Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 1st Feb 2008 10:44 UTC, submitted by Michael Larabel
Intel At the Linux.Conf.Au conference today, Intel has announced NDA-free programming documentation covering the 965 Express and G35 Express IGPs. Intel's display driver has long been open-source, but up until now, they have not been releasing the programming documentation for these products to the public. This move comes months after AMD announced their new open-source strategy and began releasing register documentation on their R500 and R600 GPUs. These newly released documents by Intel even cover 3D and video programming for their IGPs.
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RE[2]: NVIDIA
by elsewhere on Fri 1st Feb 2008 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: NVIDIA"
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

Binary drivers for Linux (and other *NIX) was ok, but ATI and Intel have raised the bar, its about time that Nvidia raised the bar further and not only make their specifications and code open, but actually dedicate programming resources to work with the opensource community.


Remember though that the primary reason that the *nix community already enjoys the level of support from nVidia that they do, is because of the commercial customers running graphics apps on *nix workstations using high-end nVidia adapters. These customers are not clamoring for open drivers or threatening to switch vendors. Intel is a far ways away from this space, and even ATI would appear to be more focused on the consumer/gaming market than the high end computer graphics market.

That, and the fact that their universal driver model makes implementation on alternative platforms easier to manage.

nVidia supports the OSS-desktop community as far as their respective objectives intersect. It struck me that nVidia has frequently downplayed or pushed away driver problems related to compiz, for instance, yet when a compositing issue with the driver was discovered during the kwin/KDE4 development process, they released an updated driver fairly quickly.

My personal preference would be to have a more open and accessible nvidia driver, even if alongside the proprietary one. But my pragmatic side is fine with the current situation, and I'm quite happy to have a well supported adapter with KDE4 compositing goodness on my desktop.

The simple fact is that aside from frequent cries from the blogosphere, nVidia does not yet have a business reason to change their model. ATI and Intel, on the other hand, aren't in the same position. Until their level of performance and compatibility matches nVidia's then nVidia will not change their stance.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: NVIDIA
by kaiwai on Fri 1st Feb 2008 17:25 in reply to "RE[2]: NVIDIA"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The issue I have with binary drivers is this; look at the Nvidia drivers and the dropping of support - the reluctance to still spend resources optimising drivers for older hardware. The attitude that once they've stopped selling the hardware, there is no point to supporting it adequately any more. ATI went down the same garden path.

If the drivers are open along with all the specifications, I as a customer atleast know that in 2-3 years time, long after they stopped making those graphics cards, I know there will still be programmers dedicating hours fixing bugs, improving performance and addressing issues - long after which most commercial companies would have thrown in the towel.

That is ultimately the underlying issue (and what pushed the creation of FSF) - the customer at the mercy of a company who quite frankly will cut support when it is no longer convenient for them to support the hardware. You are the mercy on whether they the customer can be stuffed supporting it - what about your right as a consumer to be able to continue running the hardware? why should I as a customer be forced into a situation where I am told, "you hardware is no longer supported - get with the programme and upgrade!"

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: NVIDIA
by WereCatf on Fri 1st Feb 2008 18:31 in reply to "RE[3]: NVIDIA"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The issue I have with binary drivers is this; look at the Nvidia drivers and the dropping of support - the reluctance to still spend resources optimising drivers for older hardware. The attitude that once they've stopped selling the hardware, there is no point to supporting it adequately any more.

I've got a perfectly good laptop with built-in GeForce 4 card and well, it is not supported by the NVidia drivers anymore. I have only two solutions: to downgrade my X.org installation so I can use older drivers or not use the binary drivers and lose quite a lot of functionality and speed.. And I can tell you that both choices suck :/ That's the reason why I like open-source approach better: even my ancient Radeon 9100 is working just fine and well due to the fact that there's open-source drivers for it which are kept up-to-date and working.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[4]: NVIDIA
by elsewhere on Sat 2nd Feb 2008 04:54 in reply to "RE[3]: NVIDIA"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

The issue I have with binary drivers is this; look at the Nvidia drivers and the dropping of support - the reluctance to still spend resources optimising drivers for older hardware. The attitude that once they've stopped selling the hardware, there is no point to supporting it adequately any more. ATI went down the same garden path.

..snip...

That is ultimately the underlying issue (and what pushed the creation of FSF) - the customer at the mercy of a company who quite frankly will cut support when it is no longer convenient for them to support the hardware.


Don't get me wrong, I agree completely with that POV.

I'm simply pointing out that nVidia has no compelling business reason at this point to shift from that strategy, regardless of what Intel and ATI do, because a considerable portion of their userbase doesn't hold that same concern.

I'm a case in point. I consider my personal pc hardware to have a lifespan of 24 months, so while I will endeavor to select components that are linux-compatible, I consider nVidia to be in that category. If I was concerned about my laptop still working with linux five years from now, I'd likely go Intel. But my pragmatic side often wins out over my idealistic side. I'll admit that I'm part of the problem, but the problem is that many others are like me. nVidia works and works well, better than the alternatives at this time.

Sure, I'm a little bit ashamed with that attitude, but I have desktop bling with no detriment to my system stability or performance. When Intel can approach nVidia's mid-range performance or the open ATI drivers are stable and reliable, I'll likely switch if only in principle, but until then I have no clear incentive to.

And neither does nVidia...

Reply Parent Score: 2