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Date:	Sat, 16 Dec 2006 20:07:31 +1100
From:	Marek Wawrzyczny <>
Subject: Re: Binary Drivers

Dear Linux Kernel ML,

I am writing as a Linux-only user of over 2 years to express my concern with 
the recent proposal to block out closed source modules from the kernel.

While, I understand and share your sentiments over open source software and 
drivers. I fear however, that trying to steamroll the industry into 
developing open source drivers by banning closed source drivers is going to 
have a completely different result. They will simply abandon Linux support 
for some of their products altogether.

Take the high-end graphic cards that are prevalent in most of today's 
home/SOHO hardware- desktops and laptops. Would I be wrong in saying that the 
Linux market share in this market is no more than 5%?
These companies have already demonstrated that the support they provide is 
proportional to the market share.

The open source driver development is promising but it has been mentioned 
several times that the project is undermanned and the vendors are not 
forthcoming with the necessary information.
My hardware as it stands today is still not working with the open-source 
drivers. Perhaps this is the case of PEBCAK and not the open-source drivers 
per se but with a 1-4 hour turnaround to test a new version of the r300 
driver it is not a small effort on my part. Still, I'm eagerly awaiting the 
day that I'll be able to use an open-source driver that is on par with the 
ati one.

The bottom line is that the proposed 1st Jan 2008 dead line is unlikely to 
make any corporations tremble. It is likely to be the day when I will be no 
longer able to run the latest version of the kernel.

Finally, I'd like to thank you for reading my email and on your work on the 
fantastic work and community that Linux is.
I hope you will take this user and others like me under consideration when 
making the final decision on whether or not to include the proposed patch and 
whether to undertake work on code that will prevent binary drivers from 

Warmest regards,

Marek Wawrzyczny
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