Otherwise our honorable Mr. Smith will shoot you as possible terrorists.
Chicken should get fat and juicy, and not ask questions!!
* may cause addiction, headaches, diarrhea, cancer, anxiety, heart disease, vomiting, nausea, temperature, agenesia and sleep problems. NO WARRANTIES SOEVER. WE DONT CARE!
NVIDIA works and is cheaper (less power consumption and more quiet). AMD doesn't work. Even nouveau would beat Catalyst on some GPUs, I bet.
Théorie du complot, quand tu nous tiens. :)
I know this thread is somewhat old an dhasn't seen a post in a while, but I felt like this was the only one I could reasonably make this statement on.
I wish to stay objective here. I know it seems pretty fruitless on Phoronix, but it's there.
We have a number of objectives in getting to that "happy place" platforms like Windows and OS X frequently enjoy regarding video support, which is not worrying about whether X or Y video card will be feature complete on the platform. Both in hardware and in device drivers.
Objective 1 - Full performance, full featured support for Linux in its device drivers. Here I find that this objective has been almost met by the nvidia binary blob. The only thing it lacks I'd like to see is KMS and native fbcon support so we wouldn't have to fall back on uvesafb. Intel also has full-featured device drivers, but the only reason why it's not on top here is because the hardware itself isn't really designed to drive much. If Intel were to invest in a GPU they could put on-board as well as on dedicated cards for gamers, I think Linux would have their killer graphics hardware. Catalyst doesn't meet this goal, and radeon and Nouveau, while definitely sufficient for most desktop usage outside of gaming, are not going to bring about the Linux gaming market as they are now.
Objective 2 - Open source drivers. Intel meets his objective nicely with objective 1, barring the lacking hardware itself. Nouveau and Radeon are nice! I use Nouveau frequently, but I find myself frequently using the binary blob because it better meets Objective 1, which is, debates over "freedom" or "security" aside, all "normal" end users will care about: The driver being able to provide them all they want without hassle. There are technical reasons why open drivers are a good thing (Such as KMS/native fbcon, not to mention it's easier to assure that the driver is stable.).
Objective 3 - The "Just Works" concept. As I said, normal end users really won't much worry about Objective 2. Maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't, doesn't matter. What matters is what they *expect* not what we *think* they should expect. Good news and bad news for the open drivers on this. Open drivers are usually the first thing every distribution defaults to. So for them next to zero configuration is needed. This will keep MOST users on the open driver without complaint. Where this objective begins to miss the mark is when they install Steam, fire up, oh, Half-life 2 and find that the game renders too darkly because Mesa 9.x isn't installed, but Mesa 8.x. To us power users, the solution seems simple and obvious. To "idiot" users, all it means is "Linux doesn't run the game right" and except in certain cases they won't be made aware that, say, the binary blob provided by nVidia runs Half-life 2 VERY well. And we'd be --desktop_user for certain in those cases.
These objectives are *not* mutually exclusive. As I said, Intel is VERY close on hitting all three of these if they'd simply provide the right kind of GPU. nVidia meets objective 1 but falls short on 2 and 3. Catalyst meets none of these objecives. Nouveau and Radeon partially meet 1 and definitely hit 2 and 3.
Now, to the topic at hand. Is nVidia in the wrong for not cooperating with the kernel devs? Yes. I think so. Because despite possible third-party IP there are *some* parts of their interface they can definitely at least shed a little light on, or they never would have provided the (Now-obsolete.) nv driver. Let's also not forget their objective in Linux support is not actually providing a usable desktop to end users but a powerful graphics infrastructure for graphical workstations and CUDA-based high-performance computing. One reason why I (And I bet a lot of others.) got excited about Valve porting to Linux is because they might *just* give nVidia the motivation to have a desktop objective as well. While it may not help with "openness" it CERTAINLY will help their driver improve for desktop users, including MAYBE features we'd sorely like their blob to have, short of being open source.
Was Linus Torvalds right in his approach to nVidia? No. I honestly think the "fuck you, nVidia" attitude helps nothing. In fact, while I do believe maybe calling them out on not being all that helpful was fine, the attitude probably would have sooner served to both drive nVidia into less cooperation (Would YOU cooperate with anyone telling you to "fuck off" and gives you the bird? I wouldn't.) but also shows to end users of other platforms that we're both overly political and openly HOSTILE when we don't get our way ("Why should I use Linux when they're clearly so closed against anyone doing things how they want?" Whether this is true is irrelevant, it's a perception problem, plain and simple.). One admitted problem is that many people look at Linux, and often see an overzealous "free or nothing" attitude that makes them question whether they'll get what they want from Linux.
I want open source drivers. I *want* Nouveau to succeed, but I need to keep an objective eye if I want to make the "most" out of my desktop using Linux, and unfortunately it often means binary blobs, unpleasant though that may be.
AMD & NV are not going to disclose everything needed to open source the stuff that is currently available as blobs because that would expose too much IP.
Get used to it.
AMD have an open source driver.
Intel have an open source driver.
Sure they can have open source drivers without expose too much IP.
Also, the graphics card can have a firmware that abstracts away the IP, such as AtomBIOS used on AMD cards.
Or they can selectively pick what parts to include in drivers, example some vendors do 2D acceleration, but may not chose to include video acceleration.