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Old 07-30-06, 09:55 AM   #27
acreal
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 24
Default Re: Opinions on driver license

Been gone a few days...

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The fact is that with an open source driver there would be more sort of "balanced system performance" (how should i call it??), whereas an closed source driver would deliver more fps (at the expense of other things).
This is a rather bold generalization IMHO, and hardly a fact. About your example, i'm not sure i get your point. Either there is a software problem or a balancing problem. If there is sound to be played, it will take some time, and may possibly takes away time from another task (in this case 3d rendering). If you gain 5fps by disabling sound in a game, well that's up to you. If it gains you 50fps this is just a sign that you should upgrade your hardware. In any case, balancing must comes first, the other way round doesn't make any sense. These are both "realtime" operations, so there shouldn't be any choosing between the two.

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i am talking about nvidias implementation, which has at least some part of the opengl core inside the kernel.
From NVidia's README Appendix C Installed Components:
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- An OpenGL library (/usr/lib/libGL.so.x.y.z); this library provides the API entry points for all OpenGL and GLX function calls. It is linked to at run-time by OpenGL applications.

- An OpenGL core library (/usr/lib/libGLcore.so.x.y.z); this library is implicitly used by libGL and by libglx. It contains the core accelerated 3D functionality. You should not explicitly load it in your X config file -- that is taken care of by libglx.

[...]

- A kernel module [...]; this kernel module provides low-level access to your NVIDIA hardware for all of the above components. It is generally loaded into the kernel when the X server is started, and is used by the X driver and OpenGL. [...]
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If there would be an open source, free, driver for nvidia cards supporting 3D, but only at 50% of the speed the current binary driver offers, I would take the open source choice immediately, without hesitation.
Thank you!

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Sometimes I wish all this whining about free drivers would stop. When you want your free driver, write it. Or setup your own video card manufacturing company that makes boards and gives free drivers with them.
The only reason you consider this whining is because you are happy with the drivers NVidia provides (and to make it sounds childish). I agree this debate is rather subtle sometimes and it isn't always clear as to why closed source drivers are a problem in the perspective of end users, but you could try to understand why so many people are against it before labeling this as "whining". You see what's better for your FPS, others see what's better for interoperability and stability in time.

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I think instead of whining about free drivers, we better ask for more features (in-line with the features available in Windows). That is more constructive.
It is more constructive if your goal is to get the features available on Windows. Another constructive approach is to integrate software into a platform in a non-obtrusive way, thus allowing the software environment to evolve as a whole.

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I think closed source drivers are totally ok, if: [...]
Yes, that is from a user perspective. "I am happy with my drivers/hardware and the providing company as long as they support my hardware in time and offer decent performances". Actually, i recently setup a 64bit machine for my dad and was happy to find out that NVidia had 64bit drivers too (in addition to what i knew already, ie the quality of the drivers), so it met my needs perfectly, and i was happy (left aside problems related to upgrades).

Unfortunately, most problems involved by binary-only drivers are invisible to the end user, let alone non developers. This is why the number one reaction on this issue really is "WHO CARES?!?! SERIOUSLY!!". And this is pretty normal, most people don't care about computers, and there is strictly no point in trying to get a casual user understanding these topics. IMO, this is one of the reason it is so hard to make people understand what's better for software interoperability and evolution/innovation (in a FOSS environment) on the long term. This also relates to things such as software patents, where developers tries to ensures the best environment is available for them to be able to create software in good conditions but have a hard time alerting their user base because of the relative subtlety of the issue. In a word, this is all boring stuff, people "don't care".

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Rumors are that AMD may open them up.
That would be way cool! Any references ? It sure could have some impact on the pre-installed FOS OS market.
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