Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Feb 2007 21:48 UTC, submitted by Michael
3D News, GL, DirectX "Last October we had compared the performance of the open-source R300 display driver against the closed-source fglrx driver for ATI Radeon graphics cards. In that comparison a Mobility Radeon X300 was used with X.Org 7.1, but we have decided to take another look at this driver comparison under X.Org 7.2. In this last comparison, the fglrx binary blob had greatly outperformed the open-source driver. While the fglrx driver remains faster, has the performance delta between these two drivers decreased?"
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RE[2]: why
by Damind on Tue 6th Feb 2007 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE: why"
Member since:

Good points. Do not like some of them but none the less good. Still think we should put the pressure on the hardware maker to come out with the drivers as needed as is the case with MS. New drivers come out all the time on MS. We need to decide where to focus our energy and do so effectively so we can get the type of support we need.

What I notice is that allot of people in the open source community seem to for get people are in business to make money and if money is not being made then the community will not be.

That is my 2cents.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: why
by Seth Quarrier on Tue 6th Feb 2007 23:56 in reply to "RE[2]: why"
Seth Quarrier Member since:

One problem with your outlook is that to many people Linux isn't an operating system to many people, but the symbol for Free Software. We like Linux because it's Free, not because it has technical merits. As a result competing with Microsoft by becoming like Microsoft is not a good position for Linux and any other GNU based system.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: why
by butters on Wed 7th Feb 2007 05:56 in reply to "RE[3]: why"
butters Member since:

I'm not a part of your "we." I use Linux because of its technical merits, many of which are directly related to the fact that it's free software.

The fact of the matter is that delivering binary drivers is really hard. It's got to be just right, specifically linked to a particular set of object files. If any of the symbols change, it breaks, and you can't fix it. You're stuck waiting for somebody at the green or red company to get around to rolling a new binary, by which time it might be broken again.

Delivering open source drivers is a lot easier. Unless the relevant APIs change, which is relatively rare and always announced ahead of time, the driver source will build normally against new versions. And obviously, the Linux kernel community likes to pull drivers in-tree whenever possible, so open source drivers will be automatically included with Linux distributions and will be updated by the kernel maintainers to reflect any API changes that may occur.

In addition to being much easier to maintain, open source drivers are vastly easier to debug and support. The proprietary nVidia driver is almost as big as my entire kernel image, and there's no viable way to figure out what's wrong if it doesn't work. You might be able to get support from your Linux vendor or from nVidia, but not very likely, and certainly not if you have any other proprietary drivers loaded.

Let's back away from the issue of drivers and talk about the general impact of OSS on the technical capabilities of the free software stack. The fact that we have and share source code allows free software developers to innovate at a pace unmatched in the proprietary software industry--at a fraction of the cost. Compare Linux to proprietary UNIX, which has been relegated to niche markets because it lacks an agile, nimble development ecosystem.

I didn't start using Linux because it was free. I started using Linux because it was fun, reliable, understandable, and most importantly, not Windows. The free software aspect was one that I grew to appreciate over time, but primarily as a means to these ends.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: why
by twenex on Wed 7th Feb 2007 12:16 in reply to "RE[2]: why"
twenex Member since:

What I notice is that allot of people in the open source community seem to for get people are in business to make money and if money is not being made then the community will not be.

No, we don't. What allot of people in the business community seem to for get people are not born to be sucked into your vendor-lockin. That's the only consequence of free software (I don't think the protections against this are strong enough in open source), not that software is free. The fact that is free is the fault of the Internet, which makes it possible to distribute software w/o exchange of goods, only the exchange of bytes.

Reply Parent Score: 2