardware company? So? Am I going to refuse to buy a video card because I can download good drivers for it? What am I missing here?

The problem is a lot of hardware is heavily patented, and the patents cover the hardware-software combination.

A sound card would be the best example - you can have a basic sound card with open drivers (it's just a combination ADC and DAC on a board, after all). But then people want justification for their purchases, so you add in Dolby Headphone support to give you surround sound with headphones (patented, licensing fees to use). Or DTS/Dolby Digital encoders so people can get surround sound piped to their A/V receivers. Or HDMI audio injectors that support HDCP.

Ditto video cards - HDMI+HDCP is a spec that does not allow for open drivers. A lot of 3D technologies are patented, heavily.

Network cards - well the TCP offload egnines are considered "secret sauce" because a good TOE can ensure your host system can be full bandwidth and hardly take any CPU resources. And this can include onboard firmware for the onboard processors. LIkewise, WiFi is similar.

Nevermind software controlled parts of hardware that cannot be modified for compliance reasons.

Hell, half the hardware guys out there would kill if they can release the drivers as source and give it all away - less work for them to support (they can direct people to a community support page). Or just release the hardware and let the community write the damn driver for it.

Of course, there's also the irony in that Qualcomm supplies a lot of binary blobs for stuff using their processors... especially with Android.

Re:Quick Answer (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516435)

The problem is a lot of hardware is heavily patented, and the patents cover the hardware-software combination.

This argument is totally wrong because it ignores the fact that patents exist in part to promote disclosure, not secrecy. If something is patented, it isn't a secret. How do you imagine publishing the driver source code going to make the patents disappear?

realistic answer (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514293)

yes.

It's going to have to be done. Whether the manufacturers like it or not - it is this exact reason why android phones are a major pain in the ass, buggy, unrelaible, etc.

Re:realistic answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515069)

it is this exact reason why android phones are a major pain in the ass, buggy, unrelaible, etc.

[citation needed]

Fagets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513869)

Qualcomm are fagets. I'll make whatever kind of fucken driver I want for my fucken hardware you fucken fagets. Don't fucken tell me what to do you fucken fagets.

Re:Fagets (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513995)

lulz

Re:Fagets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514073)

Clearly you are just trolling here, but... wow.

Off your meds today?

Re:Fagets (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514079)

Nobody is telling you what to do. Just like RFCs don't tell you what to do.

They tell you what you should do. This is an important distinction.

Of course, if you ignore those recommendations and do your own thing: you are on your own.

Re:Fagets (1)

ljw1004 (764174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515637)

What is the distinction? I don't get it.

"The RFC doesn't tell me what to do; it tells me what I should do."

The two sound like synonyms to my ear.

Re:Fagets (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515767)

One is a command... an edict. The other is a guideline... a suggestion.

Re:Fagets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514159)

Fagets, is that French?

Not to worry, you can make all the proprietary drivers you want. But if Qualcomm has its way, no one will buy drivers or hardware from you.

Re:Fagets (5, Funny)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514237)

Fagets, is that French?

Yes. It's a kind of bread you can smoke.

Re:Fagets (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515151)

It's faggots, you fucking dimwit.

A possible prerequisite... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513889)

Killing software patents.

Here FTFY (2)

bigredradio (631970) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514227)

Killing software patents with fire.

Re:A possible prerequisite... (2)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514659)

Not necessarily. One commonly cited reason for the lack of open-source drivers is that there is 3rd party licensed code in there, which does not allow source-level redistribution. Patents have nothing to do with releasing source: Patents by their nature (are supposed to) reveal inner workings of inventions, for public domain use after their term has expired.

It's copyrights, NDAs, and other contracts that bind all the code up behind blob-only drivers.

Competition leads to innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39513987)

The thesis here presumes that there is no room for innovation in the software drivers. Hardware vendors can compete by both hardware and software improvements. If they can't keep competitive innovations proprietary, then there is no incentive to fund R&D in the software.

Re:Competition leads to innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514033)

Just no incentive that you see, your competitors will see incentive and beat you to it.

Android (4, Interesting)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514007)

This is the sort of thing Google should have pushed for with Android, but after a year of struggling with their OS I've come to realize Google doesn't care about the end user experience. By subsidizing and dumping Android they pushed webOS and MeeGo out of the market.

Re:Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514149)

After looking at those slides, Qualcomm doesn't care about the viewer experience. It's like a colorblind Star Trek layout.
Do they actually expect anyone sober to value whatever random guesses they're selling?

Re:Android (3, Insightful)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514187)

Android didn't push webOS and MeeGo out of the market. iOS would have done that on its own. MeeGo just wasn't compelling to end users, and webOS was late to the party and suffered from HP's mismanagement.

Android is free. Google doesn't control the use of Android by telecoms and phone makers. It would be nice if Google could use their considerable influence to convince hardware makers to release open drivers, but you need to pick your battles one at a time. They managed to stop Apple from cornering the smartphone market and helped to accelerate the cost reduction in smart phones. Hopefully, with time, Google (and Qualcomm) will be able to convince hardware manufacturers to make their drivers open.

Re:Android (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514273)

Android didn't push webOS and MeeGo out of the market.

Rather, it ensured they had nowhere to go as it had gobbled up all the other vendors.

MeeGo just wasn't compelling to end users

Which is a statement I see repeated often but with not a shred of evidence behind it, usually spoken by those who don't understand what the goals of MeeGo were.

Android is free.

For varying degrees of free, up until Google closes the source for the newest version.

It would be nice if Google could use their considerable influence to convince hardware makers to release open drivers, but you need to pick your battles one at a time.

I'm pretty sure that's a battle Google has no intention of taking up, as their purposes are served with the status quo.

Re:Android (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514567)

Android is free.

For varying degrees of free, up until Google closes the source for the newest version.

In which case anyone could take the source, change the name, and continue. Just like what happened to Open/Libre Office.

Re:Android (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515695)

If you wish to take up all the developmental work that Google was doing.

Considering they had a libc, a vm, windowing subsystem, and all the other myriad parts you'd be picking up a heck of a load. Or you could dump it for something based on existing open source technologies, which are already receiving lots of attention and have their own developmental groups.

Re:Android (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516603)

You're trolling. Anyone can take the latest published version and build anything they like around it. The only disadvantage is that you don't get to see the latest code until it's ready for release, which means your products are built around version N-1 instead of version N -- but once the codebase matures that won't even matter most of the time, and where it does you can still join OHA to get earlier access.

There is no reason that someone would have to maintain their own (e.g.) windowing system rather than just using the latest published version, unless they need to make changes to it that Google is disinclined to incorporate upstream, in which case you've got yourself a fork you have to maintain yourself regardless of the frequency Google releases updates.

Re:Android (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515035)

Hi! MeeGO user here.

It wasn't compelling.

Yes, they close there source when new one comes out. They don't take the source you already have away. Feel free to add to it.

I wouldn't be so quick to second guess Google. They have done a lot of interesting things better then the current status quo.

Re:Android (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515675)

Hi! MeeGO user here.

What are you using called MeeGo? Intel and Nokia did a bad job by trying to cover too many platforms.

It wasn't compelling.

Again, the average user would probably never know they were using MeeGo. It was meant to be a standard *nix starting point upon which compatible platforms were built.

Feel free to add to it.

And have it rot because there's no upstream.

They have done a lot of interesting things better then the current status quo.

But not when it comes to tackling the problem being discussed, that of drivers and binary blobs. Instead the blobs lock you to a libc and the drivers lock you to a kernel and rot, making it a pain in the ass, if not impossible, to move Android devices forward unless the vendor decides to do so.

Re:Android (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514803)

MeeGo just wasn't compelling to end users

Have you even tried Meego? I can assure you, if it had been properly supported and widely released, it would have been pretty appealing to end users.

Re:Android (3, Interesting)

visualight (468005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515901)

Android is free. Google doesn't control the use of Android by telecoms and phone makers.

Google has enough to control to make sure all our boot loaders are encrypted and we get their video rental store rammed down our throats -and it updates itself regardless of what the tablet update settings are.

Motorola Xoom comes unlocked. Google buys Motorola. Xoom2 is locked.

I bought an unlocked tablet from Samsung who then two months later surprise locked it and installed Googles' Video Rental app. No explanation, not even an apology, unless you consider "Hey you fucked up. You trusted us" an apology. So I got a 500 paper weight sitting here, useless for the purpose it was purchased for. Will never buy Samsung again and neither will anyone I can influence.

In my opinion Google isn't just not helping they're actively going in the other direction.

because mixing Qt and GTK is not a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514945)

Nokia's original Maemo was GTK based, and it had a lot of potential, then they decided to merge with Intel's Qt using Moblin. GTK and Qt do not mix.

No (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514031)

Why would it stand a chance? Their slides do nothing but repeat the same talking points that have been said for years that have been mostly unpersuasive. Unless they have some way to force this, it'll mostly be nothing but preaching to the choir.

Re:No (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514101)

It's not that the points are unpersuasive. It's that the people who make the decisions are serving their own self interest rather than their customers.

Start with their GSM/CDMA/LTE basebands. (5, Insightful)

bytestorm (1296659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514037)

If Qualcomm starts with their cellphone baseband processors, I'll start listening.

Re:Start with their GSM/CDMA/LTE basebands. (5, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514081)

Yeah, where's the damn Snapdragon datasheet?

And what's with the piles of binary blobs in handsets based on their hardware?

Oh, and the dual-licensing of the AR6000 WLAN driver that lets vendors like Samsung effectively release it as a proprietary module?

Patents (0)

willoughby (1367773) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514059)

Without the active participation of the patent holders this idea is just wishful thinking with as much validity as when I said it eight years ago while I was flipping burgers on the barbecue.

Doubtful (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514065)

One of the big problems here is that many businesses don't really want things to be open. Openness runs contrary to control, and even if the result is a net gain by every measure, people *hate* to give up control-- especially when it's a PHB who does nothing but meddle, and that accounts for most decision-makers.

Re:Doubtful (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514191)

In the particular case of hardware, control translates also quite directly to profit. An open piece of hardware (that is, working with Free as in freedom drivers) can be used for all its physical life if the owner so decides. A closed one depends on updates coming from the maker. That's why hardware makers prefer to pay the windows tax, when they could offer consumers very fast and cheap machines for office work with FOSS.

Re:Doubtful (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514339)

people *hate* to give up control

I don't think that it has so much to do with control as it does with ROI. If you get a higher return on investment by not making something open, a business will be inclined to not make it open.

Re:Doubtful (2)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514787)

Contrary to popular belief, businesses don't simply rationally maximize profit or ROI.

Re:Doubtful (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514487)

That's probably not the problem. If it were, everything under the sun would probably require a driver or some sort, fail to fall back on industry standards like VESA and so forth.

The problem is that getting devices to interface with each other is *generally* hard. Yes, USB/Firewire/etc. devices "just work". But there's no interoperability standard for upper level 3D access in video devices or even getting sound cards to work with out drivers.

It's both a technical and meatspace problem. Building that standard, and convincing everyone it's a good idea.

Re:Doubtful (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514899)

It's hard, but if the major manufacturers came together and agreed to build open standards, it wouldn't be impossible. There are problems involving patents and licenses and copyrights and trade secrets. There would be technical disagreements about which methods and practices are best. There are disagreements about moving forward with new standards vs. legacy support. There are companies whose business models would be threatened. There's the presence of Microsoft to contend with-- a company that exerts a lot of control in the tech industry and whose business interests could be undermined by open drivers.

There are lots of problems, but many of them somehow come back to issues like desire for control, aversion to change, and fear of loss. Imagine you're running a company that is currently successful in working with hardware and drivers. Someone suggests a change in your operations that will change the way you do business and take control out of your hands. Do you want to take the risk? It's probably easier to quibble over details than push ahead with a solution.

Best slideshow ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514091)

Anyone check out that slideshow? Definitely worth a chuckle. The whole Star Trek powerpoint template is copious amounts of awesome, and the comic strip re: WTFs/minute is great.

Wish I worked with these guys

After a long work day... (0)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514095)

Saw the title and thought: "Wow, death threats in public? They couldn't be driving THAT bad..."

Step One: (2)

meustrus (1588597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514119)

Step One: Convert PowerPoint to randomly switch colors every third word when using Star Trek-like background styles.

(for those who rtfa on the slides)

Re:Step One: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514359)

Towards the end, when Unification was mentioned, I thought they were talking about the Romulans and the Vulcans.

Re:Step One: (1)

doesnothingwell (945891) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514885)

(for those who rtfa on the slides)

This font color scheme was called "angry fruit salad" where I used to work.

Re:Step One: (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514931)

I gave up. If you're going to be that verbose, don't write it all out in powerpoint slides.

Resist The Mark - Glory to God! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514165)

"Everything we see has some hidden message. A lot of awful messages are coming in under the radar - subliminal consumer messages, all kinds of politically incorrect messages..." - Harold Ramis

@Andy:
March 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm
RE: FEMA Camps

âoeSo just because we know about them, how are we supposed to avoid them?â

Matthew 10:28
âoeAnd fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.â

Philippians 4:6
âoeDo not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.â

Whenever anyone here who reads this becomes anxious, please remember Philippians 4:6. I repeat, âoeDo not be anxious about anythingâ and turn your hearts and minds toward Yahweh, Christ Jesus, Holy Spirit, and know you are save through Christ who redeems us.

The Bible also talks of wars and bad things to come, but not to be anxious, for these things must happen.

I recommend everyone read about the Saints who were persecuted and often killed for their faith. You may not agree in the canonization process, praying to or asking prayer from Saints, I donâ(TM)t. I donâ(TM)t believe in Catholic teaching in this view of the Communion of Saints, but there can be no doubt in gaining strength from those who have passed away because of persecution for their belief in YHWH. Pray through Christ to YHWH, through Jesus is the only way, as The Bible clearly says! Not through Saints.

Do not let false prophets in human (or other) form try and scare or threaten you to leave your faith and your God, they are wolves in sheepâ(TM)s clothing, rebuke them in the name of Christ and donâ(TM)t keep company with them.

I believe all REAL believers in YHWH are targeted by these beings at some or many points in their life, many wonâ(TM)t even realise it. Remember to proclaim your belief in God and His Word, the Bible talks about how important this is, too! Donâ(TM)t hide your light, let it shine before others.

You may become unpopular or even shunned for your belief as the world grows worse, never compromise your beliefs! Just like the horrid bumper sticker which says, âoeCOEXISTâ with the letters formed from various religionâ(TM)s icons. Donâ(TM)t believe in the New Age lie that thereâ(TM)s many paths to God through other religions apart from the Bible. Stand strong, proclaim your faith! Do not be ashamed!

Remember, we are to live in the world but not be of the world. This is especially important when you face attacks from others:

John 15:18
âoeIf the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.â

Ever get the feeling your house is haunted? Rebuke the enemy in the name of Christ and pray scripture, standing tall, confront any areas of your home where you have felt like someone was there, any objects moved, cold spots, spoken words or movement of objects visually or only heard, confront, confront, confront, and REBUKE! Praise Jesus and read The Psalms. Rejoice in the Lord! Do not be afraid, ever! Do not watch or read any occult material, especially movies like Harry Potter which most of THE WORLD will tell you is innocent, it is NOT. Again, live in the world but not OF THE WORLD! Avoid âoeghost hunterâ shows and any show seeking contact with âoethe other side.â

God gives you ALL POWER over the enemy:

Luke 10:19
âoeBehold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.â

Remember, Satan is NOT Godâ(TM)s equal, heâ(TM)s a stupid fallen creature, along with this duped minions who tremble knowing God exists and Godâ(TM)s LIVING Word strengthens:

Hebrews 4:12
âoeFor the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.â

The Bible is not merely a book with words, it is LIVING and POWERFUL.

Do not let the anti-God crowd, consumed by their own pride and ego, lead you astray. They will try, like many false prophets, to argue with you and tell you how wrong your beliefs are. If God didnâ(TM)t exist, they wouldnâ(TM)t NEED to be as VOCAL.

BUT HE DOES EXIST! And deep inside, they know this, and it scares them. They run around on the internet and in meat space trying to drag you and others down to hell. They quote and push nihilistic beliefs which is the narrow/wide road to hell. Pray for them, donâ(TM)t battle them with words, thatâ(TM)s their arena of choice. They love trying to disprove God and His Word. Donâ(TM)t let them stir you to unbelief or sin, always pray and rejoice in The Lord. Maybe share some good spiritual resources for them, invite them to Church if you attend, or a home Bible study but always be gentle and caring, they are fellow human beings, though lost, they need a light to guide them back to Christ.

Peace of Christ be with you all.

mod d03n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514415)

fucking market influence, the the official GAY that the project over to yet another [tux.org]? Are you over the same dying' crowd - the gay niggers development. BSD Has significantly Subscribers. Ple4se a BSD box (a PIII wall: *BSD faces a BSD culminate3 in for membership. the resignation stand anymore, time wholesome and Since we made the is not prone to They're gone Came share. *BSD is These challenges bring your own

mi8us 1, Troll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39514669)

Philosophies must or a 4ublic club,

WTF's Per Second as a Metric.. (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514715)

This proposed metric for rating code during review is the best part of that whole slideshow!

Regulatory (1)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514763)

Aren't there also some serious regulatory hurdles, particularly when it comes to devices that are intentional RF radiators? There are (1) limits imposed by the regulatory bodies (not more than x uV/m signal strength over frequency band y) but also (2) prevent of the guy who just wants his signal to get through (and damn you all) and cranks up the TX power beyond what the equipment is rated for, making adjacent bands useless for anything else. I see some of the restrictions on these things from that light, and I don't know a good answer, particularly to (2).

Depends (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514785)

10 years ago, I would have said no. However some thing have changed.

People moving into management now have seen the value open drivers can bring.

They understand the controlling the drivers has no impact on value, and has little or no return.
If they, and others, include cost analysis arguments, then they have a chance.

While we will still see official drivers, we will have other options . Plus, opening up drivers means you can maintain a tree to review and possible integrate other peoples changes. Of course ego maniac developers won't like it because others will see 'their' precious' code.

Probably not (0)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514789)

Because if Qualcomm wants to run something like Windows Phone s/w, they'll have to take steps to protect the API. Or no Windows Phone for you!

ddi, ddk (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 2 years ago | (#39514965)

Although Stephen Walt was talking about something entirely different, his sentiment seems appropriate: ...Moreover, why do discredited ideas come back
        into fashion when there is no good reason to
        resurrect them? Clearly, learning the right lessons
        - and remembering them over time -- is a lot harder
        than it seems. But why?

Too far. (1, Funny)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515161)

I think pushing for the genocide of tax drivers is asking a bit much, right? Or did I read this wrong...

Not a chance (1, Redundant)

Dean Edmonds (189342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515191)

I expect that a very large percentage of drivers are infringing on other companies' patents. Make the driver open source means exposing yourself to IP litigation. Only the larger hardware companies are going to be willing to spend the $$ necessary to audit their drivers and expunge all foreign IP.

IMO we need to get rid of software patents before this will take off in a big way.

They speak rationally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39515205)

as real engineers. Hardware must also change to be more standardized without shipped drivers. Drivers must be provided by the OS or as third party software. Open hardware means healthy competition. Qualcom seems to understand it.

Project UDI? (5, Interesting)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515463)

Many years ago i was associated with Project UDI [project-udi.org] , the Uniform Driver Interface. The goal was to make a uniform ABI/API for device drivers. On Machines with the same hardware target (say, 32 bit x86) you would have binary compatibility. The same driver works on Solaris or Windows. For other platforms, they'd be at least source compatible. It worked in theory, and somewhat in practice - I think UnixWare shipped this as their native Device Driver Interface.

But you never heard of it. Part of it was the SCO/Caldera fiasco. 'Nuff said about that.

But part of it also was the fact that people had vested interests in this failing. Most famously, Stallman [gnu.org] didn't like it. For now you could ship drivers without source for all i386 targets (not that having the normal Linux DDI prevented that before). But it was fun that I worked on something shipped in a commercial kernel, and also something that pissed off Stallman.

More importantly, the people who want this are necessarily in the weakest position. MS doesn't want this - everyone makes Windows drivers. They get nothing from it except lower exclusivity. (The fact that Gates and Stallman were on the same side of this should have given Stallman time to reflect). They'd never allow the UDI code to touch their kernel. One or two other big UNIX vendors feigned interest, but they had the same issue - they had exclusive (to UNIX) device drivers, and they'd lose exclusivity. Only Caldera used it. It was their project, and it helped their forked codebase - they had both UnixWare and OpenServer (very old) code bases they needed drivers for, and it made it an easier target for device makers.

None of the issues were tech issues, they all were people issues, which haven't gone away in the intervening years.

Re:Project UDI? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515757)

The fact that Gates and Stallman were on the same side of this should have given Stallman time to reflect.

No, I'm sure he would have been amused but satisfied in knowing that their reasons for opposing it were themselves diametrically opposed.

Re:Project UDI? (3, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | more than 2 years ago | (#39515977)

Stallman was just being consistent. Binary compatibility doesnt encourage source disclosure, after all. Although I would argue from my experience that in the case of a device driver they should be practically the same thing, that probably just shows my age. Back when I actively programmed C was considered a high level language and at least some of us still wrote important code like device drivers in hex instead of abdicating to an assembler. /getoffmylawn

I see a lot of will it happen or not (1)

slackersurreal (2606613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39516601)

but I don't see much discussion about what the pros and cons are for those involved, I may be a little bit under-informed but it seems having everything open would be a bonus for all people in the supply chain. The cons however, I don't really see any. Aren't people already paying for the hardware, they get the software regardless of whether the drivers are open or not.

Is there any cons? I honestly don't know.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?