Page 3 of 11 FirstFirst 12345 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 109

Thread: Gordon's Thoughts On Open-Source GPU Drivers

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pvtcupcakes View Post
    For 90% of people the open source drivers are fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by tlpbsd View Post
    I completely agree. For typical end-users,
    Citations please. What do you really know about "typical end-users" and where do you know it from? How do you know how many are running binary drivers? Since you have such accurate data, go ahead and exclude anything from your figures that doesn't really belong in a discussion about the needs/wants of desktop users such as server machines.

    Secondly, if it's good enough for most users, why all the discussion? Why all the complaining, fudding, and carrying on in every forum, blog, bug report, etc, etc. Certainly this has to be one of the most vocal minorities ever.

    Third, if things are as you say, "90%" and "typical", how can you be sure that people are happy with the open drives and haven't just given in and accepted that FLOSS will never offer the extras such as gaming and just turn to something else (ps, wii, xbox, windows box, etc). How much feedback bias is going on where fact that people can't influences that people don't.

    Lets say tomorrow, that someone waves a magic wand and all the binary drivers were open, pattens were abolished, Epic came through with UT3, Steam etc... all happy rainbows and shit. Are you saying that the typical 90% won't give a shit because Supertux, KPatience, and Firefox have all been "fine" for some time?

    (Oh wait scratch Firefox, they're not fine with most FLOSS drivers either )

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by yogi_berra View Post
    Nah, kernel and X devs are infallible. Broken API's and ABI's are impossible to stop.
    The whole point is that devs *are* fallible, and will never be able to provide a future-proof ABI in one try. This happens anywhere, even on Windows. The only way to be stable is to be obsolete.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Remco View Post
    The whole point is that devs *are* fallible, and will never be able to provide a future-proof ABI in one try. This happens anywhere, even on Windows. The only way to be stable is to be obsolete.
    Windows 7 has not broken a single closed source graphics driver since its release. How many have broken on Linux since 2009?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    510

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by locovaca View Post
    Windows 7 has not broken a single closed source graphics driver since its release. How many have broken on Linux since 2009?
    Windows tries, and expends huge resources on backwards compatibility. Linux doesn't try, because those resources are not available. So yes, Windows will break less. But it will break eventually.

    How do you suppose Linux developers should provide an obsolete ABI and at the same time completely rebuild the graphics stack in a timely manner? And how does that work economically? What's the incentive for these developers to expend these huge resources to keep the ABI stable? An ABI that these developers don't even use?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Remco View Post
    Windows tries, and expends huge resources on backwards compatibility. Linux doesn't try, because those resources are not available. So yes, Windows will break less. But it will break eventually.

    How do you suppose Linux developers should provide an obsolete ABI and at the same time completely rebuild the graphics stack in a timely manner? And how does that work economically? What's the incentive for these developers to expend these huge resources to keep the ABI stable? An ABI that these developers don't even use?
    Hey, I'm just calling it like I see it. From a professional development standpoint, it makes Linux look more like a toy and a hobby it started out as and not a real system to target when the goal posts move every 6 months. Chicken and egg: Do developers not use the ABI because it keeps changing, or do the maintainers keep changing the ABI because it's not used? If a company has limited resources dedicated to Linux Driver Development, don't see real income from said development, and that code is constantly changing to match a remote ABI that won't stay stable, why would you expand said resources?

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Just buy Nvidia guys. They're power hungry, overpriced graphics cards but they work a billion times better than anything ATI ever made.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,926

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cruiseoveride View Post
    Just buy Nvidia guys. They're power hungry, overpriced graphics cards but they work a billion times better than anything ATI ever made.
    I will consider this when they open specs and provide help for open source driver developers.

    Right now, Nvidia barely works under Linux, and this is thanks to reverse-engineering. Nvidia does not offer me what I need, so I have turned to a company which does (AMD).

    Nvidia makes good cards for running Windows, though. If that's what you want.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    989

    Default

    RE: icculus: "dogmatic attitudes towards software freedom"

    Dogmatic attitudes towards software freedom? REALLY? This is the differentiating factor of GNU/Linux. Not that it's fast; not that it's developed efficiently "in the open"; not that it's more secure than Windows. People trying to pervert the vision of GNU/Linux into just another OS are the ones who are really dangerous.

    Even pure "open source" people agree with me here, throwing freedom out the window: their thesis is that software is better (more efficient, less buggy, less expensive to develop, more featureful) if it is open source, than if it is proprietary. So they would argue that the binary drivers aren't as good as the open drivers just in principle. That they aren't (yet) better in fact is a matter of the open drivers playing catchup.

    Consider the functions f(x) = x + 60 and g(x) = x^2 - 12. If you look at x = 3, of course f(x) is going to be better. But if you take it out to x = 16, g(x) has easily won the day, and will continue to diverge, growing faster and faster. That's the kind of behavior we have right now with the open drivers.

    However, what you (icculus) seem to not understand, is that the very method by which the open drivers will evolve (if they evolve at all) involves, crucially, widespread testing. If you don't push the open drivers out in distros, your testing pool is going to be something around the typical size of #radeon on freenode. This is insufficient for two reasons.

    First, it's obvious that only 100 or so people won't have all possible hardware combinations and ASICs. Some (untested) cards may not work at all because they have a different pinout, or strange/new display connectors (such as displayport) that are not yet supported. Making the developers aware of this is paramount to developing a good driver.

    But more importantly, 100 people won't be running the breadth of applications that a few hundred thousand are. You of all people should know that the GL specification (and implementations) are extremely finnicky, and very likely to produce incorrect behavior at the slightest misstep, either on the driver side or the app side. Building in support for the quirks and nonstandard behavior of hundreds of existing apps, let alone new ones, is no minor task.

    All that said, I agree 100% with your assessment that, in a pipe dream world, S3TC and floating point textures would be a non-issue that we could just plow through, and the vendors would share the code for fglrx and the nvidia binary with the world.

    But banking on a pipe dream and ignoring your roots (i.e. the reason GNU/Linux has gotten as far as it has, i.e. dogmatic principles regarding free and open source software) is not going to endear you to anyone.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    2,926

    Default

    Dogmatic attitudes about software freedom are THE defining difference between Linux/GNU and something like Solaris or AIX.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,024

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    RE: icculus: "dogmatic attitudes towards software freedom"

    Dogmatic attitudes towards software freedom? REALLY? This is the differentiating factor of GNU/Linux. Not that it's fast; not that it's developed efficiently "in the open"; not that it's more secure than Windows. People trying to pervert the vision of GNU/Linux into just another OS are the ones who are really dangerous.
    Not everybody cares about that vision. In fact, I'd argue that most users don't.

    There's a huge difference between Freedom and Open.

    I enjoy having an Open core OS.

    I also enjoy using software that actually works, and will give up a little bit of Open (or even a lot of it, in some cases) for higher quality software.

    This is very different than the FSF ideals where _everything_ must be Free at all times, period, the end.

    However, what you (icculus) seem to not understand, is that the very method by which the open drivers will evolve (if they evolve at all) involves, crucially, widespread testing.
    The problems with the Open drivers have nothing to do with testing. The problem is not "they don't work on some wild piece of hardware."

    The problem is "they are missing vast swathes of functionality critical to modern graphics engines, and the functionality they do have runs at a fraction of the speed of the proprietary drivers."

    The average Linux user may not care much (Linux users are by necessity generally not the game playing type), but the average computer user in general (some ~70% of which play games) is going to really care about this. If they can't run their silly little $10 bargin bin game because it just happened to some simple graphical effect that requires a proprietary driver, or it happens to hit one of the many slow paths in the current Mesa drivers, they're going to (rightly) assume the Linux desktop is a piece of crap and go back to Windows.

    I've seen this happen time after time. Seriously. Every single last Linux desktop install I have ever known outside of my own has been replaced with Windows because users have decided that $100-$200 is a small price to pay for "just fucking works." Hell, even I'm getting damn close to going that route after 10 years of Linux desktop use, especially with how utterly screwed up the desktop is on all the new post-GNOME-3.0 distro releases.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •