Not wishing to voice the really cynical suggestion, but what if nVidia ARE infringing someones patent? If they even suspect that is the case, the code is staying closed.
I don't see nVidia caring that much what nouveau get up to with their cards, and given the grief AMD/ATI have recieved for "Not opening the blob" since they delivered specs, I wouldn't blame nVidia for not openly helping any FOSS driver. Afterall, damned if they do, damned if they don't, why waste time and resources doing only to be damned anyway.
In the PR stakes we Linux lovers really don't know how to play the game...
I want to say Nvidia must be insane. The reason this seams like a reasonable course of action is because of the way Andy described the architecture of the proprietary driver. With the vast majority of the codebase being shared between platforms, it stands to reason that they can't simply open-source it for similar reasons AMD couldn't simply re-license their fglrx driver under the GPL.
That sucks for Nvidia, but I suppose they don't really have an alternative unless they tried documenting the hardware and releasing it to open-source developers.
Personally, I'll be buying AMD/ATI from now on. I'm already getting decent initial 3D support on my 4870 with the very first DRI release in 2.6.32 to support it. Its only a matter of time before the quality of the completely free radeon driver blows Nvidia's proprietary driver out of the water. After that happens it will be really hard for desktop users to justify buying Nvidia.
I really don't want to support a company that intentionally distances themselves from those trying to provide free-as-in-freedom support for their hardware.
It isn't that they didn't want to open their blob, its that they can't. It contains code that AMD doesn't have the rights to release. Even if they did release it, you probably wouldn't want it. Redevelopment in order to cleanly integrate things with xorg seems to be working out nicely. AMD is being fully cooperative when it comes to hardware documentation as far as I can tell.Quote:
I don't see nVidia caring that much what nouveau get up to with their cards, and given the grief AMD/ATI have received for "Not opening the blob" since they delivered specs, I wouldn't blame nVidia for not openly helping any FOSS driver. After all, damned if they do, damned if they don't, why waste time and resources doing only to be damned anyway.
The important difference is: AMD actually wants free software solutions for their hardware. Nvidia does not.
Now that is just horrible reasoning. Does anyone honestly think Nvidia is learning anything they don't already know from AMD's code? I highly doubt it. The value added to the product by virtue of FOSS drivers far outweighs any competitive advantage given. If you can build a functional driver through reverse-engineering alone, you aren't going to be giving away any secrets by just opening up the driver. Seriously... anyone who intentionally renders their hardware worthless for that reason can go sodomize themselves with a hot iron poker.Quote:
Originally Posted by cl33r
Exactly as I told a few days ago :)
An, please, don't forget that the world changes and people too. Maybe NVIDIA's just trying to muster its courage to make the first step.
On this very forum, a nvidia driver coder told us that they account mostly GNU/Linux on the professional market.
Meaning that as soon as the AMD driver gets honorable results, it is very probable that a significant part of that market will start switching to AMD. And AMD GPUs have been the best for nearly 2 years and even if nvidia manages to take again the palm, it will never be significantly better to justify sticking to their GPL-violation-but-tolerated/hate-generator blob.
The nouveau drivers enhance the value of nVidia hardware, and presumably will help increase sales. As long as nouveau doesn't cause some sort of legal problems for nVidia, I'd expect them to keep their current approach.
That hands-off approach, by the way, is probably legally the best stance they could possibly take. The moment they get involved, either helping OR hindering, they effectively accept some responsibility for nouveau, if only because in some instance they may have failed to "hinder enough" to satisfy some third party.