I'd like to own some AMD cards, but the primary use of my home computer is Wine and World of Warcraft. From what I've read, using an AMD card with that software combination is simply an exercise in frustration. Unless thats changed with 8.12... (I somehow doubt it has, tho)
Running Warcraft 3 in Wine works fine for me (though I have to workaround a _wine_ bug that prevents fglrx from using 3d acceleration, see Wine bugzilla 13335), so I guess WoW will play nice with fglrx, too.
However, your mileage may vary, fglrx behaves different on each computer ;D
I guess the xorg developers wouldn't even accept that code as it's probably quite ugly and very nv-specific (i.e. optimized for the binary blob and not usuable for radeon/intel/etc).
What will be the benefit for NVidia? At the moment, NVidia is a good choice for those ones, who are desperately looking for something compatible with *nix (especially Compiz-lovers).
By the way, I like the Intel's and AMD's position in this question: there's a set of good standards/architectures, in X world. You can write your closed blob, which hacks/overrides these standards, or, you can write driver that comply to them, and therefore, give X guys a reason to evolve "base". And even help them in doing so, like Intel does, for example.
give X guys a reason to evolve "base". And even help them in doing so, like Intel does, for example.
That'd certainly be best, help keep as much as you can out of the drivers and in X instead, so the drivers are merely only the parts needed for direct communication with the hardware. That's part of the goal of Gallium 3D is to simplify the drivers much more by doing this. Definitely a smart programming move if they can pull it off which I guess they have/will. Hell, it'd be nice to just make generic video card drivers like with USB standards or the firewire standard, have a universal standard which simply grows over time. It's just a matter of using the same language is all, completely possible, and it'd really help every OS out there.
(Maybe that's why it's not wanted, maybe it's partly due to MS's monopoly and them trying to compete against other OSes by making drivers be more exclusive to their OS, I dunno.) ^^
1). 2D-accel(should be good with GTK, Qt3, Qt4, whatever)/Video/OpenGL(of declared version) --> it's the FIRST priority.
I agree. The state of 2D acceleration in fglrx is ridiculous. I use konsole with a visual alarm (black/white flash instead of loudspeaker beep). With fglrx and its slow text output, this is no flash anymore but some slow filling effect. Restoring a text window takes about a third of a second while with other drivers this is instantaneous.
2). Wine --> 2nd.
Yes. With fglrx you can forget about anything more recent than World of Warcraft - see Wine FAQ and the postings linked there.
Another bug: For me, Xine reproducably crashes the whole machine with some videos (HD 3xxx, fglrx 8.11). With nvidia I last saw this happen in 2003 or something.
...and to top things, as you said already, instead of fixing these long-standing bugs, ATI seems to work on new features. Really, who needs some let-programs-run-on-GPU feat if text consoles feel sluggish and video playback occasionally makes the system crash? Not that I would ever expect these new features to work properly if even the basics don't work...
Michael, PLEASE, in next articles about fglrx, mention the horrible basic state the driver is in. I definitely dislike NVIDIA, and I like the fact that ATI released specifications a lot. Based on articles like the one you wrote I purchased a recent ATI card and was quite horrified by the state of things when trying it first-hand. The card has been returned, and I will probably stay away from ATI graphics for quite some time now even though I'm an open source advocate.
Old ATI cards (X1xxx etc.) with OSS drivers may be cool (if you don't want to play recent games in Wine, that is).
Recent ATI cards (HD3xxx/4xxx) with the fglrx driver definitely don't cut it. They suck both in 2D (with no OSS alternatives ready yet) and 3D/Wine. And you don't want fglrx if you want your system to run stable.
Don't pretend fglrx is mature enough for daily use.