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Old 08-11-06, 07:17 AM   #13
Lamieur
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
Idealism is all Linux has going for it in this case, and shouldn't be dismissed and mocked so quickly.
Wrong - it's the price. Linux is free, Windows costs big bucks (at least for me). Imagine the choice of buying Geforce 4 MX + Windows or a 7800 + free OS for the same price.

Speaking about "spirit" of Linux being against "binary blobs" is wrong. Linux is meant to be the platform to do whatever you want (it's called freedom), even if you want to run binary blobs on it. The problem with NVIDIA is that they take the freedom away from us - forcing us to make choices (upgrade the kernel and Xorg OR use our driver). That's arrogant and Intel got it some time ago already (the news about Intel are really nothing new for anyone interested in Xorg development).

There are also the terms of redistribution that make the binary driver inexistant in Fedora and SUSE (and more).

So it's not the source we want to have (to masturbate looking at it or what?). It's the freedom that the source gives us. Having the source isn't really necessary, but does the task in the best way (relieving NVIDIA of most of the pain of testing it with many versions of software the driver interoperates with).

AFAIK, NVIDIA drivers are build from the same source for Widows and Linux. There is just an additional abstraction layer to translate the API-s (that's the monster few-megabyte kernel module we're all scared of). Even if they get rid of any licensed parts of the driver, opensourcing it and allowing people modify some parts of it would make it much harder for NVIDIA to add support for new cards and features to the driver. They'd have to hire additional teams of people just to keep track of changes made by outside developers and try to keep them in sync. So they'd have to spend more money just to please our needs. Until competition forces them to do it, they simply don't give a...
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Old 08-11-06, 09:26 AM   #14
JaXXoN
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
In light of recent announcements from Intel and potential developments at AMD, this is a false dichotomy.
Again: intel's on-chip graphic is not an option for serious 3D applications
or gaming - i.e. i have a tripple head setup (4800x1200 desktop
resolution) and there is no way to reproduce that with intel hardware
at the time being (not taking into account reduced performance).

I certainly would appreciate it if AMD would open source the ATI drivers,
so that there could be a high performance well debugged 3D solution
for Linux in future, and i would dump nvidia hardware the second i think
AMD/ATI is the better solution - but there is no schedule or even a
confirmation from AMD for this to happen.

So at least for me and today, nvidia is the only way to go. As
already told in an earlier post: "average" Linux users that can life
with lower 3D performance on single head setups may likely opt
for intel HW in future - they propably did that in the past, anyway,
because why should somebody buy an expensive 3D card when
he intends to only use the OSS 2D driver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
Thanks for the links, but this discussion is not about patents or copyright
issues that prevents nvidia from open sourcing their drivers: it's about
the PC architecture requireing a kernel module for DMA to work - and
non-GPL kernel modules is what this fuzz is mostly about, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
I'd have to go with a vendor that doesn't have those crippling fears (ie Intel, maybe AMD later).
In this context: although intel published driver sources for the 82Q965,
you can't download the data sheet for the GMA3000 (on-chip graphic).
The 965 data sheet includes a section for the GMA3000, but this only
includes a white paper describing the features for the 82Q965.
http://www.intel.com/design/chipsets...ots/313343.htm

Means: bugs in the intel driver can be *much* easier fixed than for
object code drivers, but you hardly can implement new features,
simply because you don't know which register to access in which way.
So "in the spirit of Linux" this is actually not very open! (nevertheless
it's a good move from Intel).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
Part of that fear seems to have to do with PCIe (which is why I brought it up), at least according to the links provided, which is why I lament the current lack of action with hypertransport GPUs and look forward to possible future such action from AMD. I am of course not an industry insider, so I cannot vouch for the correctness of the information provided, but it certainly would explain a lot.
I briefly studied the HT spec some times ago and i'm not sure how
HT could help avoiding a kernel module, because you still need to
handle DMA and interrupts on kernel level. It might be feasible to
write a generic (GPLed) DMA virt/phys address conversion and
"interrupt redirection" kernel module that would allow to implement
a 3D driver completly in user space - but this would then also
apply for PCIe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
I'd love to spend hundreds of dollars to get faster 3d performance, but I'm no longer willing to do so if it comes with a binary blob, and flies in the face of the spirit of the OS I choose to use.
I for one realy like OSS, but at the same time i enjoy using
i.e. UT2004 and Googleearth and have to respect that those are
closed source software packages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
If someone else is willing to do so, I postulate that Linux is the wrong choice for that person.
There are thousands of closed source server applications that admins
happily use on top the kernel (oracle, DB2 etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
Linux can hardly be said to be easier than Windows (though it is for me, even if closed drivers make it worse), and a carefully tended Windows box would be far better for gaming anyway. I just don't get why some feel pragmatism should trump idealism in these debates.
So you advice somebody should go for a 100% closed source windows
solution, just because for the Linux alternative, 1% is closed source?
Sounds like a strange logic to me ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
If one pragmatically wants his games to just work, openness be damned, one simply has to use Windows.
ACK - that's what probably 99.9% of all gamers do, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
In short: if one must have 3d drivers, and binary drivers were the only option, Linux would have no point
Sorry, but in my ears, this sounds like complete non-sense!

regards

Bernhard

Last edited by JaXXoN; 08-11-06 at 09:31 AM. Reason: fixing typos
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Old 08-11-06, 07:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

People seem to be forgetting that open source drivers don't just benefit Linux. They benefit Windows and MacOS users as well.

Open source provides protection from when a vendor decides to no longer support your hardware, but you still find that hardware useful. It allows you (or someone you hire) to fix problems or add features the vendor does not consider important. Open source allows you to use platforms the vendor does not consider a significant portion of their user base. Open source allows people to share these changes with each other, improving the experience of using that hardware for the entire community.

None of those benefits is restricted to Linux. They apply equally to Windows, MacOS, BeOS, *BSD, and many more operating systems as well.

Windows and MacOS users are used to the limited value proposition presented by proprietary binary drivers. But they are also getting used to the added value that open source brings, thanks to software like Firefox. Once they realize the benefits of open source, those non-Linux users may start rethinking their position on binary drivers as well - especially if we keep reminding them.
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Old 08-11-06, 08:04 PM   #16
energyman76b
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamiyaOtaru
I saw that infoworld article and was excited. Since then, news blurbs have popped up all over about AMD opening up specs, and I check them to see if they provide more concrete information. But they all link back to that infoworld article, which is nothing but speculation. Disappointing.
they don't say, that they release full blown drivers. Only a subset - and that can - and will probably mean: 2d only.

But nvidia already delivers full open source 2d drivers for all their cards (and ATI does not).

Also, that AMD/ATI merger is not done - they are still two seperate companies and will be two seperate companies for some time.
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Old 08-11-06, 08:08 PM   #17
JaXXoN
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by macemoneta
People seem to be forgetting that open source drivers don't just benefit Linux. They benefit Windows and MacOS users as well.
I'd certainly like to see nvidia open sourceing the current drivers as
much as most other linux users do, but this is simply not likely to
happen!

And if i have to choose amongst several evils, then i typically
take the smallest one :-)

However, other people may certainly prefer other choices ... (YMMV).

regards

Bernhard
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Old 08-12-06, 09:35 AM   #18
Dragoran
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

it seems that ati/amd will not open source their drivers:
Quote:
We've always supported open source, and for relevant markets such as servers, we release open source drivers so that companies such as Red Hat can include them in their distros.However, for other markets, such as workstation and consumer, performance and feature differentiation are key metrics. Proprietary, patented optimizations are part of the value we provide to our customers and we have no plans to release these drivers to open source. In addition, multimedia elements such as content protection must not, by their very nature, be allowed to go open source.
source: http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/76743 (german)
note: this reply was from ATI, AMD still has not responded to this questions, but it will be similar
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Old 08-12-06, 10:49 AM   #19
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Agreed. Whilst proprietary drivers might be "acceptable", they certainly aren't "better".

I'd stop defending a company you don't work for. NVIDIA and other companies use the IP claims as an excuse. The reason vendors want to close sources is to retain control on the direction and extent of development. It allows them to influence uptake of features they develop (by making alternatives inferior) and allows them to control "obsoleting" older hardware, forcing people to buy new hardware.

It's that simple. OSS drivers are consumer friendly and vendor unfriendly.
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Old 08-12-06, 11:12 AM   #20
Henning Rogge
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

One day the Cell processor of IBM might get cheap enough someone build a card with a video generator, a single cell processor and an pci-express slot for less than 300$... this will be the birth of a real open source graphics card.
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Old 08-12-06, 03:48 PM   #21
JaXXoN
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henning Rogge
One day the Cell processor of IBM might get cheap enough someone build a card with a video generator, a single cell processor and an pci-express slot for less than 300$... this will be the birth of a real open source graphics card.
Cell is definitly interessting, but i guess the price/performance ratio
will always be better for application specific designs (3D). However,
i can imagine that it's possible to put four cells on a single board
to get the performance of a current nvidia or ATI chips and I would
considering purchasing such a solution, even if it's $2.500

Unfortnuatly, the only currently availble PCIe single Cell card
(without RAMDAC or DVI) is $8.000
http://www.mc.com/products/view/inde...06&type=boards

regards

Bernhard
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Old 08-12-06, 04:31 PM   #22
energyman76b
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

We can close the thread: heise.de has asked ATI:

they will not release open drivers. Everything can stop here.

So the situation is like this:
open 2d drivers for all nvidia cards
closed 3d drivers for most nvidia cards

no 2d drivers for some ATI cards
open 2d drivers for some ATI cards
closed 3d drivers for some ATI cards.
open 3d drivers for some ATI cards.

And Airlie still waits for an ok from ATI to release some 2d drivers.
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Old 08-13-06, 03:47 AM   #23
Henning Rogge
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaXXoN
Unfortnuatly, the only currently availble PCIe single Cell card
(without RAMDAC or DVI) is $8.000
http://www.mc.com/products/view/inde...06&type=boards
Does someone know why this thing is THAT expensive ? A cell processor cannot cost more than a few hundred dollars, and 5GB Ram are no reason for $8000 too !
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Old 08-13-06, 05:26 AM   #24
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Default Re: Winds of freedom for graphic drivers!!!

here is hope amd will convince them (ati) to rethink this.

in the meantime i will check how good the intel drivers are.
it's cheaper to change an 100$ mobo with integrated graphics
than an 200$+ graphics card.

edit, nice comments on the amd/ati thingie here: http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=15472
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