Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Oct 2009 15:23 UTC, submitted by diegocg
X11, Window Managers X.org 7.5 has been released. This version includes DRI2, Multi-Pointer X, Input device properties, X Input Extension 2, RANDR 1.3 (adds support for panning and for Projective Transforms, which can be used to scale the screen up/down as well as perform projector keystone correct or other effects) and video and input driver enhancements. Here are the release notes.
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Once you use binary drivers, for better or worse, you accept the if vendor A doesn't want to support feature X, you're screwed.

On the other hand, once you use FOSS drivers, you accept that if the project doesn't want to support a feature, or moans that they need more devs, you're screwed. Well... unless you happen to be competent to add the feature yourself. And are in the position to devote the substantial amount of time that it would require. And then get your patches cleaned up and accepted by the project... assuming you don't want to maintain your own fork forever.

But then again, if you need a feature not supported by your driver, isn't it easier to get a different card than to do all that... regardless of whether the driver is open or closed source? Balanced against the cost of a new card, how much do you want to work for? 50 cents an hour?

And if you absolutely have to have all hardware features supported, you're best off running Windows, as a general rule.

There are many good reasons for running FOSS drivers. But I've always found the whole "at the mercy of" argument to be a bit contrived. In general, I've found proprietary drivers to be more feature complete than the FOSS ones.

Edited 2009-10-28 19:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I never intended to open the open vs. close drivers argument.

Unless I misunderstood something - the OP blamed Xorg for a feature missing from nVidia's binary drivers. He should have pointed the finger @nVidia. It's that simple.

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 3

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19


And if you absolutely have to have all hardware features supported, you're best off running Windows, as a general rule.


Fair enough.


There are many good reasons for running FOSS drivers. But I've always found the whole "at the mercy of" argument to be a bit contrived. In general, I've found proprietary drivers to be more feature complete than the FOSS ones.


In my lesser experience, the closed/binary drivers usually have better 3D accelaration... and next-to-nothing else. Things like xrandr are usually better supported or only supported in the open drivers. I think that's the case with kernel-based mode setting even now: if either nVidia or ATI's binary drivers support Kernel mode-setting, it's news to me.

Now, whose fault that is is a completely separate question.

Reply Parent Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

if you absolutely have to have all hardware features supported, you're best off running Windows, as a general rule.


Only if there is no new version of Windows since the card became obsolete. If a new version of Windows requires a new driver, then the OEM sometimes won't bother to write a new driver for cards they no longer sell.

There are many good reasons for running FOSS drivers. But I've always found the whole "at the mercy of" argument to be a bit contrived. In general, I've found proprietary drivers to be more feature complete than the FOSS ones.


The proprietary drivers for Linux often aren't in any way feature complete.

For example, video card manufacturers will often have a Linux binary driver that: has abysmal 2D hardware acceleration performance; doesn't support R&R; often has trouble resuming from suspend; and doesn't support the use by Linux of video decoder features.

The lack of support for using the cards video decoders and acceleration is interesting, because the owner of the card in the Linux machine has presumably paid for any royalties associated with the video codecs via having paid for the card itself. By not supporting such features in their Linux binary drivers, considering that a user of their card who is running Linux has paid for the card and therefore its features, the video card OEM could presumably be sued for failing to deliver a fully working product.

This is especially interesting when you consider that for years Linux kernel developers have been begging for programmining information (specifications) so that they could write hardware drivers for Linux and thereby relieve the OEMs of the need to do it themselves.

http://kerneltrap.org/Linux/Linux_Driver_Project
http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS6669895837.html
http://www.linuxdriverproject.org/twiki/bin/view

Edited 2009-11-01 22:51 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2