Don Marti

Thu 27 Apr 2006 05:28:25 PM PDT

Toward user and hardware maker happiness

Doc Searls writes, "So, by the time the show started, Greg, Don and others already had convinced me that the Linux kernel had in fact gone beyond parity with Windows and Apple's OS X operating systems in the device driving department."

That's true from the point of view of what Linux offers. But whether or not the hardware customer actually gets the smooth experience he or she deserves depends on whether or not the hardware supplier is plugged into the Linux process.

Some hardware manufacturers still make things unnecessarily hard for themselves by trying to put all the unnecessary overhead of a proprietary driver on top of their Linux support. It doesn't have to be that hard.

So, that's why we're doing FreedomHEC. Free of charge, Seattle, Washington, USA, May 26-27.

Now, you don't have to travel to a Linux conference to get Greg K-H and other experts to answer your Linux support questions, and now you have a chance to make a face-to-face connection with the human being on the other end of the kernel API you're using. Just stay over an extra couple days after WinHEC. Linux users will thank you, and if you need to convince Management to send you, remember that a lot of those Linux desktop users are developers involved in high-volume server and embedded projects, and the fact is, they use the kernel source as a buyer's guide.

Look, you're going to get expensive analysts telling you that Linux is going to have to do the same "where's my driver disk" shuffle as the proprietary OSs, in order to be as easy to use as they are. But all the Linux people I know are aiming to blow past the proprietary OSs in usability, and that means that a device that requires a driver has to be as easy to connect as one of those little LED laptop lights that just uses the USB port for power. So catch the wave, and get in the tree. Questions? Please mail me or sign up on the FreedomHEC Wiki.