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Re: [laptop-discuss] Solaris 10 BCM4306 , no WPA?

Subject: Re: [laptop-discuss] Solaris 10 BCM4306 , no WPA?
From: James Cornell
Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2008 02:54:48 -0500
Won't happen, Sun has tried.  Broadcom requires a minimum set of units to match up with drivers used per user on the destination system.  Since Sun cannot fully meter OpenSolaris downloads, as it is freely able to be distributed over alternate methods not in Sun's control, there's not a reliable way of showing the facts.  If something like Linux (as people would generalize) had to itself chose the reverse engineering path, it's obvious that even with Novell, IBM and other big companies, that Broadcom would not negotiate. While some camps don't like the idea of NVIDIA, most users would rather have their accelerated NVIDIA drivers then deal with the pain and limitations of the bundled driver.  Despite kernel licensing grey area on Linux, companies are still able to get away with it, yet the likes of Broadcom even during the times when it was easier to not piss off kernel mainline developers never made anything happen.  They won't even release a HAL which can be driven by a wrapper like Atheros is.  They gimp their chipsets to comply with FCC so they have nothing in software to hide, and yet nothing.

They speak in terms of volume, in directly equatable revenue, and generally speaking will not even discuss the possibility of a closed under NDA driver unless the capacity has been measured in terms of 1 million units and a lot of cash.

They will not port with direct cash offers, they just want tigher control over OEM's.

I know this sound like what I've said, boycott them, but the fact is we must go the same route as the linux driver did, we must reverse engineer it, otherwise we even less of a chance than any other system of ever bringing support for these devices.  We cannot share code with Linux if anyone out there says "we can just peek" so we need someone who has done this before to head the team to make this a possibility.  Sadly this is not me, and I do not support broadcom, nor do I have any systems here to test the hardware.  Same could be said for a lot of Sun employees I'm sure.  The ones who have broadcom are probably not driver developers, since driver developers are a breed which makes saner decisions when buying hardware.  Coupled with the obscurity of some of these bundled chipsets, it's gonna be hard to support more than a basic set of commodity ones.  (Mini-PCI, PCI or USB)

James
On Jun 8, 2008, at 10:47 PM, Gustavo Reyes wrote:

SUN would have to press for a binary for Solaris and OpenSolaris.
To press for a specifications release under NDA.
Sun can do it.

GHReyes


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