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...
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.
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.
+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.
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.
My sarcasm detector doesn't work on Mondays, so I'm just going to guess that you're being serious. Forgive me if you weren't.
You're suggesting statically bundling libraries with apps. That's a very long conversation, but suffice it to say that it flies in the face of traditional Linux software development. If you are in favor of static bundling, you have a whole lot of people that you're going to need to convince. I don't know enough about the topic to make a bulletproof argument either way, but my gut tells me that static bundling is a bad path to start walking down.