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Date:      Thu, 21 Jul 2011 14:18:37 -0400
From:      Colin Albert <>
Subject:   Re: 2020: Will BSD and Linux be relevant anymore?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <20110721170233.GE69370@guilt.hydra>
References:  <> <> <> <> <> <20110721141534.GC59455@guilt.hydra> <> <20110721170233.GE69370@guilt.hydra>

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On 07/21/2011 01:02 PM, Chad Perrin wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 12:21:47PM -0400, Daniel Feenberg wrote:
>> Doesn't the NDIS specification offer a reasonably stable ABI for wireless
>> drivers?
>> I have often thought that supporting NDIS would offer manufacturers a sort
>> of "halfway house" to ease them into proper support for FreeBSD and Linux.
>> While it is inferior to open source drivers, it would attract users, and
>> with users manufacturers would feel pressure to have better support, which
>> would best be achieved with open-source drivers.
> I agree that would probably be a productive approach to improving
> wireless support over time.  I do not know the technical challenges
> associated with getting that working in FreeBSD, though, or how well it
> would actually work in practice.
I have used the NDIS wrapper in FreeBSD and Linux few times for a couple 
of different systems. Generally for things I could not choose the 
hardware for for whatever reason.  It does the job for the most part.  I 
think in one particular case  i got the impression that the driver had 
to remain closed due to some FCC restriction on the radio being used.   
With the exception of video(Intel), what other areas of hardware are 
lacking support in FreeBSD? And would the same approach make sense for 

I specifically excepted Intel video because this is an area that is 
currently under development and it requires significant changes to the 
kernel.  From what I understand Intel wrote the open source GEM kernel 
module for Linux under an MIT type license.

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