Phoronix: NVIDIA Issues An Open-Source Driver Update
NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner has just announced the release of the xf86-video-nv 2.1.14 driver, but does it have anything in store? Not really. The NVIDIA open-source X.Org driver update brings support for a couple of new ASICs, fixed mode-setting for some NVIDIA GPUs, and other fixes, but nothing too exciting.....
In a perfect world this would be really fine. But i don't think that will happen soon. The oss driver provides basic 2d acc and xv - the same you get now for ati r600/r700 gpus. For full speed you are forced in both cases to install binary drivers.
The oss driver provides basic 2d acc and xv - the same you get now for ati r600/r700 gpus.
That is not entirely accurate, the xf86-video-nv driver has xv acceleration only for older chips. It will probably never have xv on current and future generation chips. See this thread for details. OTOH, xf86-video-ati/radeonhd support xv on all Radeon GPUs.
I don't know anybody who does not install the binary driver anyway. I made a script to do so that even works in live mode with Debian/Ubuntu live images - on hd install of course too. I guess that's easy enough.
AFAIK the Utah-GLX devs had Nvidia docs under NDA for the Rivas and early Geforces. Wonder what happened to those.
They're still there for the taking over at the SourceForge repository.
But the codebase was for the Riva series of adapters- and you'd have quite a bit of work to re-work the drivers, especially without the docs, to work under DRI/Mesa or Gallium3D/Mesa as they're rather specific to Utah-GLX and you'd have to know what the code was doing to be able to crib from it and it's not useful past the Riva series.
I like open source but I understand the need for nVidia to keep it's secrets hidden away from the likes of intel and ati. They have a right........ in light of competition.
I know I wouldn't bother to sink a bunch of money into a new technology if I couldn't use it as an advantage against my business rivals.
But for the older stuff, say two or three generations back, it should be fine.
Your argument doesn't really hold water... AMD opened their specs for their latest and greatest GPUs - did that put them into a competitive disadvantage? I'd say it did the exact opposite: buying AMD hardware makes more sense now that we are not dependent on the whims of the closed-source binaries.
You have to be really lucky when your ATI hardware still working when the driver is in such a good shape with full 3d support, GLSL and all for a current r600/r700 GPU. My X700 cards just died when all major bugs have been solved, well speed was maybe 50% or less and GLSL did not work.