[svlug] Business models (was Re: RANT: Ubuntu is Evil)
aland at softorchestra.com
Fri Jan 22 12:56:00 PST 2010
On Fri, 22 Jan 2010, Ivan Sergio Borgonovo wrote:
> So... people continue to develop proprietary drivers but they like
> Linux where taking care of HW support outside the tree is hard...
> and they prefer Linux over BSD (???).
I don't know I would characterize them as proprietary drivers, I
think un-released drivers might be a better label. I believe
this is what keeps people on old kernels with their embedded
I think there are a few reasons it happens, in some cases people
just don't have the expertise to do the putback, or other cases
developers are lazy and don't want to go through their own
corporate legal. I'm not sure we can stereotype them, just to
say that the sources don't end up in the kernel tree.
> I'm an optimist ;)
> I'd say that GPL is a better community builder and that Linux kernel
> run faster no matter if companies understand it is in their own
> interest to release code.
My experience is that often the BSD kernel will run faster, at
I have gone back and forth on the GPL over the years, but have
come to feel comfortable with it, if nothing else, but that it
seems to keep the development to continue and the changes that
have been made are trying to close some of the holes that
Corporations have found to exploit it.
One such example which also relates to the previous point
above...some companies have found that they can hold their
customers hostage by charging services which in turn provide
them with the latest drivers and/or kernel changes for a given
chipset, with changes that are held back from being putback. The
GPL wasn't designed to allow for that, yet it has existed and
certain corporations have used that as a revenue stream.
Another loop hole in the past was people providing old sources,
yet offering newer binaries/tools for customers who have paid
for their service contracts.
Yet, another loop hole was when Red Hat provided the sources but
not config/make files to build the sources (older versions of
RHES did that).
The GPL doesn't alleviate all of these problems entirely, but it
does help encourage people to play by the rules, and that is
actually good, IMO. I also believe some of this is what has
caused the GPL to evolve.
Alan DuBoff - Software Orchestration
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