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[rant] Re: vmware and udev



> Denis Leroy wrote:
> > On a more general note, is there any sort of communications between
Red
> > Hat people (who have phones on their desk) and the very few
companies
> > that do groundbreaking linux support (Nvidia, VMWare, ...) as far
as
> > release schedules and support for new kernel features ? Just
asking...
> 
> To which Arjan van de Ven responded:
> what you call groundbreaking linux support... I personally consider a
> major problem... they are 
> 1) Binary only, and not helping the open source goal at large forward
> 2) Borderline legal, if at all (my personal opinion is that they are
not
> legal, and abusing code I wrote)
> 3) Lagging behind and even keeping the kernel from going forward at
times.
> but.. if you buy a RHEL subscription the support guys you call will
be
> happy to work with such vendors on joint problems.

I know this is a touchy subject :-) and the binary drivers thread
almost turned into a flame war. Arjan, in your response below you seem
to be talking about the linux kernel while i was talking about the
Fedora Core distro, and those are two different things.

Seems to me, on one side we have the linux kernel developers whose
interests lie on improving the kernel and adding cool features to it,
and hereby rely on the strength of the open-source concept in which
API or ABI changes can be propagated very quickly. This allows the
kernel to move very fast (unlike other Unices that have been around
longer) and to maintain a very high level of quality in its
drivers. They see closed source drivers as an annoyance and hindrance,
and companies that support them as being capitalistic greedy evil
entities whose sole purpose is the demise of the Open-Source
movement. :-)

On the other hand, we have companies that try to get some leverage out
of the Linux movement, sometimes in a clumsy fashion, or try to
respond to their customers demands for Linux support. They are usually
afraid of the GPL since it's human nature to be afraid of things one
doesn't fully understand. They usually mean well, but are uneducated
and completely unprepared for a world in which code is free, having no
processes in place for it since it hasn't been done before. They see
kernel developers as pony-tailed hippies who hate their guts and are
hard to interact with, much less rely on. :-)

So my question was: shouldn't Fedora stand in the middle ? Shouldn't
it be the job of putting together a desktop-oriented distribution
precisely to coordinate the efforts of the various "forces" out there
(a hard and thankless job IMO), and reach compromises in order to
provide the best possible desktop experience. This has nothing to do
with kernel development, but rather in picking the right features to
use in that kernel without breaking the most popular components,
coordinating schedules and releases with said components, to make sure
a Fedora Core release doesn't break the Nvidia drivers (one of those
most popular components, whether you like it or not) or doesn't happen
one week before Firefox 1.0 is released. Isn't there somebody in the
Fedora community (whether he/she's a RedHat employee or not) that
should be working on this ? His/her job would include calling Nvidia
and saying something like this "Hi, i work on the Fedora distro. Even
though our kernel developers hate you, half of our users use your
drivers and we'd rather not break it for our next release. Is there
anything we can do?". To which there is or isn't of course, but at
least somebody's gotta try...

Anyways, sorry for the long rant :-)

-denis
http://cdrdao.sf.net/


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