Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Sep 2013 22:45 UTC, submitted by ddc_
3D News, GL, DirectX

Few companies have been the target of as much criticism in the Linux community as Nvidia. Linus Torvalds himself last year called Nvidia the "single worst company" Linux developers have ever worked with, giving the company his middle finger in a public talk.

Nvidia is now trying to get on Linux developers' good side. Yesterday, Nvidia's Andy Ritger e-mailed developers of Nouveau, an open source driver for Nvidia cards that is built by reverse engineering Nvidia's proprietary drivers. Ritger wrote that "NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able."

It wouldn't surprise me if this is related to the SteamOS announcement.

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RE[3]: Comment by aqd-
by saso on Wed 25th Sep 2013 09:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by aqd-"
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Do you read Nouveau source code before installing it?

Interesting that such a misunderstanding of how the open-source trust model works could still exist in 2013. I don't have to read every line of code I'm running in order to trust it. What I need to have is a reasonable confidence in that a 3rd party with no financial or loyalty ties to the original organization can and has read and checked at least a representative portion of it. It's sort of really the watchdog model. You can try to hide exploitative gems in your code, but if anybody on the net is free to read it and you get as much exposure as the Nouveau project does, it's extremely difficult to hide them both from your fellow project co-developers or from the public (e.g. the occasional curious guy poking around in your code due to hunting a bug they tripped over). Moreover, good open-source projects have a review process for contributions where several senior devs from independent organizations must sign off a change before it goes in - any process which improves development transparency and accountability helps trust. Keep in mind, we're not talking about a "My Pet OSS Toy" project, we're talking a large projects often with dozens of contributors and thousands of regular users or more (Nouveau, Linux, libc,, etc.).

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