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PC World: When Linux Flunks [Device] Drivers Ed

Feb 04, 2000, 20:26 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alexandra Krasne)

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"In a session at the LinuxWorld show here, a panel of hardware vendors shed some light [on why open source device drivers are scarce]. ...information on how a hardware device works may not be free, since it can incorporate a vendor's most precious trade secrets."

"One solution is to release specifications for older technologies no longer valuable as intellectual properties. For instance, Matrox released specifications for its 2D cards. The result: Thousands of Linux boxes are now running Matrox chips, 'and the company didn't have to write one line of code'..."

"Another option is for manufacturers to build more closed-source drivers for Linux (ones the community cannot tweak), as multimedia products and peripherals manufacturer Creative Labs is writing for its 3D sound cards."

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