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[3]: Steam
by bassbeast on Thu 26th Sep 2013 08:01 UTC 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[4]: Steam
by Novan_Leon on Thu 26th Sep 2013 17:58 in reply to "RE[3]: Steam"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

Thanks for the explanation. This just makes the entire project more interesting. I can't wait to see how things play out. In some ways, watching how things unfold may be more interesting than playing the videogames themselves.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Steam
by bassbeast on Fri 27th Sep 2013 23:39 in reply to "RE[4]: Steam"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well if you would like to learn more, type in "How Steam DRM works" along with "GPL V2 versus GPL V3" and "TiVo Loophole" into any search engine and that will give you a good overview of what we are talking about here and why its not as simply as merely porting steam to Linux.

But the "dirty little secret" nobody that advocates FOSS will talk to you about is how divided the community, especially the devs, have become. On the one side you have those that actually want Linux to be high quality and stand toe to toe against the best MSFT and Apple have to offer, and on the other hand you have the GPL purists, or "FOSSies" as I call them because like Moonies they treat the GPL like religious dogma, who would be perfectly content to have a broken OS that works on less than 5% of the hardware out there as long as it maintains "GPL Purity" and upholds the "spirit of the GPL".

At the end of the day the FOSSie side will do everything in their power to sabotage Steam as they see it as an attack on GPL purity, and the fact that Torvalds refuses to let go of the driver model he came up with back in 93, which just FYI but NO other OS free or proprietary uses, means Valve is gonna have hell just keeping the thing functional. I wouldn't be surprised if they don't have to do like Dell did and have a huge dev team to maintain their own fork and disconnect from the main repos to keep things from breaking and while that is going on mark my words you'll see plenty of critical projects come out with updates that break Steam and when this is pointed out you'll get the standard "If they release the source this wouldn't happen" extortion threat.

Reply Parent Score: 2