Questions drivers for VGA and NIC

Henrik Hudson lists at
Wed Oct 1 22:36:38 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 01 October 2008, Jerry <gesbbb at> sent a missive stating: 
> On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 23:25:19 +0200 (CEST)
> Wojciech Puchar <wojtek at> wrote:
> >> In all likelihood, the probability of any vendor creating FBSD
> >> specific drivers is directly proportionate to the expenditure of
> >> funds to create and maintain the driver versus the expected revenue
> >> from such an expenditure.
> >
> >giving out a specs will be the simplest way.
> Any entity, or corporation, has a right to expect a return on their
> investment. To expect a corporation to simply give away something,
> thereby depriving their shareholders, partners or whatever, of their
> rightfully expected monetary reward is foolish. It certainly is not a
> well thought out  business model.

There is a difference between open sourcing the binary blob and possibly 
giving away optimizations, trade secrets, etc... and allowing easier access 
to either hardware register specs or specs to write a wrapper around a 
universal blob.

Personally, I think they see it as a "quality" control issue, though the 
quality of their own code is sometimes circumspect. The card companies sell 
hardware and this is where their money is made and/or a better experience 
with the software drivers. Open the hardware spec, add a support clause that 
any "open source" drivers aren't officially supported and you're good to go.

Opening the hardware spec will do nothing except sell more hardware.

a) the average joe will continue to buy systems with the supported hardware / 
drivers, most likely Windows, OS X or a major Linux distro. Probably wouldn't 
even know the open source ones exist.

b) the geeks of the world will start running the open source driver if it's 
better or not if it's worse for their applications. Either way, it will only 
sell more hardware.

c) The FOSS only crowd will start using the hardware since it has a fully open 
source drivers.

The open source driver doesn't need to be able to run Doom5 at incredible 
speeds, it just needs high quality 2d and the ability to handle some 3d 
compositing, etc... for desktop effects.

My .02$

Henrik Hudson
lists at
"God, root, what is difference?" Pitr; UF (

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list