Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 8th Jun 2007 20:02 UTC, submitted by Michael
AMD "Last week we had published The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux, and to no real surprise, the feedback ranged from beliefs that it was propaganda to others being grateful that AMD finally shared some additional information with their Linux customers about the fglrx development cycle. While the article was far from being propaganda, what had outraged a number of open-source developers were AMD's comments on the R200 support or there the lack of. In this article, we have a few additional comments to share along with what some open-source developers had to say about AMD's information."
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RE[2]: no surprises
by lazywally on Sat 9th Jun 2007 01:02 UTC in reply to "RE: no surprises"
lazywally
Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a lot to hide in modern high end GPUs in a competitive market. GPUs have a lot of additions on top of the usual CPU, registers, bus architecture - which can be extracted from the drivers. Simple things like what the register sizes are, how floating point numbers are dealt with - stored, operated on etc can be easily read from (commented) source files while general system behavior can be "guessed" quite accurately.

Take a look at the source code for the nv driver, originally written by nVidia to clear the doubts. Even when these companies do release open drivers, they play dirty tricks like removing comments, making the code harder to understand etc.

nv_hw.c has 3 lines of comments for ~1600 lines of code (w/o counting the license, copyright etc).

Its not a question of belief. These are verifiable facts.

edit : I do share the general frustration about the unwillingness of companies to open drivers, but I also understand that not everyone believes in free software, or not everyone can afford to do so all the time.

Edited 2007-06-09 01:04

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