Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th Sep 2007 20:16 UTC, submitted by Michael
AMD AMD started delivering on their word of providing GPU specifications to the open-source community without a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and now with the 2007 X Developer Summit having come to a close, we asked several key members of the X.Org community on how they judge AMD's recent move. They were also asked if they believe NVIDIA will follow suit in helping the open-source community. Those that responded were David Airlie, Daniel Stone, Jerome Glisse, Stephane Marchesin, and Oliver McFadden. Mark Shuttleworth had also previously commented on AMD's efforts.
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Nvidia
by mcduck on Sat 15th Sep 2007 20:32 UTC
mcduck
Member since:
2005-11-23

Hopefully AMD's efforts will show other hardware manufactures (not just of GPU's) that providing docs for their hardware is a viable option.

Hopefully Nvidia will follow soon. After all, they had the grip on Linux users to far. This could change _very_ fast.

Reply Score: 6

Re: Nvidia
by marcus0263 on Sat 15th Sep 2007 21:06 UTC
marcus0263
Member since:
2007-06-02

In all honesty Nvidia provides excellent driver support for the Linux community. So if they choose to keep it closed source it's their choice and I'm not going to give them grief over it.

Now ATI has had pathetic Linux driver support, so open sourcing their drivers is a good thing. Now all that is to be seen is how long it's going to take to have stable drivers from ATI. ATI has a very long road to travel for they have burned a lot of bridges.

My choice, I'm sticking with Nvidia who not only makes great cards but has supported Linux for a long time.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Re: Nvidia
by linux-it on Sat 15th Sep 2007 21:18 UTC in reply to "Re: Nvidia"
linux-it Member since:
2006-07-13

and we also all know that ATI's support in these is next to null.

They so far have written crappy drivers, which is the major reason people use NV.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Re: Nvidia
by Crono on Sat 15th Sep 2007 22:44 UTC in reply to "Re: Nvidia"
Crono Member since:
2006-11-08

My choice, I'm sticking with Nvidia who not only makes great cards but has supported Linux for a long time.


I'm not that sure. If the drivers are actually working and support 3D out of the box (because included in Xorg) in a year or two I'd definately get an ATI card next time.
Of course do the NVidia drivers work most of the time. But I had some trouble using their recent drivers because I'm using Debian Etch (maybe the kernel or Xorg is too old for the recent versions?) and so I need to use the legacy drivers.

The drivers CAN work, but they don't have to. If they're completely integrated into Xorg the support would probably far better AND you don't have to worry that much about the kernel or which Xorg-version you're running.

Maybe ATI is planning to sell more of their cards by integrating 3D drivers into Xorg so that vendors selling Linux-based systems (Dell i.e.) will use their cards?

Well, we'll see how it will work out.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Re: Nvidia
by smitty on Sat 15th Sep 2007 23:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Re: Nvidia"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Maybe ATI is planning to sell more of their cards by integrating 3D drivers into Xorg so that vendors selling Linux-based systems (Dell i.e.) will use their cards?

I think it's more than just their video cards. Right now, if you are Dell or another OEM the obvious system to provide with Linux is an Intel MB + Intel CPU + Intel integrated graphics. Then you offer an NV card as an upgrade. This not only allows AMD to be another upgrade option, it also makes using and AMD MB/CPU reasonable as well. Looking into 2009, AMD will be coming out with Fusion and will likely need to give out at least some of the specs to it in order to gain traction in the cpu market and I think this may be preparation for it.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Re: Nvidia
by Kokopelli on Sat 15th Sep 2007 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Re: Nvidia"
Kokopelli Member since:
2005-07-06

[q]"Looking into 2009, AMD will be coming out with Fusion and will likely need to give out at least some of the specs to it in order to gain traction in the cpu market and I think this may be preparation for it."[q]

That is basically what David Airlie was attributed as saying in the article


So the reason AMD started an open source GPU strategy was purely due to 2 things:

1.) Lost CPU sales due to lack of open source GPU support at an OEM level.
2.) Future CPU/GPU combination projects would require opening info on the GPU portion to allow uptake.


EDIT: Too slow.

Edited 2007-09-15 23:48

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Re: Nvidia
by smitty on Sun 16th Sep 2007 00:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Re: Nvidia"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

Yep I realized that but I figured a lot of people would comment without even reading the article, so I thought it was worth repeating.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re: Nvidia
by smitty on Sat 15th Sep 2007 22:56 UTC in reply to "Re: Nvidia"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

In all honesty Nvidia provides excellent driver support for the Linux community. ... Now ATI has had pathetic Linux driver support, ...

For the x86 Linux community, you mean. It seems like in all the hoopla over the open specs, no one is giving AMD credit for their new binary drivers. I'm not sure they're actually as good as NVidia's or not, but they are certainly competitive and in the same class.

A certain amount of skepticism is to be expected, and is valid given ATI's history, but I certainly hope that it doesn't persist if AMD does pull through. They deserve our support for finally doing the right thing, and in the long run open source 3D drivers are far superior for Linux given the development process and licensing concerns.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Re: Nvidia
by renox on Sun 16th Sep 2007 13:33 UTC in reply to "Re: Nvidia"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

>I'm sticking with Nvidia who not only makes great cards but has supported Linux for a long time.

No, NVidia has never fully supported Linux, but only *half-supported* Linux: as non-GPL drivers cannot be distributed with Linux, you have to install it in a second step and not that long ago I couldn't install a PC with a NVidia cards because the display was garbled so I couldn't reach this second step.
So the out-of-the-box experiment with NVidia can be awful.

Truly supporting Linux is, as Linux is GPL, complying with the GPL and providing a Free software driver.

Reply Score: 6

we will see
by miro on Sat 15th Sep 2007 22:39 UTC
miro
Member since:
2005-07-13

I have been following the noveau driver development with great interest. as far as I know, most of the spec they need has already been re-ed. while they are making good progress, they lack man power. so I really hope that ati will gradually start to work on the driver, not just wait for floss devs to create it for them. a graphic card driver is probably the most complex software you have running on you pc/mac/etc. Not just because of the inherit complexity of the task but also because of large number of incompatible monitors agp and pci/pcie bridges, motherboards etc.

Browser: Palm680/RC1 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D053; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320

Reply Score: 1

RE: we will see
by bsharitt on Sat 15th Sep 2007 23:01 UTC in reply to "we will see"
bsharitt Member since:
2005-07-07

It may take a while for things to really get rolling, but hopefully once things get going, it'll be easier to support each new generation of cards going forward, assuming that ATI keeps releasing specs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re: Nvidia
by El-Al on Sat 15th Sep 2007 22:44 UTC
El-Al
Member since:
2006-04-17

"They so far have written crappy drivers, which is the major reason people use NV."

Hmmm...a sweeping generalization I think!
Depends on what OS you use, whether or not 'people' even understand what they are buying when they buy a PC.

If you're talking about a small minority of people building computers to run Linux _specifically_ then I shouldn't think ATI gives a rats ass about your opinion, their bread and butter will come from winxp/vista sales
at this point in time.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Re: Nvidia
by Crono on Sat 15th Sep 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Re: Nvidia"
Crono Member since:
2006-11-08

Don't worry, their drivers even suck when using Windows. One time I had to use modified drivers (Omega drivers) to get it running at all. There wasn't even 2D acceleration!

I have no idea WHY it didn't work (it's not like Windows is very verbose there) but it just didn't. Okay, the Linux-drivers suck even harder, but it's not like those Windows-drivers are anything near "good".

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Re: Nvidia
by sgibofh on Sun 16th Sep 2007 11:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Re: Nvidia"
sgibofh Member since:
2007-03-31

well, if they give the user the ability to give feedback and after 15+ times iving feedback with all the times a simple question like "please reply that you at least have seen it" and it stays qute, it doesn't ive me a warmand fuzzy feeling. Especially if the do acknowledge a ew bugs in teir drivers for 3+ years.

People know that switching from X to a vc always was a dead system, for years. Stuff like that cause people to state that the drivers are crappy.

I also fail to see why you talk about windows sales, the article is about unix (AND ALIKES), not windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Re: Nvidia
by TechGeek on Sun 16th Sep 2007 15:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Re: Nvidia"
TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

Well, I may a small minority when I use Linux, but I am the man making the decision when my department buys hundreds of computers. And they ALL get Nvidia cards. ATI sucks. Period. End of story. They have a lot of work to do to get away from that reputation. I am happy that they are trying though. Who knows, in a couple years it may be Nvidia who sucks, not ATI.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"They so far have written crappy drivers, which is the major reason people use NV."

Hmmm...a sweeping generalization I think!


Being a life long ATI customer (and oh how that pains me to admit), I can say that there Windows drivers and media software are Beta quality at best. I've had nothing but grief with ATI under both Windows and Linux. Each driver update seems to break something different in the media software. Each media software update gets more flaky. And what driver update requires that you uninstall the previous driver, sand your computer back down to the generic VGA then install the new update. ATI's drivers are not an update in either installation process or functionality.

My Radeon All In Wonder 9600 may as well be a door wedge at this point. If the drivers improve by releasing full specs then I'll happily return to buying there products but at this point my new machine is looking like Hauppage and nVidia to cover the same functions with true cross platform support. They have until my bank account says I get to start buying parts.

Reply Score: 1

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"Being a life long ATI customer (and oh how that pains me to admit), I can say that there Windows drivers and media software are Beta quality at best. I've had nothing but grief with ATI under both Windows and Linux. Each driver update seems to break something different in the media software. Each media software update gets more flaky. And what driver update requires that you uninstall the previous driver, sand your computer back down to the generic VGA then install the new update. ATI's drivers are not an update in either installation process or functionality. "

I know you are talking specifically about ati binary blobs. You have a R300 card this topic is only *indirectly* related to your card. The R300 already has an open source driver. That would have solved your update pain. Although the open-source ones although *stable* are slower for gaming because they are not feature complete, even some events in the compositing Desktop are unusable. I strongly advise that you check-out 6.7.193 which I suspect will be the delayed stable release of the open-source ati driver, as it is a lot more feature complete, without the hassle of the binary drivers.

Why I say indirectly related is because the specification for the R300 are marked to be released *later*. I have little knowledge of the new binary drivers. I didn't use the old ones.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
I strongly advise that you check-out 6.7.193 which I suspect will be the delayed stable release of the open-source ati driver, as it is a lot more feature complete, without the hassle of the binary drivers.
"

I've heard the 9600 chips are known to have issues; wish I'd read that before my last GPU upgrade. I will watch the ATI developments with interest though as I do still like the hardware if only out of habbit. I hadn't even considered an nVidia until I read a detailed writeup on teh 8800 architecture. There, skining arrays alone blew my mind.

I'm just as happy to go Hauppage/ATI if the hardware proves the decision since brand loyalty is rarely a good basis for technical comparisons. In all honest, has ATI an achitectural equivalent of the nVidia 8800 designs yet?

Reply Score: 1

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I'm afraid if your talking about cutting edge graphics card technology. I'm the last one to talk to. Cutting edge graphics is an area that is both cripplingly expensive, with little application support on *any* platform.

To be fair I'd rather put my money into the CPU rather than a GPU, esp considering the price of quad-core at the moment. To be fair hardware itself is in a bit of a flux right now.

I say that but some killer application might come along to change that.

Reply Score: 1

Dell
by bsharitt on Sat 15th Sep 2007 22:59 UTC
bsharitt
Member since:
2005-07-07

I wonder what role Dell had in encouraging this decision. At the moment Intel has the best Linux support out of the box in just about all distros, so AMD could be left out in thte cold if Linux sales ever catch on.

Reply Score: 4

v RE: Dell
by kensai on Sun 16th Sep 2007 01:58 UTC in reply to "Dell"
RE[2]: Dell
by smitty on Sun 16th Sep 2007 03:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Dell"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

AMD's support isn't bad, but the big difference is that Intel has better support for integrated graphics and wireless hardware. The open specs takes care of one of those concerns, but AMD relies on 3rd party wireless hardware so support there will still vary.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Dell
by sbergman27 on Sun 16th Sep 2007 03:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Dell"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""

Please give examples on how INTEL has the best support out of the box.

"""

My Compaq Presario's ATI Express 200M video chipset has no 3D support whatsoever out of the box. And very poor 3D performance under fglrx.

Meanwhile, Intel's chip sets all have excellent support... right out of the box.

I wish I'd bought an Intel based notebook.

Reply Score: 4

Happy workers....
by xeoron on Sat 15th Sep 2007 23:08 UTC
xeoron
Member since:
2007-03-25

Am I the only one that thinks of Robin Williams character from the film Toys when looking at Mark Shuddleworth clown outfit in the picture that has him commenting on ATI's graphics disclosure move?

Edited 2007-09-15 23:10

Reply Score: 1

David Airlie
by Luminair on Sat 15th Sep 2007 23:36 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

David Airlie:
"So the reason AMD started an open source GPU strategy was purely due to 2 things:

1.) Lost CPU sales due to lack of open source GPU support at an OEM level.
2.) Future CPU/GPU combination projects would require opening info on the GPU portion to allow uptake."


So just to be clear there, this guy is speaking for himself, not AMD!

Edited 2007-09-15 23:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: David Airlie
by tyrione on Sun 16th Sep 2007 05:11 UTC in reply to "David Airlie"
tyrione Member since:
2005-11-21


They didn't do this due to a community backlash, or boycott, or any member of Linux community persuading them it would be a good idea (I keep hearing oh Chris DiBona made them do it, he didn't.) [Google & Open-Source ATI/NVIDIA Drivers]

I recall making this clear at the initial announcement. I'll reiterate:

If you think whining from an Internet News site convinces a multi-billion dollar corporation into doing what we want them to do versus pragmatically needing to do it in order to remain competitive then you've never worked at such a corporation and been in meetings involving such decisions.

Be thankful that corporations like DELL, Lenova and others want to pre-load Linux. AMD wants that business which can become in the billions.

Reply Score: 3

s/cpu/gpu/
by elanthis on Sun 16th Sep 2007 03:45 UTC
elanthis
Member since:
2007-02-17

INTEL has the best support out of the box than AMD on LINUX?


This is a discussion about graphics cards, and obviously people are refering to support for each company's GPU products, not their CPUs.

Reply Score: 3

People quickly forget.
by cyclops on Sun 16th Sep 2007 06:17 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

Its funny how people forget.

The *only* GPU that I have owned that has been properly supported, worked with the FB has been a sis. I remember being tied at the time between buying a sis and an intel upgrade, although for an on-board graphics chip intel offered some limited 3d support.

Going from sis to intel was the worst downgrade I *ever* made in my life. I have never got a decent console resolution since. Comedy packages like 855resolution and 915resolution became part of my life, and I did this to play quake2 in a 640x480 window on my 1600x1200 monitor at screensaver fps, but the driver development turned it into an exciting buy if not an out-of-the-box working one. Only as of xorg 7.3 is what I consider the most regular complaint about Linux+X has been resolved "Intel not supporting widescreen resolutions" the second being "can't get dri working on ati". Intel working on the open-source drivers has been incredible and a long time coming.

There are *already* open-source out of the box drivers for AMD r300 chipsets although the specifications for these are *coming later* a stable release of this driver has not been released for 11 months although it looks like my own personal *blocker* of the last four revisions has been fixed only 22hours ago, and they are clearly gearing up for another stable launch, but was unable to release a stable version for the launch of xorg 7.3. I've actually loved the open-source drivers for the r300 as they unlike the proprietary ones have allowed me to play with beryl, install latest versions of X and Mesa, and are safer, but they are a lot slower and missing accelerated features. The new hopefully soon to be released driver I know solves many of my problems and adds features like tv-out(The third!? biggest complaint about X+Linux, and I am bemused why so many want this) and rotation support for my desktop something I haven't enjoyed for four!? years.

On the Nvidia Binary front many will be unaware of the long time had a major security flaw in their driver for over a year, unheard of in the kernel world. The work on the open-source driver in comparison to that of ati's has been enviable to say the least, and for this reason I was seriously considering an Nvidia card, but then I like that sort of thing.

I am constantly surprised that anyone puts up with proprietary drivers, as the forums I use *users* seem to have difficulty with them, and those that use them have been unable to take advantage of many new developments that have effected other programs like beryl+compiz and hardware like the new wireless drivers. They are simply a major problem in the natural evolution that GNU enjoys. I suspect that if anything this will cause the end of Nvidia binary support.

I've made a big post because people often forget how *awful* 3D support has been until very recent history check the threads on beryl+compiz of only 6 months ago. Its rarely brought up as a complaint against GNU today, and because people forget how long the time frame is between *company* support and real improvements to the open-source drivers. This is without the problem that AMD are still supporting their own competing binary driver, as opposed to *real* support by intel, although what is happening *behind closed doors* at Novell is still a mystery.

There are far too many posts in this thread of Xbox vs PS3 vs Wii variety, when in this instance I strongly believe that the choice *if* any should be made on which is the company to offer *real* support to the GNU platform. AMD has a lot of catching up to do to catch the mind share that Intel have built up, and I suspect that just specifications, and access to AMD developers is not going to be enough. Nvidia are left with the impossible task of competing with binary drivers against an overwhelming market share of open-source drivers on a constantly evolving platform, and open-source will always trump that of propitiatory on the GNU platform, not because of any concept of freedom, but because of things like stability; security, features, ease of use...simply becuase its a moving target.

Apologies for my long post.

Edited 2007-09-16 06:26

Reply Score: 7

daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

As much as I want your assertion to be true, nvidia has a proprietary windows driver to develop which is the base for their *nix drivers, and the moving target of MS directx is a lot worse than the moving target of X.org composite, and linux kernel interface. Is it more work? Yes, but not as much as you make out. Don't forget it was nvidia's fully functional support for Compositing in X was available relatively early.

Sigh.... I'd really like to see nouveau or its equivalent supported more directly by the company.

Reply Score: 1

SIS?
by klimg on Sun 16th Sep 2007 11:33 UTC
klimg
Member since:
2007-08-03

The sis driver is a one man project w/o any support from the manufacturer and pretty much a hit or miss thing depending on the chipset.
Not a good idea to bring that mess up as an example for a great driver (don't mean to put down Winischhofer - he does an excellent job with the resources he got).

ATI is/was a mess for years and had so many shortcomings I don't even care to mention it.

As they get ready to integrate the CPU/GPU for low cost systems and Linux gets some traction in that market they decide to release specs.
Somebody could get the idea that they couldn't get it right for years and now decided to let the xorg folks do their job for free to be ready in time.

Nvidia supported Linux and other OS's for a long time and was out there with an 64 bit driver when Ati was out there with a bunch of promises.
Not being a close relative of RMS I don't see myself switching to ATI anytime soon.

Reply Score: 2

RE: SIS?
by cyclops on Sun 16th Sep 2007 13:25 UTC in reply to "SIS?"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

"Not being a close relative of RMS I don't see myself switching to ATI anytime soon."

Be very careful trying to label RMS.

I can say why I chose my X800 card, because it gave me a secure card, with reasonable frame rates in those games available on the GNU platform, while allowing me to take advantage of cutting edge versions of the kernel; X; and the compositing desktop.

No other group of cards could do that. I would be happy for you to try and dismiss that comment.

So why would you personally have a hard time to dismiss Richard, apart from his personal contributions to free-software and the open-source landscape, and his tireless work in the free-software movement...

No, Because Nvidia's binary drivers are garbage.
http://www.news.com/2100-1002_3-6126846.html

"It is our opinion that Nvidia's binary driver remains an unacceptable security risk based on the larger numbers of reproducible, unfixed crashes that have been reported in public forums and bug databases," Rapid7's advisory said.


You have to remember when talking about binaries and open-source that you have to be very careful. I expect a higher standard. Personally I thank my lucky stars for the FSF that have worked tirelessly to provide alternatives to this software. If I was to pick the top complaint in the forums it would be "Flash on 64bit", and I see that a credible alternative is coming to my desktop. In only Linus was as fastidious. Maybe this 3D problem that has existed for so long would not have been as significant factor working against GNU mainsteam acceptance.

Now please don't waste my time with off the cuff remarks.

The sis driver which I have fond memories off for many reasons. The top one being developer accessibility, regular easy to understand updates, the choice of a drop in binary or source code..and a forum. In contrast I trail 3 message boards 3 development blogs a combined blog and several git commit branches and two bugzilla boards and an irc log, and have a hard-lock problem on my ati for the last four revisions with no easy access to anyone who is able to address the problem. It was/is a disgrace that sis did not support him. As a side note I find power-user support in Linux excellent, Its a shame its developers are not as approachable.

With Ati you have to remember there is a difference between the r100/r200 and the r300/r400 drivers. I have given an accurate description of the r300 driver as *I* see it, and I think few would disagree with that description. I have little to say on the r100/r200 drivers apart from they are considered more feature complete than that of the r300/r400 ones and have support officially dropped by ati, it seems that RMS was at least right about those drivers.

If you are trying to pick a *solid* reason for ati have releasing some of there specifications etc. Then you are better than me I think its a combination of factors from good publicity; the imminent release of the avivo driver; acquisition by a company selling a hardware platform not a graphics card; The development of a reverse engineering tool; following Intel's working example who are now have a successful real 3D alternative. Want to regain some control of the kernel fir-to-busting with those on Intel's payroll...just look at all the kernel develops in their Intel t-shirts. Have lost a major mind share in the technical community to Intel's core duo etc etc. I suspect you will have some well paid analysts try to figure out all the variables...but I wont even try.

Now you can support a *graphics card* company if you want, and be derogatory about a organization that puts *users* first, but I think your wrong. personally I wish companies put users first too.

Edited 2007-09-16 13:32

Reply Score: 4

integrated graphics
by gsmd on Sun 16th Sep 2007 14:59 UTC
gsmd
Member since:
2007-02-02

I don't care about 3D performance much as I don't do any gaming and neither do the business consumers.
Now, if the opened specs would lead to a first-class support for ATI-based graphics embedded into MB (e.g. AMD 690), this would be awesome.

Reply Score: 1

RE: integrated graphics
by WereCatf on Sun 16th Sep 2007 15:34 UTC in reply to "integrated graphics"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Given enough time I'm quite sure that's gonna happen. I had a laptop before with R200 card integrated and it worked perfectly with the open-source drivers. And the drivers just kept on getting better. Now the devs have complete specs and won't have to do any guesswork, only code, so it seems likely your card will work some day ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: integrated graphics
by dagw on Mon 17th Sep 2007 11:08 UTC in reply to "integrated graphics"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

3D isn't only about gaming. 3D visualization is becomeing more and more popular in all kinds of fields. In a few years time high performance 3d will probably be required all over the place in all kinds of businesses. This is in addition to the requirements modern UI's are placing on the GPU.

Reply Score: 2

wow
by meandean on Sun 16th Sep 2007 16:31 UTC
meandean
Member since:
2007-09-02

It would be interestin to see ATI come thru and be favored video card company instead of nvidia, since everyone has rushed out and bought nvidia and provided them with tons of cash.

Or maybe that was the plan all along. First, nvidia is awesome. Then, ATI steps up freedom. The nvidia steps up freedom. Then they both come out with new cards and start the whole thing all over - milking us all for money.

I will stick to my onboard via for now...

Reply Score: 1

nVidia - never
by flywheel on Sun 16th Sep 2007 16:36 UTC
flywheel
Member since:
2005-12-28

Ati has opend up because of AMD, that has been increasingly involved in the Open Source world.
And ATi has been giving the open source world specs and code from time to time.

nVidia on the other hand is as closed as an east block country back in the days of the cold war. They don't even give 2D specs under NDA.

Reply Score: 1

This is the point of Free Software
by npang on Mon 17th Sep 2007 12:24 UTC
npang
Member since:
2006-11-26

With free software, we (the user) are not subject to whims the writer or distributor of the software. Without the right to study the code, we are forced to accept whatever the vendor chooses to support; that is assuming that they are willing to support us at all.

With the non-free drivers released by ATI, we suffered from all sorts of problems relating to non-free software subjugation. We had to accept that we are not to use the card's full capabilities for a non-supported (read niche or outdated) operating system. We had to accept that they no longer wanted to support our outdated and older ATI cards. We had to accept that they don't want to support any of the other technologies that we wanted to use (tv out or hardware accelerated video decoding). We had to accept release after release of horrendously unstable drivers. For a number of years, we were pretty helpless to help ourselves improve our own situations.

Now they have released part of what we need with the rest of the information being pledged. We will no longer have to be helpless; we will have the ability to help ourselves; we will have the right to help others. AMD/ATI are finally giving us the respect we deserve after we have purchased their hardware. Such acts of respect deserve honour. Buy AMD/ATI/Intel for they all respect your right to control your own computer hardware.

Reply Score: 2

We're Losing Perspective
by WarpKat on Mon 17th Sep 2007 17:11 UTC
WarpKat
Member since:
2006-02-06

It doesn't matter anymore whether or not ATI or Nvidia are better in respects to the Linux driver compatibility.

What matters now is this: AMD has released what ATI couldn't do on its own and gave it up without requiring an NDA. This, in itself, is a significant step forward in the development of an open GPU driver compatible with Linux, BSD, or any other *nix.

All in all, it doesn't matter why they did it - the deed is done. The OSS developers have specs.

I think the best thing to do now is to wait and see what kind of driver comes out of this turn of events. This will be the REAL thing to watch and compla...ermmm...argu...ermmm...comment on...

=;)

Reply Score: 0