[linux-elitists] [doc@ssc.com: [Fwd: Plug 'n' Pray to Plug 'n' Play: What's it Going to Take?]]

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Thu Apr 20 09:12:28 PDT 2006

begin Aaron Burt quotation of Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 10:49:36PM -0700:

> "Where do I go learn to write Linux device drivers and become a Linux
> embedded applications engineer?

FreedomHEC, of course...

Here's a little more of the rationale behind

The PC market is fickle.  Somebody comes along and
makes a competing device a dime cheaper, and the next
million PCs don't have your device in them.

The server market and the embedded market, on the
other hand, put more value on quality and stability.
(Stability, for servers,  also includes "it's in the
main kernel tree, so security-updated kernels will
work".  And for embedded devices, stability includes
"it's in the main kernel tree, so it's likely to work
on non-x86 architectures.")

So, from the PC hardware manufacturer's point of view
today, the HELL with the Free Software home users, the
HELL with "works with Ubuntu" stickers, and the HELL
with the Linux freak's Grandma shopping for a webcam.

Getting a device into the kernel tree gets you
the Linux home users as a side effect, but more
importantly it gets you the engineers building the
next "convergence" device or server appliance (who
might be Linux home users in their spare time, but
the "kernel source as buyers guide" effect is bigger
than that.)  And those customers don't nickel-and-dime
their suppliers quite as much.  Being a good citizen
of the kernel tree gets you one step higher in the
IT company food chain.

Hardware vendors need FreedomHEC so that they can
get longer-term, higher margin customers and not
rely 100% on nasty, brutish, and short deals with
the PC industry.  Free Software home users are not a
lucrative market (they're bargain hunters like other
PC customers) but they're going to get better in-tree
support for hardware as a side effect of vendors
chasing bigger markets.

Don Marti                    

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