I have a feeling, from the things I’ve read recently, that this is happening a lot. On the one hand, there’s a lot going on for Linux, and the support is the best it ever was, the usability, software, everything looks great. Of course, everything is also a lot more dependent on the corporate work and contributions.
On the other hand, the drivers are getting this closed-source/open-wrapper approach increasingly. Or no support at all, like the image processor thing from the article.
I guess it is better then nothing. At least we HAVE nVidia drivers. I think following some sort of hardware abstraction layer strategy makes sense - the kernel and systems developers can base their work against that, and the hardware manufacturers can keep some proprietary blob on the other side of that border.
I wonder what will it all go to.
I’ve been watching this train wreck approaching from the vantage point of cell phones — specifically open source Android ROMs. Trying to support camera modules is usually one of the biggest blockers to getting a ROM going, and quite frequently the way that is done is by wrapping some binary blob driver. The same issue increasingly applies to other hardware modules too, but cameras are an egregious offender in this space in the same way WiFi cards used to be in laptops.