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Thread: Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

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  1. #1
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    Default Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

    Phoronix: Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

    There's just one and a half days left to the Humble Indie Bundle #3, but in less than two weeks the game offering has already grossed nearly $1.9M USD. Recently the developers behind these indie games had allowed the community to ask them questions on Reddit about their work. Ryan "Icculus" Gordon was one of the developers responding and he had provided some interesting comments...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTc2Ng

  2. #2
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    Reading that thread and noting about the game bug fixes, linux sure could use with Desura. Or whatever. So long as it can work without DRM (just because that stuff is nasty), and allow you to check for updates, but not apply them if you don't want to. So there's something I'm hoping to see.
    Ironically, improved open source drivers are giving them problems. Have to laugh at that one. Makes sense though - more usable drivers, more driver quirks to be aware of. People just happened to know their way around the nvidia blobs, and now have to deal with other drivers. Long term, this should help stabilise all drivers though. Nothing like a bit of competition to make sure things stick to spec.

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    I love everything this guy had to say. He's blunt -- that is, he doesn't try to make everything seem like it's all rainbows and happiness -- and that's a good thing. He points out problems for what they are, and he tells you how he deals with them.

    I feel his pain regarding packaging. No matter what package format you pick, you're wrong. Even with tools to help you auto-package everything in multiple package formats, you're still multiplying the amount of testing you need to do to support all those different formats. It's a pain in the ass, and it just feels like there should be some golden standard that everyone agrees on, though I realize the problem is quite complicated.

    His stance on open source drivers is interesting, and one that I'd never considered until now. Like he said: previously you could just tell anyone using open source drivers to suck it up when they had problems running games. Now those open source drivers are just good enough to kind-of-sort-of work, which means there's suddenly a perception that all software needs to work on those (less complete) open source drivers in addition to the (more complete) proprietary drivers. Suddenly new bugs show up in bug trackers that would never have existed if proprietary drivers were still the only usable drivers.

    Hypothetical analogy: It's like a website developer whose sites used to work "everywhere", but suddenly he starts getting reports about his site not working on Opera* because now Opera has enough market share to be considered a major browser. Before Opera became "major", the developer could have just told Opera users to bring their sob stories somewhere else; now suddenly he has to support yet another environment.


    *Note to Opera users: It's a hypothetical situation. Quell your hipster rage.

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    i don't think anyone sane has ever said something different to what Ryan Gordon says


    especially the packaging situation is cancer

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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    i don't think anyone sane has ever said something different to what Ryan Gordon says


    especially the packaging situation is cancer
    Why not provide a .tar.* like firefox nightlies?
    Installation process: Extract them with your favourite archive tool.
    Running it: Double click on the binary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    Why not provide a .tar.* like firefox nightlies?
    Installation process: Extract them with your favourite archive tool.
    Running it: Double click on the binary.
    Two words: dependency management.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    Why not provide a .tar.* like firefox nightlies?
    Installation process: Extract them with your favourite archive tool.
    Running it: Double click on the binary.
    don't know the technicalities behind this -and i am not a computer hacker- but what we need is something that will be able to work both on a website and through a "software store/app". (ie click a "link" on the web and get the store/app handle it for you).

    and this needs to work on all distros and be central (in the sense of one way to install at least for the average user) and be able to handle commercial stuff experimental stuff and many more.

    influential people high on the community must push towards that direction.

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    +1 on all the stuff on packaging (well, on everything, but packaging in particular), I wish everyone just used .deb and be done with it.

    Luke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazade View Post
    +1 on all the stuff on packaging (well, on everything, but packaging in particular), I wish everyone just used .deb and be done with it.

    Luke.
    Nooo....you didn't....noooo that's going to start a war.
    Personally, I think deb, rpm, and tar.gz or tar.bz2. That should cover just about everything out there. The real problem isn't in the packaging format however, it's in the installation, and that's something that can be very distro dependent. And a common package manager won't do. It's a bugger of a thing, but there really is no one size fits all for linux there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kazade View Post
    +1 on all the stuff on packaging (well, on everything, but packaging in particular), I wish everyone just used .deb and be done with it.
    If only the format itself were the sole problem. Unfortunately, the braindead use of the packaging system by every last single distro is also part of the problem. Good luck getting many debs built for Ubutunu vX to install on Ubuntu v(X+2). Or on Debian, or many other dpkg distributions (even ones derived from Ubuntu, in some cases!).

    Quote Originally Posted by ean5533
    Two words: dependency management.
    Which also shouldn't be necessary for most apps. Your desktop should have the core set of all desktop libraries any reasonable application is ever going to require. Something like what the LSB mandates, except actually useful, modern, and supported.

    If you are going to have optional components, make them large, broad components -- groups that include many packages. An "SDL" component should include SDL itself, SDL_ttf, SDL_net, SDL_image, OpenGL, OpenAL, etc. Then at least manual dependency management is simple; the box says it needs OpenGL 3.2, SDL 1.3, and GTK 2.16, rather than needing to list out 79 individual, cryptically-named packages.

    Said system even makes it easier and more reliable even when automatic dependency management is in place, for that matter, as well as making it easier for developers to select, install, and test against a minimum base, as well as making it easier to determine which versions of which distros might comply.

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