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Atheros Hardware Abstraction Layer Source Is Released

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-blobs-here dept.

Wireless Networking 117

chrb writes "With the recent discussion here on proprietary blobs in the Linux kernel, it's nice to see that today Sam Leffler has released the source for the Atheros Hardware Abstraction Layer under the ISC license, which is both GPL and BSD compatible. The Atheros chipset is used in many laptops, so this is another important step towards running a completely free distribution."

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anal sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930269)

it won't do anything but make your dick stink.

now show me your taut little asshole and i'll stick in your stinker.

Re:anal sex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930645)

barak obama is that you?

you know he's going to fuck the american tax payer in the ass. i guess that's why all the fags voted for him. the niggers were too dumb to vote any other way.

second post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930277)

A couple weeks ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, Barack Obama -- the messiah himself -- came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was busy and in any case I was sure the secret service wouldn't even let me shake his hand.

As soon as he left I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as his cock -- or at least as I imagined it!

I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a liberal democrat and had been on the Obama train since last year. Of course I'd had fantasies of meeting him, sucking his cock and balls, not to mention sucking his asshole clean, but I never imagined I would have the chance. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of Barack Obama, the chosen one.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking. I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract?

I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled.

I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big half nigger cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was that Barack Obama wasn't there to see my loyalty and wash it down with his piss.

I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. It's even better than listening to an Obama speech!

Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my handkerchief, and stashed them in my briefcase. In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole. Not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone. The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process.

I often think of Barack Obama dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did, bring to a grateful democrat.

YAY (4, Interesting)

iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930281)

I have a Macbook from just over a year ago, and it uses a Atheros wireless card, and it's the biggest pain to get running in Linux. Hopefully, with the Source released, it will be easier in the future to get the wireless working on this model of computer.

Re:YAY (1)

porl (932021) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932479)

i have a similar issue. it usually works on mine (first gen intel macbook pro) and i am in fact using it now, but often it won't connect properly and i get the syslog fill with 'calibration' errors. hopefully this will help with that :)

Re:YAY (1)

ch0ad (1127549) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932707)

i have a samsung nc1 netbook with a "AR242x 802.11abg" wireless chipset. currently i have to compile the drivers for it to get it to work... does this mean in subsequent releases of the kernel that it will just work?

Yippee!! Will KisMAC finally work on MacBooks? (3, Interesting)

wintermute1974 (596184) | more than 5 years ago | (#25936789)

I really hope the programmers behind KisMAC are reading this thread.

We MacBook users are really hoping that we can run injections and other advanced features using our built-in network cards now. Until now, all our packets were trash and we couldn't work out the SSID.

Sad days they have been, but now we have reason to be optimistic!

Fact: *BSD is Dying (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930285)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Interesting (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930303)

This is interesting, as there are three Atheros drivers, all different. Madwifi uses the HAL. Ath5 is in the Linux trunk and doesn't (I think). Ath9 was developed by Atheros and probably uses the HAL but I didn't check. Sam was mostly interested in this because he wanted to work on mesh networking - it's good to see he's still involved.

The argument about BLOBs - binary loadable objects in the kernel - is not new, despite Bruce Byfield's recent report. I guess he just doesn't read the kernel list and other distro internal discussions, where this has been going on for a decade. And FSF did not "redefine" anything, they've always held that opinion.

It would be nice to draw a line at the hardware bus, with all above that Open Source and all below that whatever the hardware manufacturer likes because we don't deal with it. But BLOBs break that, because they are both above and below the bus. If we're going to handle the code, we can't really deny that there's a computer there running closed-source code. And given the degree to which wifi firmware sucks the world would be nicer if it was Free Software. Now, we just have to drive some sense into FCC, etc.

Bruce

Re:Interesting (4, Interesting)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930711)

Actually ath9k is fully open source by Atheros.
http://mobile.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/07/26/2138228 [slashdot.org]
No firmware, no HAL, nothing.

I've bought two of the cards to support Atheros even though the drivers arent 100% just yet.
I also have a older b/g card which works superbly.

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930925)

I have a new Acer Aspire One, with Atheros wireless, and have mostly got it running Debian properly - the biggest bugs I'm seeing may be in Debian Lenny rather than anything about Aspire One. A nice thing about this HAL release is that it makes Sam's virtual WAP software unquestionably Free - even from the BSD perspective. Did you ever want to connect to all of the WAPs you can reach at once, and be two or three different WAPs for others at the same time, all without carrying extra hardware? Sam's code can do that.

Being someone who speaks publicly about Open Source, I want to be seen using 100% Open Source. If you're going to talk the talk, you should walk the walk too.

Re:Interesting (1)

speeDDemon (nw) (643987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930985)

Its good to see someone practising what they preach! Bravo

Re:Interesting (1)

ion.simon.c (1183967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931197)

Did you ever want to connect to all of the WAPs you can reach at once, and be two or three different WAPs for others at the same time, all without carrying extra hardware? Sam's code can do that.

This is something that I never knew was possible.
Thanks for spreading this knowledge!

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

Holistic Missile (976980) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932699)

I have an Aspire One as well. Mine is running FreeBSD, with wireless networking via the ath_hal kernel module.

I had to recompile the kernel using the latest 7.1 source snapshot to get the Atheros card working. The link/activity light doesn't work (no big deal, really!), but the wireless connection 'kill switch' on the front of the case works. I haven't tried running it as a WAP yet, but now I want to give it a try! The ath kernel modules in BSD have supported AP mode for some time now; if it doesn't work that way, I may look into porting Sam's code.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25931979)

I've got an A5007 and the ath9k driver still doesn't work with it and I'm still forced to recompile the "hacked" MadWifi driver-with-special-HAL driver every time I install a new kernel.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931171)

This is interesting, as there are three Atheros drivers, all different. Madwifi uses the HAL. Ath5 is in the Linux trunk and doesn't (I think). Ath9 was developed by Atheros and probably uses the HAL but I didn't check.

I dont quite get the point of this then TBH, i mean it is nice to open source their code, but given that it has pretty much been reverse engineered already, isn't it a bit late!?

Re:Interesting (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931221)

i mean it is nice to open source their code, but given that it has pretty much been reverse engineered already, isn't it a bit late!?

Especially since the kernel developers aren't going to let anything with a HAL into Linus' tree, entirely for architectural reasons. But it makes the best version of the driver at the moment fully free.

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25934085)

Plus kernel devs can evaluate the code and maybe make the in-kernel driver better...

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25931759)

BLOBs - binary loadable objects

Idiot.

Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933587)

BLOBs - binary loadable objects

Idiot.

Instrumentation Digital On-Line Transcriber ? Really, you should have been more creative. How about,

Blathering Retard Uttering Crass Euphemisms -- Probably Expects Responding Erudite Nameless Slashdotters

Now that sounds like a foolish person ;)

(with apologies to B.P.)

Sweet (3, Informative)

bsharp8256 (1372285) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930333)

I didn't see this coming, although I have to say I don't keep up with MadWifi news anymore since they fixed 64-bit support for the AR5007 chipset...

Working sleep mode? (3, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930349)

Does this mean the sleep function will finally work as it should without draining the batteries? I have yet to see a laptop running Linux go into hibernate mode and not bleed off the batteries.

Re:Working sleep mode? (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930397)

If you can prove that it bleeds off the batteries more than Linux, we would like to see numbers, please. Linux isn't in charge once the machine is asleep. It would mean that some device is left in a power-drawing mode. I can't say for sure that Atheros has anything to do with this. Are you confusing it with the other HAL on Linux systems?

Re:Working sleep mode? (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930407)

Oops, I meant to say "more than windows", of course.

Re:Working sleep mode? (4, Informative)

ristretto_dreams (1420209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930517)

ermm, I think the problem here is that the OP is referring to two different things, "sleep" and "hibernate", but unless I am incorrectly remembering my ACPI (which is quite possible), Linux is in fact, if not "in charge once the machine is alseep", at least in charge of correctly putting all various pieces of the system into S3 sleep mode correctly. I know that for a long time my Thinkpad had powerdrain problems in S3 because of incorrectly suspended wifi. For hibernate mode (assuming true write to disk and power off), then of course Linux isn't in charge.

Re:Working sleep mode? (2, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930633)

Yes, I guess the OSPM could leave the wireless interface in a power-draining state.

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930769)

No, open sourcing this means nothing much and I doubt that now it's open source any part of the code will be changed because it's firmware.

Re:Working sleep mode? (3, Insightful)

spazdor (902907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930869)

It means that community developers will be able to write a driver that works as well in any OS as the Windows one, in every way.

It means all those Linux netbooks that were sold with cheap Aths, will soon have completely robust, standards-compliant wireless. And all those sniffing network-trickery programs that the haxors love, will Just Work(tm). And development can proceed with mesh networking on a much wider scope.

Re:Working sleep mode? (-1, Flamebait)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930909)

and ATI graphics cards won't suck and have full 3D...

Just because you open source something doesn't mean it suddenly becomes better.

It's obvious you're not a programmer because only a user would spew this nonsense.

There's only one person who is going to work on this code, that's the guy that open sourced it and works on Atheros firmware.

Re:Working sleep mode? (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931137)

Right now, there is a larger team working on madwifi than just Sam, and the kernel team is working on ath5, so I don't think you're right this time.

There is another reason to expect this to result in a code improvement. The same netbooks that have the Atheros wifi often have Intel 3D as part of the chipset. Intel 3D is known to be horrible on Windows. Part of the problem is that desktop vendors don't want Intel 3D to be good, because they want to sell graphics cards. So, Intel has little incentive to make it better.

Except under X, that is. As far as I can tell, it works great under X. The X team at Intel is either not bothered with marketing hold-back; or because the source is public or satisfies a server market, they can justify a need for quality.

ATI will improve over time, and they will probably drive most of it themselves. Open Source will help them do that.

Bruce

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932439)

Interesting, i wonder if anyone has done any benchmarks with intel graphics comparing linux/windows/osx?

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933337)

The only time i've seen intels integrated chips neglect to tear the screen when things move is under OS X, it does it in Vista, and has done it in X under Linux for as long as i've had the machine.

I think this has more to do with the windowing system or perhaps the drivers integration with that windowing system than the hardware though.

For 3D the 945gms are acceptable in a few games for casual stuff, i've even played GTA san andreas on mine a few times.

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25935405)

Isn't OS X using X? I'd assume it's the same Intel driver.

Tears the screen... you mean the monitor loses horizontal sync?

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

lakeland (218447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25936073)

No, OSX doesn't use X, although X is easily installable.

Re:Working sleep mode? (4, Interesting)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933449)

Hi, I joined X.org after ATI released docs, and helped add support for an entire line of video cards, including the one I'm using right now to type this.

Your defeatism is kinda silly, if you stop and consider how much work we've done in the open source world.

Re:Working sleep mode? (2, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930897)

The Slashdot article was confusing, and I didn't help. Sorry. It's not firmware in this case.

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931153)

WTF! i mean WTF!!! how did this get modded insightful? Any Linux system that is properly configured can hibernate there is no need for any hardware support for hibernate to work, all dodge drivers can just be unloaded reloaded!

Now if you meant suspend to ram, well madwifi has never given my system any problems when suspending to ram but this does (in theory) mean that the developers can delve deeper into the code should there be any.

Re:Working sleep mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25931205)

Well considering it stores memory into a file then turns off when a machine hibernates under Linux (at least under all of my experiences with making Linux hibernate on laptops) then I find it pretty much impossible to do that...
Now sleep on the other hand, yeah.

Re:Working sleep mode? (1)

andyn (689342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931681)

Draining batteries only while in sleep? Luxury! My old Fujitsu L1300 will drain its batteries in a day even when it has been completely shut down. Removing the battery makes it last for weeks.

DVD and Blu-ray (0, Offtopic)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930411)

Cool. Now we need free DVD and Blu-ray decryption. That always made me feel funny when I would try Linux. Totally free OS... but if you want to watch DVDs, you download an illegal DVD decrypter. (I know there are legal ones you can pay for.)

Re:DVD and Blu-ray (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930431)

One was code that a company always had the right to release. The will take repeal of misguided law.

Re:DVD and Blu-ray (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930527)

I doubt this will happen. Even mp3 decoders aren't free yet AFAIK and I'm not sure about DVD in terms of relative age, but Blu-ray is a much newer format, way in its infancy in fact. It was engineered specifically with DRM in mind, something that was never thought much of in the Linux community. And when you consider how much money went into making Blu-ray the dominant format over HD DVD, you'd think that they would try to make a little profit from the codecs now that they've won. Ah, how great it is to be king.

Free OS, free movies (-1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930589)

Totally free OS... but if you want to watch DVDs, you download an illegal DVD decrypter. (I know there are legal ones you can pay for.)

You're on a free operating system, so why are you trying to watch non-free movies when there are plenty of free movies in .ogv (Theora+Vorbis) format [archive.org] ?

Re:Free OS, free movies (2, Insightful)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930829)

Because those movies are shit? Your local library has a better selection of Hollywood titles than the site you reference. Most of these have never been in circulation, and for a very good reason.

Not to mention some of the movies on this site are in formats that are not "free and open" like Linux. AVI, DIVX, MPEG4? Hell, one I looked at was itself a 4 gig ISO file of MPEG2 video. How far must one dig through the site before finding the OGG format videos?

Rederiving our movies to Ogg Theora and more (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932829)

Because those movies are shit?

Linux was shit once, even compared to Windows NT.

Not to mention some of the movies on this site are in formats that are not "free and open" like Linux.

The page I linked contained a link to a page titled Rederiving our movies to Ogg Theora and more [wordpress.com] .

Re:Free OS, free movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930845)

Just because they are open and free doesn't mean they don't suck.

Re:DVD and Blu-ray (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930819)

stop being such a cheap jew and shell out a few dollars.

Re:DVD and Blu-ray (3, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930863)

In the UK this stuff is patent free because there are no software patents in England. It depends very much on where you live.

If Canonical made a UK distribution which included all the patented free software it would also create prior art in case of any changes in UK patent law.

Re:DVD and Blu-ray (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930951)

Patent Free and Copyright Free are not the same.

Re:DVD and Blu-ray (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930969)

duh.. Hence why I said patented free software..

UK does have software patents (2, Insightful)

Cato (8296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931207)

I really wish people would stop repeating this myth that the UK (and Europe) are free of software patents. There many, many software patents here - you just have to write the patent in a certain way that gets around the very weak restrictions. See http://eupat.ffii.org/patents/samples/index.en.html [ffii.org] for sample of these patents with summaries, from an anti-patent group.

Re:UK does have software patents (2, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931955)

I didn't say Europe I said the UK.

because you didn't read it the first time..

In the UK this stuff is patent free because there are no software patents in England.

I can't believe you were modded up. What stupid mods.

Re:UK does have software patents (1)

marsu_k (701360) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933135)

To my knowledge the first _ever_ software patent was granted in the UK. See here [espacenet.com] . Note the last sentence in the abstract - The Specification is confined to a description of the programming method (also disclosed in Specification 1,039,142) which is applicable to any general-purpose digital computer. IANAL, but to me that sounds indeed like patent on the program / algorithm itself. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , "UKIPO regularly grant patents to inventions that are partly or wholly implemented in software". Their enforceability is another matter though.

Re:UK does have software patents (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932307)

And I really really wish people like you would claim they are valid.

Yes software patents has been granted all over EU, however, just because it has been granted, doesn't make it valid, it would be thrown out of court if it ever got to that point since as the GP said, they aren't valid (yet).

Re:UK does have software patents (1)

chris_7d0h (216090) | more than 5 years ago | (#25936241)

You left out one important fact, that enforceability of patents in the EU is up to each member nation to decide on. This little fact you forgot to mention means that software patents are null and void for the majority of the EU states.

The sole exceptions seem to be the 52rd state of the US, commonly referred to as the UK and to a lesser degree Germany.

Still, both German and UK courts are in a great flux regarding the entire software patent issue so the overall state of patents in the EU is that they are more or less a complete waste of money and time for companies to acquire.

For that reason the PP makes a good point. If Canonical made a European version which ignored the legal minefield currently plaguing the US software market and offered it up to EU citizen with a disclaimer that anyone else may download it at their own peril, then hopefully that would start a debate in the ROW (rest of the world) regarding the damage / benefit balance of software and process patents.

Unfortunately, politicians have neither the insight nor the time to ponder about hypothetical / abstract situations which means the most efficient way to get through to those people is to *show* them something concrete. When the ROW-politicians see their citizen illegally using a distro variant more capable than what is permitted in the home country, a distro which is legal in other countries btw., they will start pondering why the state of affairs is as it is and the damage the current situation inflicts on their society and economy.

It will not be an overnight change but it would most likely be another spark in the kindle to get a sober discussion going in nations which have completely capitulated mentally on the issue.

Improved HAL (2, Interesting)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930437)

I noticed this on the dd-wrt.com website a couple of months back (dated 8.28.08) We would like to announce the release of a new HAL for Atheros WLAN devices. The new HAL is the result of a collaboration between OpenWrt.org, DD-WRT and MakSat Technologies (P) Ltd. It is the first result of a common effort, and the present collaborators would like to share the product of this work. It is the intention to provide reliable and continued support for other projects using this new HAL for Atheros WLAN devices. The HAL provides a defined API to access and contol Atheros WLAN chipsets, and is an integral part for many drivers such as MadWifi. Comparing it with the HAL that's currently used by MadWifi, the most important changes are: * many known bugs have been fixed * improved noise immunity measures * added support for additional architectures, such as ARM11, MIPS64 and MIPS32r2 * enhanced support for Atheros WiSOC (Wireless System on Chip) * added support for Atheros AR7100 Home of the new HAL will be the website of the madwifi.org project, http://madwifi.org./ [madwifi.org.] Future development will be coordinated here, and the bug tracking facility can be used to report bugs or file feature requests. For commercial requests please contact hal@maksat.deThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it . So with the new news maybe things will really get rolling

Re:Improved HAL (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933069)

Eh, maybe the formatting got screwed up so it's all crushed, but how is that being a troll? If you combine both the opening by Atheros plus the work the OpenWRT, DD-WRT, and MakSat Technologies on the HAL for Atheros WLAN devices, maybe support plus s extra feature will come about quickly for both dd-wrt and other router firmware, as well as the main linux kernel for laptops, etc. Here's another user that sees the benefits: "I wonder if this could be used to help port OpenWRT over to the atheros chipset. Currently the only routers that OpenWRT (and conversely by that DD-WRT) really work well on are the broadcom chipsets. Many routers that use the Atheros chipset have been written off as impossible to port to. Maybe they could be used if this proves any insight to how they operate."

Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930477)

OpenBSD likes the ISC license [openbsd.org] . deRaadt was a bit unhappy [kerneltrap.org] with the old arrangement.

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (-1, Flamebait)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930647)

Very Drool. Unfortunately you got it backwards. They had the opensource version first, since they reverse engineered it. The madwifi fuckers asked for a year for it to be re-licensed under GPL, and it was refused. So, the madwifi fuckers stole the code (any time you take someone else's code, and put your own license around it, and list yourself as the author, that's stealing).

OpenBSD does not need this code, since they already had a working copy.

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (1)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930725)

So Reyk had the code before Leffler?

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (-1, Flamebait)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933037)

Why else would the madwifi fuckers want to relicense reyk's code, and then steal it after a year?

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (0, Troll)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25935407)

To all the stupid mods, the truth hurts, doesn't it?

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (1)

PenGun (794213) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930765)

One O two Ls and you don't have to wear it ... eh'.

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931125)

1. If you remove someone else's name and add your own, that's plagiarism, not theft.
2. If you remove someone else's license, and the license doesn't give you permission to do that, that's copyright infringement, not theft.
3. If you add a new license and list yourself as an author, and the old license didn't give you permission to do that, that's copyright infringement, not theft.
4. If you don't enforce your copyright, that's nothing. Copyright gives you the right to sue, if you punt, that's your choice, stop moaning.

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (2, Informative)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933047)

Very good. You can go take the bar exam. Meanwhile, in the real world, English is my fourth language. I'm a simple man using simple words.

So, just to double check with you - do you support or do you not support what the madwifi fuckers did with Reyk's code - specifically the reverse engineered bits?

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933871)

If English is your fourth language then I'm sure you won't mind being corrected from time to time. Using the word theft here to describe intellectual property is kind of a hot-button issue; there may not be a distinction to the common man, but there is a legal distinction which people take very seriously here. I'm not defending anyone here for coming down on you like that, but a poor choice of words here is likely to draw that kind of response.

Since Mr. Reyk hasn't filed suit, it's totally academic what the 'madwifi fuckers' did or did not do. If you have an axe to grind, take it up with them.

If, alternately, you have a thoughtful and reasoned criticism (and preferably some strong evidence for your allegations), please share it.

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (2, Interesting)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25934107)

Since Mr. Reyk hasn't filed suit, it's totally academic what the 'madwifi fuckers' did or did not do.

For someone who make such strong claims on being intellectually correct, this is an interesting position to take. So, in your world, as long as no suit is filed, any action taken is just "totally academic"?

If you have an axe to grind, take it up with them.

I don't really have an axe to grind. It's just two people in the madwifi group that did that "totally academic" but unethical thing. And have not apologized for it.

If, alternately, you have a thoughtful and reasoned criticism (and preferably some strong evidence for your allegations), please share it.

Umm... you did not manage to follow the original link that I had originally responded to? Would you like a signed and sealed piece of paper? Go read the link again - note that Theo was talking about the OpenHAL code. http://kerneltrap.org/mailarchive/openbsd-misc/2007/9/13/259448/thread [kerneltrap.org]

If you want to look for evidence, you can find it yourself. OpenBSD's CVS is open. I'm sure madwifi's repository is available too. Look at code check in dates. Make up your own mind. *big hint* OpenBSD's OpenHAL is dated a year earlier, according to 3rd party reports. Please do not let this *big hint* color your perception or conclusion. KTHXHAND

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25936505)

I support your right to be a cunt.

Re:Well, this should brighten up Theo's day... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25936573)

They made something new from something old. I, personally, don't give a shit about the legal issues, or the ego issues.

OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (4, Interesting)

tecker (793737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930479)

I wonder if this could be used to help port OpenWRT over to the atheros chipset. Currently the only routers that OpenWRT (and conversely by that DD-WRT) really work well on are the broadcom chipsets. Many routers that use the Atheros chipset have been written off as impossible to port to. Maybe they could be used if this proves any insight to how they operate.

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930689)

Now that's just not right. OpenWrt works well with Atheros chips...

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931481)

Tell that to my wrt54g v7 then sir. It has been gathering dust ever since the day I purchased it thinking it'd work with 3rd party firmware.

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930737)

Thats odd because all the Atheros chips are very open, and I think this is was the last bit that was closed.
I dont think there is anything left that is closed.

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (3, Informative)

belial (674) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931041)

When is the last time you've looked at this? The Nanostations [metrix.net] , which are atheros based can run OpenWRT, DDWrt, etc. The big thing I see here is that with OSS HAL, maybe adhoc support on atheros will get better. Meraki, FON, and the ACCTON (openmesh.com) routers are all atheros too.

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (3, Informative)

camh (32881) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931151)

Atheros-based access points do work with OpenWRT. It works better than Broadcom-based devices. I replaced a Broadcom-based device with an Atheros-based one so it would work better, and run with the Linux 2.6 kernel. Only very recently has OpenWRT been able to run a 2.6 kernel with Broadcom-based wifi because the open drivers are getting up to scratch, and even then some things still dont work as well as Atheros wifi.
The Atheros wifi on OpenWRT uses the madwifi driver, so this opening up of the HAL will still benefit OpenWRT in allowing even more sophisticated use of wifi.

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25931163)

On the flip side of that coin, why is it that Broadcom chipsets work great on OpenWRT and DD-WRT (both of which are Linux based), yet Broadcom drivers for an average Linux distro are shit?

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (1)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931169)

Not really. My Fonera 2100 uses Atheros chipsets and DD-WRT works really well on it. It even supports Super-G mode on the Atheros chip.

Re:OpenWRT and DD-WRT porting boosted by this? (1)

klapaucjusz (1167407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25934127)

I wonder if this could be used to help port OpenWRT over to the atheros chipset. Currently the only routers that OpenWRT (and conversely by that DD-WRT) really work well on are the broadcom chipsets.

Just the opposite. Broadcom-based routers work, but they use a binary driver and hence they are stuck with a 2.4 kernel. Which makes them unusable for those of us trying e.g. to build IPv6 firewalls.

The Atheros-based routers, on the other hand, are rock solid under 2.6.25. I'm running 10 of those in an experimental mesh network [jussieu.fr] .

QA (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930635)

What if it is not just about running a completely free distro, but also about running a completely functional one? The WiFi hardware in my notebook fails to work for a mysterious reason and a certain transparency of hardware internals would not hurt when trying to make it work.

Re:QA (2, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930741)

Erm...What wifi chip are you using?

The good thing about manufacturers opening their drivers is you get a completely free distro and its fully functional.

Who is Sam Leffler? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25930739)

From the article apparaently he had "an agreement with Atheros" to "access to information about their devices". Does that mean he developed the HAL with little help from the company? (And apparaently he'll have no more access since the agreement is "concluded".)

It is nice to have an open source driver released, but it is NOT nice that an individual have to go jump through hoops and write it himself to make it happen.

Re:Who is Sam Leffler? (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930813)

It is nice to have an open source driver released, but it is NOT nice that an individual have to go jump through hoops and write it himself to make it happen.

That's how a lot of them happen. What's worse is when an individual, or team of individuals, work for years to make some proprietary code unnecessary, all of the time knowing that only when they are done will the manufacturer of the proprietary code place it in Open Source.

Re:Who is Sam Leffler? (4, Funny)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933405)

Unless you're on the Samba team ;)

Good news; but blob related? (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930749)

I was under the impression that the atheros HAL is not a binary blob in the sense the summary refers to, but a program executed on the host CPU [madwifi-project.org] . That makes this even better news than if it were a blob. It is debatable whether or not a system that needs to load a bunch of blobs onto its peripherals at startup is free or not(personally, I'm inclined to say it is, as long as the mechanisms for loading the firmware and interacting with the peripheral are open and the firmware is freely redistributable); but a system with a big binary lump running in kernel space definitely isn't.

It is very encouraging to see progress towards removing one of the most common causes of tainted kernels(probably second only to video card drivers); but it isn't really related to the blob question.

Re:Good news; but blob related? (3, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25930791)

It was not firmware for downloading into the embedded processor of the wifi device. That came up because of the Bruce Byfield article recently covered here. There are BLOBs that execute on the main CPU, like nVidia's. I'm not sure if this HAL was ever one of those.

Why are there blobs? (1)

xant (99438) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931005)

Can someone please explain to me what the advantage (presumably to the hw manufacturer) there is by having binary loadable code on the computer? Why not just store it on the hardware? Is the h/w somehow cheaper to manufacture because this is done? I really don't see how that could be.. the things have flash memory already.

Re:Why are there blobs? (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931071)

If you make the customer load up the bits, you don't have to do it in the factory.

If the manufacturers could figure out a way to make the software build the card at install time and still manage to milk the customer of money, they'd do it.

Re:Why are there blobs? (2, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931411)

RAM must be cheaper than ROM. Easier to upgrade the firmware, too.

Re:Why are there blobs? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932633)

You are confusing blobs with firmware. Firmware is software run by the hardware's processor. It used to be stored in ROM, but ROM is expensive, and if the host has a lot of RAM (which any computer does in comparison to a WiFi card) it's cheaper to just give some of the RAM to the device and let it use that instead. This also has the advantage that it's easier to fix bugs in the firmware - just download a new version, rather than replacing the chip (some old cards had the ROM in a socket for doing this, but it was quite rare for anyone to actually do it).

This is not firmware, however, it is a blob. The kernel module originally just took commands from a userspace driver and passed them over the bus, much like the DRI modules. Unlike the DRI driver, the HAL was binary-only. It was originally claimed that this was required by the FCC, since with the source code anyone could modify the driver to push the card out of regulatory compliance. It was a far from satisfactory solution, however, since it meant that no one could fix the blob, and it was limited to x86-only.

Re:Why are there blobs? (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25933175)

There is also the advantage of having less wireless card warranty replacements due to failed firmware upgrades. I imagine this is a source of frustration for both consumer and manufacturer. Kudos to Atheros for doing this ... may I point out that Ralink Technology has been doing this for a number of years now? I have found the Atheros and Ralink chipsets to be equally of good quality. Finally, it's time for Intel to follow suit. They have no competitive edge by keeping their binary blobs. Their stuff must be standards compliant to interoperate with other wireless hardware thereby negating anything really proprietary.

ICS? (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931075)

What's the ICS license [wikipedia.org] ? I think someone may have got their acronyms mixed up... of course, that person may be me.

If anyone at Atheros is reading this (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931499)

I just wanted to say thanks for creating and supporting such a great product. I've been buying and recommending Atheros based wifi cards for years (for both Windows and Linux applications) specifically because of your fantastic support of open systems. They are rock solid and fast.

Kudos!

Re:If anyone at Atheros is reading this (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25934099)

And please don't let any money grubbing developer who only cares about money do any more "open source" work for you in the future! Sam stood up at Usenix and told the OpenBSD guys to stop their efforts to reverse-engineer HAL or else there would be no open source support at all. Now they've succeeded and not only is there open source support for Atheros, there's more support for it because now Sam's forced to open source HAL in order to keep the money stream coming in from a formerly proprietary monopoly situation. Sam shouldn't be allowed work on open source software, for any organization.

Nice, but can this be built and dropped in? (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 5 years ago | (#25931877)

As for existing installs, can it be used as a drop-in replacement for an existing blob hal?

This should have come a lot earlier, not when it is marked legacy.

Open HALs and a bit of history (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25932135)

Sam deserves a huge round of applause for all the work he has put in to wireless drivers and support. The long standing criticism of his work, that it was released as a BLOB, was Atheros' choice, not his. Sam stopped direct involvement in Linux drivers a while back, but continued to release BLOBs for many platforms. His release of the HAL source was accompanied by the announcement that his HAL was no longer the reference. Thanks a Whole Lot, Sam, you sure took a lot of grief that wasn't rightfully yours.

In the last couple of years,the Madwifi team undertook the initiative to negotiate opening the HAL source. Not long after the Madwifi team took up the task, a rework of the old BSD RE effort was used as a legal jimmy and Atheros agreed to accept that work without legal assault, This became the Ath5k driver. Atheros then did something remarkable, and embraced opening the source to several of it's chip lines. They have hired staff, released the 5112 HAL. Madwifi could no longer be written off as a closed source driver, but no one has made an official release of madwifi with the released HAL, so the label remains valid. Recently Atheros has tweaked their NDA rules to permit the HAL certified folks to work on the open drivers, so progress is apace.

The entire wireless community owes Sam and the old madwifi hands, like Mike Renzmann a world of thanks, and the new HAL coders like Nick Kossifidis and Felix Fietkau all the help one can.

Not only free as in speech, but hassle free (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25932791)

As a user I found open source to be a lot more hassle free than closed source. Usually it open source is supported better and longer. I can download everything from Debian mirrors. When I used Nvidia I always had to do some additional steps.

Just say thank you! (1)

psychosmyth (1222402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25935215)

If your are like me and you don't want to buy another card because you are broke and you like to distro hop, then this is a great thing! I do get tired of re-installing M/A and the like just to try it out.

It seems (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | more than 5 years ago | (#25935959)

Is this really a good idea? It seems that Atheros is just dumping this source out onto the web saying "Fix it, we don't want to spend any more of our time on this"
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