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.

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RE: Steam
by bassbeast on Wed 25th Sep 2013 14:59 UTC in reply to "Steam"
bassbeast
Member since:
2007-11-11

Honestly, and I'll get hate for saying this, but I seriously doubt the FOSS drivers will EVER be as good.

Before anybody starts thinking I'm dissing the devs I would point out its been a few years since AMD handed the devs all the docs on a silver platter, even going so far as to hire some guys to jump in and help and the AMD drivers are STILL a good ways behind and really aren't useful for gaming, at least last time I tried it a month or so ago on my AMD netbook and my HD4850 equipped desktop.

The rotting elephant in the room nobody talks about is how damned near everything in a modern GPU is cross licensed and proprietary, from S3 to HDCP its all owned by somebody and you have to sign an NDA to use the stuff. This is gonna be hell to work around considering how many advanced features are baked into today's GPUs and unless/until the patent situation changes I have a feeling the FOSS devs are always gonna be a day late and a dollar short.

Finally as far as SteamOS? There is another rotting elephant nobody wants to talk about, in fact i haven't found a single mention of this in any article i have been able to find about SteamOS and it is this...how in the world are they gonna have DRM in Linux? The GPL IS VIRAL, RMS himself has said so (see his article on why he wants those that write libraries to use GPL over LGPL) and from the get go the GPL was designed to be the anti-DRM yet there is no way in hell you are gonna get the big gaming houses to sign off on a DRM free console, no chance in hell.

So I really don't see how in the world SteamOS is supposed to work, i really don't. Hell I don't even see how Valve can allow you to download the OS and install it yourself and still have DRM, even the relatively mild Steam DRM, as by design you can download your own kernel and modify it to "lie" to the software. So has anyone read anything about the DRM in SteamOS? How is it supposed to work and not run afoul of the GPL?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Steam
by Novan_Leon on Wed 25th Sep 2013 15:57 in reply to "RE: Steam"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

How did Google do it with Android?

I honestly don't know anything about this topic, so I'm just curious.

Edited 2013-09-25 15:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Steam
by bassbeast on Thu 26th Sep 2013 08:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Steam"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

By spending over a billion dollars to make their own GPL V2 only fork? They also really didn't need much more than the kernel, coming up with their own VM and userspace and the kernel is GPL V2, which has what is known as "the TiVo loophole" that will let you do proprietary on top of the kernel without running afoul.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of what valve is trying to do and I just don't see how its gonna work without them getting sued for the next decade by the rights holders of the GPL V3 software they are using (a good chunk of the networking, audio, and video stacks are all GPL V3, which is why Google didn't use them for Android).

Not to mention there is a VERY vocal minority of Linux devs and users that are so foaming at the mouth when it comes to their hatred of anything proprietary I really wouldn't be surprised to see them update their software in a way that insures SteamOS can't use it. I really wish i had thought to save it as i had an online discussion with one of the low level kernel guys and he actually said when i pointed out that drivers breaking in this day and age was nutty "I hope we break all non GPL drivers constantly!" and it was obvious from his side of the conversation that breaking non FOSS drivers actually made him happy, he would have rather had a broken OS than allow any proprietary anything into Linux.

So I really don't see how this is supposed to work, i really don't. Google spent something like 2 BILLION dollars creating their own fork for Android and ChromeOS, Valve just doesn't seem like they are willing to sink that much into this, and GPL V3 is designed to make proprietary damned near impossible on the platform. Why they didn't follow Sony's example and use BSD where proprietary is allowed I'll never know, but I'll be shocked if SteamOS isn't facing at least 2 lawsuits and has cracks released within an hour of it being RTMed to the public. Certain things just don't mix, FOSS and DRM? Just don't go together.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Steam
by BushLin on Wed 25th Sep 2013 21:25 in reply to "RE: Steam"
BushLin Member since:
2011-01-26

Simples, DRM is handled by the Steam client and doesn't need to comply with the GPL as it's written by Valve.

Reply Parent Score: 3