In this case the Nvidia binary blob still works better than any other offering for linux graphics. It has support for OpenGL 3.2 OpenCL and CUDA, mesa is playing catch up big time. Even flgrx isn't as advanced as the Nvidia blob
I'm not saying I like it - I use AMD and Intel, IcedTea and Chromium. The only blobs on my PC is firmware and Flash (and I'll switch to gnash or swfdec as soon as it works properly with chromium)
It would be pretty amusing if Nvidia hardware ends up being better supported than ATI in Gnewsense because of this development.
"There has been, and continues to be, significant Linux workstation interest from a variety of workstation segments (e.g., Oil & Gas, Automotive, Film and Broadcast, etc)."
"I don't know many concrete percentages. Highend workstation visualization is roughly half Linux, and Digital Content Creation (DCC) is largely Linux. NVIDIA Linux graphics powers a respectable portion of the 3D workstations. Our CUDA user base also has a large Linux contingent."
I think nvidia is betting on their proprietary drivers because that's where they think most of their consumers are.
I think AMD previously thought the same at one point. I don't have any evidence for this but the name "fglrx" really does emphasize their firegl workstation gfx cards.
Thankfully AMD has done a fantastic job at opening up their specs so better opensource drivers can be written.
The difference between these blobs, and the AMD/ATI blobs, is in what they do. These blobs are definitions of the context-switching layout, used to provide hardware support for tracking state. ATI blobs are used to start up the CP/DMA engine, one level lower. Completely different things.
Also, these are non-trivial in size and not required for card operation, unlike the ATI blobs. Additionally, they're actually reversible; ATI's blobs are for custom, single-purpose chips which only use ucode for cost reasons, and it would not be useful at all to have them reverse-engineered since there are no additional features to be gleaned from them. (IIRC there have only been two updates to the ATI blobs, ever, and those were both for older Radeons, not current-gen stuff.)
which means > 80% of NVIDIA users will need it.which means the NVIDIA ctx_voodoo right now will only be needed for the GeForce 8 series graphics cards and newer.
[fixed for you]