how to encourage a wireless driver to exist?

doug doug at
Sun Aug 17 18:48:23 UTC 2014

On Sun, 17 Aug 2014, dbc wrote:

> Hello,
> I have a new laptop which I'm well sick of having to run linux on. Is there
> a way to encourage someone to write a driver for intel 7260 wifi card?
> I am a C programmer, and I would be willing to volunteer time, but I don't
> know how useful I will be with neither driver writing nor wifi protocol nor
> FreeBSD development process experience. Still, if anyone would point me in
> the right direction I would happily give it a shot. Where can this stuff be
> learnt? I also see that linux drivers exist, but I'm not sure about legal
> problems when copying from those.
> Or, while I probably couldn't afford to fund it entirely myself, is there a
> way I could chip into a pot to help fund someone with more experience to at
> least make a start on it?
I too am in this boat, except for having any C skills :)  My last two laptops 
have had no wireless support or in the case of my Dell also no support past the 
Vesa driver for the video card. I would also be willing to contribute funding 
for some relief to the wireless issue. I think probably the BSD Foundation would 
be the best vehicle. It seems to me however that one driver at a time is not a 
very general solution. I have tried the windows wrapper with zero success. First 
perhaps a discussion to determine if there is enough interest (i.e., money). I 
personally suspect our boat is a row boat). Then proceed on how a more general 
solution might be done.

My solution to the wireless problem has been an Apple Airport Extreme and a 
cable. An iphone also works as an access point (but not for too long).

I still think a path to growing new committers is to make it as easy as possible 
to use FreeBSD as a workstation. In my case, I was an IBM internals developer 
and would have never started thinking in Unix without the experience of making 
Xfree86 and then Xorg work (it took me long enough as it was). I do not want to 
use the desktop FreeBSDs because my path for going to the next major version is 
desktop --> internal systems --> production systems. If there are not enough 
people that either want to work like I do or think my general argument has 
merit, the only way to have a fully functional FreeBSD desktop is buy hardware 
[very] carefully. And we then must look to the FreeBSD desktops to 'recruit' the 
next generation of developers.

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