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Personally, I feel that as long as their is never a compatibility issue because the drivers are Closed-Source, I don't care. There are more things that I want to do with my Linux box than to spend countless hours trying to get a video card to work just so that I can see the desktop.
Thank you nVidia for making my Linux experience a little easier.
Originally posted by Brother Michael Personally, I feel that as long as their is never a compatibility issue because the drivers are Closed-Source, I don't care. There are more things that I want to do with my Linux box than to spend countless hours trying to get a video card to work just so that I can see the desktop.
I agree completely. As long as it works and provides complete compatability, I'm satisfied. Keep in mind that people do sometimes push the open-source philosophy a bit too far sometimes. For me, if a company makes something that works in linux and I do not need it to be open-sourced, then that's fine. But if its functionality is restricted.. then of course that is a problem.
When you go out and buy a new tv or video or equivalent piece of electronics they give you a manual that tells you the details of how to use your new device. (except for maybe a few service options that you arent likely to use)
Yet you go and buy a computer and then you have to either pay extra to use it (windows) or download/borrow someone's linux/*bsd cd
why pay to use something you already have paid for ??
they release programming notes for x86 and most other microprocessors/controllers so why cant they release the programming documents for graphics cards and other vital system chips.
while investigating graphics engine programming for GroupOS other than vesa and svga specs there is pretty much nothing to go on. (making opengl support near impossible).
Yes i run Linux (LFS 6.0-testing based) and have an nvidia card (and 2 other's SiS & S3,all in this pc) i use the nvidia driver because its there and it seems to do the job.
Nvidia sells us these devices but forgets to tell us how to use them. (does this seem fair ?)
I still don't fully understand or accept the explaination of IP, documentation and drivers.
IT'S ALL A BIT VAGUE FOR THOSE OUTSIDE THE HARDWARE INDUSTRY. Can I have a laymans explaination as to what's changed from the early days?
Would you buy a CPU without documentation, without being told how to use it? Why is the GPU industry so different? Why does one industry consider it essential to provide a transparent explaination of its hardware while another does exactly the opposite?
The answers given state something along the lines of "We can't give away that information because there are IP and legal implications". However, what are the details?
What technology is licensed to NVidia and used in their *ware? Who was this licensed from?
I originally thought that hardware should be open because otherwise it's not future proof and out of the hands of the user. However, I can see now that hardware can be copied as easily as software.
The only difference I can see is that source code is quicker to understand than binary code so providing this makes it more accessible.
IP, I think this will kill linux and OSS communities in the end. Money thrives on trust so will a lack of trust kill the progresses of OpenSource?
I don't want to hear "oh, it's just because they don't want to give away secrets", I want a detailed, reasoned answer from anyone reading this thread able to give it. Is law not enough? Can anyone give me a case study? - because this smacks of "OSS is doomed" to me... and I can believe that no matter how much I love OSS.
I believe in Free Software/Software Libre, I don't believe in proprietary software and I think that nvidia should make their driver Free Software/Software Libre or at least that they should release their hardware's specifications.
What if nvidia will stop to support my video card or future drivers will become incompatible with the library files installed on my system?
When I buy a piece of hardware I try to be sure that I will be able to use no matter the future policy of the company I bought it from.
What if nvidia will decide (if they haven't already) to introduce malevolous functions in their drivers?
When I buy a piece of hardware I try to be sure that I have the opportunity to know what its driver is actually doing.
I wonder how many customers nvidia would have to hear from, or how many they were willing to disenfranchise, before they would put effort into finding a way past their (claimed) IP problems.
Unfortunately with companies such as nvidia, I know that I am not going to get anywhere.
However, as former consumers of their products, after having stopped to buy their pieces of hardware some time ago, I decided to do something as my last action. Maybe they will listen to enough customers, or they will learn to not make this mistake again with future chipsets. I for one have already decided that I will never recommend an nvidia product to anyone ever if there is choice. (There is almost always choice).
ATI is, at least by this moment, a valuable alternative. Not because their policy is that much different from the nvidia one, (they don't release Free Software/Software Libre drivers and hardware specifications, too) but because at least there are decent Free Software/Software Libre drivers around that often support 3D hardware acceleration and because at least I'm sure I will be able to use decent drivers on different architectures from the x86 ones, too. When I bought my iBook, for exmaple, I accurately ignored the nvidia based models.
Being out to make money doesn't allow you to do everything you want.
Making their driver Free and Open would surely mean that competitive companies could potentially gain from the drivers, which i don't think nvidia really wants... But that would lead to more competition thus better quality and lower prices... Unfortunately it looks like customers doesn't care a lot about it even if making them Free and Open would be in everyone's interest...
How can one agree with nvidia not open-sourcing and making the drivers free due to intellectual "property" issues? Can you agree from the nvidia's point of view or from yours? I don't understand.
Making their drivers and/or specifications Free and Open would lead to more competition thus better quality and lower prices. You are customers... How can you agree from _your_ point of view?
Furthermore it looks like a lot of you doesn't run GNU/Linux on ppc or any of the many other non i*86 arches... (Not to mention the users of all the other open source operating systems that are not FreeBSD or GNU/Linux)
Having grown in the "microsoft' era", we are so used to monopolies of every kind, that a lot of people doesn't only think that there is only the windows operative system around, but does think that there is only the i*86 architecture around, too.
Obviously this is a hot topic since it hits the very core of Linux. Having read all the other opinions thus far I have to say that many of you have made valid points.
On the one hand, I appreciate NVidia for offering up at least a partial solution for the Linux community. Their effort towards Linux appears to be, at least in the area of the video driver, better than any other video card makers so I do want to give them credit for that. It would be nice if they take it further and also do the same in other areas like their motherboard chipsets and LOM (onboard network cards - LAN on Motherboard) and hopefully the video driver development is a way for them to test the waters that will lead them to more effort in these other areas of development as well.
I see that many people disagree with the company about their stance on Intellectual Property and closed-source development and I'd like to add to this. Having worked for hardware companies before, I can understand their reasoning for wanting to keep their information private. We can argue against this reasoning and truly have valid arguments, from a consumer standpoint, but what is needed to make companies with this belief change are more arguments for Open-Source that show benefits for their company. We need to look at it from their perspective and then offer up reasons for Open-Source that will be beneficial for them. Saying that competitive companies could potentially gain from the drivers sounds great to consumers but it will definitly NOT convince a company to Open-Source anything.
From my point of view I have to agree with them, I don't want them going out of business just to meet my demands. So lets hear some solid arguments for Open-Source that will help NVidia change their minds. This was actually what I was hoping to inspire in my original post in this thread.
I would buy other cards than nvidia if they had proper open source 3d drivers (but there is any)
Here is only one example with sis (xgi)
Despite the cute Linux logos on their Linux drivers page, SiS is unfortunately one of those companies that do not support Linux or X.org/XFree86. They don't (and will not) release any documentation on their products (with a few exceptions) and write drivers only for Microsoft's DOS-extensions (called "Windows" by many people; and yes, "Windows" is a trademark). Although they have released XFree86 drivers previously and have released a (binary) driver for the SiS650, these are and were heavily buggy and not developed any further from a certain point. In other words: Their XFree86 drivers are useless. If you have a notebook, you don't even need to consider trying them.
Although I never signed any NDA, I managed to get some information after a couple of months bugging them, but not only has this information been incomplete, it was even simply wrong sometimes. Even though some SiS employees are into Linux and/or X.org/XFree86, the official corporate position seems to be strictly "No Linux". This policy goes even as far as the graphics department is keeping information secret from other employees.
and scroll down a little and read this
# DRI is only supported on the 300 series (300/305, 630, 730). A DRI driver for the SiS 300 series is provided by XFree86 4.1, 4.2(.1), XFree86 4.4 and X.org 6.7.0 and later. XFree86 4.3 does not contain a SiS DRI driver; However, installing the drivers from 4.2(.1) works well.
# Once again: There is no DRI/OpenGL/3D support for the SiS 6326, 5597/5598, 530/620, 315, 550, 650, M650, 651, 740, 330, 661FX, M661FX/MX, 741, 760.
Originally posted by Darin From my point of view I have to agree with them, I don't want them going out of business just to meet my demands. So lets hear some solid arguments for Open-Source that will help NVidia change their minds. This was actually what I was hoping to inspire in my original post in this thread.
You don't want them going out of business... Well... Who have ever said that? Do you actually believe that they could go out of business if they make their code and hardware specification Free and Open? The worst that could happen to them (since this kind of market has huge entry barriers) is having more competitors. Having more competition shouldn't be something we have to pray for...
Having a law system that enforce companies to release hardware specification would be great but... Their lobby has too much influence to make it happen.
Originally posted by Darin From my point of view I have to agree with them
I still don't understand a thing... From YOUR point of view? How can you agree with THEM from YOUR point of view. Wouldn't be in your interest to have more competition and lower price? The funny (actually sad) thing IMO is that lots of you talk like competition is NOT normal. That lots talk like a company that is allowed to do anything it wants in order to reduce competition is normal and the worst is that lots are fine with it...
Originally posted by Dummy-in-Linux I agree, if there are more games the Linux platform will be more accepted.
It is a bit funny that an operating system stands or falls with the availability of games.
Linux can run almost every Windows game though Cedega (a specialized Wine-based project) with little noticible difference in most cases. I take my Linux box to LAN parties and when you're in the game nobody can tell that you're not using Windows. WC3:FT, Steam (Counter-Strike), BF1942, BFV, and DAoC all run prefectly on my Linux box. Thank you nVidia for providing good drivers! I wish ATI would follow their lead and provide better Linux drivers for their cards.