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Thread: We need a Campaign for OpenGL Patent Exemptions for OSS, namely Mesa, and Linux

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    Innovate their own "cutting edge" technology replacement instead of trying to duplicate and get that to become the established standard which would then be protected by prior art.
    You apparently don't understand the nature of at least one of these patents. It's on a _fundamental concept_ of all modern computer graphics.

    Second, the GL's job is not to innovate. It's to reflect what the hardware is capable of. Despite some common misconception, Microsoft does not just invent new Direct3D versions and then force NVIDIA/AMD to implement hardware for that. Instead, what Microsoft actually does is much more noble: it talks to NVIDIA and AMD, finds out what their future hardware will do, gets some cross-communication going to make sure that the hardware vendors' implementations of similar features are compatible, and then builds an API that reflects that hardware.

    The fact that OpenGL comes out with new features later than Direct3D is NOT due to some foul play on Microsoft's part. It's due to Khronos being utterly fucking useless

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    You apparently don't understand the nature of at least one of these patents. It's on a _fundamental concept_ of all modern computer graphics.
    That maybe however in many other areas it can be done.

    Second, the GL's job is not to innovate. It's to reflect what the hardware is capable of. Despite some common misconception, Microsoft does not just invent new Direct3D versions and then force NVIDIA/AMD to implement hardware for that. Instead, what Microsoft actually does is much more noble: it talks to NVIDIA and AMD, finds out what their future hardware will do, gets some cross-communication going to make sure that the hardware vendors' implementations of similar features are compatible, and then builds an API that reflects that hardware.
    I fully realize how that works. The open source community could also make the same attempts.

    The fact that OpenGL comes out with new features later than Direct3D is NOT due to some foul play on Microsoft's part. It's due to Khronos being utterly fucking useless
    Oh I know that, unlike some here I don't put on a tin foil hat and scream conspiracy for every shortcoming of open source software.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by deanjo View Post
    That maybe however in many other areas it can be done.
    There's not that many patents on this stuff, honestly. Pretty much all of them, however, are based on what happens in the hardware. S3TC, for instance. You can go ahead and invent an alternative, but since it won't exist in any hardware, absolutely nobody is going to have even the slightest use for it.

    I fully realize how that works. The open source community could also make the same attempts.
    I'm not so sure. This isn't something where a bunch of hobbyists can pop in and out of the project and scratch an itch here and there. This needs a dedicated set of highly trained and knowledgeable experts to commit full time to communication with the vendors and then react in a timely manner in getting an implementation, test suite, specification, and release put together. This can certainly be done by an Open Source focused company, like Red Hat or Canonical, who are paying said experts to produce Open code and documentation, but this is not really something a "community" can do in the traditional Open Source Bazaar sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    This can certainly be done by an Open Source focused company, like Red Hat or Canonical, who are paying said experts to produce Open code and documentation, but this is not really something a "community" can do in the traditional Open Source Bazaar sense.
    This exactly the part of the community I'm talking about (except for Canonical who don't do much in development anyways). Get your RH/Novells of the world in there. After all it was pretty much one company that drove the openGL movement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    Have you ever used the OpenGL drivers for anything besides an accelerated desktop and a few stupid Quake 3 clones? Even the proprietary drivers?
    Enough with your bullshit, practically the entire professional 3D content creation market runs on OpenGL, and does it extremely well. ID Software uses OpenGL even for it's newest engine id Tech 5, which will obviously be licenced and used in tons of new games. And yes, I've used pretty much every piece of 3d software out there at one time or another. Many under Linux, and performance and stability has been great using NVidia proprietary driver. You portray such a one-sided argument that it's a god damn travesty.

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    So let's say I wanted to approach someone with an average level of knowledge of computers and tried to persuade them against software patents. Considering that they'd likely be uninterested in technical stuff and that the longer I take to explain it, the less interest they will have, what would I tell them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prescience500 View Post
    So let's say I wanted to approach someone with an average level of knowledge of computers and tried to persuade them against software patents. Considering that they'd likely be uninterested in technical stuff and that the longer I take to explain it, the less interest they will have, what would I tell them?
    Because of those your mp3 players and external hard drives cost more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XorEaxEax View Post
    Enough with your bullshit, practically the entire professional 3D content creation market runs on OpenGL
    And they can keep OpenGL. They don't use OpenGL 3, much less OpenGL 4, and use only a fraction of the features of a modern GPU, but good for them I guess.

    and does it extremely well. ID Software uses OpenGL even for it's newest engine id Tech 5, which will obviously be licenced and used in tons of new games.
    id Tech 5 uses Direct3D 9 on PC/Windows, not OpenGL.

    And yes, I've used pretty much every piece of 3d software out there at one time or another.
    How many have you written? Because that's a lot more relevant to the conversation. I have plenty of OpenGL apps that run just fine myself. It's not like I'm saying that OpenGL doesn't work at all and that it can't even render a triangle.

    Many under Linux, and performance and stability has been great using NVidia proprietary driver.
    Neat. I'm glad your personal anecdote is a pleasant one for you. It is only unfortunate that personal anecdotes of "works for me" don't really mean anything at all.

    OpenGL driver bugs are the largest source of support problems for many developers; a complaint I have never once ever heard of regarding Direct3D drivers. One popular Linux-friendly example: http://frictionalgames.blogspot.com/...f-amnesia.html

    You portray such a one-sided argument that it's a god damn travesty.
    So, funny story.

    When I entered into the game industry, I was the same staunch pro-OpenGL Linux fanboy you are. "OpenGL can do everything Direct3D can do!" "OpenGL has extensions so you get more features sooner, and on older plaftorms!" "It's open and cross-platform!" "COM is icky!" "Why write a Direct3D renderer for Windows when you can just write an OpenGL one for both Windows and OS X!"

    Then I actually started having to write OpenGL/GLSL code for large, complex, real-time interactive applications, instead of just sitting around on the Internet telling people that OpenGL is awesome and Direct3D sucks because OpenGL is open and runs on Linux and Direct3D is Microsoft proprietary evilness.

    I was clearly a dumbass before that, because dear god is OpenGL/GLSL a pain in the ass. 95% of your time is just spent figuring out what the NVIDIA driver randomly corrupts your FBOs if Chrome is open, or why ATI drivers compile your entirely correct and specification-compliant GLSL fragment shader without complaint but then execute it incorrectly unless you recombine two support functions back into a single less-flexible function, or why doing instancing the NVIDIA-recommended way on NVIDIA hardware is actually barely faster than not doing instancing at all while the Direct3D version is 10x faster and the non-recommended OpenGL instancing method is at least 4x faster, or why the drivers bother telling you an extension is supported when it's clearly implemented entirely in software and so there's no way to figure out what the fast path in your renderer should be for the current hardware it's running on, etc. etc. etc.

    "Surely," I thought to myself, "this is just the nature of graphics programming, and that silly Direct3D is just as bad. Heck, it's probably worse, because Microsoft is so freaking incompetent at everything they do!"

    Yeah, then I used Direct3D for like 15 minutes and the Sun shown through the clouds, the birds chirped, the townsfolk became friendly, and my socks stopped getting eaten by the dryer.

    OpenGL blows. The end.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    Because of those your mp3 players and external hard drives cost more.
    "Your $150 iPod costs $0.14 more for Apple to manufacture, but if that cost were removed Apple wouldn't drop the price, they'd just pocket a little more cash from every sale. Even if they did pass on the savings, it's at most a few bucks on a $150 purchase, less than your state's sales tax on the item... but still, this is super important and worth a lot of your time and effort to rally against!"

    Unless you can come up with some high-dollar examples, the cost argument won't work. It needs to be something where the consumer is paying a very visible, very weighty cost directly due to patents. Amortized costs that have little direct impact on product pricing just won't cut it.

  10. #20
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    I'm fairly certain that Rage will be opengl based on the pc/mac/(linux) platforms. D3D-ish on xbox, naturally. Note that that only refers to the graphics components - audio, input, networking, etc, are obviously a different kettle of fish.

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