ET support for LINUX

dennis (dennis@etinc.com)
Sun, 16 Jun 1996 13:30:37 -0400


>
> Dennis representing ET foolishly wrote:
>> True, but if the kernel isnt stable who cares if the drivers work? The
>> bottom line is that if the kernel is stable then you dont need source,
>
>There were plenty of stable 1.3 kernels. I know because I used them
>extensivly.

This statement says it all. At a kernel a week, I dont consider any of these
kernels to be stable. stable is a time-sensitive term, and there are too
many internal changes on regular basis to consider them stable.

>
>> I was joking, but the point is that your ridiculing of commercial products
>> is keeping vendors from supporting LINUX, which hurts the entire
>
>I think you have this backwards now. Better wake up and smell the coffee :)
>If you want to make more money you will support Linux. Your not doing Linux
>users a favor by supporting them, they are doing you a favor by buying your
>product. You have competition now, and plenty coming.

I lose money on customers like you, who buy a board or two and then want
weekly upgrades and whine about every little thing. Why do you think that most
commercial vendors want nothing to do with LINUX?

>> user population. The statement that LINUX should prohibit the use of
>> binary-only distributions is totally absurd. Equally absurd is the thought
>
>You dont understand the idea behind free software.

Yes i do. My job is to sell boards, and we do that by writing value-added
software and providing support for our core base of customers, who BTW
are not generally running experimental kernels. Most of our customers
would not be happy if we dedicated resources to frivilous ports rather
than focusing on what most people are using.

>
>> that some dude in the Urals can support a product better than the
>> manufacturer.
>>
>
>This depends. If you release *all* the information then its a bit silly to
>think ET programmers are somehow better than the rest of the world.
>But who says you cant have two drivers, the best will normally win out
>anyway. Besides, someone might want to add a protocol you dont want to
>and thus increase the demand for your card - free software is good for
>business - you just have to change your additude.

Its a shitty business. Any commercial vendor who focuses on the free market
with a hardware only product is a loser company. Look at how much SDL has
had to drop their prices in the last year or two to get people to buy their
boards?
The free market is a lot of cheap, poor complainers (obviously not everyone,
but
generally). Its an auxillary market at best..a tiny piece of our business.
80% of our revenues come from large OEMs... selling $500. boards one at a time
is no way to generate profits.
>
>Its your business how you support Linux, but the word is spreading about
>binary only drivers and I can tell you that very soon none of our clients
>will be buying those things. Its ok for other OS's but it just doesnt work
>well for many Linux users. The free software ideal is also very important to
>some people and its spreading.

Perhaps overseas...it you chose to use an inferior product because you have
source
then thats your option. You risk your customer asking why you're not using an
arguably better product if they find out about it. We chose to stay out of
that business.
Most large corporations won't use non-supported products, so thats were we are.
We chose not to have the internet spreading rumors about how bad our
hardware is
because some weeny on the other side of the world has a bug in his driver.
We tried
the source thing (we had an object library that had nothing to do with linux
and was
totally version independent) with LINUX source, and everyone wanted us to
support it
and complained if it required modification to recompile in a new version.
Perhaps you're
a great programmer, but to support 100s of marginal programmers worldwide is a
nightmare.

We have considered releasing a raw driver with an object library for
proprietary code
which would allow you to port to new versions and develop virtually anything
you want.
The preliminary answer was without full source...no interest. So thats where
it stands.

Im always willing to listen.

Dennis
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