There is always a potential problem whenever there are changes to kernel - these close source driver would usually fail to work with newer kernel. It would take them awhile to catch up with kernel's development, at best. In worst case situation, it may take them months to come out a proper driver.
Though, honestly, nVidia seems to follow kernel development quite nicely, so far.
But anyway, my stance on the issue is kinda in the middle. I could really go either way but before I say anything else I do not think now or in the near future is the time to say no to binary blobs. The next few years are going to be quite crucial to Linux's growth as a operating system. Taking away binary blobs now or within a year from now would basically halt this growth.
One reason for the growth is because of gaming, not just a alternative choice for a operating system but because it can do so much. Take away binary blobs now and you can kiss pretty much any decent retail game bye bye for a while if not forever. That would be a very sad day in my opinion, because everything else outside of games would follow suit possibly.
The best time to say no to blobs would be when Linux has a good hold on market share as a whole, not just servers, but desktop as well. When its number 1 and nothing can take it down no matter what, thats when you say no to blobs, because then manufacturers will be forced to open their driver or go bankrupt.
I mean come on, at least bait them first. If not Linux would be shooting its own foot. I think morally its a good move to do, but its just not the right time.
Last edited by Malikith; 06-26-2008 at 05:30 AM.
This is far from the only argument. An open-source driver can be maintained in-tree, which means that it will generally do a better job of evolving together with the rest of the infrastructure. Open-source drivers also typically support more host architectures than closed ones. Perhaps most importantly, a proper (non-obfuscated) open source driver is not controlled solely by one vendor; if the vendor has to close its doors, or simply has a management shakeup and decides that supporting Linux is a waste of time, it's still possible for someone to maintain the open-source driver.The only "pro" argument for an open-source driver is that bugs would be fixed.
Any other views on binary blobs in the kernel?