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From: Jean Tourrilhes <jt@bo...> - 2001-04-30 17:46:49
Brian Capouch wrote :
> > Our tech support people are already getting complaints from people who
> > are installing Rh7.1, and we are instructing them to do the same,
> > since Cisco does not support the driver currently supplied with the kernel.
> > Jim
> I hate to seem whiny here, but just why doesn't Cisco support the
> "official" kernel driver for the card they manufacture?
> I use both drivers, depending on the circumstances. I have found
> Elmer's driver easier to get going, and its wealth of information about
> the card's state has made it the driver of choice if I have to figure
> out why something isn't working properly.
> It is hard for me to understand why Cisco would basically turn their
> backs on the driver that every Linux user is going to see coming out of
> the hole, and I must confess it is another way in which Cisco doesn't
> seem very consumer-friendly with respect to their products.
I think you are quite unfair to Cisco.
First, you can't expect Cisco to support something they didn't
write and that they didn't quality control. Cisco already provide one
solution that is Open Source and that they fully support, that is much
more than most manufacturers do.
How many manufacturers support a Linux driver ? Not many. How
many support two different Linux drivers ? None.
So, your gripe is that Cisco is supporting the "wrong"
driver. And I think this accusation is unfair as well.
First of all, Cisco is not supporting a totally new driver,
but a derivation Ben's driver. That's already nice. There has been two
Aironet driver much before Cisco joined the party, so don't blame them
Up to very recently, the official Pcmcia support was in the
Pcmcia package, and the driver included there is Ben's driver. The
initial aironet4500 was available only in 2.4 and using a Pcmcia
enabler, not the full Pcmcia modules, so quite tricky to get working.
The end result is that far more people are using Ben's driver
than Elmer's driver. Check this mailing list and the Pcmcia forums,
questions about airo.c beat question about aironet4500.c 10 to 1.
Then, Ben's driver support Cisco tools. This helps their
support people tremendously. I guess that if you call Cisco for help
with Ben's driver (not their own), they will be able to fix the
Now, with kernel 2.4 on the horizon, the tables are turning,
or maybe. The Pcmcia suppport in the kernel is finally working (I
still have reports of bridges unsupported), so aironet4500 is nowadays
easy to set up and work on most configurations.
On the other hand, Ben and Javier are also ready to dump
airo.c is kernel 2.4. I'm sending them an e-mail frequently to check
the status of this, and they are getting close. For now, just disable
Pcmcia in the kernel and recompile the Pcmcia package. So, if you want
Cisco to support Aironet in 2.4, give a hand to Ben.
So, it mean that in 2.4 you will have the choice between two
Aironet drivers. And of course only one of them will be supported, but
the other will be available for hackers like you.
Now comming back to "official". There is no such thing as
"official" in the Linux community. Who is more "official" for Pcmcia,
Linus or David Hinds ? The value of a driver is only in its features
and number of users. Think about it...