Phoronix: Open ATI Driver To Receive PowerPlay Push?
Besides the Radeon DRM improvements (and Radeon HDMI KMS audio) to be found in the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, there is more to be thankful for this holiday season when it comes to the open-source support. Up to this point when it comes to power management for ATI's kernel mode-setting support the work (Radeon DRM Power Management Moves Along) has been largely done by RafaĆ? MiĆ?ecki, an independent open-source developer...
There's no power management infrastructure to hook into and no one's written the code to do it.
I bet that the cross kernel madness is one of the main reason. To follow kernel abstraction, the DRM would have to include a power management abstraction which works on Linux and BSD. That abstraction will be easy to design with firmware loading but with power management, design is brought to a whole new level...
The cross-kernel thing is turning to a kludge. Better drop kernel abstraction, switch to GNU GPLv2 (I would go GNU Affero GPLv3 for GPU drivers), and code directly on Linux APIs and internal structures. BSD coders are smart enough to code drivers that will fit cleanely their kernel, since all the knowledge will already be available in Linux.
I seriously don't mean to start a flame war, but why are desktop users using BSD?
Many do: MacOS.
The big issue here is that MacOS is a proprietary and closed fork of Darwin which is a BSD. MacOS has many improvements that Dawin has not...
This is a part of the root of the BSD/GNU GPL flamewar.
"Thanks" to the BSD license, apple can improve and close the code witout publishing it. MacOS is closed and proprietary. With the GNU GPL, fairness (open source) is protected, enforced: you cannot close the code. It allows us to go after optimal code.
Most of GNU GPL coders are looking to have an *optimal* open source OS installed on systems. The GNU GPL helps towards that goal, but is not a silver bullet.
Regarding the GPUs drivers, since they are BSD, apple can rip that code, share secrets with nvidia/AMD/intel... in order to keep the optimal code for MacOS crippling the open source version (they did it for NTFS support for instance).
I do remenber BSD advocates saying that no company will be able to have a better proprietary fork of a BSD OS. They were wrong.