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Thread: AMD's Catalyst Misses The Support Train, Again

  1. #1
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    Default AMD's Catalyst Misses The Support Train, Again

    Phoronix: AMD's Catalyst Misses The Support Train, Again

    While AMD released the Catalyst 11.3 driver this morning, if you're an early adopter of Ubuntu 11.04, Fedora 15, or any other Linux distribution shipping with xorg-server 1.10, the proprietary Radeon / FirePro driver remains incompatible...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTI2OQ

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    AMD did have support in time, and the there was a breakage with the ABI. That's hardly AMD's fault, and as can be shown by releasing a "look ahead" driver, they certainly are able to quickly adapt if they want.
    The driver pipeline is in place for a reason, however, and unlike nvidia, AMD don't like releasing beta drivers. QA will have to go over any changes before things are officially supported.
    Now Ubuntu might get some beta drivers early, but there's nothing to stop other distros repackaging it for their own needs.

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    It is completely stupid NOT to release the binary installer as official preview and only providing U with it. First off all it is now basically "complete" as there are only xpic* dirs for all supported xservers but U strips several things out of the .orig.tar.gz which is not nice. Basically those parts to create packages. To be really original they would need to ship the run installer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mirv View Post
    AMD did have support in time, and the there was a breakage with the ABI. That's hardly AMD's fault, and as can be shown by releasing a "look ahead" driver, they certainly are able to quickly adapt if they want.
    The driver pipeline is in place for a reason, however, and unlike nvidia, AMD don't like releasing beta drivers. QA will have to go over any changes before things are officially supported.
    Now Ubuntu might get some beta drivers early, but there's nothing to stop other distros repackaging it for their own needs.
    It is AMD's fault. Nvidia supported Xorg 1.10 before and after the ABI break. If AMD doesn't want to release beta version that support Xorg 1.10 then that's their problem, and you can't say it's not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvtcupcakes View Post
    It is AMD's fault. Nvidia supported Xorg 1.10 before and after the ABI break. If AMD doesn't want to release beta version that support Xorg 1.10 then that's their problem, and you can't say it's not.
    As I said, they probably (I have to say probably, I don't work for them and I'm not signed up under any beta program) don't want to officially support without proper QA. In this case, it's not really their problem - it's yours if you don't like it.

    I'm actually against Ubuntu receiving preferential treatment, but I can understand why they do it. The fglrx drivers are aimed at business use, not home user.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mirv View Post
    AMD did have support in time, and the there was a breakage with the ABI. That's hardly AMD's fault, and as can be shown by releasing a "look ahead" driver, they certainly are able to quickly adapt if they want.
    The driver pipeline is in place for a reason, however, and unlike nvidia, AMD don't like releasing beta drivers. QA will have to go over any changes before things are officially supported.
    Now Ubuntu might get some beta drivers early, but there's nothing to stop other distros repackaging it for their own needs.
    how did, and what exactly broke in this Application Binary Interface ?

    dont they have something like the 'ABI compliance checker' http://ispras.linuxfoundation.org/in...liance_checker in place or something ! and dont they use simple major/minor visioning today

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    Quote Originally Posted by mirv View Post
    The fglrx drivers are aimed at business use, not home user.
    I disagree with this statement.
    Those drivers are made for all the AMD cards on the market, not only for the FireGL line which aims specifically the business use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spykes View Post
    I disagree with this statement.
    Those drivers are made for all the AMD cards on the market, not only for the FireGL line which aims specifically the business use.
    You missed the meaning of the text you quoted. It said that the *drivers* are aimed at business use, not the GPUs it supports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    You missed the meaning of the text you quoted. It said that the *drivers* are aimed at business use, not the GPUs it supports.
    I've perfectly understood, and that's why I disagree. If the driver supports cards designed for the consumer market (designed mainly for gaming), then I fail to see why it would be aimed at business use only.
    This sounds as a bad excuse for their poor Xorg support.

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    This is nothing that couldn't be fixed by releasing all their private Linux betas on an FTP server available to the general public, and running whatever "sanitizing" they run on the monthly releases on these as well. The sanitizing is an automatic program that just does it, right? RIGHT?

    If the monthly releases get sanitized manually then they need to have their heads examined; they should write a program that does whatever they think they need to do to "sanitize" or obfuscate their driver. Then they just have to do that for their betas and they can release them "unsupported" every week or two.

    It all comes down to whether AMD wants to invest additional manpower (however much it takes) into releasing these betas to the general public rather than just their closed circle of testers. I'm not saying they should test these betas in any way shape or form; they shouldn't. That's the point of betas. Then all they have to do is create a phpbb or vbulletin forum where end-users can talk to each other about the driver, potential workarounds for getting it to work, etc. and point people to the unofficial bugzilla for reporting genuine issues with the betas. Possibly also assign community moderators to both the forums and the bugzilla to scrap duplicate bugs, bogus bugs and spam. Volunteers are out there; companies need to learn to use them.

    But then again, in support of the open source drivers, I can't "encourage" AMD to invest more manpower into the closed drivers in any way. It's just that they seem to have such a large team working on the closed drivers that I'm sure one person could spare an hour a week (and that's a high estimate) to work on this kind of effort.

    I don't care one way or another since I use r600g, but I always hate when companies refuse to do simple things that take very little effort on their part, and provide an incalculably high benefit to end-users in return. Keep in mind that the beta drivers normally work fine for those testing them, it's only on rare cases (some apps, some cards) that they SOMETIMES have problems.

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