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Old 11-19-04, 02:57 AM   #29
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Arizona
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Default Re: Fedora Core 3 and nVidia drivers - Solution

Originally Posted by Cadu
And how can Linux kernel developers do a OS that runs ( and runs very well ) in almost ALL machines and architectures? It's so easy: Open ALL the code and let the users free. Free to use, free to hack the code, free to make a good driver that works in almost ALL machines and architectures, like the linux kernel.

I agree with you... Microsoft can't do that, nVidia can't do that and ATI can't do that, BECAUSE their systems aren't free software, and their systems' source-code aren't open.

"'Free software' is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of 'free' as in 'free speech', not as in 'free beer.'"
Well, even Linux doesn't work on all systems, but it would definitely be better if the nVidia drivers were open source. For example, some people have trouble with the nVidia drivers hanging at random while the open source driver works fine. I don't think that yelling at nVidia and telling them they don't understand Linux will help any. Instead, people should be working towards making things better.

nVidia basically states that they can't provide specs on their cards for open source drivers due to third party licenses that they are required to keep secret. That's understandable. If a third party won't agree to releasing the info, nVidia would have to remove that from their cards to make it open. Given the money invested in making the chips, I don't see that happening. But maybe things could be made a little easier on the driver writers.

My suggestion is to open source everything that can be opened, and make generic libraries for the few things that can't. The libraries would be designed to encapsulate only those functions that can't be disclosed publicly. Sort of a lower level version of what they do right now. Instead of a core that does everything with some open code that ties it to the kernel, you have a few libraries and a lot more open code. Without the libraries, the open source code acts like the "nv" driver. If it finds the libraries, you get accelerated 3D and other stuff.

In the meantime, I would encourage nVidia to keep improving the current drivers so that even more people can use them. We'll never get 100% of systems working, but the more the better. Encourage better drivers, don't rag on about how bad the developers are. That just instills bad feelings which aren't conducive to solving anyone's problems.
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