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Old 09-15-09, 02:21 PM   #49
uOpt
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

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I may have misunderstood, but I believe the very aim of those guys (radeonhd driver prorammers AND nouveau driver programmers) is to invalidate that very claim. I understand that you want something different though (and arrogant or not, yes a lot of people probably agree with you).
The driver the most likely to get where you want seems radeonhd.
So as with all open source project that doesn't go in the direction that suits you, your solutions should be clear: join the project and influence them, or fork and create your own.
This is all true.

The question remains, instead of going the path of incredible pain that the radeonhd developers go, wouldn't it be possible for NVidia to open up a little bit and feed more stuff into the OpenSource "nv" driver? Just enough to do light 3D such as in google earth, dualhead, video accel.

You would assume that most of the confidential information they need to protect is somewhere in the high-performance bits and now in the shaders, no?

BTW, as much as I admire the radeonhd developers, I think that newer Xorg versions su...ffer from definciences and that some Xorg developers are very unpleasant to work with. Also, I am a light 3D user, why would I go on crusade to make 3D drivers?
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Old 09-16-09, 06:46 AM   #50
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

I don't think you should be surprised that people don't like nvidia driver and bitch about it, because if you paid lots of money for a hardware (especially laptop, where you can't change the graphic card) and it doesn't work correctly due to some bugs know for _months_, just because nvidia devs are focused on writing stuff for new hardware, to boost sales instead of fixing long lasting issues, you would be annoyed yourself. On top of that closed-sourced model doesn't allow any other capable developer to fix it either. That leaves users disappointed and angry (what echoes all around this forums).

Also nVidia drivers are always lagging behind linux technologies (KMS, randr) which doesn't make it better.

Most users who use graphic card for "light 3D"(composite desktop, some basic opengl) will choose Intel graphic card over nVidia without hesitation, because it just works and problems are fixed in no time.

Don't take me wrong - I really really appreciate all hard work nvidia devs put into drivers. I just don't like political decisions on top which harm users and slow down nvidia's linux adoption.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:53 AM   #51
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

I would buy actual graphics cards with the Intel chips if they would let me.

Fact is, however, they they don't only limit availability of their graphics chips to on-mainboard graphics, they also fail to offer this with any of the better chipsets. Namely, there is no way to get Intel onboard graphics in any board that does ECC memory.
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Old 09-16-09, 12:19 PM   #52
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

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Most users who use graphic card for "light 3D"(composite desktop, some basic opengl) will choose Intel graphic card over nVidia without hesitation, because it just works and problems are fixed in no time.
You are definitely from a different reality. Intel open source drivers are also very immature and incomplete. They are just more suitable and optimized for basic 2D stuff and comosite window managers.
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Old 09-17-09, 10:13 AM   #53
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

Just tossing my two bits worth in.

Not long coming from the Windows world (only made the full transition earlier this year) - yes, the nVidia drivers work nicely there. But the reality is, most PCs in the world today run Windows. Not a small most - a BIIIIIG most. Try and buy a laptop without Windows pre-installed; there are the odd few, but not many. Go to any computer shop, or department store or the like, and see how many PCs are running Linux. I don't actually recall seeing a single one to date. If it aint Windows, it's blank and its your problem and its your responsibility. To my mind, where would you be spending the most in your development dollars? Not by a small most, but by a BIIIIIG most.

I agree, the nVidia drivers for Linux need work. But I tell you what - I think the developers are doing just great. How many dollars do you think they have to work with, compared to the Windows developers? I am taking a guess - not very much. But after my experience with an ATI card on one of my machines, when that machine dies the new machine will have an nVidia card.

Linux has, over the last few years, matured to the point that an inveterate Windows user like me can finally say goodbye to Windows - almost. My scanner is totally unsupported - need Windows. My printer is a Canon - for some of my work, I need to switch to Windows to achieve the print-job that I want, but otherwise the open-source drivers work fine. The GIMP is great, but for some of my photo work, I get the best effect from the Canon photo-editing software, which means Windows. A position I hold as a volunteer - I need to get reports from the system via a browser; guess what, reports can only be accessed via Internet Explorer - need Windows.

As Linux becomes more of a mainstream environment, I think we will start to see a shift in dollars toward development of Linux drivers - not just nVidia, but across the board. And maybe our open-source drivers will also have matured to the point that they will give the proprietary drivers a run for their money - because they too have a long way to go. It will be an interesting future. Go, my fellow converts - spread the word.

With greetings

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Old 09-17-09, 05:19 PM   #54
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

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I agree, the nVidia drivers for Linux need work. But I tell you what - I think the developers are doing just great. How many dollars do you think they have to work with, compared to the Windows developers? I am taking a guess - not very much.
I have only seen mutual agreement among the people on this forum that the individuals providing the drivers and the support here are doing a good to great job.

The point is that there is increasing pressure from an increased number of graphics APIs (including non-3D such as video and assorted bitmapping goo), an increasing number of cards with increasing number of individually controlled units and "gizmos" on the card, features such as SLI that need attention, the need to provide both 64 and 32 bit drivers (including 32 bit userland on 64 bit platforms which causes me big trouble on 18x.x), newish 3D applications that behave noticeably different from the old "mainly-games" application mix (namely Google Earth and 3D desktops) and more that escapes me right now.

NVidia has not reacted to this increased demand by increasing the resources for Linux driver development. And although I don't follow it closely a similar situation applies to the Windows driver people which were too understaffed to do a good job on DX10 while at the same time keeping all the old stuff maintained and updated for new cards, APIs etc.

The call here is to NVidia to invest into appropriate resources to bring the drivers back to a quality level that they had before all hell broke loose.

And in the case of the Linux drivers there is a cheaper alternative, which is documentation release or code release. Or a hybrid licensing where the OpenSource "nv" driver is updated to support non-performance 3D applications and typical desktop use (dualhead etc.).
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Old 09-28-09, 03:56 PM   #55
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

Here is a very good article on communication from software projects, why it is important, and how to do it well:

continuous communication

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Different projects within the KDE and Qt worlds and their leadership have different viewpoints on how external communication could or should work. By and large, we do pretty well in our extended community in this regard. However, there has been an increasing number of lost opportunities as well as unfortunate incidents related to the way communication is being handled by some projects in our community. I certainly do not have all the answers and there is no "One True Approach", but in general I am a believer in continuous communication beyond one's borders.

I'll try and describe in this blog entry what "continuous communication" means, its benefits and its challenges from my point of view. I'll try and be thorough, so if some of the time spent in definition is a bit tedious, I apologize in advance. I hope you find something of use for your own projects and that you can also add to the following ideas so that everyone, including myself, can benefit from new ideas and personal growth.
It is written somewhat from the perspective of FOSS software development, but it applies more generally and I think it can give some insight into what people expect. As I have said before, I think the big failing of the Nvidia Linux developers is not so much that they are doing a bad job with the drivers, it is that they are doing a bad job (or, rather, no job at all) at communicating with users. Nobody has any clue what is being done, when it will be done, or even if it will be done.
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Old 09-29-09, 01:01 AM   #56
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

This has been said numerous times, but I'll go ahead and say it again because it's just true:
The number of Windows users exceed the number of Linux users by a very large margin, thus, it's no surprise a company invests much more resources into making the Windows drivers flawless rather than the Linux drivers.

Besides, while this may be surprising, Linux graphics driver development is much harder than Windows. Constant changes in APIs, different kernel and X server versions, poor third-party software that makes it hard to interact, etc etc... It's impossible to reproduce every testing environment, while in Windows you don't have to worry about all that. It's just Windows.

Just face it: You never gonna get the level of support the Windows users have. You might as well not bash the devs and try to make your bug reports better so they can track and fix the problem faster.
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Old 09-29-09, 03:16 PM   #57
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

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This has been said numerous times, but I'll go ahead and say it again because it's just true:
The number of Windows users exceed the number of Linux users by a very large margin, thus, it's no surprise a company invests much more resources into making the Windows drivers flawless rather than the Linux drivers.

Besides, while this may be surprising, Linux graphics driver development is much harder than Windows. Constant changes in APIs, different kernel and X server versions, poor third-party software that makes it hard to interact, etc etc... It's impossible to reproduce every testing environment, while in Windows you don't have to worry about all that. It's just Windows.

Just face it: You never gonna get the level of support the Windows users have. You might as well not bash the devs and try to make your bug reports better so they can track and fix the problem faster.
But the Windows drivers certainly dropped in quality, too.

When I said the Linux drivers got too much pressure from too many new APIs, features and hardware that is nothing compared to the Windoze people who have both Direct3D and OpenGL, and had to adapt to both DX10 and Vista at the same time - and screwed up big. NVidia's reputation of having Windoze drivers that keep compatible with games outside today's top 10 sellers has taken a huge hit. From my point of view I see more problems in today's NVidia Linux drivers than I used to, but even from my limited exposure the Windows situation around NVidia's Vista drivers was an order of magnitude worse.

This isn't meant to defend Xorg in particular. These guys are really going on my nerves, as do other individual projects in the freedesktop.org family. I wish somebody had made a more sane fork of XFree86.
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Old 09-30-09, 10:36 AM   #58
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

I hope that wasn't a reply to me, since I thought I made it very clear I was not bashing the devs on their drivers, I was bashing them on their communication (or lack thereof). As I keep saying, I think users will be a lot more forgiving if they had even the slightest clue what is going on and even roughly when it will happen. I can understand keeping big surprises like VDPAU secret, but since they promised us randr 1.2 support almost two years ago we have only had one update progress update, which was basically "it's coming soon", 10 months ago. That is not acceptable for people used to the high level of communication found in most major open-source projects. I know Nvidia's drivers are not open-source, but they are being developed for a group of people for whom almost everything they use else is open-source, so that is the level of communication they are used to and that they expect. I think a big part of the complaints and the call for open-source drivers is from the percieved lack of progress, and the reason there is a percieved lack of progress is because the developers haven't been telling people about the progress they are making. It is also because the developers seem to be ignoring the users. I know they aren't, but their failure to communicate makes it seem that way. Acknowledging that they have heard people's complaints and keeping people up-to-date, even just once a twice a month, on the progress of fixing long-standing issues will go a really long way to keeping users happy (probably including at least some vauge explanation that it is harder than it looks to implement or fix).

That being said, hopefully gallium will make quite a few of the Linux issues obselete. But in the end, Linux is an extremely fast-moving target. This is one of its strengths. Windows users are used to getting a few pieces of information at the launch of a new windows version then hear basically nothing else until a new windows version is about a year out 2 or 3 years later. Linux users gets new Linux versions every couple months, and they expect to get information at a proportionally faster rate.

And I should add that windows certainlly has issues with poorly-coded 3rd-party software, that is hardly an issue limited to Linux.
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Old 09-30-09, 04:16 PM   #59
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

The following is a defense of nVidia drivers on Linux (and actually on Windows too).

Firstly, on the OpenGL front: the support for Linux vs Windows is basically the same. So incredibly the same that I have observed the exact same bugs on both, reported the bugs to the developer channel and have seen them fixed at about the same time.

Secondly, well lets wait a moment. I am a professional open source developer, i.e. I get paid to work on that stuff. Currently I am having to deal with Qt which powers KDE. Lets talk some nasty things here:
1. KDE4 was released as pre-alpha quality, in fact KDE4 is still awful in terms of quality.
2. Qt needs serious work and help to improve it's GL support. For those that understand OpenGL and can read C++ code, just open up src/opengl/ in Qt source tree. It has improved significantly in the last 6 months, but it still has serious issues. Compounding the issue, is that the drawing API of Qt (QPainter) poorly maps to GL.

With that in mind, seriously, if KDE4 works poorly there are obvious reasons: firstly KDE4 is still pretty bad, and secondly it uses some pretty odd ball usage patterns of GL. Performance and bug fixing of drivers is catered to common usage patterns. It is not reasonable to expect that a driver works agaisnt any usage pattern, to give you an idea how hard it is to write GL drivers, the GL 3.2 compatibility spec is 558 pages long. Compound that with odd ball usage patterns and in all honesty pre-alpha quality code, it is a shock to me that KDE4 works at all. (Before KDE4 I used KDE always, but once KDE4 was the only KDE option in Fedora, I have dumped KDE completely for GNOME).

As for people jumping up and down loving Intel's open source drivers: they are pretty bad in terms of performance and capabilities, I won't ever target an Intel chipset. It is nice that AMD is releasing many of the low level specs of their cards, but their GL drivers still suck, be it Windows or Linux. Basically, their GL drivers are made to run ID games well and beyond that it is crossing your fingers.

If you want good GL support for Linux or Windows, there really is only one main stream choice: nVidia. Under nVidia, GL support is practically the same in Linux and Windows with the performance being the same too. (Actually for some of my applications, Linux runs faster over Windows).

As for keeping up with the latest "Linux kernel technologies", give me a break people. Sleep and hibernate are buggy in Windows too, its the kiss of death half the time for me using them under Windows (be it Vista or XP). Also, nVidia's X-configuration tool for setting up at least dual monitor's works much better than the monitor setup situation in Vista and XP for me, orders of magnitude better and easier.

Also, open sourcing the drivers is not probably going to be a solution. On all my boxes, the sound drivers are open source drivers, the sound daemon (Pulse audio) is open source, but still on my Dell box, the sound often stops working completely after an hour or so. Shoot sound is still screwed up on the Linux platform. Sound drivers and daemon are orders of magnitudes simpler than 3D graphics. For graphics, under X there have been so many screwed up attempts for fast graphics: DGA, DRI, ect. Ever wonder why nVidia's driver does not support them? The answer is pretty simple: because they are/were bad ideas that should have never seen the light of day.

Now some of you may hate me for providing this link, and the rant of it is out of date some now, being a year old, but it illuminates: http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/ and go to "I hate Linux Graphics". Unfortunately, the blogger is a vulgar monster and the link http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2008...en-source.html gets edited by the rough language filter of the forum, jsut change **** to the four letter word starting with 's', all lower case.
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Old 09-30-09, 07:28 PM   #60
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Default Re: Will everyone PLEASE stop trashing the Nvidia Linux devs?

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1. KDE4 was released as pre-alpha quality, in fact KDE4 is still awful in terms of quality.
KDE 4 was released exactly as the developers said it was released, in a form intended only for developers and the most hard-core early adopters (a category I fall into). Some distributions chose to use it anyway. I used it any was quite happy with it, but I knew what to expect becauset I did at least a little bit of research before installing it so I know to expect a lot of bugs and missing features. The KDE devs said repeatedly that was what to expect.

As for the current quality, the impressions since KDE 4.2 have been very positive both from users and reviewers. KDE 4.3 is far better still, with pretty much unanimous positive reviews. A very small number of people consider 4.3 to be awful, but from everything I have seen this is a small minority opinion. That is not to say it is perfect, but no software is perfect.

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2. Qt needs serious work and help to improve it's GL support. For those that understand OpenGL and can read C++ code, just open up src/opengl/ in Qt source tree. It has improved significantly in the last 6 months, but it still has serious issues. Compounding the issue, is that the drawing API of Qt (QPainter) poorly maps to GL.
That's why Qt has said repeatedly that their opengl rendering system is still under heavy development, mostly broken, and not intended for use yet.

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With that in mind, seriously, if KDE4 works poorly there are obvious reasons: firstly KDE4 is still pretty bad, and secondly it uses some pretty odd ball usage patterns of GL.
The problem wasn't opengl support, that worked great. It was performance on simple 2D tasks like displaying text that was unusuably slow. And it wasn't just KDE, firefox had the same problems.

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Before KDE4 I used KDE always, but once KDE4 was the only KDE option in Fedora, I have dumped KDE completely for GNOME
I don't mean to be dismissive, but frankly that's your own fault for using KDE on a GNOME-centric distribution. If you want to use KDE you should use a distribution that has a reputation for good KDE support, like openSUSE, mandriva, or arch, all which still offer KDE 3.5. Fedora does not fall in that category, quite the opposite. If you want KDE 3.5 so badly it is still present on many distributions, although KDE 4.3 is really good and KDE 4.4 is already shaping up to be outstanding. Fedora and Kubuntu cared more about advertising that they had the latest bleeding-edge software than they cared about providing a usable desktop experience. Many other distributions chose to do what the KDE developers asked them to do and stick with KDE 3.5 until at least KDE 4.2, or offer both in parallel. KDE 4.3 can do pretty much everything KDE 3.5 could do and much, much more.
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