Xorg 1.5 missed the train?

Callum Lerwick seg at haxxed.com
Wed May 21 01:22:55 UTC 2008

On Tue, May 20, 2008 at 6:47 PM, Rahul Sundaram <sundaram at fedoraproject.org>

> Yes. Once users start depending on proprietary drivers, they have already
> lost the game. I am reminded of this discussion from Linus.
> http://lwn.net/1999/0211/a/lt-binary.html
> "Basically, I want people to know that when they use binary-only modules,
> it's THEIR problem.  I want people to know that in their bones, and I want
> it shouted out from the rooftops.  I want people to wake up in a cold sweat
> every once in a while if they use binary-only modules."

Can that go on the front page? ;)

This strikes right at the heart of exactly why I think open source is the
superior development process. With all source available, we have total
freedom to refactor and redesign our APIs, and drop legacy cruft. We can
keep our code cleaner and move forward faster than any closed vendor can
even dream of attaining. Just look at Windows. How many crufty, old and
broken APIs is Vista still carrying around in it? I don't even want to know.
Hey look a handy quote from the "Windows API" WIkipedia page:

 "Raymond Chen <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Chen>, a Microsoft
developer who works on the Windows API, has said: "I could probably write
for months solely about bad things apps do and what we had to do to get them
to work again (often in spite of themselves). Which is why I get
particularly furious when people accuse Microsoft of maliciously breaking
applications during OS upgrades. If any application failed to run on Windows
95, I took it as a personal failure.""

This is the trade off we have chosen. We give up long term API and ABI
stability to achieve cleaner, better, more maintainable code. We can do this
because we can fix application code ourselves if their own developers refuse
to. Microsoft does not have that option. And of course this means we
constantly get accused by various asshats who simply Don't Get It that we're
"actively breaking things" and "sabotaging everyone" and "refusing to
cooperate". It is closed vendors like Nvidia who are refusing to cooperate
in our open process. Seriously, go back to Windows. You do not belong here.
Yes I'm talking to you, Les. GTFO
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