Instead of the old boring "here's what drivers are being merged and deleted" and the like as I've posted in the past, I thought I'd just write about one specific project that has recently gone public that I think is a great indicator of how far the Linux Driver Project has come these days.

From the very beginning, Novell has been extremely supportive of the Linux Driver Project, allowing me to work on it on company time, and has encouraged companies they partner with to participate in it, to get Linux drivers into the main kernel tree. One such company recently has been Ralink.

Two weeks ago I visited Ralink in person for the second time, in Taiwan. The outcome of this meeting, and the previous ones, can be seen this past week on the rt2x00-users mailing list in these four posts, as well as a number of previous posts from Ralink developers.

As you can see in these posts, Ralink is sending patches for the upstream rt2x00 driver for their new chipsets, and not just dumping a huge, stand-alone tarball driver on the community, as they have done in the past. This shows a huge willingness to learn how to deal with the kernel community, and they should be strongly encouraged and praised for this major change in attitude.

I'd like to thank the developers and managers at Ralink for making this very public change, and for commiting the resources to see this through to have full Linux support for their chipsets in the main kernel tree.

By no means is this something that I can claim full, if even partial credit for. There were numerous people at Ralink, Novell, and HP that helped in getting these meetings to happen, and the work done. I'm just happy to be a tiny part of this.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank the Novell Taipei developer team who helped me on my visits, and whom have turned into wonderful kernel developers on their own accord, contributing many upstream patches, as well as becoming the maintainers for a few different drivers in the kernel tree. Without their help, none of this would have been possible.

posted Wed, 09 Feb 2011 in [/linux]


My Linux Stuff