"I write to you to inform you that I have decided to join Atheros as a full time employee, as a Software Engineer, to help them with their goals and mission to get every device of Atheros supported upstream in the Linux kernel."
or a Linux-supported WLAN anyway. I have often wandered into local shops meaning to buy WLAN kit with one of supported chipsets, but they vendors who ultimately make the kit don't tell what chips they are on the box cover or even on the item (and to make it worse, may change chipsets even for product with a similar name between revisions).
To me it seems the vendors are shooting themselves in the foot here. Advertising Linux compatibility may not gain them too many sales yet, but at least it would get them *some* extra sales, and would have no disadvantages.
so licking vendors' asses always pay in the end.
if that doesn't give you a free driver, at least that gives you a job.
I don't see anyone doing any licking. So the guy's now paid by Atheros to develop drivers for Linux (is that proprietary or GPL?) - that should be a good thing, especially if the drivers are GPL. Odds are they will be GPL, because the developers are really sick of other people whining about proprietary drivers not working and are ever so slowly pushing the kernel code so that only GPL drivers will work. The problem at many harwdare shops is that the people running the show can't seem to understand that the free drivers are good for them because they don't have to spend enormous resources on maintaining code - it's not as if they make a dime off their (often buggy) software anyway.
As I understand it, he will work to get "Atheros supported
upstream in the Linux kernel".
I guess this means that they will contribute open source code for inclusion into the vanilla Linux kernel?
Sounds great! :)
Then for the BSD people, they can do a clean room implementation from the code in the Linux kernel.
1. An OpenBSD dev did the real work for a free driver, free for everyone
2. Linux devs took this work from OpenBSD for their driver ath5k
3. Atheros pays the Linux dev for 'his' work
4. GPL zealots walk the internet and are lamenting something like 'sounds great!'
Do you get the nonsense. Do you see who is the enemy of freedom? It's a GPL-slavery!
This post from Linus may shed some light on why this happened.
I asked Atheros to provide and support OpenBSD so that the devs can write drivers as well.
This request so far was not answered.
How will your work change this? GPL Drivers can't get included into BSDs.
Yes, unrestricted hardware documentation is best. Yes, GPL drivers can't be included in BSD. But that's a red herring, because even if they could, they wouldn't anyway. Differences in kernel architecture make the drivers incompatible.
Think of a GPL driver as a form of hardware documentation, documentation that is tested and debugged by actually running on the hardware. Cutting and pasting source code is a convenience, not a requirement. Understanding how the hardware works is a requirement, and source for a working driver can provide that understanding.
If the Linux driver includes undocumented binary blobs, that would be a problem. Undocumented blobs are a problem for everyone. That would keep the Linux driver out of Debian and Red Hat, for example. But that is a problem not in any way related to the differences between the GPL and BSD licenses.
GPL Drivers can't get included into BSDs.
Can't, or won't? Why is it Linux's fault the BSDs have an allergy to the GPL?
Ask Stallman an his bewildering understanding of the term freedom, then you will certainly get a clue about the true meaning of freedom.
Furthermore guess who did the work? Yes OpenBSD, Linux is using the *free* work of the OpenBSD people. Linux is an enemy of freedom!
Definitely "won't". The revised BSD license is more permissive than the GPL. Because of the permissiveness, the end user is not guaranteed the same freedom that the middleman may have.
Although BSD cannot possibly be considered a "derivative work" because a single GPL driver was put in, the BSD folks will still get a drilling from rms. The usual is "someone will steal your code and not contribute a thing" - this sometimes happens (Apple doesn't seem to be feeding much back from OSX), but I still think the majority (especially smaller companies) tend to give code back to the project under the revised BSD license.
Apple contributes back to FreeBSD.
... and actively contribute to GCC.
They also make the source for most the open source stuff available, however there are parts of the kernel which are unavailable.
I like this quote I found at Luis Villa's blog:
“I think [defining BSD as ‘free because it has no restrictions’ and GPL as ‘not free because it has restrictions’] confuses freedom with anarchy.”
This is Bush talk and typical for common US-Americans. Ensuring 'freedom' while restricting it day by day, step by step. By the way anarchy has got it rules too, based on reasoning. Do you want to live in slavery or freedom?
Ahhhh, so laws governing you freedom is slavery now...
BSD is anarchy. (No, I'm not american, in fact your opinion seems very American to me... "NO GUN CONTROL, IT'S OUR RIGHT!")
I disagree. The GPL case actually is "I want to be enslaved by freedom". Extending your analogy, it means that there should be laws that ensure your freedom even if you don't ask for freedom.
And it's actually there: ever heard of the constitution? The US government would really prefer that you didn't know about it, though. Therein lies the problem.
Going back to open source, it's analogous to violating the GPL license. In contrary, BSD license doesn't even attempt to protect your freedom, because there is no "constitution". Or am I stretching this too far? You decide.
I think you are both talking rubbish.
It is possible that the attitude of Atheros towards open source will change as a result, or that having a GPL'd driver might mean a clean room implementation can be achieved, depending on wether or not the linux code is maintainable without dedicated developers.
Of course we have to see what will happen, hiring an open source developer and slapping them with NDAs or baiting them with their pay check like a carrot-and-stick has happened before, but you never know, we may get non-NDA'd documentation.
Heres hoping we all benefit.
What about the BSDs?
A GPL'd driver is better than the nothing we get from Atheros now. It can at least be used as (poor) hardware documentation for the implementation of a BSD licensed driver or the renovation of Reyk's existing one.
Yeah without OpenBSD, there wouldn't be any *free* driver in Linux kernel.
BSDs should get theirs developer into Atheros, granting him access to all documentation and engineers for current and future products.
Personally, I think Atheros is indifferent to if their opensource driver will be GPL or GPL/BSD. They are HW company. If someone uses their BSD driver in closed project -- good to them, more hardware sold! Anyway, I don't see any mentions of license in quoted email.
the BS whats? BORINGGGGGGGGGGG
Great, we're waiting for Broadcom's next move now.
Broadcom's wireless support under Linux is poor for most devices, especially on non-x86 architectures.
don't buy from Atheros
enemy of your freedom
This is an indication that Atheros have changed their views on the subject of driver development, which means they deserve our encouragement.