Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on November 13, 2006 08:17 PM
Every single step that the Linux operating system takes towards the wrong direction (closed source) will make it three times more difficult to turn back towards the right direction (open source).
(1) nVidia gives Linux a mediocre quality closed source driver and a crappy open source driver. New Linux users ask themselves: "Why shold we use the crappy open source driver when there is a better closed source driver available?"
They will continue to buy computers with nVidia graphics cards because there is a mediocre quality closed source driver available for Linux. But the Linux driver for nVidia is not as good as the Windows driver.
The consequence: The graphics quality in Linux will never be as good as the Windows graphics and Linux developers can't improve the situation because the Linux driver is closed source.
(2) Linux distro developers think: "That other distro is more popular than our distro because they make it easy for new users to install all kinds of closed source add-ons. Users want closed source add-ons and we must give users what they want. Let's make these closed source add-ons to be installed by default and we'll become the most popular distro."
The consequence: Linux distros start to rely on the closed source bits. This introduces lots of new bugs and problems but the distro makers can't fix the problems because they can't access the source code. And Linux becomes even poorer alternative to Windows -- Linux has poorer graphics and Linux also has more bugs than Windows.
(3) Other hardware makers think: "Look at nVidia -- they give Linux closed source drivers and they are still the most popular graphics card maker for computers that run Linux. And all the popular distros install the closed source drivers by default. Why should we give our competitors extra advantage by offering open source drivers? No way! We will close the source code for our Linux drivers too, just like nVidia does."
The consequence: It becomes impossible to fix any problems in Linux because the source code for most drivers is not available. Linux becomes a crappy version of Windows. Windows has won and no-one wants to use Linux.
Do you still think that nVidia is in no way hostile toward Linux?