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Yet Another Linux Driver Petition

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the does-the-fun-never-stop dept.

Linux 139

Rendus writes "Just saw this over at Linux Today, a request for people to sign the Linux drivers petition. Their goal is 2 million signatures. When I signed, I was number 20." Well I've never heard of libranet, but hopefully they'll be successful in convincing a few manufacturers to either release drivers for Linux, or the specs so we can do it.

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slashdotted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433400)

Sites have lately been good about withstanding lots of traffic; but not this one.

Re:Linux drivers saves lives! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433401)

Friends don't let friends drive Windoze.

Just say no to viruses.

Only if they don't require email address. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433402)

they don't need my email. I'm not signing unless they don't require it. And I'm not the only one.

simple.

Re:Its starting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433403)

I got the same error message as above. But I kept trying and now I'm 621! at 8:31 CST.

/.-effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433404)

"It is our hope that we will collect 2,000,000 signatures within a short time" Define "short time"... your server isn't ready for that. "This account has too many processes running. Please try again later."? Of course... 2,000,000 people are trying to sign that petition... I'm sorry, but I'll stop reloading the Sign-the-petition CGI now. Fuzzy

/. effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433405)

"It is our hope that we will collect 2,000,000 signatures within a short time"

Define "short time"... your server isn't ready for that. "This account has too many processes running. Please try again later."? Of course... 2,000,000 people are trying to sign that petition... I'm sorry, but I'll stop reloading the Sign-the-petition CGI now.

Ome Henk

THIS GUY IS RIGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433406)

Yes, this guy is absolutely right. We saw this ones before - the Linux Users Counter.

Ome Henk

Re:This could work... maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433407)

why should companies opensource their drivers and specs? simple answer: to make profit. think about it for a second. here is a small scenario to help you: mr x uses linux. he wants to buy a video card to do some nice 3d rendering, maybe watch tv on it too. is he going to buy card ZXY manufactured by we-no-like-linux company, that linux cannot support because there are no drivers for it? no. of course not. he will buy the card that is supported. who gets the profit? the manufacturer whose card has linux drivers. who looses profit? we-no-like-linux company that did not think it would be a wise idea to spend a bit of cash on developing a driver, or even simply releasing the specs. simple economics. ohh, hold on. didn't we have a similar example in the past history of computing? ibm and mac strategies. guess what type of architecture is the most popular for personal computers today. yep, you're right - pcs. because ibm decided to release the specs, to get other vendors to make peripherials for pcs. this may not be the best analogy, but i think it hits the bulk part.

Slashdot Petition Section (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433408)

Slashdot needs a section (on one of the side panels) that highlights all the current petitions so people can have a place to check for the most recent "nerd-friendly" petitions...you know, to make this world a better place :)..You can still have them fifo, but at least they'll stay on the main page a little longer... Anonymous Coward, in case the idea sucks...hehe

./ed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433409)

If they're supposed to get 2 million signatures, how are they going to do it if they can't stand getting /.ed?

|-.-|

Re:slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433410)

Heh, looks like they took out too big a bite...

This account has too many processes running. Please try again later.

God, I love Slashdot...

Umax and Epson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433411)

Both these companies should be contacted by anyone who has needed to use their printers and scanners under Linux. Or who has ever been in the market to buy a printer or scanner. Almost every video card maker of consequence has done something in the direction of Linux support, these companies have done NOTHING. Far as they're concerned, Linux doesn't exist. What, do we not buy printers and scanners? WTF?

HP is another case altogether, they actually say they support Linux, but do you know of a page at HP where you can download printer drivers? They need a call.

Re:Slashdot Petition Section YES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433412)

This has been suggested before. I think it's a good idea --it'd be nice to see Slashdot become a place where news is made not just reported.

Re:Critical Driver Areas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433413)

>Have I left anything out?
Try getting high end audio cards running in Linux! Specifically something manufactured by Yamaha. They're just not interested in anything UNIX, with their "Gosh, you've got a darn cheek young man. How dare you ask for spec's!".

Haha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433414)

Now _THAT_ was funny (that's why it is at -1, the moderators want slashdot to read like an obituary).

They need a counter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433415)

I was #703 at about 9:30 AM EST. They need a counter there... I'd like to know how fast this is progressing without having to constantly refresh the story and rely on only very marginally interesting posts to keep track of the progress.

Re:Libranet...seems kinda fishy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433416)

I must admit, I didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the site either. Who the heck is Libranet? Where did they come from? This petition is the first I heard of them. For some reason I got the feeling they just want to get a big mailing list.

I signed the petition anyway (around no. 80), and gave a webmail address I don't mind getting spammed.

Personally, I'd like to see somebody well known in the Linux field, like Linuxcare or Red Hat, host a driver petition...

Daz (Really hoping he can get his Canoscan FB330P working with Linux, one way or another!)

Linux drivers saves lives! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1433426)

Okay, not really. But drivers are important anyways.

Sign this please.

dawgzsz

This one's OK (2)

Yarn (75) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433428)

Its a general petition.

Normally I'd say something along the lines of "dont add yourself to the petition unless there is some *real* chance of you using it" but this seems to just be a general call for drivers.

As for how useful it'll be, we'll have to wait and see.

Re:Only if they don't require email address. (2)

Yarn (75) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433429)

or just add a line to /etc/aliases

spam: nobody

Re:And what about BSD? (2)

Gleef (86) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433430)

mr writes:

And the REST of the OpenSource OS market doesn't matter?

Yes BSD matters, but this isn't a spontaneous grassroots Free Software effort. The petition is being done by Libranet, a commercial Linux distributor. Why should a company selling Linux go out of their way to publicise BSD? Are they also obligated to publicise HURD, FreeDOS, V2OS, Darwin and any of the other excellent Free OS's out there? Get real.

On the flip side, the petition is asking for specifications. Having specs available helps all Free OS's, even though they don't explicitly mention any other than Linux in the request.

----

Re:This could work... maybe (2)

davie (191) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433431)

Then there is the whole opensource argument that I wont even go into... why should companies opensource their drivers and specs? Do you expect Coca Cola to give you their recipe. No, I think not.

I think ESR has already made a pretty good argument in favor of hardware vendors opening their source and specs (LINK [netaxs.com] ) .

Companies who spend their time replicating other companies' products, there are many, are limited to selling cheap knock-offs. You can't hope to stop them by hiding your specs and driver code, because they'll just hack away until they figure it out on their own, but why should you stop them in the first place? They're exactly where you want them--selling cheap knock-offs of old technology, while you design and market the cutting edge stuff.

2/3 Adrenaline and 1/3 Soma. (4)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433432)

There are an estimated* 40,000,000 linux users out there. (* Based on the fact that there were 20,000,000 the previous year, and it doubles each year. The 10,000,000 everyone keeps quoting is TWO YEARS out of date. Linux has grown since then, in case nobody's noticed.)

That means that, to get 2,000,000 signatures, they need 1 out of every 20 Linux Users "out there" to sign the petition. That's a -very- high percentage. You don't see that kind of turnout in almost anything. I've been told that sales-folk will reckon on between 1 in 20 and 1 in 100 actually doing anything -of those who have said they actually would-.

1% actually being interested, and 1% of those interested actually doing anything about it seem reasonable guesstimates. That would put the total at 4,000 signatures. Somewhat less than 2,000,000, but might still be enough to persuade some companies that it's worth exploring the possibility.

That, IMHO, is about all the commitment we'll ever get, until Linux matches Windows on the desktop. But a willingness to look is light-years better than a refusal to consider, which is the way it's tended to be in the past.

Re:will UDI make this petition absolete ? (2)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433434)

I honestly don't see how the UDI is going to help. I can't help but think that it's just commercial Unix vendors waking up to the fact that Linux actually supports more hardware than any of the commercial Unixes. When was the last time you sat down at your Linux box and said, "Darn, I really wish Linux had a driver for foo. SCO Unix has a driver for foo, I wish I could use that."

It simply doesn't happen.

Intel has come up with a clever hack that would allow Unix systems to share drivers, and now they want Linuxers to actually do the grunt work and write the drivers. It would be different if Intel had a whole bunch of UDI drivers for hardware that Linux didn't already support, but they don't. They are simply hoping to tap into Linux's talent pool.

As for the Linux port to the S/390, it appears that their are actually two of them. The reasons the non-IBM version was written can be found here [linas.org] . The same site says that the official IBM version was done "for political reasons."

Re:Analogy is not valid (4)

Kenneth Stephen (1950) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433435)

Coca-Cola is not a means to an end like software is. You need driver software to run hardware. Without the software, your hardware is pretty much useless. Charging for drivers is valid only if it goes into the production cost of the hardware. Or, in other words, if the driver is provided with the hardware when you buy it. Charging for the source of the drivers is absolutely unjustified.

In this scheme of things, one cannot really draw an analogy with Coca-Cola. But let me give it a try. Imagine that every soft-drink can only be drunk with a special straw that is dependant on the formula of the drink. Some soft-drink manufacturers provide the straw which will enable you to drink their product. Others dont, but provide you with enough info to make / buy a suitable straw. Coca-Cola on the other hand will sell their products to anyone, but will sell straws only to bug-eyed aliens from Mars, and absolutely refuses to provide info on which straws to buy, or how to make a suitable straw. Is this situation acceptable? I think not!

Its starting... (1)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433436)

Its 8:00am CST and I'm number 360, so keep it going!

Re:This could work... maybe (3)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433437)

I agree that if a company releases its blueprints for the hardware and source code, there will indeed by cheap knock offs.

I would further say that if their interesting gizmo kept all a secret, it will be a puzzle and a challenge to see what makes it tick. This results in a second generation engineering job, not the cheap clone job of the disclosed product. I'd venture to say that those who hold secrets will face some competition with improved products that are missing the bugs. On the other side of the fence, the manufacturer who disclosed the prints only needs to appeal to the quality buying public and sell their brand.

I used to repair televisions and VCR's (when they really were worth some money.) Schematics were available. When we traced down the problem to make repairs (easy with the information,) we often found the weak spots in design. This information was passed on to the company. Better designs followed later.

There were a few manufacturers that were impossible to reach to get any repair information or parts. Not surprisingly, those manufacturers were quickly forgotten about as their products quickly left the market. Who's going to buy stuff that is unmaintainable over and over again? With the exception of Windows, this is rare.

Re:Only if they don't require email address. (5)

dattaway (3088) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433438)

they don't need my email. I'm not signing unless they don't require it. And I'm not the only
one.


Make a bogus, yet legitimate email address [mailto] that you never intend to read. You can email me there, the message will be received, but will pour the shiny electrons into the bitbucket recyclotron. Use the command "adduser nospam" and you have an instant throwaway account!

Re:2 000 000 a little ambitious (1)

Cyrill Schneider (3930) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433441)

Your signature is number 00000666

Oops, lucky me.

Anti /. effect driver needed ;) (0)

Mephisto (6943) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433442)

The petition seems like a success:

"This account has too many processes running. Please try again later."

=Malthe

Looks like they've been Slashdotted.. (1)

Keck (7446) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433443)

I get this:

This account has too many processes running. Please try again later.

when I try to submit my signature...

Nate

Re:2 000 000 a little ambitious (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433444)

Your signature is number 00001318

Hmm, we need a few more than this...


Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

slashdotted... and not on linux (2)

cabbey (8697) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433445)

the server said "This account has too many processes running. Please try again later." LOL!

according to queso it's either DSBi 3.0, or IBM S/390. I think we can eliminate the mainframe.
I somehow expected it to be running Linux.

Re:will UDI make this petition absolete ? (2)

proberts (9821) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433446)

The problem is that there isn't a great pull for manufacturers to write to UDI. Most of them likely see "unsupported" OS' as a drain on their support resources, and that's a problem that needs to be fixed. It'd be nice to see RH or VA take some of that IPO money and start working on the problem. A driver support division somewhere with funding that could gain some mindshare would be cool, especially if it were non-proprietary.

FWIW, AIX ran on System/370 systems well over a decade ago, it never sold well. Try a search for AIX/370.

Paul

Numbers are growing! (1)

Steelehead (14790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433451)

I was #1,620, so the goal is getting close.

Lack of drivers for printers? (2)

dar (15755) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433452)

Linux is hampered by a lack of drivers for some pc devices, notably printers.


Huh? Certainly ghostscript and printing can be a bear to set up, but most printers have a number of standard protocols that they conform to - which are well described. Which printers do they have in mind?


I got the feeling from looking at their web site that these guys are just looking for business.

Re:2 000 000 a little ambitious (1)

mezzo (20109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433453)

I think that a goal of 2 million signatures might be slightly ambitious.

True true.. However, I know other users of "alternative OS's" should be willing to sign it if they know whats going on.. We could even get mac users to be sympathetic and sign.. but only if they hear about it. So perhaps some mac and linux user should post it on a mac general newsgroup or something?

The enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Signee somewhere in the 700's

Re:2 000 000 a little ambitious (1)

nd (20186) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433454)

Your signature is number 00000498

Yeah, we have a loooong way to go.

Good... (0)

elixir (21353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433455)

I'm #366!

I hope this makes a good impression on the industry.

Re:I have a dream (1)

zuvembi (30889) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433457)

We will look the potato of injustice right in the eye!!!

Re:That link is no good. This one works: (1)

My_Favorite_Anonymou (36494) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433461)

first, the main link is dead.

Second, the link you give doesn't support Netscape 3's javascript

And then "too much process running." Three strike I'm out. If the website is so ignorance, how can you expect the hardware manufacctories NOT be ignorances?

"Well we'll only focus on the most popula OS."
"Well we'll only focus on the popular versions of the browsers..."


CY

This could work... maybe (3)

sufi (39527) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433463)

The only way hardware manufacturers will release drivers for a particular platform is if it makes financial/market sense for them to do so.

In most cases (for the more common hardware elements) it probably does, and indeed *most* companies have, even if they are not opensource.

However some of the more obscure companies will not, it doesn't make economic sense for them to do so, they have very little to gain from spending lots of money on it, they follow the 80/20 rule.

This still doesn't mean that they can't release the specs for the hardware though, particularly for older more obscure hardware. I'm suprised and dissapointed that they don't, but then again sometimes this doesn't make sense, they want you to buy the all new expensive stuff don't they, even if it wont go in your old obsolete 286.

I can't see things changing much, most of the hardware that is usefull has or will have drivers or specs released, those that don't probably never will have.

Then there is the whole opensource argument that I wont even go into... why should companies opensource their drivers and specs? Do you expect Coca Cola to give you their recipe. No, I think not.

System Busy (1)

Hershmire (41460) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433465)

I'm sure you all know the system is busy processing requests. In the meantime, how does one find out how many names are currently on the list before submitting? Am I just overlooking a link?

Re:2/3 Adrenaline and 1/3 Soma. (2)

Steve B (42864) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433466)

OTOH, a small percentage of non-Linux users might sign the petition out of sympathy or hope of positive side effects (e.g. a stronger Linux presence might force Micros~1 to deliever better products).
/.

Cruel World (1)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433467)

Why is it always so hard to get drivers in this cruel world? Do the companies take forever to release drivers for windoze, no.

If the PHB's of these companies just woke up, and said "Hey, the only reason we are missing an entire OS is because we won't re-compile some drivers. We should do that."

Then the PHB passes the order down to the programmers and they make Linux Drivers. And all is good.

Of course some companies already do that, but not enough.

So everyone sign this petition (once you've read it thoroughly of course) to show them we want our drivers!

Devil Ducky

I know this comment is pretty much worthless but it's still early.

Re:From Windows to Linux Drivers (1)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433468)

That's not really my belief, I was simplifing and exagerating.

But if it were a real PHB incharge they would think it was that easy, and order it to be done that way.

However I believe (from little experience) that it would be easier to first write the driver for the *NIX OSes and then port that to Windows.

Ambition is good (1)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433469)

It may not be possible to get 2,000,000 sigs. but why not aim for it?

So, what if they only get 100,000 sigs. that's a lot of people on a petition. Enough to make the companies listen? I don't know.

And it wont only be Linux users signing this (and other) petitions. All users of *NIXes should care about this subject because if Linux gets the driver it wont be hard to get it for their OS from that. FreeBSD et al. users should really care because the same drivers will probably work for them too. MAc users should care (if they know what a driver is) because they are also users of an underdog OS. And many Win users, dont use linux but they plan to in the future.

Add that all up, it should be about 2,000,000 or more signees.

Re:From Windows to Linux Drivers (1)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433470)

Yeah, I know a couple of companies that do that.

I've heard that IBM (Lotus?) has been making a lot of it's software on AIX and then porting onto Win/OS2 for years.

Growth Rate (1)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433471)

>With the rate of growth in the linux community it wont be long till we outgrow the number of windows users,

Yes, the Linux community is growing by leaps and bounds.

But the Windows "community" isn't shrinking by the same rate.

A very large part of the 10 million or so Linux users dual boot to windows.

For example: I regullary use 4 different computers at work and home. 2 of them dual boot. 2 of them are only win. Of the 2 that dual boot, one is usually in linux, and one is usually in win.

At work we will finally be getting our first Linux computer in about a month (other than the web server of course)

My point being that it will take a lot longer than you may think for linux to be bigger than windoze.
And by then who knows, there may be an alternate OS to Linux.

Ay, laddie... (1)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433472)

"'Tis true, 'Tis true. Too often it is a sad world we live in."

I agree. It's better for everyone if they release hardware docs than if they give us buggy (binary-only!) drivers. Of course, it's all good if they give us the source to their drivers (Linux or Windows).
--------
"I already have all the latest software."

Re:Hmm, only 341?? (1)

dinky (58716) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433475)

Cant submit...
This account has too many processes running. Please try again later.

Maybe they need to upgrade the servers or something ;)

Oh well I'll keep trying for a few more minutes...
*sigh* :)

Overload. (1)

Hornsby (63501) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433479)

Looks like they may be getting a larger response than expected. I get "this account has too many processes running, try again later" when I try to sign.

Let's watch these numbers go up, others go down (2)

sumana (66640) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433480)

Thanks for signing the petition
Your signature is number 00001711

As we count New Year's night, 10-9-8 ad finitum, we can count the petition numbers upwards to -- who knows -- 2 mil?!

Re:Analogy is not valid (1)

Emil Brink (69213) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433482)

I suspect that you've never been exposed to a Coca-Cola addict. I'm not quite there myself yet, but let me tell you: in those cases, the software (=Cola) is definitely required to run the hardware (=human body). Um, I'm not sure how that relates to the issue at hand, sorry. Moderate me down. ;^)

A General Petition? (4)

Duxup (72775) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433486)

I like the idea but I'm not sure a general petition would have much effect.
The company I currently work for received a request for the release of information specifically in relation to the Linux OS. The letter was also a general petition and seemed like a form letter since it didn't seemed to know what we specifically do (other than what our name specified). It was signed "The Linux Community" but nothing more specific than that.
A general petition is nice in principle, but it had pretty much no effect on how we do things for a couple of reasons (given by engineering and management).

1. Our company's hardware and software is mostly proprietary, and we've yet to see any reason to switch to Linux (not to say I personally wouldn't like to see how it would go) that would benefit us or our clients.

2. The letter really didn't identify any clients (corporate or private) specifically asking our company to change our OS or release hardware specs. Thus no actual impact on us in financially or in the PR area that we can tell.

3. The manner in witch the letter was written was not entirely pleasant. The implication of the letter seemed as if the author was accusing us of limiting our clients options in some malicious way, but again, it wasn't from any of our clients (that we know of) and wasn't specific at all.

4. Some engineering concerns have been raised about moving to an OS that we do not know much about compared to our own. Security, support and the cost of such migration weigh heavily on many minds regarding such a switch. Also concerns about trade secrets were also brought up.

The idea seems nice, but I'm not sure how much effect this will have. Our company responds much better to specific requests from clients, or groups of clients than just a general letter like we received. I believe that most companies react the same.

Another victim of the Slashdot Effect (1)

dsplat (73054) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433487)

I can't get a connection to them [libranet.com] . They are probably drowning by now.

Re:A long way to go yet (1)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433488)

#1837 (or so, I forget) at 11:10 EST. At this rate...

800 per hour... round that to 700 to account for slack-off once more articles are posted

20,000 / 700 = ~28.6 hours.

And this is ignoring the major drop-off once this article disappears from the front page or gets pushed down too far.

So while it is certainly a nice effort, 20,000 is incredibly unrealistic.

void recursion (void)
{
recursion();
}
while(1) printf ("infinite loop");
if (true) printf ("Stupid sig quote");

Re:Let's Do the Math! (1)

Exorbitant Stranger (79068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433491)

Just signed myself and got 1334. Lookin' good.

Re:Lack of drivers for printers? (1)

Exorbitant Stranger (79068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433492)

I think it's about the winprinters, which use the computer's resources such as memory and the CPU. I, for example, have a Canon LBP-465 laser printer which I bought before I switched to free software. It's now my personal dust collector. These suckers are really common these days since they cost a lot less than decent printers.

Critical Driver Areas (2)

ibanix (79102) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433493)

First, I think this is an excellent idea. But we must *USE* the results. I suggest sending a copy of the petition, with signatures to major manufactures. Sending a hard copy, by registered mail (which must be accepted by hand & signed for), would be even more effective.

Secondly, we should focus on a few areas where Linux is critically lacking in drivers. By critical, I mean drivers that do not exist which are stopping potential users and administrators from using Linux. As the petition web site said, printer drivers are very lacking. Also, a lack of drivers for high-end PC graphics cards game manufactures from producing big title games ("What? Linux doesn't support the new HyperWarpBlaster 512 128meg card? Why should we develop Quake VI for Linux, then?").

Hopefully XFree86 4.0 will address this issue, but the big need to is to get these companies to release Linux (and *BSD, BeOS, etc) drivers when they release Windows drivers as well.

Have I left anything out?

mine won't even stay on (1)

ForceOfWill (79529) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433494)

when I turn on my system with the printer on, linux somehow turns it off without realizing it.
it then won't let me set it up because it looks like it's not there when it's off.

how's that for "lack of drivers"?

BTW, if someone can help me with this, I'd be very appreciative.

There's nothing to lose, for us or them. (1)

Fross (83754) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433496)

at present, companies don't charge for their drivers (afaik!), so releasing them for an alternative platform should incur no additional cost than the development of said drivers. and in the case of a platform running on the same architecture (such as running linux on an ix86 board), i'd guesstimate a lot of the work had been done already.

if anything, it makes good commercial sense for companies to release drivers for as many OSes as they can; as "alternative" OSes such as linux become more widespread, the userbase becomes a significant market share - would you buy a videocard with no linux support? didn't think so.

the one persistant problem here seems to be the "opensourcing" argument. i don't consider this much of a problem - the development cycle for these products is so long that no-one could really gain enough information from them to cause the company to lose considerable pace to the competition - for instance, when Voodoo 1 boards were released, 3dfx already had a timeplan (and likely, chip designs) for the series up to Voodoo 3.

regardless of opensourcing, making these companies feel our presence can't do any harm... go on, sign the petition!

fross

An update on progress - server considerations? (2)

Fross (83754) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433497)

As of right now (4pm GMT, 11am EST) i managed to actually register on the petition.

Suffice to say, the total number right now is just short of 2000. Considering the difficulty it took in actually getting in to register, the server must be oversubscribed several times over with people trying to register! however many of these are obviously being lost - 2000 in (approximately?) 4 hours the article's been live on /. implies 500 registrations per hour, or just under 10 a minute. there is a severe bottleneck in there somewhere, probably the server being a very slow machine unable to cope with running multiple instances of perl, at a guess.

if someone is in a position to mirror this, on a more powerful machine, with more bandwidth, this could help bring in the signatures, striking while the iron is hot and all that.

for anyone willing to do so, i urge you to contact libranet about it - webmaster@libranet.com [mailto] seems to be their only contact on this, though petition@libranet.com may also work, though i am by no means sure.

Fross

Petition's well and good... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433498)

And I'll sign it when it's not slashdotted, but I put more faith in voting with my wallet. I buy hardware exclusively for Linux support and won't touch anything that I'm not sure is supported.

Re:This could work... maybe (2)

Vidar Hokstad (87953) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433499)

I don't expect Coca Cola to give me their recipe, but I do expect them not to try to conceal or obfuscate the process needed to open the bottle and drink the contents... :-)

Hardware companies usually don't make money on the drivers - the drivers are necessary evils required to let their product work with the customers software.

We aren't asking for schematics for their boards or synthesizable VHDL for their ASICS to clone their hardware, only information on how to use and program for their products...

And what about BSD? (3)

mr (88570) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433500)

>We, members of the Linux community and the computing population in general, believe that you, the manufacturers of pc computing devices, should make available to Linux developers full specifications of your devices, so that Linux compatible device drivers can be produced for your products. If you feel this information is confidential, then we ask you to write, and make freely available, drivers for your products.

And the REST of the OpenSource OS market doesn't matter?

If you are going to make a petition, or sign one, why not sign one that is can work for ALL the OpenSource OSes? Or, how about ALL the Unix market?

Why does the Linux community want to replace Micro$oft as the new monopoly?

Re:Its starting... (1)

erikaaboe (89681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433501)

OH YEAH, it's starting. Here is what I got in response--- This account has too many processes running. Please try again later. ./ effect, I guess

Let's Do the Math! (4)

erikaaboe (89681) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433502)

OK. They are looking for 2,000,000 hits. They start at 20 about 45 minutes ago. They are at ~350 when the slashdot effect starts to take them down. And this is before the day really begins on the west coast! How many signatures will they get? Here are some of the variables-

X - Number of Linux Users (10M according to Wayne above)

x - Number of Linux Users who give a damn about anything other than fraggin

Y - Number who read ./ and know about this cause

y - Percentage who know to put the www ahead of the URL

Z - Site capacity factor

z - Percentage who never come back after the first "this account has too many processes running,try again later"

A - Percentage who lurk everywhere and will never "Submit" even when the dreaded button says something else

a - Length of time that story will be an Article on ./

B - residence time on "Older Stuff"

b - fudge factor

With all of these variables, I estimate that the petition count will be 75,000 by 1/1/0 when the world's computing infrastructure turns into a tangled, smoking heap. Of course, I am not a coder and just factored all of the variables in my head. I just think of stupid things, I do not make them executable.

A long way to go yet (1)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433503)

20,000 in a "short time"? We are progressing nicely tho. #1179 at 10:22 a.m. EST.

Libranet (1)

DoctorPepper (92269) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433504)

I got there at 0906 EST, the Slashdot effect has already started. Keep hitting the back button and you'll be able to submit your data.

Libranet...seems kinda fishy... (1)

matticus (93537) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433505)

Libranet.com:
"www.libranet.com is running Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) on BSD/OS" straight from NetCraft [netcraft.com] . And their Linux distro is not downloadable and the source is not available. hmmm...

once and for all (1)

werd life (94886) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433506)

How the hell can this be classified as redundant? did someone else say they were number 366?

redundant
adj.

  1. Exceeding what is necessary or natural; superfluous.
  2. Needlessly repetitive; verbose.
  3. Electronics. Of or involving redundancy in electronic equipment.
  4. Of or involving redundancy in the transmission of messages.

[Latin redundans, redundant-, present participle of redundre, to overflow: re-, red-, re- + undare, to surge (from unda, wave); see wed in Indo-European Roots.]

slashdotted (1)

bitwiz (95663) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433507)

Well, another one bites the dust. Maybe it'll come back up. Getting published on Slashdot is a mixed blessing. Everyone gets to hear about you, but only first lucky ones actually see your site.

MODERATE THIS PARENT UP! (1)

Steeltoe (98226) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433508)

The URL needs www. at the beginning.
The more this post gets moderated, the higher the Slashdor-wave d;-)

- Steeltoe

too many processes on server... ? (1)

Caspian (99221) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433510)

Hmm.. I tried to sign, and for the first umpteen times I tried, I got a message telling me that the user who runs the page has too many processes going. Apparently, this system is on a process quota and can't handle being Slashdotted. I'd like to offer some free Webspace on the nonprofit hosting provider I run, www.twu.net... if whoever runs this petition would like some, let me know.

Re:And what about BSD? (1)

tribbel (103363) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433512)

Having specs available will probably help all the OSs. But the way i see it, i think companies are more likely to develop closed source drivers or kernel modules and distribute them with the hardware. This wouldn't really help BSD users.
But then again, if they start packing Linux drivers with their hardware BSD will probably follow soon.

2 000 000 a little ambitious (2)

Builder (103701) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433513)

I think that a goal of 2 million signatures might be slightly ambitious. The last article I read counted Linux users at about 10 million. That would mean that they are asking for about 20% of the entire user base to sign this petition. Even if the numbers are slightly out of wack, I think that the Borland survey got around 100 000 respondents and that was /.'d quite heavily :-)

On a better note, I hope that this does get some things going for Linux in the driver world. I really take my hat off to all the people that keep hammering at companies (Creative labs springs to mind here) to get the specs and then write the drivers so that the same companies who wouldn't help can sell more product. I know Creative have now opened the SBLive driver, but I know a lot of people went through a lot of pain and suffering to get this driver to us.

Singee number 411

how 'bout just the specs? (1)

sommerfeld (106049) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433515)

Given how many buggy drivers i've seen coming from hardware vendors.. they're often experts at the hardware, but have no clue how to do non-windows drivers. don't tempt them to turn their windows drivers into bad unix drivers... ask for hardware docs only!

Re:Ay, laddie... (1)

sommerfeld (106049) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433516)

Ever try to port a source-only driver from one OS to another? I have. it's often not much fun.. a well-written driver can serve as hardware documentation. a poorly written one, well, raises more questions about how the device works than it answers..

Hmm, only 341?? (0)

Gurlia (110988) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433517)

I just signed up, and my petition# is only 341. Why so low?? I would've thought there are many more Linux users out there who are aware of the lack of Linux support by manufacturers...

*sigh* Sometimes it's sad to see newbies just jump on the Linux bandwagon because it's the "cool thing" of the moment, but have no idea about the Linux ideals, Open Source, etc. (and not even care if they knew). I wish more of them would take the time to understand the issues behind Linux, Open source, GNU, etc.. Well, I guess perhaps it will always be true that only a smaller subset of users will really understand the real issues, and the rest are just there because of the hype or the popularity.

finally got thru (1)

starwings (112408) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433518)

sig #1447 after resubmitting 17 times. Should be a real madhouse when the west coast programmers roll out of bed at noonish =)

No. 833 (0)

roomfull of blues (113363) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433519)

Its 8:48 CDT and Im at 833. Come on people, lets get rolling!
Dilbert: I have become one with my computer. It is a feeling of ecstacy... the blend of logic and emotion. I have reached...

will UDI make this petition absolete ? (3)

arnim (117833) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433521)

don't forget that there's also the universal drive interface [project-udi.org] on the way. this is an effort from sun, intel, compaq, HP, IBM, NCR and SCO to make drivers portable between plattforms and operating systems. a proof of concept port has been done by intel.

ok, RMS doesn't like it [slashdot.org] for pushing binary-only drivers. so this is not a good thing for "free software", but just for the linux-community. microsoft is not going to like UDI, because one of the main advantages of windows is, that it has drivers for everything. well, anyway i guess microsoft isn't affraid as much of linux than of the unification of the unix-market in progress, around open source and linux. unix can only win against windows when 10 different unix-vendoers stop reinventing the wheel 10 times. and this is happening with apache, samba, xfree86 and somehow also linux.
solaris x86, freebsd, SCOs openserver and unixware (and soon AIX ) are all able to run linux binaries. so users can stick with their unix-of-choice and still run the bulk of linux-software. but guess for which plattform developers are going to publish their software first... and this is going to have long-term impact.

ups, well, as i'm OT anyway, doesn anybody know why IBM did port linux to S/390 and not AIX ?

Re:From Windows to Linux Drivers (1)

Da Penguin (122065) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433523)

> However I believe (from little experience) that it would be easier to first write the driver for the *NIX OSes and then port that to Windows.

Just like how I heard that ID Software first makes its programs for Linux and then ports it to Windows.

Re:This could work... maybe (1)

Da Penguin (122065) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433524)

> didn't we have a similar example in the past history of computing? ibm and mac strategies. guess what type of architecture is the most popular for personal computers today. yep, you're right - pcs. because ibm decided to release the specs, to get other vendors to make peripherials for pcs. this may not be the best analogy, but i think it hits the bulk part.

And where is IBM now?
With all the clones it has lost its place in PCs

Linux Drivers (2)

Da Penguin (122065) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433525)

The current state of Linux drivers is not that good. I don't mind programming them, but just getting the specs from the company is like pulling teeth from a tiger. I put Umax on an automailer of somewhere around 20 mails a day requesting information about their Astra 1220U USB scanner. Over half a year later I get replies either telling me to contact the Taiwan division, asking me what it is I want, or giving me a form to fax in to request driver information. I sent in the fax, and I am STILL WAITING!

PS: Linux has a pretty good driver creation model

Re:This could work... maybe (2)

Da Penguin (122065) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433526)

> Then there is the whole opensource argument that I wont even go into... why should companies opensource their drivers and specs?

It worked for 3dfx

From Windows to Linux Drivers (2)

Da Penguin (122065) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433527)

> If the PHB's of these companies just woke up, and said "Hey, the only reason we are missing an entire OS is because we won't re-compile some drivers. We should do that."

Contrary to your belief, it is more complex than that.
I myself make Linux device drivers and I have glanced over the Windows device driver model.
Think of it like this, can you port Quake to Linux from Windows just by recompiling the source?
It is the whole library and environment and everything that has to be changed.

"Computers have really changed the world.
Before, we would tar-and-feather,
Now we tar-and-zip"

Just a matter of time (1)

goader (125618) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433528)

As to how much this pettition will help, I don't know. One thing I do know is that it is just a matter of time until everyone makes drivers for linux, and possibly not make them for windows. With the rate of growth in the linux community it wont be long till we outgrow the number of windows users, this petition should hopefully open the eyes of different manufacturers, and allow our community to grow even quicker!! Me, I was signature number 438.

Re:This could work... maybe (1)

WinTired (125929) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433529)

However some of the more obscure companies will not, it doesn't make economic sense for them to do so, they have very little to gain from spending lots of money on it, they follow the 80/20 rule.

This "spending-lots-of-money-on-it" part doesn't ring right. Device drivers are a nuissance for hardware companies and they would love not to have to worry about it. There could be a way out:

Let's say a given company discloses hardware specs of a new card so that someone in the OS community can write a device driver. The driver would be available for everyone, the programmer would get the credit and sales could be a bit higher, for now there are a few more potential buyers. All pretty GPL.

Now consider a different scenario: someone volunteers or is asked to write a Linux (or whatever) device driver for a new card, the company gives this guy (or group) specifications, the guy does the job and the company owns the binary. They ship the driver with the card or you can download it from the company's site. The driver would be available for everyone, the programmer would still get the credit and sales could be a bit higher, for now there are a few more potential buyers. Much the same effect as the one obtained by a GPL solution, except that there would be no room for improvement (which is not about to occour anyway, unless the thing is buggy) and that it would hurt someone's feelings.

Personally, I have this small piece of hardware that I love and cannot use if I boot Linux, so I see no way other than keeping the "other" partition. Now, if I were capable of writing a device driver (I have no idea how it differs from an executable or a DLL) and if that famous company gave me the specs, I would be glad to write a driver and give away ownership of it. It's something that would never be sold, anyway!

All I can do is choose from another manufacturer next time I upgrade.


-------------------------

I have a dream (2)

pulski (126566) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433530)

I have a dream that one day, all computers will be treated equally, despite the brand of their OS. It's about time that Linux users stood up and shouted out it one loud voice, "we will not go quietly into the night. We will not give in to stingy hardware manufacturers. We are going to go on. We are going to fight for our right to use the same hardware as everyone else. Do not bow to mighty Microsoft. For once do what is good for the community and not just what is good for your relationship with Bill Gates."

-----

Now over 1500... (1)

RollTide (126855) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433531)

At 9:55 CST, the number was over 1500... Cautiously optimistic....

Writing Drivers == Digging GravelPits? (2)

xtremex (130532) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433533)

If I remember correctly..companies get rank newbies to write drivers. NO one wants to write drivers. They hire an 18 year old to write drivers..then that 18 year old leaves. He has graduated. And drivers are an aftersight..that's why 90% of Windows drivers are buggy as hell...they're rushed...I think they're written while the product is being packed for shipping. It costs them nothing to write these drivers...why can't they just give the specs to the brave Linux martyrs who want to write them? I for one will NOT write drivers. It's not sexy enough for me :)

and if THAT doesn't work... (1)

DonFreenut (130669) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433534)

...the linux community might have to get a bit more drastic. i say, send elite ('leet?) squads of geek commandos out to firebomb offices and garrotte executives.

Re:Haha! (1)

DonFreenut (130669) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433535)


a) i was just reading the posting guidelines, and at some point, one of our venerable admins (i think it was cmdrtaco) said something like, "humor is appreciated, be funny, we all like to laugh, there isn't enough humor in the world," etc. i post the above comment (about the commandos), and suddenly i'm a troll, or whatever.

b) there's another comment on this story with subject line "linux drivers save lives!" and text "okay, no they don't, but sign the petition anyway," or something like that. this comment got a "funny" designation.

i don't know what's funnier: one moderator's lack of a sense of humor, or the other moderator's stupid sense of humor.

i can't wait for this comment to become flaimbait. i think i'm going to set my threshold at -1 from now on.

Re:2/3 Adrenaline and 1/3 Soma. (1)

hog2 (131006) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433536)

I signed up about 30 minutes ago, and was #999. So it seems 4000 should be quite easy.

Privacy? (1)

derwood (131240) | more than 14 years ago | (#1433537)

How do I know this isn't just another scam to put my email address on a spam list? They make no guarantees about how they will use the data submitted to them.
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