Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Dec 2013 18:06 UTC

"Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming," Mike Sartain, a key member of the Linux team at Valve said. "Through these efforts we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users."

Mark my words: Valve will do for Linux gaming what Android did for Linux mobile. Much crow will be eaten by naysayers in a few years.

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Brendan Introduction of KMS did not prevent non KMS drivers from working. Most people miss that you have options to boot Linux kernel up with KMS disabled.

I've seen this break before (e.g. the shim relying on a kernel function that either ceased to exist or had its name changed); but what do you expect when there's no stable API for device drivers to begin with?

Unfortunately the fault of this is ATI or AMD or NVidia. Every formal request to the Linux kernel to move a function to formally stable by ATI or AMD or Nvidia has been granted heck even some requests by video card makers no one would know. Every one of those that ceased to exist Nvidia, ATI or AMD had not done the request. Linux Kernel developers are not mind readers. Nvidia and ATI both complained that the did not like the overhead cost to provide a formal stable. So for long time were doing the wrong thing. In the last 5 years Nvidia has changed. Nvidia will simply refuse to support particular hardware combinations until the functions they need are moved onto the formal stable list today. AMD also has the same policy. Result no more of this problem.

This kernel space thing is basically thing of past.

Sure - functions marked "GPL only" with no alternative that native/binary drivers can rely on for the same functionality, leaving no choice other than to "do something that should not have been done in the first place".

The correct response here from a closed source driver developer is do formal request to stabilise a interface. So far this has never not been granted inside 6 months of request. Sometimes there has been an arguement over what should and should not be exposed. Support of any of these driver requested interfaces also goes into all currently supported kernels as equal to security updates.

So all this interface trouble you are talking about Brendan lands cleanly on the heads of the closed source driver developers. The main problem is that formally wrapped in the linux kernel for long term suitability adds a few milliseconds to the call. This is in fact unavoidable. Direct jumping into functions that are stabilised is not allowed. Most people don't know that you can tell the Linux kernel to pretend to be a particular version. To allow this possibility requires a redirection table. Redirection table is overhead. Even the Windows kernel has a redirection table for long term driver support. Yes there is a price for long term stable interfaces.

Brendan you will notice that Nvidia older don't break that often. Old ATI driver on the other hand did not use any of the interface specs. No DRI1 no DRI2 some form of random-ally hook where ever we like into X11.

Brendan AMD themselves are behind the open source drivers and that is the one the officially support.

Sounds nice in theory. In practice there's a 75% chance that updating X will break your graphics driver or break your GUI or break something else;

I have used Nvidia cards for the past 10 years. Last 5 not once as a X11 server update broken it. Mostly because Nvidia in the last 5 has been information X11/x,org project where they hook in. Yes before 5 years Nvidia did have issues they never told the project where they were hooking in. Again developers are not mind readers they cannot avoid breaking what you are using if they don't know you are using it. Nvidia driver update screwing my system over yes I have had that. Where 2 Nvidia drivers installed at the same time completely shoot each other dead. This is not X11 or kernel or broken GUI. This is Nvidia being Nvidia and only allowing 1 copy of drivers installed.

I run kde. I can tell you anything past KDE 4.2.0 supports missing function mode and its not X11 server dependant as much as KDE 4.0.0 was. So you kde fear is not based in reality.

Sure, except "working with upstream" typically means "go screw yourself until you're willing to make all your driver's code open source", and still doesn't prevent Xorg from breaking things.

This is completely not true. If this was completely not true Nvidia Drivers would not be able to work as dependable as it does.

The driver you have having trouble with was pre AMD taking over ATI. In fact AMD is dropping it because internally its was not legally sound. AMD cannot keep on support it. Yes 12.2 and before fail legal department auditing for containing questionably sourced code. Yes when those cards drivers under Windows fail as well they will be dead over on Windows as well. Why AMD cannot update the highly questionable code without legal risks. This is why AMD had no choice to open source those cards. New drivers for windows for those cards if it ever happens will be based off the open source code base.

Also do you know what was removed when moving from X11 1.12 to 1.13 that broke the ATI drivers. UMS driver support being killed off. The predecessor to DRI 1. Yes this is right ATI had been writing drivers using interfaces older than DRI1. DRI1 is 1998.

Brendan so how is this Linux Kernel or X11 fault. ATI was writing drivers for X11 pre 1998. UMS starts in the 1980s. Your problem ATI was writing highly obsoletely drivers. Interfaces have 15 years of support. UMS is well past 15 years when it being killed off. Yes DRI1 is coming up to end of life. It is now 15 years old.

Brendan how far do you think you would get if I gave you a windows NT 4.0 or a Windows 98se driver and told you to use it with Windows 7 or 8. This is what you have been doing. Does this explain why you have been suffering.

Brendan this is the problem when you did into the problems most of the issues land squarely on the closed source driver maker for doing the wrong things. Some insanely wrong. ATI was insanely wrong with Legal issues and Obsolete design.

Brendan do you know what X11 break ABI/API policy is. I guess not.
1) its older than 15 years and marked deprecated for 4 year. So 19 years old min it can be deleted without question.
2) API/ABI under the age of rule 1 it can be broken to find out if they are in use if no one has reported it in use. If one bug report comes in that they are in use functionality must be restored exactly how it was.
3) No abi that is informed of that is in use that is under under the age of rule 1 can be broken.

Sorry if you are in a location when you cannot skip one version of and your driver works again. You are dealing with a driver that far legecay in design its not funny. Same with any program that does not work with X11.

Brendan this is why your arguement does not hold. You are mostly shifting blame to parties that are not responsible. Closed source driver makers have responsibilities todo the right things. The Open Source world is not being pains in but to them.

If open source developers were being pain in but drivers would break ever kernel release and every x11 release.

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