Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Dec 2013 18:06 UTC
Linux

"Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming," Mike Sartain, a key member of the Linux team at Valve said. "Through these efforts we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users."

Mark my words: Valve will do for Linux gaming what Android did for Linux mobile. Much crow will be eaten by naysayers in a few years.

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Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

So all valve needs is video card makers to release decent drivers for Linux.


I wouldn't hold your breath. ATI and NVidia do try to provide drivers; but both the kernel developers and X developers are constantly breaking them (changing APIs). After years of having their work broken by morons (who can't create a standard and stick to it), I can't understand why ATI and NVidia haven't given up on Linux completely.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 0

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Intel is even more funny.

They are supposedly the best contributor to Linux GPU drivers and X development.

Yet their OpenGL drivers are always behind their DirectX ones and the Linux ones are worse than their Windows ones.

For long time, their graphics performance analyzers were only targeted for Windows/DirectX developers. Situation that only changed when they started to support Android in x86 processors.

Talk about half-hearted contributions.

Reply Parent Score: 4

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Out of curiosity, Could you point the numerous and constant changes to the APIs in linux recently?

Reply Parent Score: 2

oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

I wouldn't hold your breath. ATI and NVidia do try to provide drivers; but both the kernel developers and X developers are constantly breaking them (changing APIs). After years of having their work broken by morons (who can't create a standard and stick to it), I can't understand why ATI and NVidia haven't given up on Linux completely.


Brendan this is a complete lie. Linux Kernel breakages with Nvidia and ATI have in fact in all cases traced to them depending on behaviour that was not defined in the Stable API of the Linux kernel. Stable ABI is also exported to user-space. Functions exported to userspace making up the Stable ABI if they are every broken they will be fixed in a kernel revison. So no the Linux kernel cannot be in this list.

Nvidia and ATI have got into some trouble for bad coding behaviour. Like it was never good coding behaviour to just use the big kernel lock instead of creating your own. This busted ATI. Nvidia broken due to saying that page sizes will always be 8Kb. The standard api did not say either. In fact it said it was platform definable with a look up function that told you how big the current page size was.

The kernel side of the Nvidia and ATI drivers does not break that often. Yes and almost all cases have been something that should not have been done in the first place. There are functions in the linux kernel marked GPL only as well. These are not stable and are only fore drivers include as part of the main Linux kernel.

Nvidia is getting wiser with age. Like recently needing dma-buf making sure it was exported to user-space with a interface that would be stable.

X developers thinking nvidia designed bypasses to most of the X11 stack instead of fixing it.

The change of X11 API for drivers is in fact slower than Microsoft speed. Brendan so I do not get where you get this constantly changing api bit from. Look at the time frames of DRI 1 and DRI 2 and DRI 3. Please note they over lap with each other. For a very long time.

ABI changing is a lot more common.

Brendan X11 DRI driver compatibility in X11 is a 10 year thing for each version. DRI1 has only recently started being nuked. DRI1 drivers from 1998 still work on the 1 version of X11 where DRI1 will be removed.

Nvidia issue with X11 is hooking into functions that are not part of X11 DRI driver interfaces. Yes random-ally hooking into stuff is a way to get burnt.

Brendan yes the reason why Nvidia and ATI have not walked away from Linux is most of the trouble they have had is their own fault for not working with upstream and not using the upstream provided interfaces.

This has been the big problem most of the argument against Linux on drivers is bogus.

Reply Parent Score: 4

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

So AMD and Nvidia have bad coding behaviour and they hook on the wrong stuff. Why doeasn't that happen on Windows? It's because Windows has a stable API, a stable ABI and well docummented ones?

Reply Parent Score: 5

Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Brendan this is a complete lie. Linux Kernel breakages with Nvidia and ATI have in fact in all cases traced to them depending on behaviour that was not defined in the Stable API of the Linux kernel.


The stable API is for user-space, not for device drivers. There is no stable API that's useful for device drivers on Linux. To work around that both AMD and NVidia use a "shim". I've seen this break before (e.g. the shim relying on a kernel function that either ceased to exist or had its name changed); but what do you expect when there's no stable API for device drivers to begin with?

The kernel side of the Nvidia and ATI drivers does not break that often.


Ah, so you agree it does break.

Note that I didn't blame it all on the kernel alone. The graphics on Linux is a huge mess with different pieces responsible for different things (kernel, X, mesa, gallium, DRI, DRI2, Xrender); where responsibilities change over time (e.g. the introduction of KMS; the change from "nothing" to TTM to GEM, etc). To be fair we need to blame the entire huge mess (rather than just the piece/s of the mess that happen to be in the kernel).

Yes and almost all cases have been something that should not have been done in the first place. There are functions in the linux kernel marked GPL only as well. These are not stable and are only fore drivers include as part of the main Linux kernel.


Sure - functions marked "GPL only" with no alternative that native/binary drivers can rely on for the same functionality, leaving no choice other than to "do something that should not have been done in the first place".

Brendan X11 DRI driver compatibility in X11 is a 10 year thing for each version.


Sounds nice in theory. In practice there's a 75% chance that updating X will break your graphics driver or break your GUI or break something else; a 50% chance that you'll spend the entire afternoon searching for solutions all over the web, and a 35% chance that you'll end up downgrading again to fix the problem after wasting an entire day.

For an example, I'm using version 12.4 of ATI's drivers (newer versions of the drivers don't support my card). It works perfectly fine; except that newer versions of X11 don't support the older ATI drivers. This means that I haven't been able to update X11 for about 2 years. Now older versions of X11 have fallen off of Gentoo's packages and I'm screwed unless I switch to the open source ATI drivers. Of course I've tried the open source ATI drivers in the past and know they never work - the best I've managed with them is no 3D acceleration and only one monitor (where attempting to use a second monitor causes the system to crash).

Because I can't update X, I don't dare touch KDE either. It's far too likely that the newest versions of KDE rely on some fantastic extension or something that only newer X11 provides, and I'll end up with a broken system where KDE won't like old X, new X won't like old driver, and new driver won't like actual hardware.

Brendan yes the reason why Nvidia and ATI have not walked away from Linux is most of the trouble they have had is their own fault for not working with upstream and not using the upstream provided interfaces.


Sure, except "working with upstream" typically means "go screw yourself until you're willing to make all your driver's code open source", and still doesn't prevent Xorg from breaking things.

- Brendan

Reply Parent Score: 3