[forum] now I understand why I had so much trouble with my ati card

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Let me preface this by saying that I appreciate volunteer efforts by
anyone and am grateful in a generic sense to all those who roll up their
sleeves to build things of value. In a specific sense, though, it really
seems as though the XFree86 organization has become polluted with a
committee mentality worthy of student union politics.

I've been a UNIX administrator for 5 years, working mostly with Linux
servers. So it's not like I don't know my way around a Linux box. But
last month, when I made the transition to a Linux desktop at home, it
took me a week of research and a week of tweaking to get my ATI Mach64
card working for full-screen video playback.

Thank goodness people have learned to adapt to this state of affairs and
have started putting up howtos on manually patching the source tree
(i.e. http://www.geekounet.org/powerbook/driplusxv.html )

Friends watching the experiment and seeing that it took me two weeks to
get a divx to play mentally pushed back their migration plan, i.e. a
whole bunch of people are now going to wait 2 years instead of a year
before switching from Windows to Linux. I never want to hear "Oh, I
really like my movies, I better stick with Windows," ever again.

That little incident is a direct outcome of the committee politics in
the XFree86 organization. I would go so far as to say that the current
dynamic is damaging to the open-source movement in general. If the
XFree86 code base is to have any value, it must have the confidence of
consumers and system vendors. That can only change when the players do.

Gordon H. Buchan




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