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Re: Release plans

From: Johannes Weiner
Subject: Re: Release plans
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2008 14:27:07 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Hi Tassilo,

Tassilo Horn <address@hidden> writes:

> On Thursday 14 August 2008 13:07:35 Johannes Weiner wrote:
> Hi Hannes,
>> Neither the Linux kernel, nor I as a free user who chooses not to load
>> proprietary bullcrap into it, have been harmed by the kernel's
>> mechanism to load said bullcrap.
> That needs not to be true.  Take the nvidia drivers as an example.  If
> the kernel wouldn't allow this driver to be loaded, we might have a
> better free driver today.  Who knows?

It seems to solve itself evolutionary.  nvidia sucks so bad at keeping
up with the kernel api, left aside frequent, undebuggable oopsen, that I
know quite some people who's subsequent video card has been an ATI card
just because there are now free drivers available.

I myself have an nvidia card due to historic reasons which I can not
fully utilize because I decided to not use the nvidia driver.  But as
soon I have enough money for an upgrade, I will sure as hell get a video
card that is supported by free drivers.  And in my case, this is not
only a technical decision.

When someone asks me for help with their kernel becoming unstable after
loading proprietary modules, I explain them that it's neither the
kernels fault, nor the module-vendors fault.  It's the person's fault
who made the decision.

Noone `subjugated' a user of the proprietary nvidia module.  Only their
own stupidity.

> The same applies to the intel wireless drivers, which require some
> proprietary firmware.  If something works, the attraction of
> implementing a free alternative fades away.

I consider ath5k and the ati drivers proving the opposite.  I think
Richard has yet another wireless card that works with free drivers.

I actually see a trend in free drivers evolving.

> Of course you can argue the other way round, too.  Would GNU/Linux be
> where it is today if no proprietary drivers allowed most features of the
> computer to be used?

I don't know.  But are there so many proprietary modules at all?  I
believe there are by far more free modules than non-free ones for the

And even if I would myself not do so, I would prefer a user running a
complete GNU/Linux system with one proprietary module loaded to get his
work done over him running a completely non-free environment.

You can still fight the remaining evil.  And I consider myself as a
proof that the figthing spirit is not lost just because there is a
working non-free module available.


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