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Re: Non-free Extras?



> 
> With all the myriad hardware out there the open source community
> cannot possibly develop drivers for everything. 

5 years ago, I would have maybe believed this.
Today, no.
First, the open source community has gotten a lot bigger
but second, and more important:
Hardware is standardizing more and more (on the OS<->hardware interface
level). Look at i810 audio for example. USB is a good other example.
AHCI sata as well.

These are not accidents! They are for cost saving reasons: if you're
supported by a driver already shipping in windows XP, you as hardware
vendor don't need to do a lot of work -> saves costs, and more, time to
market -> profit.

As a side effect of this, linux is increasingly better off.

Sure there are exeptions, esp in the 3D space, but even there they do
fully new architectures only every 18 months or so, just because it's so
expensive to do entirely new drivers and then maintain them.
(even when they are bundled as part of a "unified driver", most of these
new architectures are de-facto new drivers, just merged into one binary
file)



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