[oclug] Poor graphics card support for linux
flynn at engsoc.queensu.ca
Fri Aug 23 09:45:34 EDT 2002
> > That's extremely hard to tell without the source. Which is the reason
> No, it isn't. They are not buggy, since people have little problem with
> the drivers once their hardware is setup and working correctly. You can
> make observations about the driver's efficiency and speed by comparing
> them to like products that other manufactures make.
Just because you haven't run into the bugs does not mean that they are
not buggy (try to find buffer overflows just by running the software).
You can make observations about speed by comparison, but not
efficiency (at least, not completely... you can guess based on CPU and
memory usage, but those are vague indicators of efficiency at best).
It is extremely hard to tell without the source.
> Keep in mind that a company that is striving for success, wants the most
> efficent drivers they can put out. NVIDIA is well known for their fast
> and well written drivers, and this from people that have looked at them
> after signing NDAs.
Success through restricting user's freedom is not something I would
congratulate them for. Microsoft Windows is successful, and I've
heard that the code for XP is pretty decent (from people that have
looked at it after signing NDAs). Is that a good thing?
> > I wouldn't go near an nVidia card. nVidia may support Linux enough to
> > get people to buy their cards, but they really don't understand Free
> > Software.
> Ah, more FUD. Nvidia may very well understand open source software, but
> you certainly don't understand the concept of NDAs, licensing agreements,
> and being sued in court for breeching them.
This is NOT FUD. Do you understand what FUD is? I instill no Fear,
Uncertainty, nor Doubt. I understand the concept of NDAs, licensing
agreements, and being sued for breaching them. None of these are
necessary in nVidia's case. It is nVidia who are making people sign
NDAs and following licensing agreements (as you pointed out above).
> Nvidia can _not_ open source their drivers. Quite a bit of those drivers
> are based on patents and code that other companies own, and have licensed
> out the right to use them to Nvidia.
What patents? Why are there free software drivers available for other
cards? If they don't own some of the code, they could put out most of
the framework they have, and others in the Free Software community
could fill in the rest. They make none of this effort.
> I suppose you would rather that NVIDIA open sourced the drivers, and end
> up in court for years over the matter?
I would rather that nVidia provide complete specifications on their
cards, and if possible an open framework for others to work on them.
> Even more odd, is that you think a company that goes out of it's way to
> support Linux in its infancy (gaming wise) is somehow restricting your
My problem is that it goes out of its' way to support only Linux,
which does restrict my freedom. I can't make equal use of their cards
under OpenBSD, or GNU, or any other free operating system. My choice
is now restricted to: Windows or Linux. Woohoo. I can't look at what
their drivers actually do, or change them to suit my needs. If your
world is Linux and you don't care about what the code that runs on
your computer actually does, then you can be happy with nVidia and
their closed-source drivers. I'm not.
> Sure, they may have their hand's tied, and be unable to give you
> everything you want.. but you spit on their offering none the less.
I don't spit on their offering. I'm saying that their offering is of
no use to me. I don't run non-free drivers. I don't run non-free
operating systems. If you do either of the above, their "offering" is
probably good enough for you. Until they actually participate in the
community and produce something of value, I will not waste my money on
them. Nor my time responding to more trolls. That is all.
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