Re: How to Install GPIB driver NI-488.2 on Ubuntu 8.04
I would just like to respond to your comment: "They support a couple Linux distributions and only specific versions of those distributions. And they have to do it that way because the open source nature of Linux means that each distribution can be different and that things change often."
Don't you find it obvious that the problem here is NI, not the open source community? If NI would just open-source their drivers and code, this would not be an issue. And there's no reason not to do it. the value-add proposition from National Instruments is in the equipment and in the LabView package... not some stupid drivers. So for those of us who are just trying to use the equipment for a few small drivers, and don't need a massive package like LabView... this is important.
Unfortunately, my view right now is that National Instruments simply doesn't care about people trying to use their code, or their equipment. And frankly, that's a shame. Because one little guy who starts up a small project (in my case, for a big company) can turn into huge orders if successful.... and if not successful, due to difficulties with using NI code or tools... then nothing. No money for NI, and no turning a small project into a big one.
Basically, until this is resolved, my view is that NI just doesn't care.
I'll stand by my statement. Even if National Instruments made all of their software and drivers open source they would be insane to "officially support" every Linux distribution that ever existed. Instead they would do what they currently do and test their software on a few popular Linux distributions to ensure that everything works before claiming it is officially supported. Now since you would have the source code you could always fix things yourself or pay a third party to provide whatever support you need.
Personally I wouldn't buy any National Instruments hardware unless there was an open source driver to support it. Mostly because that is the only way I know I will always be able to use that hardware on new Linux versions in the future. That may still mean that I have to fix the drivers myself or potentially pay a developer to do it for me.
The thing is that there are open source drivers for some National Instruments hardware. So really the question is why aren't you using them? That's not just a rhetorical question, I'm really curious why.