Re: [forum] Re: "Drivers? We don't need no stinking..."
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On Mit, 2003-03-26 at 19:43, Kendall Bennett wrote: > > There is actually a really good reason for this. The hardware vendors > like ATI listened to the Open Source community and made a genuine attempt > at fitting into the Open Source model. The paid to have Open Source > drivers developed for the Linux platform (full 3D drivers, not just 2D > ones) and has the full source code released to the community. They also > made the specs for that generation of hardware available for the Open > Source community as well. What did they get in return? A bunch of free > software zealots constantly complaining that "this doesn't work" or > "please add this feature" or "I think you should be doing this". Their > responses was "you have the source and specs now, go and do it > yourself!". In the end they essentially had almost nobody in the Linux > community working on fixing bugs and enhancing the drivers that they had > made an effort to release, so when it came to the next generation of > chips, they decided to change their policy. If they were going to have to > fix the bugs and do all the code maintenance themselves anyway, then why > the hell should they release source code and specs! Hence ATI's latest > drivers are like NVIDIA's, in that they are closed source and ATI solely > is responsible for fixing bugs and doing enhancements. I thought ATI's closed source drivers had existed for quite a long time (for their FireGL cards) and were released for consumer hardware due to consumer demand. > IMHO the Open Source community *had* a big chance to change the way that > hardware companies support the Open Source community in the graphics area > a year or so ago, but they blew it big time. When it counted, all the > Open Source people simple sat on their arses and complained, rather than > putting up and getting their feet wet doing real work Luckily, I don't consider myself an 'Open Source person', or my feelings would be hurt. While there's no question that more people working on the drivers would be welcome, some of us have been doing what they can. 'Sitting on their arses and complaining' doesn't sound like active members of the community to me. > (it also probably didn't help that it took forever for ATI's patches to make it into the > XFree86 CVS tree either). You can bet your bottom dollar that Intel, > Matrox, NVIDIA and other companies were watching these events very > closely, and I don't believe there is anything you will ever do to change > their minds again now. NVIDIA was also completely closed from the start, > and now with both Matrox and ATI going closed source and closed specs > with their latest generation of hardware, [...] Is ATI? AFAIK they still provide specs to interested and able developers, and they are generally very helpful. Your description of other vendors sounds like a world of difference. I can only hope ATI keeps supporting us and try to do my part to that effect. -- Earthling Michel Dänzer (MrCooper)/ Debian GNU/Linux (powerpc) developer XFree86 and DRI project member / CS student, Free Software enthusiast
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