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Thread: NVIDIA Denies Opening Up Its Driver

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  1. #1
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    Default NVIDIA Denies Opening Up Its Driver

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Denies Opening Up Its Driver

    Yesterday we reported on the Linux Foundation's message they have issued on the behalf of more than 140 kernel developers: Binary-only kernel modules are harmful and undesirable. While no vendor was singled out in this message, the biggest hardware manufacturer that has yet to provide any real level of open-source support is NVIDIA Corporation. Over the past few months, however, we've received word from our sources that NVIDIA may be planning an open-source strategy...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NjU0NQ

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    I'd donate money to fund a third party army of reverse engineers.

    Buy a bunch of people a recent nvidia card, have them produce public domain docs of every transistor down to the HDCP implementation..
    get nvidia's high end cards blacklisted by windows vista for any and all secure high definition media playback...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ethana2 View Post
    I'd donate money to fund a third party army of reverse engineers.

    Buy a bunch of people a recent nvidia card, have them produce public domain docs of every transistor down to the HDCP implementation..
    get nvidia's high end cards blacklisted by windows vista for any and all secure high definition media playback...
    if you know of such an effort, a sort of dedicated warfare against nvidia, please please let me know, ill happily support it

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    It wouldn't be a war against nvidia so much as it'd be an effort to remind them that they're /hardware/ vendors, and they should keep it that way.

    I think it's worth it for every linux user with an nvidia card to pay the cost of the card as donation to such an effort, because a gpu is only as good as its drivers....

    I'm getting an Ubuntu Dell w/ nVidia GeForce 8400m GS soon (no ati option), so for me, such a donation would be around $150.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    if you know of such an effort, a sort of dedicated warfare against nvidia, please please let me know, ill happily support it
    You need to take a chill pill. Seriously. You are more of a hindrance than a help right at the moment with the attitude.

    Pick your fights- something you're not doing right now. Honest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    You need to take a chill pill. Seriously. You are more of a hindrance than a help right at the moment with the attitude.

    Pick your fights- something you're not doing right now. Honest.
    i guess thats the difference between the two of us, i pick fights that are just and right, you seem to pick fights "you can win"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redeeman View Post
    i guess thats the difference between the two of us, i pick fights that are just and right, you seem to pick fights "you can win"
    You tilt at windmills- what you consider is "just and right" only distorts the message you try to convey and you get NOWHERE fast.

    [edit]
    You have your heart in the right place- but stridence does you NO favors. You seem to enjoy bringing strife wherever you go and you accomplish little with it.

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    Sorry but I dont think some of the sentiments in that article are entirely realistic, or for that matter even close... Sounds like propaganda against the kernel developers to me. How would properly and completely supporting an open driver cause workstation users to pack up and move to another OS? Really? I would like to try and understand the logic behind that.

    I would like to try and steer clear of subjective ideologies, and instead stick with facts. Fact 1: The only limitations to the open drivers are the ones that ATi artificially imposes. Fact 2: It is only the artificially imposed limitations that would prevent workstation users from adopting open drivers.

    Seems pretty cut and dry to me. If properly and completely supported, an open driver can and will be better then any closed driver could possibly be. Ever. How would a stable and functional open driver, drive workstation users away? Seriously, I'd like to try and understand the logic behind this reasoning.
    Last edited by duby229; 06-24-2008 at 04:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    I would like to try and steer clear of subjective ideologies, and instead stick with facts. Fact 1: The only limitations to the open drivers are the ones that ATi artificially imposes. Fact 2: It is only the artificially imposed limitations that would prevent workstation users from adopting open drivers.
    Wasn't this an article about the other guys ? How did ATI get involved ?

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    Seems pretty cut and dry to me. If properly and completely supported, an open driver can and will be better then any closed driver could possibly be. Ever.
    Open drivers can be better if the same development resources (or more) are poured into them. That's where it gets complicated.

    Workstation customers make purchasing decisions based on proprietary software features and performance, which HW vendors spend a ton of money developing and don't want to give away to their competitors. The existence of open source drivers is not the issue, it's the implicit "and then we'll ban closed source drivers" that would be a problem for workstation customers.

    Workstation seems to be an exception to the typical user base, since the "Linux workstation market" is really the old "Unix workstation market", which didn't have a problem with closed source drivers.

    Quote Originally Posted by duby229 View Post
    How would a stable and functional open driver, drive workstation users away? Seriously, I'd like to try and understand the logic behind this reasoning.
    This is easy. Linux workstation customers expect feature and performance parity with Windows, which means either the same development cost for 1/10th the market size or sharing code between the OSes. Practically speaking, that means the Linux workstation drivers are going to share a lot of code with drivers from other OSes, which in turn means that "opening up the drivers" puts your competitive edge at risk in all OSes not just Linux.

    We adopted a two driver strategy because we felt that workstation absolutely needed a closed source solution (because of the market pull for parity with Windows and the competitive challenges that brings) while most other Linux users could be satisfied with an open source stack that had all the important functionality but not the proprietary features or performance work which feeds the workstation market.

    Our workstation customers felt that it would be handy to have an open source driver which could be swapped in to confirm that a kernel problem was in no way related to the binary graphics driver, but every one I spoke with (including both ATI and NVidia customers) said that what they cared about was performance and stability on a standard commercial OS distribution (typically RHEL or SLES/SLED), not open-ness or ability to work across arbitrary distros.
    Last edited by bridgman; 06-24-2008 at 04:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgman View Post
    We adopted a two driver strategy because we felt that workstation absolutely needed a closed source solution (because of the market pull for parity with Windows and the competitive challenges that brings) while most other Linux users could be satisfied with an open source stack that had all the important functionality but not the proprietary features or performance work which feeds the workstation market.

    Our workstation customers felt that it would be handy to have an open source driver which could be swapped in to confirm that a kernel problem was in no way related to the binary graphics driver, but every one I spoke with (including both ATI and NVidia customers) said that what they cared about was performance and stability on a standard commercial OS distribution (typically RHEL or SLES/SLED), not open-ness or ability to work across arbitrary distros.
    Well.. as long as the free ati driver gets fullfeatured opengl, xv, and reasonable performance, i dont care at all what stuff amd does with their binary stuff.. and the same would be true for nvidia, not that i EVER plan to again purchase an nvidia product given that the AMD commitment holds.

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