Message from discussion Driver HOWTO ?
Subject: Re: Driver HOWTO ?
Date: 8 Nov 2005 10:58:03 -0800
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Armin Steinhoff wrote:
> AFAIS ... it should be very easy to port our QNX4 based
> fieldbus drivers to Minix 3 :)
My enthusiasm for Minix 3 derives from my own QNX 4 (POSIX microkernel)
experience several years ago. Minix 3 will need to catch on and
develop a user community beyond the classroom to approach QNX in
utility, but if it does, it could become a really compelling
Please note that I have no dispute with QNX. They make a very fine
operating system and I enjoyed using it. I just want an open source
alternative so I can master the internals (the technical appeal), and
avoid licensing fees (the commercial appeal).
> Is this driver of yours comercially developed? And if so,
> will the Minix version be under a OSI-approved license?
Since Minix 3 is released under a BSD style license, there is no
requirement that Armin's driver be released under an OSI approved
license. This is the chief non-technical appeal of Minix 3.
If someone develops generally useful code that runs under Minix 3, they
should contribute that back to the community since they benefit from
the generous contributions of others. But if their value add targets a
very narrow market where their source would only be of value to their
direct commercial competitors, they should be free to hold that source
Viral licensing such as the GPL is often a problem for commercial
developers in niche markets who would otherwise like to develop for
Linux. It is great that Minix 3 went with a BSD style license to avoid
The ability to hold source closed where warranted should encourage
Minix 3 adoption, so users who select this path should be respected.
They contribute in a useful, albeit less direct, manner.