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[6]: no surprises
by lazywally on Sat 9th Jun 2007 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: no surprises"
lazywally
Member since:
2005-07-06

If you want binary blobs you will forever be beholden to the manufacturer.

True. Thats why I insist that the manufacturers

either -

provide high quality, well tested, well maintained, well supported, needfully updated binary drivers

or -

release open source drivers.

You become helpless.

I feel a bit helpless even while using F/OSS at times :-). When simple but annoying bugs don't fixed quickly, when fixing the bug myself is beyond my technical prowess, when things don't work and I cant find answers online, to name a few instances.

To stick to the topic, I use the omega drivers for ATI on windows. Though they are binary drivers, not once have I felt helpless because there haven't been any instances to cause me frustration. Maybe I'm lucky but if Linux binary drivers were of the same class, I would not feel helpless.

That is why my opinion is that either give us "good" drivers or open drivers.

It's absurd to say that this can be better achieved if only the manufacturer can write them.

It is indeed absurd to say that. I think its proper to say that getting manufacturer written driver is one way to get good drivers and releasing their source is another way. Both ways can deliver bad drivers too mind you.


I guess the question boils down to -

Do you want "Free" drivers regardless of quality or do you want good drivers regardless of license philosophy.

To demand open, free drivers for all hardware from all companies is in my opinion a bit arrogantly dogmatic.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[7]: no surprises
by bugnotme on Sun 10th Jun 2007 17:31 in reply to "RE[6]: no surprises"
bugnotme Member since:
2007-02-22


To stick to the topic, I use the omega drivers for ATI on windows. Though they are binary drivers, not once have I felt helpless because there haven't been any instances to cause me frustration. Maybe I'm lucky but if Linux binary drivers were of the same class, I would not feel helpless.


Funny, I've had the opposite experience. As soon as a piece of hardware becomes 'legacy' the company stops supporting it. Going from Windows 98->2000 I had graphics cards, and scanners that became useless. The same problem will happen going 32bit->64bit. I call that helpless. Company goes out of business, you're helpless (it has happened to me, not a small company either). Having to wait years for the manufacturer to decide it's worth it's while to implement a feature (e.g. stream processing), I call that helpless. It's not just a question of working drivers but a question of what you are enabled, or rather, not disabled, from doing.

The point, however, is irrelevant, since there is nothing preventing having specifications (and thus free drivers) and binary blobs. They can coexist. You certainly wouldn't be worse off having the choice.


Do you want "Free" drivers regardless of quality or do you want good drivers regardless of license philosophy.


How about free, good drivers? What reason do you have to believe that, given specifications, free software drivers will be inferior to manufacturer supplied binary blobs? In fact, why not have both? Let them compete, we will see how they fare.

Your mistake is that you implicitly assume that 'good' drivers are the binary only drivers supplied by manufacturers. That is not the case -- some examples I outlined in my previous post. 'Works right now, for me' is a pretty poor metric for 'good'.

[q]
To demand open, free drivers for all hardware from all companies is in my opinion a bit arrogantly dogmatic.
[q]

That is not what sane developers are asking for. What they demand are specifications. *They will write drivers for the company*. To demand that manufacturers provide documentation on how to operate their devices is neither arrogant nor dogmatic.

Reply Parent Score: 2