It's not just to "screw over" the b43 people, but Broadcom is one of those companies that takes some time to work well with open source. If you go back a few years a similar scenario happened with the tg3 driver and their closed driver. It's now open and when bugs pop up every so often Broadcom does pop in and help out.
Yes and no. For some people functionality is more important than a fully open driver. Take a look at how many people use the closed source nvidia drivers.Also, is there any reason why we should want to use Broadcom's drivers instead of those of the b43 project? After all, b43 is pretty close to supporting every chipset with the basic features, and I think that advanced stuff is supposed to be on the way. I'd think that until Broadcom releases the full source of its drivers, b43 would be preferable.
- This driver is legally sound. Extracting firmware from a driver hosted on a website that doesn't actually have the rights to redistribute the driver is quite a gray area.
- Also, this driver supports a handful of adapters that aren't yet in b43.
It also has some better performance than the b43 drivers from what i've seen. Once you get it up and running, you'll see that scans are very snappy and it can do large transfers without losses in speed.
- This driver doesn't need the internet to install. Once it's properly in the archive and not proposed, and shows up on some CDs, you will be able to do installs without needing to grab firmware from somewhere
- It's hard to go on a company's word that they will open a driver up and play nice, especially Broadcom. Using their closed driver doesn't help the situation.
- Using this driver may slow the efforts of the reverse engineering on the b43 driver with less eyes on it. You can look at the flip side still that this driver can help the reverse engineering since you can actually look at it's operations on a Linux system too.
The current plan is to keep this driver in the archive, but to still offer B43. So when you get the restricted drivers popup, you will have both options and be able to choose and swtich between the two with a reboot.I understand why we should at least test Broadcom's drivers to see how well they work, but is there anything you can say about projected future plans, at least on Ubuntu?
No as indicated above, they will both be offered. Dell and Canonical are both driving efforts to ensure that Broadcom is opening their drivers. With the quantity of Ubuntu systems being shipped outside the US to places like China, Dell does have the ability to speak with the dollar and will be doing so.Are we going to abandon b43 in favor of Broadcom's driver, and if so are we going to make sure that Broadcom makes the drivers free?
Hopefully some luck with the 4306When I get a chance I'll see about using Broadcom's driver on my bcm4306 chip and let you know if it works (I know they don't say anything about supporting 4306).