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[3]: why
by Damind on Wed 7th Feb 2007 03:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: why"
Damind
Member since:
2006-06-08

"You forgot one

6) Security. The NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux had a vulnerability that allowed privilege escalation to root (http://download2.rapid7.com/r7-0025/). "

I guess security will not be a problem with open source!

"7. Portability "
I get that and I agree but if the demand is not there for it then will it be done?
Case in point I have a few laptops that I use from day to day, I only have SLES 10 on one of them reason? I can not find a driver for my spent wireless air cards. I am sure an open source drive can be done for it but the demand does not exist. I can call spent and the manufacture and they both tells me the same thing demand is not there. I do a search and I have post on forums about them and nothing. I guess open source is the answer to everything!
Do not be petty about the question I asked, most of you have given very good answers to the question and I like that. While some just did not seem to get it.

Thanks all, it was real.

Again I use any OS, any software that is right for the job.

P.S. if the demand is not there for anything they it will no longer exist, it is that simple.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: why
by smitty on Wed 7th Feb 2007 06:54 in reply to "RE[3]: why"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

"7. Portability "
I get that and I agree but if the demand is not there for it then will it be done?
Case in point I have a few laptops that I use from day to day, I only have SLES 10 on one of them reason? I can not find a driver for my spent wireless air cards. I am sure an open source drive can be done for it but the demand does not exist. I can call spent and the manufacture and they both tells me the same thing demand is not there. I do a search and I have post on forums about them and nothing. I guess open source is the answer to everything!


Actually, you're making points for the other side. Why couldn't you find a driver for that wireless air card? Because the manufacturer decided it wasn't worth it and also for whatever reason decided not to open the specs. If they had, there would doubtless be a driver for it already built into the default linux kernel. Take a look at the OSS ATI drivers. They're the only option for Linux users on PPC because ATI has decided that the demand isn't large enough to port their own. NVIDIA doesn't have any either but their users are out of luck because no OSS drivers exist yet.

Sure, if the demand is large enough the problem would be solved. But the point is that when there are only a few hundred thousand people really clamoring for something the big companies don't view that as being worth their effort. Honestly, I can't really blame them - they're in the business of making money. However, the OSS community does care about those users, and it has enough spare resources to take care of them.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: why
by cerbie on Wed 7th Feb 2007 07:53 in reply to "RE[3]: why"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

"I guess security will not be a problem with open source! "

It's always a problem, now. It will continue to be. But much like the wireless card hacking has shown, open drivers can be quickly adjusted to meet the new demands, where vendor ones aren't so quick. Now we just need no-root-login automatic updating of desktop distros every month or two.

"I get that and I agree but if the demand is not there for it then will it be done?"

******* lawyers and managenment, I think, not just real demand. Also, what kind of demand matters (many of these companies don't really do anything with or for end users, so an end user wanting anything specific means nothing). Intel, nVidia, ATi, etc. have several problems, here:
1. What if their specs show they infringe on somebody's patent, and that somebody has the money to take it to court?
2. What if opening it exposes some licensed IP they made an agreement to keep a lid on?
3. What if they wholesale agreed in a contract not to disclose anything for anybody, but it's still easy to spot when actually using the hardware?

Some companies, like Broadcom, just don't like FOSS, yet. Others, though, like Intel and nVidia, are certainly neck-deep in legal CYA, and if they begin to truly support an open product right now, it could be 5-10 years before it might actually hit the market (barring astronomical Vista failure or something equally unlikely).

Most OSS projects will be happy with specs to help poke around at the hardware to make a driver. Open source drivers for closed parts tend to be slower in developing, especially those that were rushed to market (many network devices, and all nV/ATi video card chips).

Why is it that Broadcom there doesn't have the demand, yet Ralink and Realtek do, and have responded well?

On one hand, if we think we're going to use Linux, we're going to buy only cards we know use chips that can work well. So on the grass roots side, not giving out docs is causing Broadcom continued lack of demand, because I'm going to skip it over, and skip over anything I know has it integrated, as well. Given that price doesn't change by chipset, that also means I'm going to get only Ralink wireless hardware for Windows, too--it won't be better or worse now, and it could come in handy later.

"I guess open source is the answer to everything!"

Only if you're a member of the Church of Free Software ;) . No system is perfect. But with everything else open, and APIs and ABIs changing regularly, open source drivers are easier to manage for an open source system.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: why
by openwookie on Wed 7th Feb 2007 20:48 in reply to "RE[3]: why"
openwookie Member since:
2006-04-25

6) Security. The NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux had a vulnerability that allowed privilege escalation to root (http://download2.rapid7.com/r7-0025/). "

I guess security will not be a problem with open source!


I didn't say that at all. You snipped the relevant part which was:

You cannot always guarantee that a hardware company will patch a binary blog when an exploit is found, especially if it involves an older piece of hardware which is no longer sold. With open source, a patch will be made available as long as a driver still has users.


As to your issues with finding OSS drivers for your hardware: be more aware of what you buy and you won't have that problem.

Reply Parent Score: 2