This sounds like the best approach for general drivers in my opinion as less will break. I believe AMD's should go that route as well...fglrx breaks with every kernel release
Also they will never open up the blob. Leaving in a huff or what's you point? :D
You might be surprised but NVIDIA does not provide a Linux driver for 'desktop Joe'.
It's not because it's a passion for them to "support" Linux. There's significant money
in CAD, medical applications and in particular HPC.
They won't leave the field - to some extend they are dependent on Linux.
If at all, some people "fear" the DRM hell. (Which holds for Windows and Mac as well.)
Maybe this already answers your question.
2. or just completely drop Linux support without releasing any code or specs, I am trying hard not to insult your "intelligence"... Some people really think that things are so simple?
I assure you that nVidia doesn't want to drop Linux support... nVidia is having a very good income from selling devices with their hardware in them, like Android mobiles phones and tablets and a few of other things. And that's only the start...
3. Most hardware companies don't have any reason to make the code closed source for the drivers. You sell hardware, not the drivers. You make money from the hardware you don't need closed source drivers. nVidia and AMD is another case because of all the technologies involved in graphics processing.
4. You think that Open Source developers are worse looks like, that's again, because of your "intelligence" but I will explain that to you too...
Don't compare developers that have all the time access to the hardware, the specs and engineers that made the hardware with developers that have at their disposal just some documentation...
Linux has some Amazing developers, take for example the experience Microsoft had with Linux developers, after the feedback they received from Linux developers they improved their code A Lot(talking about Hyper-V). Won't start giving you statistics now but the Windows kernel developers were amazed themselves...
I for one want nVidia just to be more open-source-friendly, for reasons like on my machine the nvidia-driver is so unstable it is unusable. Once every night my machine locks. And thats while my screens are in energy-saving-mode (so no oops on-screen), and for some reason netconsole does not repeat this OOPS (or whatever it is). The machine is just unresponsive to ssh or anything and seems to try to burn up (at least if you take the sounds of that fans into account). It also locks some other times while I am using it (primary while opening and closing many windows, and some may contain videos), but the nightly freezes are most fun, because as I said the screens are in energy-saving-mode, and the card/driver really should have nothing to do. Is that why they freeze my machine? Because the blob is bored?
Removing nvidia and go back to nouveau removes this hang every time.
I believe nVidia would earn much good-will by helping for example the nouveau-guys because obviously they do something right that the nVidia team does not, and there are many wheels in the cart called "kernel" that abviously is much better implemented then the ones in the blob.
And the same holds true for binary games. Have you tried getting Grim Fandango running in Windows x64? The hard part is not to get it running (it works rather fine) but replace the installer with something that is not 16- bit, and Win64 fails to run.
So what do you think is one of the big motivationals for people to run for Residualvm?
And in the mean time the games gets something that the original never had, native linux support. Just like Nvidia could have had good working native MIPS-support and not lose a billions of dollar deal.
And native is good. I bought the Humble5-pack, and must say that I am a little bit disappointed in how for example Limbo fails just because wine is a bit fragile.
But, hey. I am just a FOSS-fanatic who see the opportunities that FOSS can give if used right.
I apologize for being offensive or immature, but responding to what FuturePilot said:
We need to fight against patents, binary blobs and educate hardware manufacturers to play nicely with the Linux community. If they won't cooperate, well, we have the choice not to buy from them and the choice to buy from hardware manufacturers that respect our freedom and our community. But make sure that when you are buying from a hardware vendor that respects you, you also explain the hardware vendor why you are not buying from them, so that they get educated.
Compromises like what FuturePilot is suggesting won't take us anywhere, but to a world of discontrol and pain where we (and the Linux developers) can't make decisions and therefore don't have the control of our computing anymore. This is not good.
Never surrender. YOU have the control of everything.
1. Fix suspend/hibernate issues. Countly systems I've used, and it's nearly always Nvidia drivers that can't suspend and hibernate properly.
2. Support Optimus. I don't know how they can think they have a decent driver when they don't even support countless systems that use Optimus technology.
The big thing, though, is NVidia upper management. They don't see Linux as a place to be in outside of some nitche (ARM/Tegra) areas.
Nvidia? Meet Valve. Valve, Nvidia.
Release all full specs except your last two generation GPU series. Then, when you release a new series you will release another one, staying always behind of two series. This way you should be able to keep your newer series "secret", as this seems to be what you want.
Do this and you'll be the best Linux company out there.