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View Poll Results: Should Nvidia Put their source under the GPL?
Yes 90 68.70%
No 21 16.03%
Well, at least explain why they haven't. 20 15.27%
Voters: 131. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-10-03, 12:28 AM   #1
Cogman
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Default Poll: GPL nvidia Driver

How many people here think that Nvidia should release their Nvidia code under the GPL or at least explain why they havent (I have yet to read from their own words why it is no yet GPL'd) This really would take a lot of stress off of nvidia and help to increase their support under linux (after all, I think I can safely say that Nvidia cards are the most widly used under linux). Even some decent specs would be nice.

I know this is a major topic on the boards here, but why not show a vote. Maybe some NVidia higher-up will be informed of this.
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Old 12-10-03, 12:53 AM   #2
floam
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You should add another option -- "It doesn't really matter, we all know why, except for Cogman" you're acting as if a major video chipset company wouldn't have anything in their drivers worth stealing. It'd benifit everyone but them.
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Old 12-10-03, 03:03 AM   #3
russofris
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NVidia cannot open-source their current drivers because they contain licensed code/methods that is not theirs to give away. This gives them a few choices other than a binary module.

1: Release an unencumbered OSS driver (no 3rd party patented stuff, no licensed technology, no trade secrets)

The ups? Yay, an OSS driver from Nvidia.
The downs? No S3TC, Slow OGL performance, lack of OGL extension support (some SGI stuff)

2: Support an existing OSS driver implementation. Provide specs, assistance, etc....

The ups? Yay, an OSS driver
The downs? I still can't play UT and OGL performance sucks.

While I currently find that Nvidia has released a well rounded driver for X, I certainly hope that they give the necessary support to the DRI folk. I have not researched what that situation is, but I can hope for the best.

Thank you for your time,
FranK Russo
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Old 12-10-03, 08:38 AM   #4
nutball
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I really don't care if they're Open Source or not, so long as they work.

There seems to be a train of thought that releasing the driver source would allow the community to fix the bugs. Quite how this is supposed to work I'm not sure. How are people supposed to fix bugs in a driver for a piece of hardware the internals of which they know nothing about?

For an OSS driver to make sense, NVIDIA would have to release a lot of information about the internal workings of their chips. If you think they would or should do that, then I'd really like to get hold of whatever it is you're smoking.
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Old 12-10-03, 09:03 AM   #5
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This is the best thread I've seen yet...
The "cant install nvida drivers" ones where beggining to bore me.
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Old 12-10-03, 09:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nutball
I really don't care if they're Open Source or not, so long as they work.

There seems to be a train of thought that releasing the driver source would allow the community to fix the bugs. Quite how this is supposed to work I'm not sure. How are people supposed to fix bugs in a driver for a piece of hardware the internals of which they know nothing about?

For an OSS driver to make sense, NVIDIA would have to release a lot of information about the internal workings of their chips. If you think they would or should do that, then I'd really like to get hold of whatever it is you're smoking.
I suggest you look at MS products...

OSS rules this part of the computer world, don't like it, fine, be a zealot and join the "MS/Nvidia is great beyond all belief" crowd...

I assume you have no clue about what you are talking about, programming a driver for an open graphics language does not require you to give away secrets about your HW, what it takes is a general descriptions of functions that can be used, all of these functions ARE aldready part of an OSS language...

I don't think you need tips on what to smoke, i think you need tips on how to think...
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Old 12-10-03, 09:28 AM   #7
SnapIT
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Quote:
Originally posted by russofris
NVidia cannot open-source their current drivers because they contain licensed code/methods that is not theirs to give away. This gives them a few choices other than a binary module.

1: Release an unencumbered OSS driver (no 3rd party patented stuff, no licensed technology, no trade secrets)

The ups? Yay, an OSS driver from Nvidia.
The downs? No S3TC, Slow OGL performance, lack of OGL extension support (some SGI stuff)

2: Support an existing OSS driver implementation. Provide specs, assistance, etc....

The ups? Yay, an OSS driver
The downs? I still can't play UT and OGL performance sucks.

While I currently find that Nvidia has released a well rounded driver for X, I certainly hope that they give the necessary support to the DRI folk. I have not researched what that situation is, but I can hope for the best.

Thank you for your time,
FranK Russo
You are wrong on all accounts...

1. IT IS OPEN CODE! there are reasons why it is called OpenGL and not ClosedGL, it is because the implementation is OPEN... What the Open community want is no code, we are programmers, we write it ourselves, what we want are specifications to write code that can be used in OGL, we know the functions but we need specifications to program a driver that can implement them, none of the information that we want has anything to do with any trade secrets...

2. Yeah, a million programmers are no good idea, let's stick with ONE guy designing a Linux port instead... YAY! Support for OSS is in the community, you, as a Linux user, should know that... do a search on google for any specific problem with open source code and see how many mailing lists you can find, the support is way better than any company can provide...

The ups? I can fix what is broken, users will be happy... the downs, proprietary code advocates will cry...

I suggest you research the situation before making any statements, nvidia has NO DRI support whatsoever...
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Old 12-10-03, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueworm
This is the best thread I've seen yet...
The "cant install nvida drivers" ones where beggining to bore me.
Then why don't you just help them out and make the threads go away?

Once one user learns, he teaches the next, that is how OSS works... (or should work, there will always be leeches)
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Old 12-10-03, 09:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Poll: GPL nvidia Driver

Quote:
Originally posted by Cogman
How many people here think that Nvidia should release their Nvidia code under the GPL or at least explain why they havent (I have yet to read from their own words why it is no yet GPL'd) This really would take a lot of stress off of nvidia and help to increase their support under linux (after all, I think I can safely say that Nvidia cards are the most widly used under linux). Even some decent specs would be nice.

I know this is a major topic on the boards here, but why not show a vote. Maybe some NVidia higher-up will be informed of this.
I think you should be thankful that NVIDIA gives you drivers at all. They are under no obligation whatsoever to provide you with support, but they do it anyway.
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Old 12-10-03, 10:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Re: Poll: GPL nvidia Driver

Quote:
Originally posted by saturnotaku
I think you should be thankful that NVIDIA gives you drivers at all. They are under no obligation whatsoever to provide you with support, but they do it anyway.
Yes! Let's all be thankful that the product we bought can be made to work... YAY!

If you advertise Linux support, doesn't it seem a tad strange, even to a moron like you, that the support is in development?

People pay money for a product that is supposed to work in Linux, people get screwed and you are saying that they should just be happy that they can get it to work somewhat?
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Old 12-10-03, 10:42 AM   #11
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If they came out and said that their drivers contained code licensed from another company that doesn't do GPL, then I'd understand. I wouldn't be happy, but I would understand.

Look at Cisco/Linksys, and their Linux-based WRT54G device - they were willing to GPL their code, but because they subcontracted it to another company, they were hung over a barrel when the other company refused to GPL the code for them. I think they were finally able to solve things; I don't know much about it.

For all we know, NVIDIA might release their Linux driver source under the GPL in five minutes if they could - perhaps they won't because they can't.
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Old 12-10-03, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by SnapIT
You are wrong on all accounts...

1. IT IS OPEN CODE! there are reasons why it is called OpenGL and not ClosedGL, it is because the implementation is OPEN...

<snip>

2. Yeah, a million programmers are no good idea, let's stick with ONE guy designing a Linux port instead...
1. If the openGL standard was all that is required for writing the driver, one would not need nVidia's code in the first place, he'd just write the driver. So yes, openGL is open, but what makes it useful for the hardware may not be. Maybe.. we don't know.

2. From a software engineering point of view, yeah I'd rather have ONE guy than a million. But, perhaps I'd prefer 4 over 1.
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