Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Sep 2013 22:45 UTC, submitted by ddc_
3D News, GL, DirectX

Few companies have been the target of as much criticism in the Linux community as Nvidia. Linus Torvalds himself last year called Nvidia the "single worst company" Linux developers have ever worked with, giving the company his middle finger in a public talk.

Nvidia is now trying to get on Linux developers' good side. Yesterday, Nvidia's Andy Ritger e-mailed developers of Nouveau, an open source driver for Nvidia cards that is built by reverse engineering Nvidia's proprietary drivers. Ritger wrote that "NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able."

It wouldn't surprise me if this is related to the SteamOS announcement.

Thread beginning with comment 573179
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: Comment by aqd-
by moondevil on Wed 25th Sep 2013 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by aqd-"
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

I would certainly avoid binary driver (which I have no reason to trust) and use Nouveau driver instead.


Do you read Nouveau source code before installing it?

The open source drivers are still a joke for anyone doing serious 3D work on Linux.

Until they reach the same performance level and feature parity as the closed source ones, they are no use for me.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by aqd-
by saso on Wed 25th Sep 2013 09:11 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by aqd-"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Do you read Nouveau source code before installing it?

Interesting that such a misunderstanding of how the open-source trust model works could still exist in 2013. I don't have to read every line of code I'm running in order to trust it. What I need to have is a reasonable confidence in that a 3rd party with no financial or loyalty ties to the original organization can and has read and checked at least a representative portion of it. It's sort of really the watchdog model. You can try to hide exploitative gems in your code, but if anybody on the net is free to read it and you get as much exposure as the Nouveau project does, it's extremely difficult to hide them both from your fellow project co-developers or from the public (e.g. the occasional curious guy poking around in your code due to hunting a bug they tripped over). Moreover, good open-source projects have a review process for contributions where several senior devs from independent organizations must sign off a change before it goes in - any process which improves development transparency and accountability helps trust. Keep in mind, we're not talking about a "My Pet OSS Toy" project, we're talking a large projects often with dozens of contributors and thousands of regular users or more (Nouveau, Linux, libc, X.org, etc.).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by aqd-
by moondevil on Wed 25th Sep 2013 11:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by aqd-"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Beware who you trust,

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?TheKenThompsonHack

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by aqd-
by SeeM on Wed 25th Sep 2013 18:03 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by aqd-"
SeeM Member since:
2011-09-10

It's sort of really the watchdog model. You can try to hide exploitative gems in your code, but if anybody on the net is free to read it and you get as much exposure as the Nouveau project does, it's extremely difficult to hide them both from your fellow project co-developers or from the public (e.g. the occasional curious guy poking around in your code due to hunting a bug they tripped over).


Then package maintainer for your distribution may have a bad day or just be a dick. There's maybe 2-3 people who are checking distro specific patches in testing repo and 2000 who are updating from it without much care. If the maintainer would like to insert malware to update repo, he has a good chance to succeed. No to mention Ubuntu PPA or other unofficial repos.

Reply Parent Score: 2