[mythtv-users] DVB-S2 PCI-express cards
linux at thehobsons.co.uk
Fri Sep 30 15:18:05 UTC 2011
>But I thought they would release the source code for the frontend blob,
>but this has yet to happen.
And is very unlikely to happen.
It's a standard problem that somewhere up the line someone won't
release information in an open manner - typically it will be some
level of hardware manufacturer. The normal situation is that to get
the info you need to write good drivers (or even any drivers) you
have to agree to non-disclosure restrictions. In other words, the (I
believe in this case, chip) manufacturer will tell you the
information but you aren't allowed to tell anyone else.
Thus it's not possible for TBS to release open drivers - hence the
binary blobs. Or rather, they could - but then they'd get sued by the
chip manufacturer, and well screw themselves by not being given
access to such information in the future.
I have mixed views on this.
The idealist in me says this is a bad thing - the chip manufacturer
shouldn't keep such information private, and the card vendor should
make their drivers open.
The pragmatist in me says that it's better to have such binary
drivers (provided it's done in a sensible way) than have no drivers
I've less sympathy for the chip manufacturers since you can be fairly
certain their competitors will get the programming information one
way or another. But for TBS, there is also the issue that they don't
want to do all the work in making an open driver - only for another
manufacturer to come along, stick the same chips on a card, and
profit from selling cards which use the open drivers but without the
overheads (costs) of having written the drivers.
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