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Thread: AMD's Hiring Another Open-Source Driver Developer

  1. #81
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    How's that, when even dvdcss aside, mp3 and flash aren't out-of-the-box either?

    Flash isn't out of the box on any os, yet it isn't exactly dead (no matter how much I wish it was).

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Yet every user who wants libdvdcss can get it, there are quite good third-party repos for each big distro.

    If an OpenGL4 fork of Mesa would be on a server in a suitable country, I'm quite sure it would get packaged to the said third-party repos.
    Every user who even knows it exists, wants it, and can figure out how to install it.

    That's a very non-ideal situation. For DVD playback, it just means that vendors can't expect Linux to be usable for DVD playing, which isn't a huge deal. Most people use some kind of dedicated media device attached to a TV for watching DVDs; using a PC for movie playback like that is still pretty rare in general, outside of media PCs and the occasional traveler with a laptop. Basically, vendors don't really care if Linux can play DVDs or not, because it has no effect on what software they can ship for Liunx.

    This is very, very different than a core platform library for software. If Linux can't support OpenGL 3/4 out of the box, then shipping OpenGL 3/4 software for Linux is not all that commercially beneficial. Linux is a minority enough as it is. Stripping your potential userbase down to the subset of Linux users who can figure out how to install some crazy and technically illegal (for most consumer-oriented countries, e.g. the US) library just makes the entire platform less attractive than it already is.

    There may be a workaround for some for this patent problem, but that workaround is nowhere near an actual solution. The problem really is a problem, not just a minor inconvenience.

    Obviously, solving the problem correctly in this case is not easy. It either requires a massive amount of voter feedback to Congress, or it requires some kind of miracle. Sadly, people seem more interested in hacking around the problem rather than taking the 5 minutes to get on EFF and contact their representatives. (Not sure how much the EFF works with non-US politicians; even if they don't, writing a letter to your country's leadership is neither time consuming nor difficult.) Governments are going to keep listening to big-dollar lobbyists until the people actually get loud and unrelenting about software patents.

    Flash isn't out of the box on any os, yet it isn't exactly dead (no matter how much I wish it was).
    Flash makes itself dead easy to install without requiring any previous knowledge of its existence from users. Go to a website that needs it, it pops up a dialog or a link that says "CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FLASH." On Windows at least, you can click there, click a few more big easy to see buttons, and bam, Flash is there and works. Plus, a lot of OEMs pre-install Flash these days. In the OEM scene, not being in Windows (or Linux) by default doesn't mean it won't be on the machine when a user receives it.

    Pretty sure Linux DVD players or Linux games aren't going to do that for missing libdvdcss or missing OpenGL extension libraries.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by marek View Post
    It is technically impossible to have an open source OpenGL 4 driver with the current software patent law.
    do you know? law isn't an technical Argument in an Democraty law can be chanced but an valid technical argument can not be chanced.

    and you fail again because Patent LAW only hit Company's and not Private user.

    so Privat user can build an openGL4 implementation without any problem and they can use it.

    but if a company wana use this the company need to pay for the Patent.

  4. #84
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    @elanthis

    Yes, it would not be an ideal situation. I agree it would suck for the reasons you stated.

    However, given the current reality, would you rather let nobody have it, or only advanced[1] users? Clearly having a technically-illegal-in-the-US-and-some-other-places is an improvement over the status quo.

    PS: My country currently does not recognize software patents.


    [1] "Advanced". As you described Flash, it can be made just that easy. Like the current Ubuntu installer has a single checkbox "install proprietary crap", or the default media player a message box "you don't have mp3 codecs, click here to install them", it couldn't get much easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
    and you fail again because Patent LAW only hit Company's and not Private user.
    Patent law doesn't work the way you think it does. I'd explain, but explaining things to you makes as much sense as explaining them to my desk. Except the desk won't argue back with pure stupidity, so it's actually better to explain things to my desk.

    Quote Originally Posted by curaga
    [1] "Advanced". As you described Flash, it can be made just that easy. Like the current Ubuntu installer has a single checkbox "install proprietary crap", or the default media player a message box "you don't have mp3 codecs, click here to install them", it couldn't get much easier.
    You're right about it being worth doing, but just keep in mind it's not that easy. Better than nothing, sure, but still beyond the grasp of many mere users.

    With the media formats (including Flash) there is a container application that can check for missing codecs and do the search for a package that meets the needs. When you see a browser or Totem or whatever do this, keep in mind that those applications themselves are explicitly doing those queries and PackageKit calls; it's not GStreamer or whatever doing it behind the applications' backs.

    For an OpenGL app, there is no such container. Unless you expect the applications themselves to all use a non-standard Linux-specific API to query for support, then there's no really easy way to pull this off. The best you could do is to have Mesa detect versioned context creation, block the application, pop up a dialog asking to install the support. They aren't written expecting Mesa to block waiting for user interaction, and it's quite possible they'll break in bad ways if Mesa does so.

    Even if you do the Mesa trick, if you just want to use the patented features as extensions then you've still got a problem. Extensions can't ever have auto-detection in Mesa, because you don't say, "Hey GL, you got extension foo?" You say, "Hey GL, tell me what extensions you've got," and then make decisions based off of the result. There's no way for Mesa to know whether the app actually wants any particular extension, unless the app is just poorly coded and tries to look up the function pointers without checking extension strings first.

    The Ubuntu setup is also still not as easy, because the restricted formats manager is not installed by default. You have to know things are missing, know what you need to fix them, and then manually carry out a series of steps. Still way harder than Flash on Windows.

  6. #86
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    Yeah, I didn't think it could be done well on the app level. Wouldn't it fit well under the same checkbox in the install phase, though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Yeah, I didn't think it could be done well on the app level. Wouldn't it fit well under the same checkbox in the install phase, though?
    Are patented format checkboxes in the installer? I was under the impression that the install-time selections were for legal but non-open-source packages, like the NVIDIA drivers and such, not things which are just flat out illegal in the US.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Patent law doesn't work the way you think it does. I'd explain, but explaining things to you makes as much sense as explaining them to my desk. Except the desk won't argue back with pure stupidity, so it's actually better to explain things to my desk.
    in germany you only can hit companys with a patent never NEVER a privat man.

    meand if the privat man's bild there own openGL4 the patent-law can not hurt them at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qaridarium View Post
    in germany you only can hit companys with a patent never NEVER a privat man.

    meand if the privat man's bild there own openGL4 the patent-law can not hurt them at all.
    That may be. I apologize for the insult. In the US, it works differently.

  10. #90
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    If you want OGL 4 support, you already have to do a separate download to get the proprietary drivers. And judging by how many people play MP3s on Linux, I don't think adding a patent-infringing Mesa to a 3rd party repository would be that big of a leap for users.

    No question that it would be better to have in the default install, and certainly apps like Compiz/Kwin couldn't rely on it, but it would be very nice for the types of people who frequent Phoronix and better than nothing.

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