Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:49 UTC
Linux Efforts to bring glitzy new graphics to Linux are fueling an old conflict: Does proprietary software belong in open-source Linux? The issue involves software modules called drivers, which plug into the kernel at the heart of the open-source operating system. Drivers let software communicate with hardware such as network adapters, hard drives and video cards.
Order by: Score:
drivers are part of the hardware package
by jakesdad on Tue 18th Apr 2006 17:56 UTC
jakesdad
Member since:
2005-12-28

all they have to do is interface with the kernel.. So who cares as long as my hardware works. The sandle wearers can have their 2d graphics.

Reply Score: 3

Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

yes. I have no problem with proprietary drivers at all.

Reply Score: 1

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

So who cares as long as my hardware works.

Consider this hypothetical doomsday scenario from the message that was linked in the article:

A serious security flaw is found in the 2.6 series, which turns out to be a design flaw in a key sysfs API. Fixing this flaw would require to break the module ABI and practically all modules out there, while not fixing this flaw leaves a potential roothole open. A quick fix
is made available under a CONFIG_ option, but users who need binary drivers have no choice but leave their systems vulnerable.


How cares? You will care if we end up depending on proprietary binary drivers that adversely restrict the open part of our open source world.

Reply Score: 5

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

It has little to do with sandals and a lot to do with practicality. What happens when you need to use a device with closed-source drivers on a different architecture? There are a lot of FBSD users who are pissed that NVIDIA supports Linux/amd64, but not FreeBSD/amd64.

Beyond that, what happens when the drivers need to be modified to take advantage of new kernel infrastructure? You update the TCP/IP stack to be super fast, but need support in the driver, so what happens to closed source drivers you can't modify? This is exactly what is happening to the DRI project. The DRI folks don't have access to the driver source or hardware specs for modern ATI and NVIDIA hardware, so they are extremely limited in how easily they can develop technologies like DRI-EGL. Apple has driver source code to make the GPU play nice with Quartz Extreme, Microsoft has the source code to do the same for Avalon, but the open source folks can't do the same for XGL.

Reply Score: 5

The main point of the OpenSource success
by manjabes on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:02 UTC
manjabes
Member since:
2005-08-27

"We believe in open source where it makes sense," Fear said.

'nuff said

Reply Score: 5

rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

"We believe in open source where it makes sense," Fear said.

'nuff said

In other words, we believe in freedom when it benefits us. When it's inconvenient, we don't believe in freedom. You may not agree, but those against proprietary software believe in principle, not convenience. Pragmatists believe in convenience, not principle. And everyone else compromises a little principle for convenience, and a little convenience for principle. Where you draw the line determines what you believe. In other words, 'nuff said is not enough.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Users want convenience not politics.

So yeah, 'nuff said.

Reply Score: 3

rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

"Users want convenience not politics.

So yeah, 'nuff said."

Thanks. I didn't realize you knew every single user in existence and can speak for them all. Btw, freedom does not equal politics, and I never even mentioned politics. If having principles equal politics, then I would agree that many people don't have many politics. But I would still disagree with that position, and so do many kernel developers. Just because everyone else jumped off a bridge, doesn't make it right. Sometimes it's important to stick to your politics, and sometimes not. If you don't understand that, then I guess you can always say, "'nuff said," which seems silly after the next person posts.

Reply Score: 5

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

No, but I guarantee you that speaks for the majority.

Refusing propietary drivers because they are not open source IS politics, whether you like it or not.

Reply Score: 2

rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

"No, but I guarantee you that speaks for the majority."

Good argument. I trust you because you guarantee it.

"Refusing propietary drivers because they are not open source IS politics, whether you like it or not."

Protecting freedom is NOT politics, it's principle. How you persuade others to follow your principles is politics. I don't see the kernel developers trying to convince anyone, just sticking to their ideas.

It's nice how you think refusing proprietary drivers is politics, where allowing them is not. Twisted and manipulative, but nice. I guess you fell for the proprietary driver politics. You know, the one where owners of proprietary drivers say their way is the right way, and any other way is just politics.

Reply Score: 5

Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

Its is politics because the desition of a few is affecting thousands, so thousands are hostages of the politic ideas of a few.

Reply Score: 1

rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

"Its is politics because the desition of a few is affecting thousands, so thousands are hostages of the politic ideas of a few."

I don't agree that anyone is being a "hostage." That's just political talk. It's THEIR kernel! They wrote it. They don't want to be hostage to the proprietary vendors, like it has been mentioned before. Maybe you should think of it that way.

Again, politics is NVIDIA and ATI trying to convince people that their ideas are right and everyone else is wrong. You may not agree with the principles (that word again), but that's what they are trying to do. THAT's politics.

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

So do children, what's the point?

Everyone wants a free lunch, doesn't mean scarcity will magically go away.

Reply Score: 2

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Meaning, "linux" wants the desktop, it has to give users what they want.

Reply Score: 2

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

GNU/Linux already as the desktop at 26% worldwide ...

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Incorrect. It's users who have the need, Linux may "desire" to fulfill it, but it's the users who need something.
Funny thing about users, they rarely understand/know what they want... It's actually a huge problem in software engineering!

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry, I meant the "desktop market".

But I do agree with you. Users rarely know what they truly want.

But I do think they want things to *just work*. That's probably one of the few things we can count on ;)

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Users want convenience not politics.

Not all users want the same thing. To argue otherwise is a mistake...

That said, there's nothing illegal about using proprietary drivers with a GPL kernel...you just can't redistribute it. So all we need is a script that checks for a Nvidia or ATI chip at install time, download the latest driver and sets it up automatically. That way you're not distributing illegal kernels, and yet you allow users to make best of their hardware.

Meanwhile, I don't believe ATI and/or Nvidia when they say that they can't open-source their drivers for competitive reasons...it's the cost/performance ratio that makes the card, and not the drivers. Now, if they use some licensed technology, then it makes more sense, but the least they could do is reveal what licensed code they use, so the community could try to provide open alternatives.

Reply Score: 3

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

I should have said "a good majority of users".

And if you want to gain a good chunk of market share, you have to cater to the majority of users.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

That's irrelevant to the discussion. No one's going to say that Mac OSX is "not ready for the desktop" or that it "privileges politics over ease-of-use", and yet its market share is roughly the same as that of Linux.

You're confusing issues, here.

Reply Score: 2

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Um.. how is it not relevant?

I never said catering to the majority of users WILL gain you marketshare.

Catering to the majority means a lot of things, and one issue is providing a better experience out of the box (do you want to argue that not having propietary drivers available because of principle is a better user experience?) by allowing propietary drivers. That's perfectly relevant.

I think you're the one confusing issues.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Catering to the majority means a lot of things, and one issue is providing a better experience out of the box (do you want to argue that not having propietary drivers available because of principle is a better user experience?) by allowing propietary drivers.

Are you claiming that Windows supports proprietary drivers out of the box? Because it doesn't, and that's why your comment was not relevant.

Let me repeat this: neither Linux nor Windows support NVIDIA/ATI proprietary drivers out-of-the-box, therefore this is irrelevant as a measure of general popularity and market share.

As I said, you're confusing the issues. This isn't about popularity (because we've already established that this is irrelevant), it's about the legality/desirability of having proprietary drivers distributed with the Linux kernel, and (for a small minority) of having those drivers being used with the kernel in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

And everyone else compromises a little principle for convenience, and a little convenience for principle. Where you draw the line determines what you believe. In other words, 'nuff said is not enough.

Fine. So restrict yourself solely to open source code -- and live with the consequences of having inferior graphics. 'nuff said.

Reply Score: 1

prismX Member since:
2005-08-19

You are talking that the Open Source brings a freedom... OK, I could agree with you. However your statement is flawed (it is buggy by design :-)):
-freedom means not to apply restriction, consequently freedom cannot be due to principles, since they curb the same freedom to predefined dogmas. This kind of "freedom" resembles more a religion fanatism. Principles are not a freedom, but convenience is. This convenience enables people to be free in their choice, to opt OpenSoeurce software if it is better (when it is) or to choose a proprietary software.
Pragmatism is not evil, it is the real freedom. So people do not live for the sake of software, people want to use software for their purposes.
So I think the blind strive for free software and open source in everything and everywhere locks in this community with a intransigent aversion to everything good and favoring for users that are found in non-OpenSource World.

Reply Score: 1

h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Sorry, but I can't agree with your statement. Beside the (in principal desireable, but very hard to achieve on large scales) state of an anarchy (in the original sense of meaning), most systems try to preserve their freedoms by putting restrictions in front of things, that could harm this freedoms.

It's convenient to rob a bank, if you don't have money, but (this is just an educated guess, mind you) most people won't tolerate this, since it interferes with their own freedom (e.g. to have money in this bank or banks in general).

This is of course a silly, simple example. But it should illustrate, that most people seem to be able to live with a limited set of restrictions, that helps to prevail basic freedoms. It can get difficult to draw the line what rules are necessary to prevail the freedom of the people within a system (simply because the definition of freedom can differ), compared to when rules get too tight.

With respect to the Linux kernels policy regarding closed source kernel modules, this is a restriction I can both understand and live well with, since the license the kernel is distrubuted (exclusively, I might add) under rules this possibility out. If my memory serves me right, the first license the linux kernel was distributed under was more restrictive than the GPL, so with the GPL (and it's restrictions), they settled for the license they (= the kernel creators) thought to fit their needs and goals best. If you do not agree with their findings, you have several options left :

You are entitled to try to build something similar yourself, because it's not (despite the things some people might try to convince you) illegal to develope your onw OS kernel in most countries. You also have (as in theaters or cinemas) the right to leave, if what you see doesn't pleases you. In most cases however, you are not entitled to get your money back, if you leave five minutes before the film ends.

Regards

PS:

If someone probably tries to wind up one of this lame "which one is more free, the GPL or the BSD license?" discussions most of us seem to be already sick of : Please, don't turn this into one !

(To put it short and simple : I'm a GPL guy and *I* find what is commonly refered to be the BSD license and the GPL license to be equally free, since they both provide the same four freedoms, which is the reason, why the BSD is one way compatible with the GPL. The BSD is less restrictive, which I find somehow problematic in the light of aboves statements, and that's one of the reasons, why I prefer the GPL)

Reply Score: 1

I'm all for it.
by Omega Penguin on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:03 UTC
Omega Penguin
Member since:
2006-02-12

Linux distros should include non-open source files.The users get 3d acceleration,MP3 support,and other features out of the box,and the developers can concentrate inproving the open-source parts.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I'm all for it.
by jchildrose on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:19 UTC in reply to "I'm all for it."
jchildrose Member since:
2005-07-06

Using proprietary drivers sort of defeats the purpose of having a free software operating system in the first place. Proprietary drivers would be a great short term fix. I would love to not have to futz around with X.org to get my creaky old Radeon working properly every time I upgrade my system. In the long term though, it leads to the same problems that exisited which precipitated the founding of the GNU project, and the FSF, as well as creating some interesting new ones.

I understand that both Nvidia and ATI are trying to protect their intellectual property (I feel dirty just typing that), and agree with their stances to some extent. But, the reality is is that these drivers are running deep in the GPL'ed kernel territory - which is exactly where they should not be if they are proprietary and not free software.

Maybe the answer is to provide some sort of userland driver functionality for proprietary drivers. Keep them out of the kernel, and thus they stay proprietary. Granted, there will likely be some performance issues compared to using kernel drivers, but it's the best of both worlds. The GPL purists are happy that the code is not in the kernel (although still not thrilled about the existense of proprietary drivers), and the respective companies get to protect their whatever.

Besides, the ATI and Nvidia proprietary drivers, frankly, are not that great. I will grant you that as far as 3d acceleration goes they blow the pants of the drivers that come with a standard Linux distro, but they can be buggy, are slow to support brand spanking new hardware, and generally don't support older video cards either.

Anyway, just my .02. Take it for what it's worth.

PS - use oggs instead of mp3s -it's free software ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: I'm all for it.
by Finalzone on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm all for it."
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

To add extras point, both ATI and Nvidia will overwrite the GLX that will cause problem on some distros. Even Nvidia themsleves advisers users to get the modified version that fits their distros. It is worth to read the reason on
http://www.redhat.com/archives/fedora-devel-list/2006-February/msg0...

Addendum: anyone care to explain why there is no mention of kernel modules that mostly suit proprietary companies? Also, modular X already provide a better way to implement the 3D driver which is perfectly works great on my Fedora Core 5.
The reason why proprietary drivers are not installed are mostly legal and political issues depending of the countries. Like a posters mentionned, the philosophies of some distros (Fedora in my case) don't allow them to ship closed source drivers by default in order to avoid facing lawsuits.

Edited 2006-04-18 20:32

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I'm all for it.
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:21 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm all for it."
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Using proprietary drivers sort of defeats the purpose of having a free software operating system in the first place.

Care to explain to me how my using proprietary drivers defeats my purposes for using a FOSS opererating system? Perhaps your purposes for doing so are not the same as everyone else's, eh?

But, the reality is is that these drivers are running deep in the GPL'ed kernel territory - which is exactly where they should not be if they are proprietary and not free software.

That's not for you to say. That's not for me to say. It's most certainly not for RMS to say. They only people with a legitimate say are those who have contributed code to the Linux kernel, and those who have contributed have done so under explicit licensing terms which are a far sight more hospitable to proprietary drivers than you seem to be.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I'm all for it.
by Moulinneuf on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm all for it."
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Care to explain to me how my using proprietary drivers defeats my purposes for using a FOSS opererating system?"

Certainly , your a user , if you feel the proprietary driver are lacking , feel free to make them.

"Perhaps your purposes for doing so are not the same as everyone else's, eh?"

The only one stopping proprietary driver in GNU/Linux is you , its not like anyone as stopped you from making them ? You just cant legally include them in th kernel , but feel free to contribute proprietary module that connect to it.

"That's not for you to say."

Your right its the GPL that say so.

"They only people with a legitimate say are those who have contributed code to the Linux kernel"

Legally , no , they have to comply with the GPL.

"and those who have contributed have done so under explicit licensing terms which are a far sight more hospitable to proprietary drivers than you seem to be."

All the included driver are GPL or GPL compatible.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I'm all for it.
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I'm all for it."
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Certainly , your a user , if you feel the proprietary driver are lacking , feel free to make them.

Huh? Whatever are you talking about? This article and the ensuing discussion doesn't concern the availability of proprietary drivers, but the the ethics of using the ones that already exist.

The only one stopping proprietary driver in GNU/Linux is you

You seem to have seriously misunderstood my comment. I'm not complaining about a percieved lack of proprietary drivers. Truth be known, I'm very much in favor of using FOSS drivers wherever possible. What I do have a problem with is those who claim that using proprietary drivers is somehow an ethically suspect behavior (the subject of the article).

Legally , no , they have to comply with the GPL

The Linux kernel is licensed under a modified GPL, which has the effect of making it more hospitable to proprietary drivers than it would be if released under a plain vanilla GPL.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: I'm all for it.
by Moulinneuf on Tue 18th Apr 2006 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I'm all for it."
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Read the article :

http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,39352584,00.htm

http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,39352584-2,00.htm

I dont read whats in your mind ...

Yes its unethical to use proprietary software on GNU/Linux , just be happy its not illegal and thats its tolerated for conveniance and out of respect for choice.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: I'm all for it.
by jchildrose on Wed 19th Apr 2006 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm all for it."
jchildrose Member since:
2005-07-06

>>Care to explain to me how my using proprietary drivers defeats my purposes for using a FOSS opererating system?<<

It doesn't defeat your purposes, and I didn't mean to imply that it defeated your purposes. You are free to do whatever you like with your installation of Linux. That is the beauty of free software.

My statements were about proprietary drivers in general, not how someone such as yourself may use them.

Look at it this way - if ATI or Nvidia were to ship a version of the Linux kernel with their proprietary drivers built in, and not offer the source to the modifications that they made - would that be OK? Or would it be in violation of the GPL? Offering binary modules that operate in kernel space really is no different, as far as I see it.

>>Perhaps your purposes for doing so are not the same as everyone else's, eh?<<

Curiosity mostly, and Enemy Territory ;)


Anyway, just my .02. Take it for what it's worth.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I'm all for it.
by siki_miki on Wed 19th Apr 2006 13:20 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm all for it."
siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

Agreed, they should keep core of their open source drivers in userspace form, much like the current DRI architecture, and interoperate with kernel userspace DRM ABI.

Problem would be a DRM kernel gfx-card driver ("miniport" in windows terms), but it's much lesser problem for them to open source relatively small part of their code. Maybe with transition to Longhorn driver model (which is similar concept as DRI) both ATI/NVIDIA will rethink their philosophy.

However, much work (and willingness of the hardware makers) is required to improve DRM ABI/API to the feature level that would satisfy both big companies, and it still isn't guaranteed they will cooperate. Maybe borrowing few ideas from Microsoft's new model would be helpful. Or waiting for Linux to become more present on desktop, so companies will beg for cooperation.

OT:In fact much of the new windows driver model will shift things to userspace, linux could have short-term "benefits" of those with help of various wrappers (though this will harm native kernel drivers in long term).

About the ibGL problem, Mesa developers tried recently to enhance dispatch tables in libGL. Maybe nvidia/ati will use that feature and avoid overwriting it in the future, but I take that with a grain of salt.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm all for it.
by gilboa on Wed 19th Apr 2006 16:32 UTC in reply to "I'm all for it."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Linux distros should include non-open source files.The users get 3d acceleration,MP3 support,and other features out of the box,and the developers can concentrate inproving the open-source parts.

And I assume that you are willing to pay for Fedora/Debian/SUSE/-insert name here- defense, if Mr. Fraunhofer (http://www.mp3licensing.com/) decides to sue Fedoa/Debian/SUSE/-insert name here- for illegally distributing patented codecs?
It's much easier to shout "give us closed source binary drivers and illegal media codecs" when you are -not- the one paying for it. (Or in closed source driver's case, having to deal with closed source drivers causing huge amount of problems - read: 4K stacks on earlier nVidia drivers)

Gilboa

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm all for it.
by h times nue equals e on Wed 19th Apr 2006 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm all for it."
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Rest asured, that Mr. Fraunhofer will not sue anybody, at least not the "Mr. Fraunhofer" that inspired the name-choice for some entities (the Fraunhofer institutes comes to mind).

For some biographical background on this very interesting historical (historical, as in : he's already dead, and this for quite some time) person, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_von_Fraunhofer for example.

Beside that, (sorry for nitpicking, but this was something I couldn't resist), very well put argument !

Regards

Martin

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: I'm all for it.
by gilboa on Wed 19th Apr 2006 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'm all for it."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I stand corrected then. Being a non European, I assumed that Fraunhofer was the name of the patent holder (a man) and not a name of an institute.

G.

Reply Score: 1

binary drivers ?
by ratatask on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:15 UTC
ratatask
Member since:
2006-01-28

Well, there's already a handful of drivers in the vanilla linux kernel uploading blobs of non-open-source binary code to devices ...

Reply Score: 1

So What's the Problem?
by Arakon on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:23 UTC
Arakon
Member since:
2005-07-06

If linux is all about freedom of choice, I want the choice to use my hardware as the developer intended even if it means closed source drivers. I believe it is very pig-headed and hypocritical for any kernel developers who try to impede the efforts of manufactures to make closed drivers for linux while they run about touting "choice" and "openess". It's not a very open system if they only allow "It's our way or the highway."

Besides isn't it about what I do with "MY PC"? What business is it of theres if I "choose" to use proprietary binary drivers. It's my choice. When they start dictating what I can and cannot use on my system, then how are they any better than the other camp, MS?

Reply Score: 5

RE: So What's the Problem?
by jcinacio on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:26 UTC in reply to "So What's the Problem?"
jcinacio Member since:
2006-03-12

If linux is all about freedom of choice, I want the choice to use my hardware as the developer intended even if it means closed source drivers. I believe it is very pig-headed and hypocritical for any kernel developers who try to impede the efforts of manufactures to make closed drivers for linux while they run about touting "choice" and "openess". It's not a very open system if they only allow "It's our way or the highway."

Besides isn't it about what I do with "MY PC"? What business is it of theres if I "choose" to use proprietary binary drivers. It's my choice. When they start dictating what I can and cannot use on my system, then how are they any better than the other camp, MS?


'nuff said ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: So What's the Problem?
by rattaro on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:19 UTC in reply to "So What's the Problem?"
rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

Besides isn't it about what I do with "MY PC"? What business is it of theres if I "choose" to use proprietary binary drivers. It's my choice. When they start dictating what I can and cannot use on my system, then how are they any better than the other camp, MS?

You can do what you want with your PC. This restricts proprietary vendors from impeding on your freedom, not your freedom to do what you want.

Going on a little tangent, freedom is not always about the right to choose. It's about rights and responsibilities. I can't choose to sell my vote. So when people always talk about right to choose, some times you have to remember that it's about responsibilities of protecting the freedom of the kernel instead.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So What's the Problem?
by flanque on Wed 19th Apr 2006 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE: So What's the Problem?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I conditionally agree with you. I find it really difficult to swallow that a group can proclaim that Linux is open and free, as well as chant one of the most attractive things is that you can customise the system if it doesn't do exactly what you want, but then be so against allowing people the choice of adopting non-free or non-open software.

It really seems to be a contradiction of mindsets.

I do think however that compiling the drivers directly into the kernel would be a confusion of licensing and IP but that shouldn't prohibit people loading the drivers as a seperate entity.

It seems to me that in this particular instance the adoption of Linux distributions is being (or could be) hampered by the bothering of upholding to the strictest degree of what some believe Linux is about.

I guess that's also the point. If Linux is meant to be so open and free (from constraint) then why on earth would you want to restrict people from being able to experience it to the fullest?

Reply Score: 1

RE: So What's the Problem?
by Chris on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:24 UTC in reply to "So What's the Problem?"
Chris Member since:
2005-09-28

Exactly, linux is about choice, you choose to use proprietary software or not.

People with an absolute believe that proprietary is evil should turn off their pc right now because i'm sure their processor is a proprietary piece of hardware and so is about every other component of their pc.

They should build their own stuff and make the blueprints of their work open source.

Well goodby proprietary haters, see you in about three hundred years when you finished your 1Mhz pc.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: So What's the Problem?
by ecko on Wed 19th Apr 2006 13:16 UTC in reply to "RE: So What's the Problem?"
ecko Member since:
2005-07-08

Ok time to poke holes in your argument.

Proprietary software is completely different than proprietary hardware. You can't change a CPU like you can change a piece of software so let's compare apples to apples otherwise there's no sense making the effort to prove anything. Anyway what exactly is proprietary in my computer? Ok maybe the way it moves bits around in the CPU and down the busses but the instruction set is the same on my Intel machine as it is on my AMD. I can do exactly the same things on both. My PCI bus isn't proprietary. A lot of hardware is comitee designed so everyone can play fair, that's not the case in software.


As for your second point there are already lots of open source cores out there. http://opensparc.sunsource.net/nonav/index.html is an example of a program sun has to get developers on board and help address CPU design issues. These run much faster than 1mhz. Designing a CPU isn't voodoo, one can have enough understanding to design a basic MIPS-Lite CPU(No FPU, no pipelining, basic branching) and run in on a simulator even before finishing a degree in computer engineering or comp sci. It's not easy and not every student it able to but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

It's very difficult to explain why having source code is important to people who really don't know anything about computers other than Windows XP tweaks. You just don't see all the issues maintaining one binary that runs on multiple systems. You don't see the headaches of maintaining binary compatability.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So What's the Problem?
by Chris on Wed 19th Apr 2006 15:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So What's the Problem?"
Chris Member since:
2005-09-28

> A lot of hardware is comitee designed so everyone can
> play fair, that's not the case in software.

So are the nvidia drivers, but that isn't enough for some, for some it MUST be open source.

I don't care as long as it does what i want it to do, just like my hardware.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So What's the Problem?
by CaptainFlint on Wed 19th Apr 2006 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So What's the Problem?"
CaptainFlint Member since:
2006-01-24

nvidia drivers are designed in a commitee of different graphics cards manufacturers who come to a common consensus about the architecture and the interface of the technology??

I'd think not. So putting a big binary blob in a kernel is a good idea even if you (not you, Chris, a general you for developers) don't really know how it works and what else it might do besides the stuff on the feature list.

Don't just think of yourself (yes, you Chris). Think of the people that have maintain and integrate blobs and an interface for them while working voluntarily on the Linux kernel.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So What's the Problem?
by Chris on Fri 21st Apr 2006 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So What's the Problem?"
Chris Member since:
2005-09-28

> Don't just think of yourself (yes, you Chris). Think of > the people that have maintain and integrate blobs and > an interface for them while working voluntarily on the > Linux kernel.

I'm not saying i wouldn't like to see the nvidia drivers fully open source offcourse i would.

But as long as they are not, i don't have a problem using them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So What's the Problem?
by OMRebel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So What's the Problem?"
OMRebel Member since:
2005-11-14

"Proprietary software is completely different than proprietary hardware."

Good argument. But, just to play devil's advocate, is a motherboard considered proprietary? If so, then proprietary software and hardware can be the same. Ever flash a BIOS?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So What's the Problem?
by CaptainFlint on Wed 19th Apr 2006 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So What's the Problem?"
CaptainFlint Member since:
2006-01-24

You see when it comes to hardware as such there are industry standard design guidelines. No motherboard manufacturer will modify the PCI bus on their own and ship the motherboard out. They follow a set of specifications.

Now if graphics cards manufacturers provided specs for and INTERFACE alone and not the drivers, dvelopers' lives would be made really easy and it would ensure better integration and support for their cards.

Reply Score: 1

RE: So What's the Problem?
by g2devi on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:22 UTC in reply to "So What's the Problem?"
g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Actually, there are a few reasons:

* Closed Source Drivers can contain spyware (witness all the Gator stuff that keeps popping up in "free" windows software)

* Closed source drivers can contain security issues (e.g. Sony CD) that are not auditable

* Closed source drivers break whenever the binary API changes whereas open source drivers can often just be recompiled

* Closed source drivers don't work on all platforms (e.g. 64 bit platforms, PowerPC, Xen!)

* Closed source drivers are only usuable as long as the vendor maintains them. If the vendor stops maintaining it (either because it goes out of business or it wants you to upgrade your device) you're out of luck

Reply Score: 5

RE: So What's the Problem?
by Moulinneuf on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:30 UTC in reply to "So What's the Problem?"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

If you choosed hardware that was not made for GNU/Linux , you only have yourself to blame , there is no one stopping you or the vendor from making proprietary driver that connect to GNU/Linux , dont wait for it from the GPL camp ask or pay your vendor or proprietary developper for them.

Reply Score: 1

v Moving to Open Solaris
by stephanem on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:24 UTC
RE: Moving to Open Solaris
by firl on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:47 UTC in reply to "Moving to Open Solaris"
firl Member since:
2006-03-16

yes, the whole 2.6.16 thing was about the kernel not allowing licences that it didn't like to play ball.

Quite annoying, then again with gentoo I didn't have a problem, nor debian. FC5 I had a problem.

I purchase my hardware specifically because of the compatibility with linux, nvidia, cause of support(not as great as I would like, but its better than ati)

Reply Score: 1

Freedom
by yanik on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:24 UTC
yanik
Member since:
2005-07-13

In other words, we believe in freedom when it benefits us. When it's inconvenient, we don't believe in freedom.

Sounds like a GWB quote.

Reply Score: 1

v RE: Freedom
by MechR on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:40 UTC in reply to "Freedom"
Fighting a Loosing Battle
by Guppetto on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:29 UTC
Guppetto
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is one battle the fundamentalist are going to loose. At some point proprietary drivers for Graphics, and Networking, will be unavoidable, becuase IP is growing stronger by the day around the world. Intel is a maveric in this issue, but one has to wonder if they'll maintain their current possition once their cards reach true competitiveness with the likes of NVIDIA and ATI. Their networking drivers are already proprietary, but they do seem committed to providing Linux support which is a good thing.

The truth here is that it all comes down to money and none of these companies that are making money selling their cards and the drivers required to use them are interesting in the grand idea of free and open for all, becuase competiton has a way of reducing profits. At some point the survival of Linux is going to come down to this very battle, and It's my belief that the purist will loose. I can feal the flames already from that comment.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Fighting a Loosing Battle
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:40 UTC in reply to "Fighting a Loosing Battle"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

While I agree with you as concerns video drivers, I think the situation is quite different as concerns networking hardware. In the late 90's it was still a real question whether or not common server class hardware such as NIC cards, DLT tape drives, or RAID controllers could even be made to work with Linux at all. Today, it's rarely issue. Most high end server class hardware just plain works without any issues because, from a business perspective, it's simply not possible exclude the Linux market if your selling server class hardware; Linux simply commands too much of that market to ignore.

Things stand rather differently with video cards, which are sold into the "desktop" market where Linux has a vastly smaller install base than it does in servers. But even putting aside the issues pertaining to market share, video drivers have a hell of a lot more "secret sauce" loaded into their software drivers than do things like NIC cards.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Fighting a Loosing Battle
by Guppetto on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Fighting a Loosing Battle"
Guppetto Member since:
2005-07-06

Your probably right about the Networking cards, but I know a lot of people wish there were native drivers availible for many network cards, instead off having to use NDiswrapper. Intel seems to be very commited to providing native drivers for all of their cards, but how many other companies have drivers (especially wireless) that are readily availible.

We all know that combining proprietary and Open software is the real solution, so why can't people just except it and move on. I don't need an open NVIDIA driver, as long as they're commited to providing one. I love that the Intel drivers are open and if NVIDIA and intel stop supporting Linux, then I'll just buy an Intel card. Sure, it would be nice if they provided specs about the hardware, but if you had a multimillion dollar design in your home, how willing would you be to tell everyone about it, knowing that some of the people your telling have the know how to build their own, and profit from it.

Reply Score: 1

cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Ahhh...yes; wireless cards. I sometimes forget wireless support is so dodgy in Linux (I use an IBM ThinkPad which uses the Intel chipset). I think this falls squarely in the market size issue. There's really nothing special worth protecting in a wireless driver. In fact, for all of the brands of wireless gear out there, almost all of them use chipsets from a small handful of providers. It'll come eventually; until then reward those manufacturers who use Linux friendly components.

Reply Score: 1

As long as we can choose
by Adurbe on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:33 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

as long as we have the option of removing them should we wish, binary drivers are a welcome addition.

Personally I would rather my hardware work 'out of the box' but as I said thats MY CHOICE

Reply Score: 1

documentation
by hornett on Tue 18th Apr 2006 18:48 UTC
hornett
Member since:
2005-09-19

I don't think open source drivers will ever appear from ATI and NVidia due to the patent issues etc.

What would be much better IMHO would be decent technical documentation for the cards, so that the talented Xorg(/kernel?) devs could write decent open source drivers, instead of having to reverse engineer them.

Reply Score: 5

My answer is YES
by Governa on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:00 UTC
Governa
Member since:
2006-04-09

I want the best Linux experience right 'out of the box'. So my answer is yes, they should include nVidia/ATI support, MP3/DVD decoders, etc... by default.

Reply Score: 5

RE: My answer is YES
by porcel on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:21 UTC in reply to "My answer is YES"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

And I want a cow that sings lullabies.

Nobody owes you a freeking thing. Given that these tecnologies are proprietary, how is anyone supposed to provide them in an OS that by definition was created to circumvent any attempt at stop the free sharing of software code?

You folks simply do not understand the foundations of the free software movement. If you don't like what the software stands for, don't use it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: My answer is YES"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Then stop trying to insist it's ready for the desktop ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: My answer is YES
by Moulinneuf on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My answer is YES"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Its ready for the desktop , it as problem on some hardware component , you just have to choose the one that work with GNU/Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My answer is YES"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Doesn't sound ready to me ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: My answer is YES
by ma_d on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My answer is YES"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm surprised you can find coherent meaning in his sentence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually I only understood everything before the comma. My reply was based off that and what I figured he was tryung to say ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: My answer is YES
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My answer is YES"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Is the Mac then also not-ready-for-the-desktop? After all, it supports an order of magnitude fewer components than Linux does?

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:46 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

No, because it supports hardware out of the box with good drivers ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: My answer is YES"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Linux supports far more hardware out of the box than a Mac ever will.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by Finalzone on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: My answer is YES"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Dedicated hardwares customized by Apple to be specific. Try to install OS X on a plain PC (say equipped with a AMD Athlon64 3200 with other motherboard manufacturer) and come back with a fully dedicated article.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by ma_d on Wed 19th Apr 2006 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: My answer is YES"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

So does Linux if you buy from a vendor:
http://www.asllabs.net/asl_labs_computers.htm
http://www.koobox.com/
http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/search.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@098586551...

Could you provide another objective measure for which to judge desktop ready?
Maybe it has to have a supported web cam?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: My answer is YES
by raver31 on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My answer is YES"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows does not play dvd and divx out of the box. Windows cannot play quicktime or realplayer files out of the box.
Windows cannot edit MS Word files out of the box.
Windows cannot edit MS Excel files out of the box.

Windows does not have full drivers for Nvidia or Ati out of the box.

So, by your logic, is Windows ready for the desktop ?
Certainly not for mine.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My answer is YES"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows does not play dvd and divx out of the box.

Correct, but OEM computers and dvd drives tend to come with DVD software. Just plop the CD/DVD in, install it, and you're good to go. Everyone knows how to put a CD/DVD in and click a few buttons.

Windows cannot edit MS Word files out of the box.
Windows cannot edit MS Excel files out of the box.

It can read/write rtf files if a home user needs basic stuff.

Windows does not have full drivers for Nvidia or Ati out of the box.

No, but any OEM computers with ATI/Nvidia cards will have the drivers preinstalled. If you buy a card and install it yourself, you get the drivers on a CD/DVD and just pop the CD/DVD in and you're good to go.

It's a better user experience.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: My answer is YES
by raver31 on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My answer is YES"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

maybe so....

but, Windows will do none of the above out of the box. It is well behind Linux as a desktop. I gave examples of a few things Windows could not do, you replied back with

1: 3rd party add-on support
2: Saving in a non standard format
3: Expecting people to buy a manufactured PC
4: Not all driver CDs work.. and you know that.


No way is it a better user experience,,,, it is an experience,,,, but not a good one.
I stick with Suse 10 thank you.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[6]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
RE[4]: My answer is YES
by Babi Asu on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My answer is YES"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

Windows does not have full drivers for Nvidia or Ati out of the box.

Either you didn't aware or were being ingorant, when you buy ATI/Nvidia card, there is also windows driver CD in the box. But for linux driver, often you must download it yourself and hack the kernel to load the driver.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: My answer is YES
by Finalzone on Wed 19th Apr 2006 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My answer is YES"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Either you didn't aware or were being ingorant, when you buy ATI/Nvidia card, there is also windows driver CD in the box.

Windows CD does not include hardware accelarated driver (3D graphic for other people) from either ATI and Nvidia. You will have to download them to enable these features so this is no diffrent from some Linux distros.

But for linux driver, often you must download it yourself and hack the kernel to load the driver.
Many linux distros have a repository to get these kind of drivers (Universe for Ubuntu, Livna for Fedora) that users can enable. Commercial distros such as Mandriva, Xandros and SUSE include them in their medias.

Edited 2006-04-19 05:40

Reply Score: 0

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by Bending Unit on Wed 19th Apr 2006 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
Bending Unit Member since:
2005-07-06

Except if you buy new hardware. My 7900GT didn't work with Ubuntu without downloading the latest drivers from nvidia.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by Finalzone on Wed 19th Apr 2006 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: My answer is YES"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

True. In addition, customized drivers for your favorite distro should be available few days later after the release of the new Nvidia driver.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: My answer is YES
by archiesteel on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My answer is YES"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Then stop trying to insist it's ready for the desktop ;)

It is ready for the desktop. Just because you disagree with an poster on an internet forum about how "pure" a Free kernel should be has nothing to do with Linux being ready or not for the desktop.

Hey, I think that Windows still isn't ready for the desktop (I'm the local family/friends tech support), and that doesn't prevent it from being on 90% of them.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[4]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My answer is YES"
RE[5]: My answer is YES
by archiesteel on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My answer is YES"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I hate having to quote Tom Cruise, but now you're just being glib. I'm modding your post down as off-topic.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My answer is YES
by Governa on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE: My answer is YES"
Governa Member since:
2006-04-09

I don't care about 'the foundations of the <insert poetry here> movement'. I want the best linux experience out of the box. Period. If this can be achieved by using proprietary software (like PC-BSD seems to do), then just do it! You still live in a dream world. Wake up! Linux is not a hacker's OS anymore and the end user doesn't care about the opensource poetry...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: My answer is YES
by jaylaa on Wed 19th Apr 2006 00:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My answer is YES"
jaylaa Member since:
2006-01-17

I don't care about 'the foundations of the (insert poetry here) movement'. I want the best linux experience out of the box. Period. If this can be achieved by using proprietary software (like PC-BSD seems to do), then just do it! You still live in a dream world. Wake up! Linux is not a hacker's OS anymore and the end user doesn't care about the opensource poetry...

Yeah, well..

I don't care about 'the foundations of (insert profit motive here) theory'. I want the best Windows experience out of the box. Period. If this can be achieved by giving away the OS for free (like some OS's seem to do), then just do it! You still live in a dream world. Wake up! Windows is not a rich persons OS anymore and the end user doesn't care about capitalist ideals...

The second paragraph is only as silly as the first. MS could give away Windows for free and gain lots of users, but then they don't make any money which is their objective. Linux could include all kinds of proprietary stuff and gain lots of users, but then it wouldn't be Free, which is it's objective. What would be it's purpose? Remember that thing called Unix? Is that what you want? Because the only reason we have alternatives to Unix in the *nix world is becasue of the opensource poetry...

GPL'd software is obviously not for you. And before I'm labeled an open source zealot I'll state that I myself use proprietary graphics drivers. But I don't shit on the ideals of the movement that got me this whole Free OS in the first place.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: My answer is YES
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE: My answer is YES"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Rubbish!

Linux is not now, nor has it ever been, an FSF/GNU project. Linus has always very clear that he orginally choose to license Linux under the GPL for primarily pragmatic reasons, and not as an endorsement of the larger philosophical and ethical stands taken by RMS and company. In fact, Linus barely even tries anymore to hide his contempt for RMS.

Linux doesn't stand for what you seem to believe it does and if you can't reconcile yourself with that fact, then it is you who should be seeking alternatives. I hear that the HURD project is looking for some users.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[3]: My answer is YES
by Moulinneuf on Wed 19th Apr 2006 02:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My answer is YES"
RE[4]: My answer is YES
by Johann Chua on Wed 19th Apr 2006 04:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My answer is YES"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

GNU and the FSF don't control the Linux kernel. In what way is the Linux kernel part of GNU, other than using GNU userland tools?

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: My answer is YES
by Moulinneuf on Wed 19th Apr 2006 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: My answer is YES"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

Its GPL , you are GPL your part of the GNU Idea , the FSF is the free software foundation they give funds and legal advice when you help build free software and correct the GPL license when the laws change , they dont just control it , they own it entirely.

Now , its really simple , even you should have gotten it by now , you dont whant to be part of the GNU idea dont use the GPL at all , stay away from it , dont use its software either. Dont discuss it , dont mention it.

You guys have a problem with laws and idea , laws changes and idea are adaptable , Linus never tought is toy would be like this today , RMS never tought GNU would be like this today either.

Its the license that control everything. The GPL is worst then the mafia , when you die you get out of the mafia , when you use the GPL , even if your dead or whant out the software stay GPL.

Its the license that control it and own it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by Johann Chua on Thu 20th Apr 2006 03:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

The Linux kernel is owned by its contributors, not GNU or the FSF. The unmodified GPL v.2 doesn't allow binary-only drivers, and yet there they are in Linux.

You talk a lot about freedom yet seem to be eager to shut up anyone who doesn't agree with you. You give GPL and free software advocates a bad name.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by Moulinneuf on Thu 20th Apr 2006 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

You dont know what your talking about and have nothing to say that need me wasting more time then what I already answered.

- The GPL is a software license , its the most widely used free software license in existance. Thanks for saying I have any influence on it , its tottaly delusionnal and wrong on your part but none the less I take it as a compliment and find it flathering.

- Free software advocate , advocate free software.

Reply Score: 1

RE[8]: My answer is YES
by sappyvcv on Fri 21st Apr 2006 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: My answer is YES"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Did you just accuse yourself of not knowing what you're talking about?

That's classic.

Reply Score: 1

Good lord boy!
by cr8dle2grave on Wed 19th Apr 2006 04:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: My answer is YES"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

Has a single coherent sentence ever once passed your lips (or, as the case may be, run across your fingertips)?

Reply Score: 2

cr8dle2grave
by Moulinneuf on Wed 19th Apr 2006 11:33 UTC in reply to "Good lord boy!"
Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

cr8dle2grave , your problem beside behing a coward who is ahsame of is real name and of his ancestors , is that you dont know what you discuss or offer a single real fact.

To be coherent is to understand and know the subject , you do neither. GNU/Linux would not be where it is today without the GPL , The GNU idea would not be where it is today if it where not for the Linux kernel.

Hence its GNU/Linux , alone they are nothing , togheter they are everything.

Reply Score: 1

Conflict ?
by poohgee on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:41 UTC
poohgee
Member since:
2005-08-13

"all they have to do is interface with the kernel.. So who cares as long as my hardware works. The sandle wearers can have their 2d graphics."
-> Amen ;)

Take this principle a bit further & proprietary software shouldnt be allowed to run on Linux because it spreads bad karma .

Companies want to make money & dont want to give away years of work by making their software open-source.

Linux is about diversity & openess ?
Let people do what they want .

Linux is not going to get far without proprietary software & drivers because these companies are not going to throw their work away just to seem FOSS friendly .

Its a good way for them to get their work into the kernel (e.g. whatever the cluster filesystem is called) but xcept that if they dont have enough rescources to develop the driver/s themselves they dont really have a big reason to free & open source their work .

Who wants to give away their house or flat for free because its good for the community ?

:)

Reply Score: 3

always debates.
by tiiim on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:48 UTC
tiiim
Member since:
2005-09-02

Like all things there needs to be a fundalmental balance between it all, at end of day you will get purist of both side of the spectrum. There are people are ATI and Nvidia do need to make a living a feed the family as much as people on open source. If people have a problem with properity software, why buy a properity card? If you think about it your still paying for the software on the card so if you want to be "so pure" get an open hardware card (if there is such thing).

What i find most amusing is there is people who cant stand this proriety stuff but in some instances they will happy break legal law in order to have "free" support for that proriety format. MP3s, DVDS, movies etc etc are all properity formats. Throw away your TV, don't go to the cinema, don't play Halo because its all properity or made on properity. yes there are purist out there who never touch such things because of the properity nature, get themself into a religious free software starvation of software way of life. Hey if you choose it thats fine. But you do pay for the format with all the money we spend on software I have no problem with mixing free with properity. I do understand people want to make a stand but to I wonder how many people use the "Free" software for the coding or because its "free and i dont wont to give Bill anymore of my money"? very few people of the free software movement actually tinker with the code. Use it if you want it, just don't stop the rest of us following are "properity" movement if we choose too. Don't get me wrong I use both free and source software and like it, some of the tools i use i prefer to the "expensive"counterpart. But there is also other tools I use that cost more money but i use it because it does the job better, we need balance here people.

Edited 2006-04-18 19:51

Reply Score: 4

The problem is Open Source
by Moulinneuf on Tue 18th Apr 2006 19:56 UTC
Moulinneuf
Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem was the compromise made for Open Source graphic driver at the start instead of building the GPL ones.

The Proprietary company already provide some support but in absence of real competition they see no need to make a better offer or timely one.

There is also a problem of catch 22 , people buy there graphic hardware product from those graphic OEM vendor that support windows , there is actually zero graphich resaller vendor from ATI and Nvidia that do say they support financially or in driver the GNU/Linux platform. In other words buying that BFG or Powercolor or Asus card , etc ... only serve to pay for Windows continuing support.

There is also a lack of interest from the richer GNU/Linux player ( Red Hat , Novell ) to support it because its not GPL and 3D driver are not really needed for corporate desktop either.

Remember in 1990 there was no GNU/Linux , if it exist today its because FSF and Free software people paid and developped for it in the first place and because it was GPL , otherwise it would be the same as all the other who are just fringe OS or extinct.

As long as there is no dedicated company or project to solve the problem with a GPL solution all the others will only do lip service for it or deliver when they feel like it.

Reply Score: 3

v What's this?
by linuxh8r on Tue 18th Apr 2006 20:57 UTC
RE: What's this?
by raver31 on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:38 UTC in reply to "What's this?"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

yeah, we owe the commercial software loads for all the bad stuff in our lovely linux....

the virus's
the spyware
the trojans

we are inundated with them on linux, but we should thank our lucky stars that the commercial software people will protect us from ourselves and our click-happy fingers.

WAIT.... hmmmmm sorry, wrong system there


can we get that LinuxH8r banned please ? he is showing symptoms of extreme retardedness

Reply Score: 4

v RE[2]: What's this?
by linuxh8r on Thu 20th Apr 2006 18:30 UTC in reply to "What's this?"
Intel to the rescue
by KenJackson on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:11 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

Intel has new plans for its open-source graphics driver work, ... "It's not released yet," he said.

It seems the two most popular graphics card manufactureres are nVidia and ATI. There are a whole bunch of others, but I'm not aware if you can buy an Intel graphics card. But if they come out with a decent card and a good GPL'd driver, the whole F/OSS world would flock to them. Do it, Intel!

Reply Score: 2

RE: Intel to the rescue
by cr8dle2grave on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:55 UTC in reply to "Intel to the rescue"
cr8dle2grave Member since:
2005-07-11

The Intel i810 driver is open source and supports 3d acceleration on their more recent chipsets. That said, Intels video chipsets are not competitive with those from ATI/NVIDIA. But if you're not a gamer they're more than adequate for most people's purposes.

Reply Score: 1

Technical Issues too
by ma_d on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:24 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

I think there are also some technical questions. Mainly around the quality of the drivers.
The drivers in linux' source tree can be vouched for, and if they have issues Linux gets blaimed rightly: It supports them, some better then others.
However, when you load up proprietary drivers and they cause issues. Well, Linux will get blaimed.

Remember WinME? Microsoft made the grave mistake of not using the same driver interfaces and Win98 drivers weren't always a correct fit. Guess what. Companies labelled their Win98 drivers as ME anyway (sometimes) and people thought ME was just ridiculously unstable. In reality, there just wasn't much properly supported hardware...

So by keeping only FOSS drivers and the highest quality proprietary drivers by having the current barriers to closed development Linux is successfully avoiding a bad rep for half-done drivers. Not that there aren't any half done drivers out there, but usually they're at least stable.


I don't think Linux should go too far in making it easy to ship closed drivers. If they want their drivers on Linux they can open them, or write wrappers. If they do the first we can fix it, if they do the second they've put in a major commitment to the driver!

No driver is better than a bad driver.

Reply Score: 3

Simple problem with closed drivers
by sc3252 on Tue 18th Apr 2006 21:53 UTC
sc3252
Member since:
2005-09-06

If a user complains about software zzz, and gives hardware information including hardware x, to developer y, info on hardware and x is looked at by developer y. After a few days y notices that there is a problem in hardware x, but company of x is out of business and someone else ownes the ip. The ip owner of x doesnt want to release new drivers since it doesnt make any business sense, and the person with the buggy drivers has to live with the bug or buy new hardware. See the problem yet.

If we start to rely on closed source drivers things like this will start to happen.

Reply Score: 1

ArcadeFX
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yep.

Nvidia and ATI should protect their IPs. If you want an open-source implementation of a 3d video card then: Make a video card, write the needed software and be happy. Of course having to deal with all sorts of patents and legal mojo could hinder the road to freedom.

I use proprietary drivers and I like it. ;)

Reply Score: 3

sc3252 Member since:
2005-09-06

Why dont you actualy try and use ati drivers before posting. ati shouldnt have a right to develop drivers any more. If you have used their(ati) drivers you would know that open source 2d drivers are 10x better at being stable than anything ati has or has had. I would go off and list 30 problems alone with ati drivers, but I will spare you from the list. Just to name one problem, well my card would hard lock some times when logging out of gnome(doesnt happen with open source or nvidia drivers).

I am not seriously saying ati shouldnt be developing drivers, but in no way should they ever be included with the kernel.

Reply Score: 2

Mitarai Member since:
2005-07-28

I have an ATI 9800 pro with the latest propietary drivers, no problems here.

Reply Score: 1

SpasmaticSeacow Member since:
2006-02-17

I would add that the open-source Nvidia drivers are demonstrably more stable than Nvidia's own drivers and support a wider variety of kernel configurations.

That said, the Nvidia driver has MUCH better 3D performance, even if they don't support as many X extensions as the open-source drivers do.

Reply Score: 1

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Nvidia and ATI should protect their IPs.

Why? What are they gaining from it? Not a competitive edge, at least not if they both open-source them...

Reply Score: 4

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Their competitive edge(s) has little to do with open or closed interfaces. In fact, they would probably gain substantially just based on PR of having open specs/drivers.

Chances are very good ATi and nVidia each infringe on each others' patents and trade secrets, and those of Intel, SiS, and VIA; and they each know it. They will not risk openning their stuff up and getting sued. If that were not a risk, I imagine we'd have open drivers.

However, it would be nice if they created an interface to the hardware that hid that stuff, yet still allowed them to publish enough info for a good open driver to be created.

Reply Score: 1

no non-free in my kernel
by gregorlowski on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:10 UTC
gregorlowski
Member since:
2006-03-20

I use Debian. Occasionally I'll grab something from non-free such as the non-free-flash installer. I installed the latter because my wife is a medical student, and she was required to watch some flash dissection videos for school.

But I NEVER want any non-free stuff in my kernel. It's a horrible, slippery slope. Once you tell vendors that it's OK for them to write binary-only linux drivers, you get locked into only using certain kernel versions to satisfy dependencies. Companies also then think it's OK to not provide source, and so you never get source.

Everyone in the community should put their feet down and say "NO, we only accept open-source in the kernel." In the long-run it will give us better hardware support in the kernel because vendors will be forced to open-source their drivers for business reasons.

I tried the binary-only rtl8180 driver for the 2.4.18 kernel when it first came out. AWFUL. It was unstable, it would crash my otherwise-very-stable kernel sometimes. And it was impossible to work with it -- you had to just hope that Realtek would fix it (they never did, but now there are open source drivers).

So think twice before you say, "OOHHH.. I don't care! Give me binary-only so I can use my shiny new nvidia card." We should instead say, "No, I won't buy nvidia until they release an open-source card" because that is the only way to put pressure on vendors to provide real support for their hardware in linux.

Reply Score: 5

RE: no non-free in my kernel
by sc3252 on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:20 UTC in reply to "no non-free in my kernel"
sc3252 Member since:
2005-09-06

This is a prefect example of what you get when drivers are binnary only.

Reply Score: 1

RE: no non-free in my kernel
by Wrawrat on Wed 19th Apr 2006 03:55 UTC in reply to "no non-free in my kernel"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

We should instead say, "No, I won't buy nvidia until they release an open-source card" because that is the only way to put pressure on vendors to provide real support for their hardware in linux.

Quite unlikely. For most people, a computer is merely a tool of work/convenience. I doubt enough people would engage themselves for the openness of drivers. The movement would need the help of the average user. Unfortunately, I doubt the cause rank high in his priorities. I am aware that europeans are better "engaged" in social causes, still...

My take? Not until there is a serious competitor showing up with open-source drivers or supporting proprietary drivers becomes too much of an hassle.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by captain_knobjockey on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:48 UTC
captain_knobjockey
Member since:
2005-08-23

I recently had to reinstall Windows. Not nice. Wordpad to look at DOCS ?
Then hours searching for codecs etc

Reply Score: 4

Openess
by Sphinx on Tue 18th Apr 2006 22:56 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

No, it does not, "belong", in linux, that's what FOSS is and for FOSS to remain FOSS it must discourage non-FOSS at all costs even, yes to it's own temporary detriment for FOSS solutions will replace non-FOSS eventually and all will be for the general benefit in the end. Should people be able to add it if they so desire? Ok if they must but realize it does not advance the cause and fasting is good for the soul on all levels, even software.

Reply Score: 2

Isn't this argument over yet?
by leech on Tue 18th Apr 2006 23:47 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

If I were selling computers with Linux pre-installed, do you think I could get away with saying "Oh by the way, since believe in complete open source, I didn't install the closed source drivers for your fancy nvidia card in there. So you won't be able to play any 3D games, or use any 3D screensavers without it being incredibly slow. But hey, you're using a completely open source and free operating system"

They would look at me like I was a moron and say "Aren't the nvidia drivers provided for free by nVidia, since am buying their hardware?"

They would be right. Normal (sane) people don't care if they have proprietary software, in fact most people welcome it, because let's face it OPEN SOURCED SOFTWARE WILL NOT FILL EVERYONE'S NEEDS. Some people may need Maya, that's not open source, yet we still see people saying it must be all free.

Hardware support is the most important advantage of any distribution, and if they're not going to FULLY support all the hardware that they can, that's just stupid.

Leech

Reply Score: 3

theine
Member since:
2005-09-29

"they" = whoever decided to make the linux kernel GPL, which I presume was Linus.

This really doesn't have anything to do with the Kernel being GPL. Nobody in his right mind would include huge binary blobs that are provided as-is by some random 3rd party vendor in his product.

Reply Score: 4

archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

So I was right, this is really an anti-GPL rant. Never mind that this is absolutely irrelevant to the topic at hand, since NVIDIA and ATI drivers are not part of the Windows NT kernel either.

Reply Score: 2

if only...
by hobgoblin on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:20 UTC
hobgoblin
Member since:
2005-07-06

one could make away with drivers alltogether...

or isnt that one of the promises of the EFI system?
or atleast move the driver out of the os on into firmware?

Reply Score: 1

RE[15]: My answer is YES
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:21 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

There's no need to repeat, I understood you the first time. Saying it over and over won't make it true.

Simply put, I disagree with your assessment that this constitutes a significant roadblock to Linux adoption. I've yet to see you come up with any evidence or convincing argument to support this theory.

Reply Score: 2

choice
by jerzeejerome on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:23 UTC
jerzeejerome
Member since:
2006-04-18

I'm for the choice. What works better. If the open source drivers work better then I'll use those. If the closed source works better then that's what's up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: I'm all for it.
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:25 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

if ATI or Nvidia were to ship a version of the Linux kernel with their proprietary drivers built in, and not offer the source to the modifications that they made - would that be OK? Or would it be in violation of the GPL?

It would in fact be a violation of copyright law. The GPL permits redistribution of IP only if certain conditions are met, and linking or combining with proprietary modules is not permitted.

Not that it is not the act of combining GPLed and proprietary code that is illegal, rather it is the redistribution of that combination that constitutes a violation of copyright.

Offering binary modules that operate in kernel space really is no different, as far as I see it.

It's quite different, actually, as I explained above. One is legal, the other one isn't.

Reply Score: 2

What Does it Matter?
by Mystilleef on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:27 UTC
Mystilleef
Member since:
2005-06-29

Free software developers maintain and develop the kernel. You can whine all you like, redefine freedom all you like, and argue about your rights all you want. What matters, however, is what the kernel developers want. And so far, they want the kernel and all modules that link to it to remain free software. Quite frankly, they don't really give a shit about your convenience, perhaps you are mistaking them for Apple or Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What Does it Matter?
by sappyvcv on Wed 19th Apr 2006 03:03 UTC in reply to "What Does it Matter?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

That's fine. Their product, their choice. I won't use their product on the desktop though.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What Does it Matter?
by Mystilleef on Wed 19th Apr 2006 05:30 UTC in reply to "RE: What Does it Matter?"
Mystilleef Member since:
2005-06-29

I doubt that bothers them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: My answer is YES
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:31 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

Either you didn't aware or were being ingorant, when you buy ATI/Nvidia card, there is also windows driver CD in the box.

Really? What if I buy a used card? What if I lose my CD and need to reinstall?

"Out-of-the-box" means that it installed at the same time as the OS, not separately. We're not actually talking about the video card's box...

Mind you, there's nothing preventing the video card manufacturers to put the Linux driver on the CD as well - and in fact I'm sure some already do. However, that's the manufacturer's responsibility, and that still wouldn't make it "out-of-the-box."

But for linux driver, often you must download it yourself and hack the kernel to load the driver.

"Hack the kernel"? Hardly. The NVIDIA installer is a straightforward executable file, just like the ATI installer. And, if you're using Ubuntu, you can have it installed through the EasyUbuntu tool.

That said, it's highly debatable that using a CD to install a driver is simpler or more user-friendly than downloading it from the Internet. That's really a matter of personal preference, not fact.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: My answer is YES
by Babi Asu on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:48 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: My answer is YES"
Babi Asu Member since:
2006-02-11

"Out-of-the-box" means that it installed at the same time as the OS, not separately. We're not actually talking about the video card's box...

If an OS must provide drivers for all possible out of the box, a full DVD or even HD-DVD/Blu-Ray will not enough for the installation disk. It is make more sense if a computer/laptop is preinstalled for specific hardware, thus only need to provide certain drivers, e.g. Dell, Lenovo, etc. I heard a pre-installed linux laptop, but may be it's for geeks' consumption only.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by SpasmaticSeacow on Wed 19th Apr 2006 16:06 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: My answer is YES"
SpasmaticSeacow Member since:
2006-02-17

Untrue. In practice, most hardware uses a fairly standard set of hardware APIs with some minor differences. In fact, you could easily fit the drivers for every commercially available piece of hardware on a single CD and still have room for other stuff.

It's true that a driver disk for Windows might install 10-100M of software when you load the driver, but what's necessary to actually support the hardware is only a few Kbytes. Linux does a better job than Windows of generalizing hardware in this respect.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What Does it Matter?
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 01:34 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

And so far, they want the kernel and all modules that link to it to remain free software.

I don't think that kernel developers all feel that way, and in any case it's irrelevant, because users CAN combine the kernel with non-free, proprietary modules if they want. They can do so easily and legally, so really I fail to see what all the brouhaha is about.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: My answer is YES
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 02:37 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

If an OS must provide drivers for all possible out of the box, a full DVD or even HD-DVD/Blu-Ray will not enough for the installation disk.

Actually, you're wrong. Drivers don't take that much disk space, and Linux distributions have traditionally included all available ones on their first install CD (proprietary drivers being the exception, of course).

It is make more sense if a computer/laptop is preinstalled for specific hardware, thus only need to provide certain drivers, e.g. Dell, Lenovo, etc.

Of course. Pre-installing the OS just makes sense, unfortunately not many OEMs have offered Linux so far. It used to be that they couldn't, or Microsoft would have retaliated by cutting off their Windows ssupply (thus depriving them of most of their income).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So What's the Problem?
by archiesteel on Wed 19th Apr 2006 02:52 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

I conditionally agree with you. I find it really difficult to swallow that a group can proclaim that Linux is open and free, as well as chant one of the most attractive things is that you can customise the system if it doesn't do exactly what you want, but then be so against allowing people the choice of adopting non-free or non-open software.

The position of the FSF is not that people shouldn't be allowed to choose non-free or non-open software. By claiming this you are misrepresenting their position. They are not against choice, i.e. taking away people's rights, rather they promote one of these choices.

It really seems to be a contradiction of mindsets.

Not really. One can be for freedom of speech and yet advocate a position. Advocating a position doesn't mean you want to silence opposing viewpoints, it means you want to convince other people to join your point in view (as opposed to using coercitive measures).

I do think however that compiling the drivers directly into the kernel would be a confusion of licensing and IP but that shouldn't prohibit people loading the drivers as a seperate entity.

As is exactly the case now. Of course it's a minor annoyance for users - I'd rather have 3D ATI drivers included in my kernel package when I update it, but that's not legally possible. As usual with free software, simple workarounds have developed around this annoyance.

It seems to me that in this particular instance the adoption of Linux distributions is being (or could be) hampered by the bothering of upholding to the strictest degree of what some believe Linux is about.

However, no one's going to tell you what you can or can't do with your software for your personal use. I've always used Linux with proprietary NVIDIA or ATI drivers, and I don't feel like I'm any less of a Linux advocate. Just ask sappyvcv, he'll tell you how enthusiastic I am about it... :-)

I guess that's also the point. If Linux is meant to be so open and free (from constraint) then why on earth would you want to restrict people from being able to experience it to the fullest?

No one is talking of restricting anyone. Purists can argue their case, and it is their right, just like you and me have the right to disagree. There aren't, however, any restriction on how someone can use the software. That's the beauty of open source and free software.

Just because Stallman doesn't think you should use proprietary software means that he would support making free software mandatory. There's a huge difference between the two positions, I hope you can see it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So What's the Problem?
by flanque on Wed 19th Apr 2006 06:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So What's the Problem?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

Perhaps, but I would have thought a proper cohesive way to move forward would have been unity. To me one of the so-called benefits of open source software is also its detriment - fragmentation - making the job of developers more difficult.

I really find it difficult to understand the logic behind having the same piece of software in more than one fork of compatibility just for the sake of having to support multiple "variations" of what is almost the same OS.

Reply Score: 1

We at least need to have a choice!
by evilmegaman on Wed 19th Apr 2006 05:23 UTC
evilmegaman
Member since:
2005-09-20

Come on people, with so many linux distros, WHY must they ALL be the same! They should do what THEY want. Therefore, with so many distros, We should have distros with and distros without proprietary software. Why shouldn't they? does the liscence disallow anyone to mix different liscenced software? Afaik you could just use multiple liscences.

Come on think about it!

Reply Score: 1

egarland Member since:
2005-08-05

WHY must they ALL be the same!

Yea! I mean.. why don't some of these Linux distributions just use a different kernel! The fact that they all use Linux just shows how little they know about making a Linux distro!

:p

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm all for it.
by kaiwai on Wed 19th Apr 2006 05:24 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I understand that both Nvidia and ATI are trying to protect their intellectual property (I feel dirty just typing that), and agree with their stances to some extent. But, the reality is is that these drivers are running deep in the GPL'ed kernel territory - which is exactly where they should not be if they are proprietary and not free software.

But issues pertaining to THEIR IP has nothing to do with the issue; the issue is with the IP they have licenced from third parties, and those third parties unwilling to allow ATI and Nvidia to open up their drivers.

Quite frankly, the graphics market is down to a duopoly between ATI vs. Nvidia; both of them are off on different paths and approaches, so even if both 'opened and exposed their bits', neither side would benefit.

But like I said, the issue isn't with ATI and Nvidia, but with the IP they've licenced; I'm sure if ATI and Nvidia owned every piece of IP sitting in their driver, they would opensource it tomorrow and lower their costs for support on alternative operating systems.

Both have sufficient volume to counter any so-called 'loss in secret sauce'; and couple that with marketing by ATI and Nvidia; "gotta get a genuine ATI/Nvidia graphics card!" plus the likes of Dells aversion of not using anything from 'big names' makes their business future, under a completely disclosed environment, safe.

Besides, the ATI and Nvidia proprietary drivers, frankly, are not that great. I will grant you that as far as 3d acceleration goes they blow the pants of the drivers that come with a standard Linux distro, but they can be buggy, are slow to support brand spanking new hardware, and generally don't support older video cards either.

Well, I think the bigger problem, is that those of us in the OSS community also get peeved from the point of view that there is a bug, we could possibly fix the bug in a matter of a few hours, but instead we're at the mercy of Nvidia/ATI driver release cycle - which you could say is 'giving up control' over ones computer; as for me, I find the 2D accelerated drivers included with Xorg sufficient for what I need to do; they're snappy and fairly reliable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: no non-free in my kernel
by kaiwai on Wed 19th Apr 2006 07:27 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

So think twice before you say, "OOHHH.. I don't care! Give me binary-only so I can use my shiny new nvidia card." We should instead say, "No, I won't buy nvidia until they release an open-source card" because that is the only way to put pressure on vendors to provide real support for their hardware in linux.<?i>

The fact is, it isn't just that simple; what about me using FreeBSD? should I be left out in the cold? Lets compare; you have FreeBSD which is a since to maintain for given that it has a stable API, stable compiler for longer periods than Linux etc. The problem of bad hardware support isn't just a linux problem, but a problem for all those who use alternative operating systems.

As for boycotting Nvidia/ATI or some other company, it'll make little inroads because as end users we only make up a small percentage compared to the over 100million PC's that are pre-loaded with Windows and equiped with the latest and greatest video cards.

The alternative is to create an opensource graphics card; possibly using an existing, already opened up graphics specification - say the Matrox G550, as a starting point, then work up from there; but it would require major sponsorship by Novell, Red Hat, SUN and other players to get it through to production and a usable product.

Reply Score: 2

This is the trouble with Linux
by proforma on Wed 19th Apr 2006 07:58 UTC
proforma
Member since:
2005-08-27

I don't mind Open Source software as it can drive some interesting projects.

What I do mind is somehow not using proprietary drivers is not equal to freedom.

A lot of people on here are like hippies. They take this freedom idea too far.

Who cares if you have a choice between having an open source driver or a proprietary driver, just use the damn thing.

I love having freedom in the States to do stuff, but at the same time I think this F/OSS freedom is just a little extreme.

In Windows I don't have a choice of having an open source driver. But you know what? I don't care. That mentality can waste a ton of time and I would rather be creating applications that matter instead of wasting my time and money doing something that ATI and Nvidia already have done and let them figure out the bugs.

This is an example of how I feel like the political ranting of Linux and F/OSS waste a lot of time on something that does not matter. It's all politics instead of something real.

Politics are stupid, its a waste of time. Making an OS easier to use and usable in the first place is more important.

Computing freedom is clearly way overrated and you freedom freaks should have been in the 60's.

Even on Windows you have freedom, no maybe not to the extreme of making your own drivers, but that is just redneck dumb and a waste of time.

Why not go forward 12 steps and not back 12 using the mentality of politics.

At the end of the day politics gains nothing and all this extreme freedom talk gains nothing.

I am not trying to troll, but people on this board have to get some reality.

Reply Score: 0

RE: This is the trouble with Linux
by Havin_it on Wed 19th Apr 2006 12:58 UTC in reply to "This is the trouble with Linux"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

Well, hell, nothing wrong with being comfortable in your worldview I guess.

Here's the reality for developers and other computer users who don't have a whole lot of money, and like their PCs and other hardware to work until it drops, then drop-in a replacement. In the world of proprietary software and drivers, there's *no* guarantee this will be possible.

Say Nvidia bit the dust tomorrow. No more support, no more new Forceware, nada. Your PC doesn't cease working instantly, but next time the OS kernel (be it Linux, BSD or WinNT) gets a bugfix or security upgrade, your last-ever Nvidia drivers just might not work any more. So it's time to either cough up for a new GPU or make do with a frozen-in-time OS.

These hippies you see everywhere (?) don't engage in politics just for its own sake, or to seem more important as you seem to suggest. They just don't trust corporate driver/software vendors not to leave them in the lurch at some point. If you have that trust, then good for you.

Reply Score: 3

What the heck is inside; Intel???
by Bonus on Wed 19th Apr 2006 08:38 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

Open sourcing hardware drivers is very importent to me. I grew up in the microchip era and I want to know what's inside; Intel? Trade secrets are a bunch of crap. When someone trades something to me there should be NO secrets between us.
I do not trust something in my home that I don't know what's in it. No, I dont trust them to keep me 'safe.'
I don't want Lock In so repairmen can only replace the chips by giving money to the original company and not being able to repair the chips themselves. It's creating a dumbed down society. This creates much higher prices. How long have we had the same speed chips smaller and smaller at the same prices?

It's time for a change.

Reply Score: 0

Hah
by deathshadow on Wed 19th Apr 2006 08:58 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

As someone who goes off on wild rants about the "Dirty hippy idealism" and "real world naivete" of the free software/Open Source folks on a regular basis...

I'm quite glad there's little if anything I can add that hasn't already been said here. I'm feeling a lot of love in here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I'm all for it.
by Soulbender on Wed 19th Apr 2006 09:06 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"But issues pertaining to THEIR IP has nothing to do with the issue; the issue is with the IP they have licenced from third parties, and those third parties unwilling to allow ATI and Nvidia to open up their drivers."

And pray tell, how does that other IP prevent the creation of a fully documented and open interface?
Noone is asking them to open source their drivers, just that their hardware has open and documented interfaces. If they have some IP in their drivers to do clever things isnt of interest.
3rd party IP is a copout exscuse.

Reply Score: 2

Choice..?
by sean batten on Wed 19th Apr 2006 10:49 UTC
sean batten
Member since:
2005-07-06

This discussion goes to highlight one of the problems with the FSF. They're all for providing you with freedom, but if you want to exercise that freedom you have to do it on their terms. Freedom on someone elses terms doesn't sound like freedom to me.

Why should it matter if the ATI/nVidia drivers are closed source? As long as they comply with the driver API then you should be free to use them as you see fit. The average user couldn't care less if the source code for the drivers is available. It's this kind of attitude that stops Linux making much headway into the desktop market.

Perhaps the FSF and RMS should focus their efforts more on getting the Hurd out the door instead of interfering in a kernel that isn't developed by them...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Choice..?
by Bonus on Wed 19th Apr 2006 12:14 UTC in reply to "Choice..?"
Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

You should read more on the subject. It's extemely difficult or costly to develop for closed hardware. It goes against the open source business model of recycled software from the community or others who don't have that much money to fix things. Where is the innovation?

Why do you want some large corperation to control and do everthing for you? Repairmen and startups need to work as well not just some large company.

Reply Score: 1

Cause and effect
by KenJackson on Wed 19th Apr 2006 12:22 UTC in reply to "Choice..?"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Why should it matter if the ATI/nVidia drivers are closed source?
Why should it matter if I pee on my side of the pool when you are on the other side?

Reply Score: 1

Trade secrets
by Bonus on Wed 19th Apr 2006 12:31 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

To be fair maybe 'trade secrets' are not that bad but they need to be resonable.
Obviously products like food used to be more local. One thing the government did was 'open up' food somewhat with forcing companies to list ingrediants. I am not sure how to protect trade secrets for chips though.

Reply Score: 2

Re: Trade secrets
by Bonus on Wed 19th Apr 2006 12:43 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

So basically companies get too large and then the 'ingredients' get too closed. You can't sell 'black box' products.

Reply Score: 2

Religion doesn't need a God....
by leech on Wed 19th Apr 2006 13:15 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Religion doesn't need a God, it needs a license agreement. The insanity of some people who could believe that using proprietary software (which in this case they're talking about closed source software) along with the Linux kernel is just plain scary.

Unethical is stealing an old lady's purse. Ethical would be to beat up the thief and give back the purse.

Unethical would be to use the GNU/Linux environment to hack into the bank accounts of middle-class people and give the money to yourself. Ethical would be to hack into the bank account of Bill Gates and give out his money to all the people who are over charged for their copy of Windows.

Mixing software of different licenses has nothing to do with ethics. The legality of it may come into question, but politics and ethics should never be brought into how someone uses their software.

I propose that from now on Religions should also have a EULA. After all, much like the GPL, there are many interpretations of the 'Holy' books. Zealots for every cause tend to act and think the same way, whether it's for God, a software license, or for the Pilsbury Dough Boy.

There's a certain insanity that takes all of the rationality out of people when they start talking about something that they believe in strongly. With the GPL, people start thinking that they should use ONLY GPL software, and everything else should be considered Satan, and not free. This is absurd. If your 'freedom' is limited to only using GPL, then it's not very free, now is it?

Freedom (as far as computers go) should simply be that you can do with your computer whatever the hell you want, as long as it doesn't affect others. Truly the only time you can lose your freedom over your computer, is when you are forced to install software that you don't want/need. When people say it's unethical to use 'free' software with 'non-free' software, then they are entirely stupid. Obviously people who release their software under a 'free' license WANT PEOPLE TO USE IT! In fact, when people SELL their software, they still want people to USE IT!. I bet you if you asked Linus personally if he thought it was ok if you ran Postal 2 under Linux he'd probably just say "Why the f*** should I care?" He's not going to say, "No, you can't because it's not open source, and you're a bad little monkey for thinking that I worked and created the Linux kernel just so you could go around in a 3D rendered world and urinate on people."

I don't know Linus personally, but from seeing some of his posts on mailing lists, I know he doesn't care pretty much what you do with it, that's why he licensed it under GPL. As long as you follow the GPL (distribution with source, add back any modifications that are beneficial to others, etc.) Let's face it this argument is a lame debate that really only belongs to those who are zealots. While you COULD run a completely open sourced Desktop system, and only used the Gimp, or Abiword or Open Office, Evolution, etc. Doesn't mean that you HAVE to.

I think that is enough said. Anyone who disagrees with me, I will stab you in the jaw with a fork. (Dane Cook reference, yes, I'm tired, I worked all night and my brain is wired strange, but at least I know that this argument is insane. We can smell our own ;) )

Leech

Edit: Now that I think about it, Linus would probably say "Well, I DID in fact create Linux so that you could walk around in a 3D world and urinate on people. But I wanted it to be a giant penguin walking around instead of a guy in a trenchcoat."

Edited 2006-04-19 13:16

Reply Score: 2

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

...my brain is wired strange...

You put words in the mouth of Linus, brought God into the debate, exonerated theft, and posted a huge number of words, but you never touched on the technical issue--the reason we oppose proprietary drivers. Get some sleep, leech.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Stealing money that is not yours is not ethical.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So What's the Problem?
by theine on Thu 20th Apr 2006 01:16 UTC
theine
Member since:
2005-09-29

I find it really difficult to swallow that a group can proclaim that Linux is open and free, as well as chant one of the most attractive things is that you can customise the system if it doesn't do exactly what you want, but then be so against allowing people the choice of adopting non-free or non-open software.

They (I assume you are referring to the Linux kernel developers) DO allow people the choice of adopting non-free or non-open software. They just don't care about how convenient it is for companies like NVidia and ATI to provide Linux drivers.

Reply Score: 1

Well I think its simple...
by stabilep on Thu 20th Apr 2006 02:22 UTC
stabilep
Member since:
2006-04-02

Well first off I want to say this:

Just because something is Open-source does not automatically make it "better" then propietary. Being propietary software does not automatically mean the software is "worse the OSS. You can have good and bad of both types of software. The advantage is if an OSS program sucks it can be fixed but only if someone cares enough. But neither type implies a better quality. Just a different license. Afterall for Windows anyways you have the standard nVidia and ATi drivers and then you have some modified versions of them like DNA Drivers, Omega, etc, all based off the propietary drivers, which shows that you do have the ability to make propietary software better.

Anyways to the main debate. I feel that the solution is simple and pretty much echos what a lot of people have already stated. If the end user wants to install it then let them install propietary software. DO not block it and do not automatically include it into the kernel. If the person wants a total FOSS system then let them use what they want.

Oh yeah on the comment/question on intel video cards, they make built in motherboard cards. in fact they are the largest graphic card market leader simpyl because practically every PC bought in a store or laptop bought with an intel chip has an intel built in video card on an intel motherboard. They are considered god awful pieces of crap whose only use comes from people who simply surf the net. When it comes to gaming or workstation cards (which is the only time nVidia and ATi cards are probably actually ever really needed) Intel cards are horrible. They were and still are a joke (and calling them extreme graphics made them a bigger joke especially when a lot of companies kept saying things like "you will enjoy state of the art video games on the state of the art Intel Extreme Graphics Card with a whopping 128mb of memory (which we forgot to tell you come from your main system ram meaning you get less ram now yay)") anyways So yeah thats my comment/rant on intel video cards/adapters.

Reply Score: 1

Consider two questions:
by ganloo on Thu 20th Apr 2006 06:08 UTC
ganloo
Member since:
2005-07-06

1. Will the proprietary drivers really enhance the experience of "out-of-box"?
I don't think so.
2. Will the drivers that go to open source bring more qualification? Saying ATI or via?
maybe, it will give more feeling of freedom, but not the quilification I am afraid.
So I think the keypoint is CHOICE. Do the hardware ventors have the choice? (if there Linux kernel refuses the non-GPL compatible drivers, does it matter if giving a interface, is it technically difficult?) Do the end users have the choice (if we just can't make use of ALGLX with ATI proprietary driver under Linux)?
I like open source and use Archlinux daily, but I also expect I can get a 3d accelerated desktop more easily.

Reply Score: 1

If they exist and work, I'll use them
by cerbie on Thu 20th Apr 2006 07:52 UTC
cerbie
Member since:
2006-01-02

nVidia drivers I've had no problem with. So far, they are the only ones I've needed to bother using. If others were of similar quality, and 'just worked', I would use them without complaint.

However, as stated a few times already, many are not of good quality, or not even there. Both things hirt Linux desktop adoption. In fact, I was almost ready to go using my Linux desktop instead of Windows--change the dominant OS around. Why didn't I? Hardware support, as usual (mouse, in this case, not wanting to go above 400 cpi).

If it works well, I don't care if it is closed or open. I like the choice with FOSS. I like the discoverability of FOSS. I like the communities of FOSS. I like the quality of FOSS (which often surpasses what I can pay someone for!). I just don't like things not working properly.

It is getting there, and getting there, and getting there...but until the hardware vendors decide, on a large scale, to actually support Linux, we're going to have these debates, one side complain about the other, and still not be using our computers any better. Binary or source, or even just opening up some specs, wanting to support something other than Windows and OS X does not seem to be on many companies' agendas.

Does closed source software belong in the kernel? That is for me, as a user, to decide; on my PC, where getting it in there will not break any meaningful contract that I am aware of.

Reply Score: 2