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Re: why NetBSD include binary/blob driver or firmware by default?

[still speaking for myself]


On Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Cem Kayali 
<> wrote:
> While searching about this issue, i noticed that NetBSD, too, includes
> drivers and firmwares without source code, most or all has suffix _uu in src
> tee.
This is the case for the Atheros HAL. Device firmware are mostly
contained in `src/sys/dev/microcode' in header files.

> Could you please advise me, why NetBSD should include those drivers in src
> source code or in default installation and why not make an OS with 100%
> visible codes?
As a side note to what has already been said, having the source of a
driver/firmware is completely useless if you don't have associated
hardware documentation. I would be tempted to say that a lot of
company are hypocrite and release source to have a good reputation in
the Free Software community. Maybe sometime they hire a developer who
will be restricted though NDA. However they doesn't release publicly
(ie. without NDA) any documentation for their chip making bug
correction in their code pretty impossible. The first company which
comes to my mind is re*ltek, but I guess they don't release hardware
spec only because their chip are crap.

 - Arnaud

ps: let me add that source without documentation might be acceptable
(but really really borderline) when it just works, otherwise, it's a
real PITA.

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