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Thread: icculus interview

  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    6) What do you think about the quality of open source graphics drivers? What graphics hardware do you use?
    I think they aren't ready yet, and I think we're in a dangerous position where distros are treating them as if they are.
    I use Nvidia's closed-source drivers on a GeForce 9800GTX. My next GPU will be a more-powerful GeForce card with closed-source drivers. The things I work on require this.
    Also, I find it completely ridiculous that we're shipping open source OpenGL drivers without S3TC support because of patent concerns. Today, that's like shipping a web browser without .jpg support!
    I feel very pragmatic about this; open source video drivers being shipped simply for dogmatic attitudes towards software freedom is costly to Linux as an ecosystem. I believe the only way that we'll ever find a reasonable way to have open source drivers is if Nvidia (etc) start developing their drivers as open source from the start, as first class members of the community.
    I don't buy this attitude that GPU driver development is just _so hard_ that mere mortals can't do it, and thus there's no value to being open. But I do think there's no way that open source drivers can keep starting from scratch as each new generation of hardware hits store shelves. The cleaner solution is to open up the source to drivers we already know work, and have everyone--hardware vendors, distros, individuals--working in the same source tree. Every one would win.
    I continue to dream of a better world.
    Well said.

  3. #3

    Default icculus interview

    nice issue and well what you said.

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    Default ship with games

    They used to ship games that would boot off the floppy drive. If you converted Ubuntu into booting straight to the game that would be an awesome thing. Of course as Ryan is saying your drivers may lack the ability to run the game.

    ATI/NVidia shouldn't mind Shuttleworth shipping their drivers.

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    I don't agree with his statement on shipping open source drivers as default. One of the first thing gamers do on Windows is install the official video driver, so it's not like it's a new concept that people just can't grasp.

    Secondly, not everyone is a gamer. There are a lot of people who have no intention of playing any games at all on Linux, and the open source drivers are better for web browsing than the proprietary ones are.

    If you're a gamer, and you want the better 3D drivers, then get the proprietary driver yourself. It only takes a few minutes to set up. There's no reason to ship the closed source driver by default.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icculus
    I believe the only way that we'll ever find a reasonable way to have open source drivers is if Nvidia (etc) start developing their drivers as open source from the start, as first class members of the community.
    I don't buy this attitude that GPU driver development is just _so hard_ that mere mortals can't do it, and thus there's no value to being open. But I do think there's no way that open source drivers can keep starting from scratch as each new generation of hardware hits store shelves. The cleaner solution is to open up the source to drivers we already know work, and have everyone--hardware vendors, distros, individuals--working in the same source tree. Every one would win.
    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Well said.
    I agree. He supports the AMD and Intel model, and criticises Nvidia for refusing to work with the OSS community.

    I'm glad that you've come around, deanjo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    I agree. He supports the AMD and Intel model, and criticises Nvidia for refusing to work with the OSS community.

    I'm glad that you've come around, deanjo.
    I totally agree the only reasonable way you will get opensource drivers is if the manufacturer creates them. That is a no brainer and I have never denied it. They are the ones most qualified for the job after all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    I totally agree the only reasonable way you will get opensource drivers is if the manufacturer creates them. That is a no brainer and I have never denied it. They are the ones most qualified for the job after all.
    Whats wrong with the current open source drivers?
    As long as you're not playing Crysis in Wine, they're perfectly fine. I guess video acceleration isn't that good, but for AMD users the Catalyst driver isn't any better at it than the open source driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvtcupcakes View Post
    Whats wrong with the current open source drivers?

    As long as you're not playing Crysis in Wine, they're perfectly fine. I guess video acceleration isn't that good, but for AMD users the Catalyst driver isn't any better at it than the open source driver.
    Quite simply they don't do what I need them to do. I use video acceleration heavily, particularly with h264 so that is a huge one for me and thus kills the opensource option and any chance of me grabbing a AMD card even with their blobs. They also don't offer any type of gpgpu solution which is also a big issue for me as I do gpgpu development work professionally and personally. There is also the PITA fact that all to often when a new feature is implemented in the opensource drivers it requires upgrading your entire graphics subsystem and/or kernel. How any one can say that is more convientent is beyond me. If you are just doing basic word processing, web surfing etc you are perfectly fine with the opensource drivers. Then again I can do those things anyways with my plasma TV or feature phone or iPad (although even the iPad has more video prowess then any of the opensource solutions in linux) and I didn't buy a discreet card for just doing those things. If I wanted to do just those basic items then I would have never bothered upgrading from a voodoo card all those many years ago. It is also nice to know that even though I'm not a big gamer that if I do wish to game I can do so without worrying about items like are drivers even capable of delivering the features needed to run that game.
    In summary, the opensource drivers concentrate on areas that are not important to my daily use. Instead of concentrating on practical items for me they concentrate on trivial items like flicker free boots which offers no real practical benefit.

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    There is also the PITA fact that all to often when a new feature is implemented in the opensource drivers it requires upgrading your entire graphics subsystem and/or kernel. How any one can say that is more convientent is beyond me.
    It's a one-liner, FFS.

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