Qualcomm Snapdragon open-source efforts prove frustrating

Jul 2, 2010
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Qualcomm has found itself unwittingly annoying the open-source community by posting the source code for OpenGL ES 2D/3D Linux kernel driver for its Snapdragon chipset, as found in the Nexus One, Dell Streak and many other devices.  However, while the kernel driver is open-source, Qualcomm's user-space driver remains closed; that prompted David Airlie, who maintains the DRM for the Linux kernel at Red Hat, to tell Qualcomm - and anyone else considering doing the same half-hearted thing - "If you aren't going to create an open userspace driver (either MIT or LGPL) then don't waste time submitting a kernel driver to me."

Airlie's first argument is that by mixing open- and closed-code Qualcomm are producing a situation whereby the licensing issues aren't clear; plus, there's little way of knowing what the GPU is doing, exactly, if developers don't have access to the full code.  Instead, developers are calling for Qualcomm to either open-source everything, or to produce a second, open-source version of their user-space driver which will live alongside their closed version.

[via Slashdot]


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