Driver on demand

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Firefox and the NYT campaign

Ok.. I found this while browsing online, other ppl might too...

Its the first time that anyone in the open source world has tried anything like this.. Basically, Firefox/mozilla is running an ad in the new york times in the middle liftout soon, and it will be the first time in history, when anyone in the open source community has ever tried to do such a thing. It is also the first chance we have ever had to blow IE off the face of the planet in a very rapid move, and it will always be remembered. In 5 years, people will still be referring back to this.

Its very cheap to do ($10 for students), and businesses will never have a better chance to boost their moral then this one..

They have already surpassed the minimum pledge for donations they were needing to pay for it, which means that it will definately happen (in fact, since 7000 people have signed up in 3 days, it will probably get to the point that it will be spread out over the week).

Believe me, even if your not in US, i think it would be great to do (might be nice if astalavista joined up too), because it may potentially be that your name could end up on many sites, etc too.

Firefox is the first chance in history we have to be able to run all of our applications entirely off a web browser, and there is no doubt in my mind that after this campaign, along with the release of there will be a massive increase in firefox users and IE will be dumped in the dirt finally.

You can get more information and sign up here:
(you can use paypal, cheque, or CC)

And no, I dont get any money from it or anything.. I just really think its one of those awesome opportunities. that especially since it has had 7000 ppl sign up within 3 days (3X more then expected overall), it will always be memorable. Mozilla is not for profit, so no company will benefit from the donations, only the open source community will as a whole..

and yes.. I am excited about it.. It means I will no longer have to put up with pages which detect the IE user agent and try to tell me that firefox cant use it.. It will also finally put the last stake in activex and put it into extinction, as well as allow SVG (the nice scalable graphics MAC OS X uses) to finally be used predominantly finally, without IE holding it back..


Btw, Driver on demand is being paused until after exams, which will last the next 2 weeks. I am looking for coders to start coding version 2 with me..

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Using DKMS for delivery

Hey All,

I have decided to take the initiative of switching to a better delivery system for the next revision of Driver On Demand.

DKMS is a driver management system designed by Dell released under the GPL, that not only supports both binary and source packages, but can also patch the source for specific versions of the kernel.

Directly from Dells site: DKMS stands for Dynamic Kernel Module Support. It is designed to create a framework where kernel dependent module source can reside so that it is very easy to rebuild modules as you upgrade kernels. This will allow Linux vendors to provide driver drops without having to wait for new kernel releases while also taking out the guesswork for customers attempting to recompile modules for new kernels.

Another major benefit is that upgrading drivers is significantly safer, because you can easily switch between versions, use RPM based packages, rollback drivers, and uninstall them easily.. Basically, everything we wouldn't have had before.

What I am really seeking now is other companies opinions of DKMS.. It is GPL so i believe it to be a great choice, however, I'd like to know if anyone has any problems with it..

The use of DKMS will also dramatically reduce the complexity of the driver definition files, and prevent the need for reinventing the wheel. It also prevents the creation of a new unneccessary standard. One problem in the past with linux has been that there have been many different packaging systems. My hope is that DKMS, and the use of XML based driver definitions will be extendible enough to last years into the future.

Thank you for all your support.

Monday, September 13, 2004

New Logo and possible consortium needed

Hey all,

Finally, I have the new logo online, designed by Andreas Nilsson, as you can see on the side menu. Hopefully this symbol will remain one in the future that represents Linux device drivers.

One thing that I have discussed about is that there are two different types of driver management systems... Ones which utilize an existing package manager, and one which utilizes its own package management system. The issues have always been that ones that don't hook into existing package managers can't easily tell which packages need installing well (there are ways of allowing them though), and the problem with using the existing ones is that many repositories will be needed, which will scare away driver developers

Jono Bacon (the brainstorm behind the article posted) agrees with me that distro developers need to step forward, representing a large amount of distro's and need to collaborate to develop a common standard this time. People would lose faith in a system if there are 600 different standards for it, so this time we need to do it right the first time (possibly use a portage like system?).

One issue with trying to make packages work on every distro has been that some distro's don't follow the Filesystem Hierarchy standard (ie. some put /etc in /config etc). My idea was to develop a bunch of standard environment variables covering all the standard locations, which make scripts would use etc.

Phase 1 of such a process would be to at least allow compile time compliance with the system, and phase 2 might be to allow full runtime compliance (would be nice to have it so that users could even move /config to wherever they dream, but that's not going to happen).

Someone on freedesktop mentioned that such a standard is already being designed

It seems though that it is only for home directories, not the entire filesystem, so I am thinking of quickly spending my weekend designing one for the entire filesystem


This was an unexpected surprise.. Front page of Slashdot.

Guess I should be thanking Jono Bacon for his excellent, and sorely needed article, as well as prostoalex and timothy for posting it.

it also appeared in OSnews the other day too

Seems there were some good ideas coming from people, and I rarely saw a bad post too, so maybe I should start working harder on it again. I have actually been thinking of using a portage like system, as the current 8 gig DVD's can accommodate compilation tools and the necessary packages to compile drivers during the install process. Anyway, I guess I'll do some more research on the new architecture required.