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Old 11-11-03, 07:00 PM   #1
stan
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Angry Why not open source ?

After sync my kernel to the linux bk tree, the NV's driver doesn't work any more in my box. It's really a bad thing.
I'm wondering why NV doesn't open their driver's source? What on earth is NV afraid of ? ATI have provided an open source driver to their user, everyone is happy.
Next time, I may buy ATI's card instead of NV's
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Old 11-11-03, 10:32 PM   #2
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Now I'd like the source to be open as much as the next guy, but we're you really planning on hacking the low-level driver for arguably the most complex hardware component you've got? If so then ok, reason to complain. I will be able to do that someday, but I'm along way from that level of understanding.

You can of course hack out on the interface for the module just as the minion patches do. Works fine for me on bk7.
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Old 11-12-03, 01:55 AM   #3
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To save some time, I'll simply link you to another thread on the same subject:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...threadid=13283

There are many others, most of them turn out the same way.

ATi hasn't provided open source jack squat. They threw out a nice spec sheet that allowed XFree86 developers to write an open source driver for them at no charge. The result was a pretty good driver but with relatively poor performance.

nVidia has not extended the olive branch to the OSS community that far, but at least they have been busy writing in-house drivers that appear to work very well for a lot of people (Including myself). ATi has started writing their own Linux drivers, and they don't release the source for those.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see open source nVidia drivers. But apparently writing a graphics driver is not like writing an 802.11 controller driver that conforms to some IEEE spec. The drivers do contain proprietary code (Texture compression algorithms like S3TC, re-ordering of shader instructions, etc) and cannot simply be GPL'd.
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Old 11-12-03, 02:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soul-Crusher
The drivers do contain proprietary code (Texture compression algorithms like S3TC, re-ordering of shader instructions, etc) and cannot simply be GPL'd.
Good afternoon,

I thought I would clear up a few misconceptions.

S3TC does not prevent you from making an open source implementation containing S3TC. It does prevent you from distributing the binary. This is the reason that Xvid.org does not have a binary (MPEG 4 Patent) and Lame.org never released a binary (FH patent).

NV and ATI do not release a GPL'd driver because it would expose an enormous amount of intelectual property. ATI and NV have been more than helpful to the DRI team (I know for a fact that ATI has). The rock solid stability of the generic Radeon and NV driver attest to this. Unfortunately, the 3D performance is not the best (mostly do to the IP thing).

I hope this adds to your perspective a bit. Ping if you need supporting references.

Thank you for your time,
Frank Russo
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Old 12-05-03, 07:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by russofris

ATI and NV have been more than helpful to the DRI team (I know for a fact that ATI has). The rock solid stability of the generic Radeon and NV driver attest to this. Unfortunately, the 3D performance is not the best (mostly do to the IP thing).
Nvidia has supported DRI? What are you driveling about? Every other major company has supported the DRI project in the past, including ATI, Matrox, 3dfx, 3DLabs and Intel. All but NVidia.
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Old 12-05-03, 09:41 AM   #6
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opening some sections of code to OS a thought?
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Old 12-19-03, 12:30 PM   #7
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My personal conspiracy theory states that the reason why NVidia doesn't open-source their drivers or provide hardware-level programming information is because of Macrovision.

Macrovision technology is used in NVidia cards with TV outputs to ensure nobody can play a DVD on the system, send the video out the TV out port & tape it.

If low-level programming information was released, some of that information would describe a single register on the card that takes a boolean value, that turns Macrovision on & off.

If we could turn off Macrovision (not like the pirates can't figure this out on their own), Macrovision would sue NVidia's asses off.

Why, oh why, NVidia, did you have to deal with Macrovision? You didn't have to, but you chose to. That pisses me off. I think I'll buy ATI next time. They at least provide decent information to the open-source community.
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Old 12-19-03, 01:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by meldroc
Why, oh why, NVidia, did you have to deal with Macrovision? You didn't have to, but you chose to. That pisses me off.
DRM--->

Quote:
Originally posted by meldroc
I think I'll buy ATI next time. They at least provide decent information to the open-source community.
Abandon nVidia and move to hardware that's supported even less? You're amazing.
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Old 12-24-03, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by meldroc
My personal conspiracy theory states that the reason why NVidia doesn't open-source their drivers or provide hardware-level programming information is because of Macrovision.

Macrovision technology is used in NVidia cards with TV outputs to ensure nobody can play a DVD on the system, send the video out the TV out port & tape it.

If low-level programming information was released, some of that information would describe a single register on the card that takes a boolean value, that turns Macrovision on & off.

If we could turn off Macrovision (not like the pirates can't figure this out on their own), Macrovision would sue NVidia's asses off.

Why, oh why, NVidia, did you have to deal with Macrovision? You didn't have to, but you chose to. That pisses me off. I think I'll buy ATI next time. They at least provide decent information to the open-source community.
Why deal with Macrovision? Because they could be sued for not doing so. There are laws the movie and TV industry had passed concerning things like Macrovision.

However, that really doesn't mean much when info is publicly available. Many GeForce cards use the Phillips SAA7108E video codec. The datasheet for this chip is publicly available and documents the Macrovision detect flag for video in, and how to set up proper sync signals for video out. It doesn't specify Macrovision out, but if a driver either doesn't use the recommended sync set up, or sets undocumented registers, you know that's the Macrovision.

How do you think those patches wind up on the internet to disable Macrovision? The movie/TV/record industry are full of old codgers who are stuck in the middle ages. They don't understand technology, and that causes these stupid dichotomies. Companies like nVidia are forced into adding crappy useless junk like Macrovision which any programmer to complete a high-school computer class has no trouble by-passing.
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Old 12-25-03, 01:13 AM   #10
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Default I can not use my nVidia card because driver is not GPL

Because the driver is not GPL I can't use my nVidia card. I have a Geforce4 MX 440 and because nVidia will not compile and distribute the Linux driver for this card on PPC, I can not use my card. If the driver were GPLed I would more than likely be able to use my card by now. I hate nVidia. I am not buying nVidia anymore. I will purchase ATI from now on.
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Old 12-26-03, 05:37 PM   #11
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I just wanted to say a few thing.
1. I don't think is fair that anybody asks nvidia to make the driver opensource if you have noticed when the 53.28 driver came out the performance grew of something like 40% so the drivers are really important, plus if you are an engineer and can read the nvidia driver you will be able to understand how the chip work and you can clone the card
2. I had never had problems with the nvidia drivers i only had problems with debian so i installed slackware and solved the problem.
3. I don't think is fair that saying that ati supports linux more than nvidia becouse nvidia makes the driver available for linux much faster than ati i was thinking of getting an ati but i decited not to becouse of the support that nvidia gives
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Old 12-26-03, 11:39 PM   #12
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Oh, I forgot reason #5832 why NVidia doesn't release driver source:

So we don't see their benchmark cheating.

Yes, NVidia (and other graphics card mfgrs) have inserted code in their drivers that detects when programs commonly used for benchmarking are executed, and turns off certain graphics features to inflate benchmarking scores.

Exposing such code would be quite embarassing.

Last edited by meldroc; 12-26-03 at 11:44 PM.
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