Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gowator

POLL - Linux compatible?? (read 1st) good or bad?? (edit)

Is it good for linux they work or Bad ??  

  1. 1. Is it good for linux they work or Bad ??

    • If it works it works - who cares -its GOOD
      4
    • Well, it could be better but so what -apathy
      2
    • Its BAD overall for Linux-support the ones who support linux
      3


Recommended Posts

This poll concerns those devices that just work under linux becuase they emulate or apply a common standard.

 

This is SPECIFICALLY NOT about manufactuerers writing linux drivers ... Its about those manufactuerers who make something which actually works in Linux but can't be bothered to SAY. In other words it says compatible with WinSh$t 98,XP .... on the box but they can't 'afford' the extra space to write Linux.

 

If thats confusing Ill give examples....

A Radio/Mouse or Keyb that uses a PS2 or USB standard interface. You plug it in and it just works becuase the radio stuff is hardware.

 

A digital camera that uses USB Mass storage... again you just plug it in and it works.

 

Now the question really is whether this is GOOD or BAD for Linux that it works... by accident... as it were. Do we just fund the companies who don't care or should we target the companies who do say and vote with our wallet's

(I don't pretend to know the answer, thats why Im asking)

 

On the plus side, they followed some standards (probably because they were too lame to design anything)

It works and it gives us more choice

 

On the negative side....

They couldn't be bothered to write linux compatible or even works in place of <any usb mose/keyb> <100% USB mass storage compatible> on the box or literature.

This means another manufacturer who did write it looses a sale. Even more harmful, some of these other manufactuerers ... actually have other products that need drivers and they actually write them for linux and they are missing a sale. IMHO; we the linux users need to help these companies continue the cost of developing linux drivers or sticking to standards and advertising the fact.

As well as this we are left buying and then experimenting to see if it works or not.

 

The question then is will it make any difference, should we pay say 10$ more ??

(Presuming the manufacturer actually recycles some revenue and pays staff who are working on other products that do need drivers to write the linux ones and/or work with the open source community)

 

You could say that eventually the manufactuerers will realise that linux people are using it because its so generic and hence buying any generic product will lead manufactuers into following standards like USB mass storage instead of developing proprierty ones that only come with linux drivers.....

 

[/b]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

your choices really don't give much in the way of...well...choices. both of them are apathetic :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't actualy vote because it seems unclear axaclty what you are after. Obviouly, harware compatability because standards were followed is always a good thing, without exception. And, manufacturers not listing the fact that their devices are linux compatible is OBVIOUSLY bad, so I'm notrealy sure where the question lies. Also, why on earth would we pay $10 more?? THat makes no sense. The cost of printing a box would not change by adding the line, 'linux compatible'

 

Maybe you could aska straight question??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My sister's USB MP3 player can be auto-detected under KDE on Mandrake Linux, and the salesman has no clue whatsoever about Linux support - nor anything on the retail boxes/manual has shown.

 

I think at least for most USB devices the manufacturer should have some information regarding running them on Linux; it's almost no big cost whatsoever to do a few testing as USB is a standard interface. As for support, I believe it is still troublesome to some extent - again say, in my sister's experience, the USB MP3 player would disappear somehow when she runs Konqueror file browser in root user (Konquerorsu) mode. How to support this kind of weird situation ? (btw, a reboot without using Konquerorsu fix that).

 

A mention on the box of Linux compatible should be nothing but good, but to offer official (Linux) support is still a big problem; unofficial online documentation/help would be a good start but anything further than that might just be a nightmare for the customer support services as Linux can be as diverse and complicated as nobody knows "what? You can do that this way" kind of discovery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The last poll option got clipped....

BUT I was trying to be non manufactuerer specific...

So ill give examples:

Example 1

Lets say I buy a radio keyb/mouse.

I have lots of choice from generic to quality.

 

Quality includes say Logitech/Creative/ :oops: Microsoft :oops:

Generic economy is trust/dextra etc.

 

Now out of that list I know Creative has made some opensource drivers available, albeit for another product.

I guess the will all probably work with the exception of maybe a M$ bluetooth keyb.

 

The creative one is probably more expensive though and some of the extra functions might not actually work under linux anyway....

 

HOW do I get the message I bought creative becuase they released drivers opensource for another product....

 

 

Example 2

Lets say Im buying a NIC but my specific one isn't supported directly by the manufacturer BUT by the chipset. (But Im pretty confident it will work)

BUT this manufacturer ALSO makes other devices which are explicitly supported under linux. It actively develops drivers for some products and makes others generic (like a router with a http configuration)

 

Almost all these 'quality' manufacturers are a bit more expensive than the true generic rip-off clones.

 

Lots of others spring to mind....

How about NVIDIA..... should a buy an NFORCE mobo above another because of the work they did on linux drivers ??? Will it really make any difference....Under this I might get 90% working optimally but maybe the UDMA isn't 100% supported under linux as well as XP...

 

Combine this with the fact the nforce is an AMD chipset and Opteron is linux friendly....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not as simple as that. I've heard too many stories of "Distribution X didn't detect all my (insert hardware) but distribution Y did." or "Distribution Z was able to use hardware B after I did this and this." And the difference is not just between distributions but different versions of the same distribution. In order for a vendor to put "supports Linux" on their box they're going to have to test it first. There are only a few different versions of Windows, if we take into account the different versions of each distribution as well as different distributions, how many different versions of Linux distros are there?

 

Also the manufacturer will not only have to test for compatability, it will also have to train its call centre staff because if you say your stuff supports Linux you're going to have to support it. Of course the problem now is that each version of each Linux distro does things in different ways (and puts files in different places too).

 

Basically the question is, when you say "supports Linux" what do you mean by "Linux". Do you mean Red Hat? Debian? Mandrake? Gentoo? Red Flag? Linux From Stratch? Slackware? SUSE? Turbolinux? And which *versions* of these as well? I imagine this is reason ISPs and banks often don't "officially" support Linux as well (as my bank says, we support IE and Netscape 4 on Windows. You use anything else, we won't stop you but don't bother to ring for help). It is in situations like this that the fragmentary and diverse nature of Linux distributions hurt it. To a company looking to test its hardware and write support scripts, each different version of each different distro requires a separate test and that means more *money*. You can't test something on Red Hat 8.0 and also be sure that it will work on say SUSE 7.0 let alone Slackware 9.0 or Debian. Likewise any support scripts you write for Red Hat 8.0 will probably need to be changed for the other distros.

 

OTOH when you say "supports Win98SE" it's pretty obvious what that you mean it supports Windows 98 SE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if they support linux they can do it by kernel. just because a distro doesn't automatically detect and get it working doesn't mean it won't work in that distro. it's more on a basis of kernel, if it's even that. usually if it works in linux, it will work with any recent kernels. it doesn't need to be by distribution. just because there isn't an RPM for your distro, or a package of whatever type, doesn't mean it won't work. source exists for a reason :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me see if I am getting it right.

 

Are you trying to suggest Linux driver support would (or should) become a manufacturer advantage? Or customers' advantage? So that we should support such vendors/manufacturers with open source drivers than others without?

 

Well, it is again an egg and chicken problem I believe. As customers and end users Linux support is always a plus because it gives more choice; but to hardware manufacturers being able to support Linux does not guarantee a competent product (network adapter would be one of the few exceptions since Linux/UNIX was designed for running in a network environment, unable to work under Linux is really unacceptable for such devices).

 

As for manufacturer opting for standardization around USB (and any standard will come later) or opting for better driver support on its own, I don't see it makes a big difference just yet (except my SB Live! with MIDI support in ALSA :) ). However, where multimedia applications, such as color adjustment of scanning images/films, better integration of drivers with software will be a big plus. Because they almost worked hand in hand - in other words, a scanner should come with its own software or modules on top of open source software (GIMP/Xsane) to make it perform at its best.

 

But as things stand, Linux was not considered a strong multimedia platform just yet (except for most highend 3d software which is running fine on Linux: Maya, Softimage and Houdini); the apps are not there - or are there but only very few notices (ask anyone who knows about Scribus?).

 

As a result, I believe while Linux compatibility/support is important to ME, and I will only purchase Linux compatible hardware (since I run Linux only); this is not equivalent to support all Linux-friendly vendor in general - because, in the end, the functions, features and performance of the product must be considered. Now that Linux is catching momentum, I think to send a message "where Linux support will get more customers" is still important, but not as vital as it was several years ago. Because, I do think, without Linux support, vendors will find themselves down under. Whether it is thru generic interface or special (open source) driver to support Linux should become the norm in a few years, if not sooner.

 

NOTE: Some USB MP3 players do mention Linux 2.4 kernel compatible, so I guess a Kernel version specificaton could work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Browser support thing is relvant too.

Its like for your bank....I might choose not to bank with you becuase you only 'support' customers with Windows.

 

It isn't a question of 'support' like helpdesk its a quesiton of supporting common standards.

You might decide to implement a M$ only protocol of force me to sign up to passport in order to access my account. To me this is demonstrated by your 'public statement' saying you only want customers who use Windows. This exposes me to a risk that you might be given a 'incentive' by Microsoft to actively prevent non IE customers. The same as an ISP might do the same thing....

 

Its the same with any site that says 'IE compatible'... as far as Im concerned thats an oxymoron. If it said W3C compatible that would be positive.... if it says IE compatible then thats a joke and shows a real lack of understanding of 'compatible'.

 

The point on 'support' is pretty good but many manufacturers have got round this...

NVIDIA/MATROX etc. both provide forums etc and some dedidcated staff. They don't promise it will work but they make an effort. :D

 

The distro point is also pretty much the same... if it works under RH it will probably work under SUSE/MDK with little change and almost definately will work with a bit of hacking.

 

All in all its a question of their will to make it work....

They could write:

"Works under linux as a USB mass storage device. Functionality may vary by distro. - no official support under linux"

(Or compatible with kernel 2.4+)

This is the route taken by Adaptec etc....http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/common/in...ource=solutions

 

This is commonly done with Windows products too.

 

Also this is covered by software vendors...

Oracle and UnitedLinux have formed a strategic partnership that includes technology engagement to enhance the functionality of the Linux platform as well as technical support engagement to enhance the customer experience. Together with UnitedLinux, Oracle is committed to providing seamless support for Oracle customers to diagnose and fix Linux OS issues and provide them with the critical fixes they need in a timely manner. With this collaboration, customers worldwide can safely deploy Unbreakable Linux in their mission critical environments.

 

AND

Posted at the same time

Are you trying to suggest Linux driver support would (or should) become a manufacturer advantage? Or customers' advantage? So that we should support such vendors/manufacturers with open source drivers than others without?

 

I think thats what I mean.... If Im vague its cos im not sure....

In other words should we as a consumer favour the manufacturers who have actually made an effort with Linux over those who have not or have actively disregarded the market????

 

In other words should we choose a device that works becuase of common standards from a manufacturer BECAUSE they actually support Linux overall. Will the message get through that they are getting more customers for generic product A becuase of the work they did making an opensource driver for generic product B.

 

I think this might give them more reason to carry on supporting linux overall as they see their products being purchased BUT how to make them realise .....

Say product B turns out (for completely other circumstances) to not be a big hit. Perhaps their MP3 player lacked sound quality or some other manufacturer made a 'cooler' product the WinBlows masses bought.

 

But in the meantime the same companies generic product A is being snapped up, we might not have wanted the MP3 player BUT we are pleased they supported it in Linux and we'll buy another of their products anyway....

 

My theory is a lot of companies have a few forward thinkers who are pushing linux... they probably face an uphill battle to get the company to divert any resources to it and the evicence coming back is they are not selling specifically to linux users ....

 

Like the bank etc.... I can even spoof the IE id string etc. BUT they don't know about it and don't see the customers they don't get.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JaseP

I take the approach that if it works, it works. They should probably put in on the box, but so what.

 

Linux developers should strive to support all open standard hardware interfaces. For example, there is little reason that a product should be supported in MAC OS X and not in Linux PC. They are too close to one another. If the drivers for a device are open source in OS X, then they should be ported by Linux people to x86 architecture for Linux. BSD and Linux are too close to not do this.

 

I recently picked up a SanDisk SD/MMC card reader. It works flawlessly in Linux (it's the single slot kind). Maybe that should be on the box. But the design of these devices isn't a top-grade industry secret either. So there should be an effort for the SuSE's, RedHats, and Mandrakes of the world to make sure these things work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Im not aware of any distro having written drivers...

But your view is just as valid as any other...

I haven't even voted becuase I don't know where I stand.

Perhaps they should but I don't know of any....at least non-free ones.

MAC and BSD writes drivers as do Lindows and Lycroris but I don't know of any others.

 

I agree on the MAC OS-X.... if it works for BSD/Darwin chances are it will be ported pretty quick...

 

The real question is do the manufactuerers who implement specific Linux drivers deserve our support and further HOW would they know??

 

Another question is the standards issue.

Like the SD-MMC card reader. Some of these work as USB mass storage and some don't. Some are slightly modified just enough NOT to work, Like anna's Camera.

 

Some of these claim to be various standards compatible BUT only work in Windows because of a little twist they added. Basically they borrowed the standard and then corrupted it and then provided a Windows only way of using it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The real question is do the manufactuerers who implement specific Linux drivers deserve our support and further HOW would they know??

 

How do they know? That's what their marketing staff meetings are about:

 

Dave: Tell me, Bob, why is Product A such a big seller for us and Product B, which is very similar to ours, is not a big seller for our competitors? What are we doing right?

Bob: Well, I did some research and discovered that Linux is becoming a driving force in the desktop community, so I just put "Compatible with Linux" on our CD ROM box and BOOM, sales went up 15%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JaseP

Steve's right.

 

But it also comes up to us to give them feedback. We need to start telling manufacturers that we chose their product because we knew it was compatible with Linux. And then we need to ask them to say so on their packaging so others know as well. Plus we need to ask them to add Linux to the operating systems found on the product registration card.

 

This is especially true with printers. Lexmark has started (or did they always?) putting Linux compatibility on their boxes for certain printers. It's what motivated me to buy the one I did (that and the $35 price tag). Other hardware vendors don't do it. It doesn't cost them any more to do it really. All they need to do is reposition the ink on the box (it's usually the same price to do an entire retail box, it's not like a classifieds ad). Additionally, all they need to do is in the manual under Linux compatibility is add; "See your distribution's documentation on how to set up this product to work with your specific distribution of Linux." In other words, pass the buck to the distro's support team rather than try to support Linux with the trained rats they use on the telephone support line.

 

As for distros writing drivers. You're right in that most distro teams don't have people working on this stuff. But they do write the code for auto-detection routines and setup routines which are crucial to most people setting up hardware to work in Linux.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve....

What I meant is HOW would they know we bought their second product because we were impressed they wrote a linux driver for the first.

 

Like you go and BUY their keyboard becuase you were pleased that they wrote the Soundblaster driver....

 

Or you buy an adaptec NIC or USB becuase they put AHA29xx support into the kernel back in 2.2.

 

Its hardly obvious but for instance when I bought my MOBO I did so becuase the NVIDIA graphics driver has been well supported, heck I even changed from my Matrox MGA400 (and did I love that card).

 

But I bought the whole chipset. The USB/NIC/sound which isn't quite at the level of the graphics driver (I had to recompile my kernel) BUT Is pretty good. My logic was that they have shown a commitment to Linux and the graphics driver just gets better and better so I expect them to do the same with the nforce chipset.

 

But, my MOBO is from Shuttle and they buy in the nforce.

How do they know that THEY got a sale becuase their chipset happended to be a company I thought contributed to Linux ????

 

But back to this thread.....

Am I the only one who gives a bit more weighting to a device that will work anyway, just becuause the same manufacturer has actively supported LINUX???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But back to this thread.....

Am I the only one who gives a bit more weighting to a device that will work anyway, just becuause the same manufacturer has actively supported LINUX???

 

No, not only you. I will only purchase Linux compatible hardware; and the folks at Hollywood seems to agree with both of us:

 

http://www.technewsworld.com/perl/story/31707.html

 

But there is a pre-requisite though that the hardware itself does not suck - and nVidia display card has very good OpenGL performance on Linux/Windows; until ATi has improved its Linux driver better, I am and will still be with nVidia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...