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  • Reasoning for closed source

    Hi guys,

    just wondering if you guys could enlighten me on the logic of closed source drivers (also includes BIOS btw).

    I have been on pondering this issue for years and still havnt found a good answer. It is more than possibly based on my lack on deep understanding on drivers coding.

    The way I see it, as an hardware manufacturer you need to pay for the actual hardware and also to write drivers for said hardware. Then, you need to write a different driver for each OS, for every new model and feature, keep track of bug reports, etc
    At the same time, you know that there is a bunch of very talented FOSS guys bashing their head on how to reverse engineer some hardware.
    So then, in God's name, dont they just open their close source drivers, pay some developpers (and get a crap load of free work from FOSS developpers) and developp a generic multiplatform driver that would be easy to port on easy platform?
    I'm sure some people would say IP issues, but then, thats you own hardware... Not giving the competition some usefull (?) info about your product? Call me an ignorant mech.eng, but I would assume that the biggest challenge in hardware design is the actual manufacturing...

    anyway, fire away your opinion!

    thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gizmot View Post
    Hi guys,

    just wondering if you guys could enlighten me on the logic of closed source drivers (also includes BIOS btw).

    I have been on pondering this issue for years and still havnt found a good answer. It is more than possibly based on my lack on deep understanding on drivers coding.

    The way I see it, as an hardware manufacturer you need to pay for the actual hardware and also to write drivers for said hardware. Then, you need to write a different driver for each OS, for every new model and feature, keep track of bug reports, etc
    At the same time, you know that there is a bunch of very talented FOSS guys bashing their head on how to reverse engineer some hardware.
    So then, in God's name, dont they just open their close source drivers, pay some developpers (and get a crap load of free work from FOSS developpers) and developp a generic multiplatform driver that would be easy to port on easy platform?
    I'm sure some people would say IP issues, but then, thats you own hardware... Not giving the competition some usefull (?) info about your product? Call me an ignorant mech.eng, but I would assume that the biggest challenge in hardware design is the actual manufacturing...

    anyway, fire away your opinion!

    thanks
    Simple short reason, competitive IP, not every company wants to give away their trade secrets that give their product an advantage over their competitors. Better performance over their competitors hopefully results in better sales which in turn results in better ROE for their investors. Like it or not the industry is driven by a monetary system where the investors want maximum bang for their investment.

    Comment


    • #3
      One other thing, I would have to disagree on the hardest thing being the actual manufacturing. That is actually one of the simplest parts, R&D and marketing are far more difficult as they ultimately decide if a product is successful or not.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gizmot View Post
        Hi guys,

        just wondering if you guys could enlighten me on the logic of closed source drivers (also includes BIOS btw).

        I have been on pondering this issue for years and still havnt found a good answer. It is more than possibly based on my lack on deep understanding on drivers coding.

        The way I see it, as an hardware manufacturer you need to pay for the actual hardware and also to write drivers for said hardware. Then, you need to write a different driver for each OS, for every new model and feature, keep track of bug reports, etc
        At the same time, you know that there is a bunch of very talented FOSS guys bashing their head on how to reverse engineer some hardware.
        So then, in God's name, dont they just open their close source drivers, pay some developpers (and get a crap load of free work from FOSS developpers) and developp a generic multiplatform driver that would be easy to port on easy platform?
        I'm sure some people would say IP issues, but then, thats you own hardware... Not giving the competition some usefull (?) info about your product? Call me an ignorant mech.eng, but I would assume that the biggest challenge in hardware design is the actual manufacturing...

        anyway, fire away your opinion!

        thanks
        before amd openup and release the spec intel have opensource driver but no FOSS hardware......

        in the past no one knows the funktionality of the intel GPU source because the spec of the hardware is not known!

        the spec is much more than a sourcecode!.....

        and now amd talks to some FOSS gurus abaut openup the FGLRX...

        and the Gurus answers: "this shitty windows-driver? no EXA no KMS crappy ugly sourcecode holy crappy mother of the BUG no! no ! no no! "


        in the end we will get a nice opensource driver für amd hardware :-)

        only because ths gurus do not wana ugly code LOOL

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
          and the Gurus answers: "this shitty windows-driver? no EXA no KMS crappy ugly sourcecode holy crappy mother of the BUG no! no ! no no! "
          You know you really can't blame windows drivers for limitations of X. Nor do I believe that you have any clue about what the windows source looks like so your comment is based on pure speculation. Face it X is a really old solution with a lot of old world code that was put in as a after thought for *nix. If this was not the case efforts like Wayland would not exist.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            Simple short reason, competitive IP, not every company wants to give away their trade secrets that give their product an advantage over their competitors. Better performance over their competitors hopefully results in better sales which in turn results in better ROE for their investors. Like it or not the industry is driven by a monetary system where the investors want maximum bang for their investment.
            I understood that...
            but, for exemple, assume that amd/ati was to open up their source code tomorrow. Would Nvidia ''jump'' over the source code to find all the ''tricks'' hardware wise? Is there actually anything of value for the hardware developpement?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by deanjo View Post
              One other thing, I would have to disagree on the hardest thing being the actual manufacturing. That is actually one of the simplest parts, R&D and marketing are far more difficult as they ultimately decide if a product is successful or not.
              I do agree,
              except that I was refering to the R&D of manufacturing.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                You know you really can't blame windows drivers for limitations of X. Nor do I believe that you have any clue about what the windows source looks like so your comment is based on pure speculation. Face it X is a really old solution with a lot of old world code that was put in as a after thought for *nix. If this was not the case efforts like Wayland would not exist.
                yes but i do not blame the windows driver because on windows fglrx works good!...

                i blame fglrx only because they try to run an windows driver on top of linux/X...

                in your spoken words.. linux do not need a windowsdriver emulation X linux need a full rewrite of the hole X... mybe Galium3D.. can do this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gizmot View Post
                  I understood that...
                  but, for exemple, assume that amd/ati was to open up their source code tomorrow. Would Nvidia ''jump'' over the source code to find all the ''tricks'' hardware wise? Is there actually anything of value for the hardware developpement?
                  Maybe they would, and maybe they would not, but the last thing investors want is uncertainty.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Qaridarium View Post
                    i blame fglrx only because they try to run an windows driver on top of linux/X...
                    It's a end to a mean my friend. If you cannot do something natively you have to pull tricks. Remember that no generic solution can beat a optimized one.

                    Comment

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