Peripherals:: (n)[Computer Science] ::
 **”Any input, output or storage device connected externally or internally to the computer's CPU, such as a monitor, keyboard, printer, disk, tape, graphics tablet, scanner, joy stick, paddle or mouse.”
Why create drivers for peripherals ?
             The GNU/Linux desktop is tied with the peripherals. All hardware vendors and Value Added Resellers bundle the operating system, the hardware and the peripherals. A large number of the peripherals that are currently available in the Indian market are not compatible with Linux. Or, in other words, the drivers that enable these devices to be fully functional are not available.  The end user is used to having peripherals just work out of the box on proprietary operating systems. On large scale deployments, especially at the educational institutes or government backed projects, the operating system does not contain the drivers for a large number of legacy devices.
How difficult is that ?
         Let's just say that it poses some challenges. The primary challenge is creating an awareness about the need to enable devices. A lot of end users feel the pinch, but it requires some forum to collect and collate all of the grievances. There is a significant lack of proactive participation from hardware vendors. In the cases where the vendors are participating, they release binary only drivers (often under GPL non compliant licenses) for operating system versions which have attained "End of Life" in terms of support. hardware and the peripherals.
The information that can help the developers are lot include:
o List of devices classified by device type which are known to be Not Good
o List of devices classified by device type which are known to work with Binary Only drivers from vendors
o List of devices classified by device type which work with limited functionality
o List of devices classified by device type which Just Work
Where does it hurt?
Not having a large selection of peripherals to choose from for various classes of peripherals (printers, scanners etc) prevents Linux from making headway into deployments for schools, government funded FOSS projects and home user segment. It also means that the relatively newer peripheral is not enabled on Linux and thus end users are deprived of an opportunity to use them with their choice of Linux operating system.
OSS Device Drivers is a project all about device drivers for peripherals developed and released under the GPL or GPL compatible licenses.
It is also about building a active community around development, documentation, enabling devices and testing.
The project is also a forum for encouraging vendors to participate in development efforts.