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19 November 2010

The biggest hurdle in FOSS/GNU/Linux adaptation

Let me put my voice on the biggest hurdle in FOSS adaptation.
This hurdle is "Proprietary Hardware Drivers"
In India we recently established a "Open Standard Policy".It is the great success of FOSS communities and our leaders.
In the same way we need to have a policy on Hardware selling. This policy must specify that "Anything which Govt is buying must have a Open Specification of their Driver."
         
                    Why this is important ?

Let me explain by an example.
A school from my town has purchased hardware 1 year ago. At the time of purchase they are not knowing about Linux. Now even If they want to move they have to take expert consultancy to install Linux. Because many a time some device refuse to work with GNU/Linux because GNU/Linux do not have proprietary drivers. For example some WebCam do not work directly on GNU/Linux or most of the whiteboards which is a high trend in schools etc.

Dear all FOSS advocates, You need to remember that you can visit a school or college and try for installing GNU/Linux BUT you can't change hardware from a system. We must have a clear policy that says - "every device must have a open specification or driver for all available operating systems".

We seriously need to blacklist proprietary driver and hardware from market and stop their sell.
Proprietary hardware is one from of monopoly which is more dangerous then proprietary software,

Here is the list of dangerous and unethical things

Software Patents         (Most dangerous)
Proprietary Drivers & Hardware
Proprietary Standards
Proprietary Software      (least dangerous in the list)

Why I have given least dangerous to proprietary Software because it is easy to have adaptation of counter part (ie free software ) Ex Firefox and chrome replaced IE. because both work on HTML
But is difficult to have adaptation of a counter part of well adopted proprietary standard Ex doc vs odt
Similarly, It will be very difficult to have GNU/Linux system all over the India because of varying hardware profile and proprietary hardware and drivers.

By- Narendra Sisodiya

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