Of course people that work on opensource AMD drivers are heroic. They spend time and own money to produce driver for free. But it is not a driving force! It is huge stupidity to see linux as community os. The definition of community is "any entity" - personal or corporative. The advantage of community is to remove barriers, remove reinventing the wheel, remove patents, sell REAL work. It is huge stupidity to think linux will make 80% if household wives start hacking AMD drivers. They have money - use that. Sell card with official opensource drivers in shops! But wives are already paying for windows drivers and they & other street folks must be happy with it! Why, because they have no choice! Because their voices are being ignored.
And AMD opensource developers are heroic. Till to the point they tell AMD opensource development is shareware policy. You dont buy 300$ card to use it with opensource drivers.
Q wants to write AMD opensource driver on his own for free - he should do it.
- Look people die from illness, so you must die.
- But I want to support illness research!
- No, look, only 0,1% does not die, so you must die too.
It is not typical for Linux to beg corporations to write closed source crap for your kernel, because otherwise your OS doesn't work.
Perhaps, but if you buy Nvidia, you support turning Linux into a closed operating system.You buy AMD you support linux stay 0,1%.
Don't forget, the Nvidia blob is much larger than all the rest of the Linux kernel combined.
They care much more about open product than about proprietary, provided they are close call(ie it is possible). This is what microsoft fears (hence the directx, .net->mono, gpl prohibition, shutdown of maemo/harm to qt on nokia, document format wars, etc).
Nvidia does not provide opensource drivers for windows either.
And AMD member stated earlier that the only thing they care about is money(which is normal to company, per definition) and the only way to earn it is sell proprietary patented technology to others(which is wrong, but normal practice in windows world)
There is good, very stable nvidia blob. Commercial closed source as well as commercial opensource and hobby opensource companies produce software that can reliably run on it. Nvidia ensures money can be made by others ON LINUX. It provides the solution. It does not hide behind microsoft. It provides ATTENTION to linux, in areas here nvidia hardware gives benefits.
Now there is also Intel opensource driver, which recently was patched to run with almost equal speed as its windows closed version. This means INTEL ALSO provides ATTENTION to linux, also in segments where intel's hardware brings benefits.
And now AMD. Closed driver that looses to nvidia in almost every feature. Open driver with small human force behind, unusable on main AMD GFX source of income - NEW HOT GFX chips. You can read it as "they refuse to use opensource as their selling point". But of course if you care about legacy(which no company can make money with) you use opensource radeon. That written when there ARE people that are ready to buy opensource driver support from amd in form of buying hardware.
AMD should not put opensource in the backyard backed off by statistics. Actually with AMD you HAVE to purchase windows in home use scenarios. AMD should combine community efforts with own efforts, and not assign opensource legacy role if it wants any success. It should allow community to express their support to company in form of money as well. Because people will prefer open version to closed if they are on par functionality. And kicking patents out of "Open"GL, because standards MUST be free, should also be collective effort. You can and should make money with opensource, instead of positioning it as second hand or shareware. Because no one will buy it or invest in it then.
This part is silly. Nothing needs to be patented to make a profit. Especially not video drivers. AMD/NVIDIA/Intel do not sell drivers. They sell hardware. The drivers are produced because without them the hardware is useless. If software patents were abolished today, nothing would really change in their development cycles for their drivers. If proprietary/closed software were made illegal today, nothing would really change in their development cycles for their drivers (other than that they'd probably rapidly improve by cross-proliferation of previously closed tech and bug fixes from users).And AMD member stated earlier that the only thing they care about is money(which is normal to company, per definition) and the only way to earn it is sell proprietary patented technology to others(which is wrong, but normal practice in windows world)
NVIDIA has an incentive for that, of course. Somebody somewhere is buying a lot of NVIDIA hardware and demanding Linux support for it. Hollywood, possibly, or perhaps the military, or maybe some of the geographical firms (oil companies and the like).There is good, very stable nvidia blob. Commercial closed source as well as commercial opensource and hobby opensource companies produce software that can reliably run on it. Nvidia ensures money can be made by others ON LINUX. It provides the solution. It does not hide behind microsoft. It provides ATTENTION to linux, in areas here nvidia hardware gives benefits.
Intel's hardware is simplistic. The fact that their Linux drivers don't already match their Windows counterparts is more proof of how little attention Intel is paying to Linux. (I of course know very little of the specifics and could be talking out of my ass here; I'm making a barely-educated guess and opinion on this.)Now there is also Intel opensource driver, which recently was patched to run with almost equal speed as its windows closed version. This means INTEL ALSO provides ATTENTION to linux, also in segments where intel's hardware brings benefits.
New GPUs are not anyone's main source of income. Just like new hot CPUs are not anyone's main source of income. Those big expensive over-priced super-powered components are marketing ploys. The sales figures for $300+ GPUs are tiny. The sales figures for $500+ CPUs are tiny. Those products are released so that benchmarks come out saying "OMG NVIDIA has the fastest GPU on the market!" and then Joe Gamer goes to the store and buys the $150 NVIDIA GPU (because that's all he can afford) instead of the $150 AMD GPU (despite the fact that at the $150 price point, the AMD product may be superior). Likewise for CPUs... before Sandy Bridge, the AMD Phenom II's would out-perform the Intel equivalents at the same price points, even though the higher-priced Intel CPUs trounced the living hell out of AMD's. (Now that Sandy Bridge is out, is even faster than the old i7's, and is ridiculously cheap... I'd be really really worried if I were AMD.)And now AMD. Closed driver that looses to nvidia in almost every feature. Open driver with small human force behind, unusable on main AMD GFX source of income - NEW HOT GFX chips.
Because it isn't. Almost nobody cares about FOSS. You need actual customers demanding it, not customers who might buy it if the feature is there. That means there needs to be some huge government or industry conglomerate that decides it really really really wants FOSS across the board and needs top-notch GPU support. Until then, Open Source drivers are not interesting to anyone but a relative handful of FSF supporters and nerds.You can read it as "they refuse to use opensource as their selling point".
NVIDIA's driver is smaller because they keep removing support for old cards. There's actually now three series of NVIDIA's proprietary driver depending on which range of GeForce cards you want supported.AMD blob is triple the size of nvidia. But to my knowledge this is solely due to nvidia use unified structure drivers on more or less unified hardware, where AMD has hardware with huge differences over generations.
Also, AMD changing up its hardware is a good thing. That's why the AMD hardware is superior to NVIDIA's (even though their drivers do a bang-up job of hiding that fact, often). AMD hardware is smaller, quieter, cooler, cheaper, more efficient, etc. It's all around better. If AMD could steal NVIDIA's driver team, I'd bet my left nut that NVIDIA would go out of business within a few years. (It's a safe bet, we don't want kids anyway )
What? My card seems to work perfectly well on Linux. The rest of Linux on the desktop is complete an utter crap, but the video hardware is working just fine. It's a slightly older card (HD 4770), granted, so maybe you just meant brand new hardware.AMD should not put opensource in the backyard backed off by statistics. Actually with AMD you HAVE to purchase windows in home use scenarios.
But brand new hardware on Linux is always a bad idea. The kernel developers make sure of that even for GPL'd drivers: you have to get a new kernel (and hence usually a new version of your distribution) to get new hardware support, which means a lag time of up to six months for a distribution refresh in the best of circumstances, and several years in cases where the GPL driver takes a while to mature.
Compare to Windows where the hardware vendor can slap a driver on a CD and you can just install it.
Note that I'm not saying Linux should go with proprietary drivers. I'm 100% fine with Linux going so far as to ban all non-GPL drivers from working, including NVIDIA's. What I'm saying is that it should be possible to distribute a GPL driver that can load up on at least any moderately recent distribution without requiring the user to upgrade to a brand new kernel that's unsupported by the distribution and not packaged up and installed automatically by the distribution.
AMD provides support for new hardware. It's just got a lag time. A measurably decreasing lag time. The AMD team has made this clear: they want zero-day wait periods on new hardwre support. They're just still playing catch-up. Eventually that catch-up will be done and they'll have the ability to add new hardware support before the hardware comes out. (They're doing this for Fusion in fact, aren't they? Or am I not recalling correctly?)AMD should combine community efforts with own efforts, and not assign opensource legacy role if it wants any success.
Don't be silly. They already do that. You buy their hardware or you don't. If you don't buy it, tell them why not. If you do buy it, you're telling them they're doing it right.It should allow community to express their support to company in form of money as well.
If you really want to pay _extra_ money, donate to third-party developers. Right now, the AMD driver is less in need of donations that the core Mesa/Gallium/DRI folks. Donate to them. Once they get their shit together, the AMD driver team will be under less pressure to fix up and work around limitations in the core graphics stack.
Impossible without destroying the patents (preferably all software patents). OpenGL is an interface to hardware. If you remove those features from OpenGL then OpenGL becomes useless. It's already considered borderline useless by most game developers even when you're talking about the full supported versions on Windows. OpenGL's API is a monstrosity, is impossible to multi-thread, GLSL is incredibly difficult to work with on modern effects engines, all OpenGL implementations are particularly slow at some very important tasks that DirectX drivers for some reason are not slow at (instanced rendering being the one I was discussing with one of our local super genius graphics devs a few weeks back, for example; every single OpenGL instancing technique we benchmarked was almost 20x slower on both NVIDIA and AMD hardware over OpenGL than with DirectX with the latest and most up to date OpenGL drivers).Because people will prefer open version to closed if they are on par functionality. And kicking patents out of "Open"GL, because standards MUST be free, should also be collective effort.
Let's be clear: OpenGL without floating point rendering is useless to me as a game developer. I need that feature. The fact that it's patented really freaking sucks. But it's too critical and important of a feature to simply ignore because of patents. If OpenGL lost support for it, then OpenGL would instantly die off in the gaming world, in the high-end rendering world, and pretty much everywhere but legacy CAD applications for shitty and mostly pointless desktop accelerated rendering (for which OpenGL is already a pretty horrible API anyway; Linux needs proper OpenVG support for that). Mac and Linux games would go from a rare occurance to never happening again, ever. Other than crappy little OpenGL ES casual games that are designed to run on $30 GPUs rather than $100-$500 GPUs.
You simply cannot perform many modern rendering techniques without floating point textures. That's exactly why OpenGL 3 added them as a core feature. Khronos didn't add them because they though, "hey patented tech, cool, let's add it!"
In fact, if you pay any attention to the OpenGL process rather than just bitching and whining as an uniformed forum luser with no investment or knowledge of what's going on, you'll actually see that there's a very huge bias against including any patented technology in OpenGL. Every single time patented tech ends up in OpenGL, it happens for one of two reasons:
(1) rarely: The patent was discovered after the tech was already added to OpenGL; submarine patents blow.
(2): most often: The patent in question is regarding something so fundamental to graphics hardware or graphics programming that avoiding it is impossible.
The ONLY way to fix either of these cases is to abolish software patents. Khronos, Mesa, Linux, AMD, NVIDIA, etc. are all helpless in this regard; they either have to use the patented tech or they have to exit the industry and go make non-graphics products. If you're going to bitch at them at all, bitch that they're not spending enough on lobbying to Congress to remove software patents from the USC. Specifically, add an explicit exemption of software from patentability, or clarify what "process" means in terms of patentability, or both. Software patents exist solely because the USC is kind of vague on this area. Just like how TVs are given an explicit exemption for copyright (because technically your TV is making a copy of the movie when it projects it onto a screen; the USC states that this does not count as a copy of the material but is an implicitly granted right all users of video have) but many more recent technological advancements do not have similar exemptions (the USC does not yet state that copying a program from disk to main memory is exempted from copyright, and in fact that was previously argued as being a copyright infringement in courts a couple decades back; there's more recent precedent overturning that ruling, but legal precedent is not law, it's just a guideline).
Cheese is nutz.
He thinks he understands how things works, but he doesn't. He is on his way, but he lacks real world experience and is going off of assumptions.
Personally I don't give a shit about proprietary drivers or not. I won't use proprietary drivers if I can help it. END OF STORY.
I have concerns that go beyond just immediate gratification and game playing. I want a stable, flexible system. I want Linux to succeed and it's not going to do it unless it can break the reliance on proprietary drivers and everybody learns to work together.
I've seen it before were proprietary drivers were much better then open source drivers and yet they were both shit. Then open source drivers surpassed the proprietary ones and now we actually have a good system. RAID devices were one example. Storage controllers. NIC cards. blah blah blah.
Wifi is the most recent. Until recently the best drivers you could get for Linux was Madwifi and those relied on proprietary Proprietary Atheros "HAL" binary blob.
Now with Mac80211 wifi stack and other related software Linux OSS drivers are the best on the market. Better then Windows, better then OS X. Not for every single piece of hardware, but for the hardware that is good. And guess what? Atheros still makes some of the best chipsets for Linux.. not because of proprietary HAL and Madwifi (which are both abandoned in favor of Mac80211 drivers), but simply because their chipsets are BETTER then their competitors.
And I benefit directly from this because now I have a fantastic little router from Best Buy that I paid 150 bucks for and have a development version of OpenWRT with a modern kernel with modern Linux features. Fantastic performance. Fast, stable, fully capable. And running open source Atheros drivers. It kicks ass.
Throw 2Mb worth of traffic and 300+ bittorrent connections at it and it just giggles. Other people stuck with shit 2.6 kernels and proprietary broadcom drivers have a meltdown just thinking about it.
Graphics drivers are the last bastion of proprietary drivers in Linux. In every other category of hardware putting proprietary drivers makes Linux worse, not better.
What makes it worse is that GPUs are now general purpose. GPU acceleration is no longer a add-on. It's part of the architecture. It's just one more processor.
I AM NOT going to rely on proprietary drivers just to be able to use my processors.
That is fucked. It's not about just making games go fast. It's part of the architecture.
I can sign my name under drag's post, because that's exactly how I feel.
Imagine if your CPU needed a proprietary blob to operate.
Well, okay, printers are less a bastion of proprietary drivers and more just a complete lack of drivers...
In any case, graphics drivers might take a while. Graphics drivers are incredibly complex beasts. A SCSI driver might be a few thousand lines of code, maybe a few tens of thousands for particularly complex chips. NVIDIA or AMD's proprietary drivers are millions.
A GPU driver essentially needs to include most of what your entire OS includes: a schedular, a memory management, an I/O controller, an optimizing compiler, debugging and tracing facilities, hardware detection and configuration, etc. Big, beautiful, complex monstrosities.
And that's just the parts that live in the hardware-specific drivers, not the Mesa/Gallium/DRI stuff that is shared between chips! Add in that, you've got the state trackers, command sanitizers, format converters, high-level compiler infrastructure, etc.
Not saying it can't happen, or won't happen, but it's going to take an awful lot more than just sitting around waiting for it to happen like most people did for the other Linux drivers. Graphics needs more manpower. A LOT more.
Don't forget scanners!
When I was looking for a good scanner a couple of months ago I could not buy the ones I really wanted because of a complete lack of linux drivers.
I had to settle for a less than optimal model with proprietary drivers.
I wasn't able able to find a new one with free drivers at all.