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Future of my support for ATI

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  • #91
    download numbers mean nothing. Because:
    there are many mirrors not even generating stats
    a lot of people download the isos but never install the distro
    a lot of people install the distro, try it say 'meh' and remove it

    This is like the download figures for firefox - I have downloaded their sources a lot of times, because I cleaned distfiles/ and with the next -rX update the same thing had to be downloaded again.

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    • #92
      Download figures of Firefox had been for the fun of it and to get a record. For sure more and more people are using it, that's to be seen ( trends can be extracted from stats but not actual usage scenarios ) but not how many really use it. But as long as it's rising it's going to approach higher numbers somewhere in the future.

      About missing documents... old Software Engineering wisdom: projects without good documentation are doomed to fail. Docs are the A and O of software design and drivers are one hell of a software to write. So specs are a requirement for the developer division to churn out drivers which deserve this name. Hence it's for sure there already, in one form or the other.

      And there's another little lie out there in the world: only company hired developers are good developers. Total... utter... BULLSHIT! There are more capable developers out there than you think. And even if only a handful of people can wrap their heads around your specs then this is enough to provide a free software driver for your hardware. It's a win-win situation. If there are FS drivers out driving your hardware well people buy happily more units. If you sell more units you can invest more in R&D. Getting more into R&D improves future projects binding the customers you just collected. Sitting on your specs is therefore self-castration.

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      • #93
        still - internal documantation is not like documentation for the public. Refining it is a time consuming and as such expensive endeavor. So please - could you people stop bashing amd? They are trying and they are doing a lot more than the other big discreet gpu vendor. Or Matrox.

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        • #94
          Matrox is a bit a bad example. It's not like they are a key player in the market. And what goes for refining documentation... do you know about project management systems? Maintaining documentation is a key process in all serious systems. If done the right way it's not time consuming or difficult... it just needs a bit of discipline.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
            Matrox is a bit a bad example. It's not like they are a key player in the market. And what goes for refining documentation... do you know about project management systems? Maintaining documentation is a key process in all serious systems. If done the right way it's not time consuming or difficult... it just needs a bit of discipline.
            Does matrox even have linux support for their cards that were made in the last couple of years like the M9120/25/40?

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            • #96
              Dragonlord, the point here is that the project documentation we create is very different from the publicly releaseable programming documentation. We have good hardware design docs and good software design docs, and both parts are designed together with co-located engineers. What we don't have is "here's how to write a driver for the chip" documentation because we don't need it internally.

              That said, we had a first draft of the 6xx acceleration programming guide back a couple of months ago, and that's what the devs are using under NDA today. The delay is identifying solutions for the remaining IP issues, not writing the programming documentation.

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              • #97
                Nobody asked for "here's how to write a driver for the chip" docs... it's not like this is the default anyways. Writing device drivers is anyways not a task for newcomer coders but kernel pros since you need to dwelve deep into the monster to get things done fast. Those guys tend to have better knowledge about programming than the average joe. Anything is better than nothing ( not saying that you give out nothing, just to squash that flamebait right now ).

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                • #98
                  OK, you don't like those words, let me use different ones for the same concept. A "programming guide" for the chip, ie required programming sequences, interdependencies between the setting in one register and another, how to make the chip do something (ie not just what each register does).

                  You could go a long way with register specs 10 years ago but most of the documentation you need to make the 3d engine work is "between the registers", ie does not translate directly into instructions for any specific register. If you don't document "how to use the chip" then you can spend months or years working things out by trial and error -- and reverse engineering ends up being the primary tool.

                  That documentation does not come out of our hardware development processes, only out of the software design effort -- but then it is intimately tied to the proprietary software so we can't release that. The documentation we need for driver development is assembled from a much larger set of internal hardware and software design docs.

                  What do you think the developer needs ?

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                  • #99
                    Of course the best he can get but there are a couple of drivers in the kernel which had been done on non-optimal docs in the tedious way. I never said it's "fast" I just said it's "possible" but not optimal nor wishful. Which is why I suggest some good released specs to get the show rolling since you can not just pick one of the hunderts of other products on the market. In this market segment the call is ATI or nVidia if you want something serious.

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                    • Originally posted by siggma View Post
                      So, ATI / AMD, by not FULLY supporting the fastest growing operating system in existence while at the same time providing outstanding support for Microsoft based products, I have to assume there is some kind of collusion between AMD and Microsoft and that means you are aware of the issues and that you've chosen to try to support the ONE SIZE FOR ALL approach to computing based on attempting to control what I do with the hardware I've purchased.
                      How many desktop machines have Linux? How many machines have linux, of those which have ATI video card?

                      If you are in desperate hurry and have restricted resources, and are in position where you have to provide quality software for 10 people and for 1000 people, how would you balance your workign hours? 50/50?

                      How many(Those who have ATI hardware) Windows users are gamers? How many Linux users are gamers? Linux really has no games, when comparing to Windows games. Thats a cold fact. (Yes, Teeworlds, Nexuiz, Quake, Doom, all that. Now name Windows games.)

                      Really, Linux users are GREAT minority, and ATI does really have better things to do than to try to get Video playback to work for a MINORITY of people.

                      I know your hatred towards bad companies like Microsoft, but you can't deny that Windows is wat GREATER OS for gaming(majority of those who buy new hardware). Also note that AMD is in great financical problems, which cuts the driver team and resources ro bare minimum. Good 3DMark scores and high FPSes matter more than Video playback or working dual screen/CrossFire for MINORITY.

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                      • How many(Those who have ATI hardware) Windows users are gamers?
                        How I hate this old lame excuse. People "want" to game on Linux but if the AAAs ignore Linux and even throw stones in their way ( like Steam did consider Wine a cheat some time ago before people bashed it enough for this ) then there can be no more games. Keeping something "artificially" low doesn't justify such a comment.

                        you can't deny that Windows is wat GREATER OS for gaming
                        If you ever did game development you should know that Linux is better suited for gaming since it has a couple of advantages over the windows counterpart. I need to provide more "strange hacks" in windows to get a game working than under Linux. So much for "greater OS" I would say. Or shall we take out the Windows-Version-Nausea problem? Change to Vista and games start breaking left and right and still nowadays games are tagged in small print "Vista SHOULD be supported" or "no 64 bit support". Now that's a great gaming OS right?

                        Furthermore ATI and nVidia have this thing called "unified architecture". Furthermore ATI drivers are there... just bugged. And third... video playback is used a big time more than actual gaming on Linux or Windows.

                        And finally Linux is no more a great minority. After all even Microsoft recognized it as a force to reckon with and PC vendors consider it as OS to preinstall. I don't think a "great minority" would have achieved this, not?

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                        • you can't deny that Windows is wat GREATER OS for gaming
                          No. It's not windows, it's something called a game console. And whose chip is in Xbox360/Wii/Gamecube again?

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                          • Maybe most of you will not agree with me but I don't see that big of a fuss over OS drivers vs. proprietary drivers for video cards or anything else.

                            I understand that hardware manufacturers cannot release the code for drivers and stuff like that because of IP agreement.

                            However, I think that most users just want their hardware to work! Why does it matter if the driver is proprietary or open source as long as it works?

                            I have a laptop with Intel GMA 950 using the Open Source driver. I can say am NOT impressed but mostly satisfied.
                            My problems with that Card/driver are:

                            Compiz: while it runs... I cannot properly run other 3D applications. I get all kinds of tearing. Try Google Earth with Compiz enabled!


                            No acceleration on multiple X-sessions: Only the first logged in user can use hardware acceleration and has direct rendering.

                            Cannot have a video on 2 workspaces at the same time as in this video:
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6bRpsqr7D0 (2:30 - 2:55)

                            Every once in a while acceleration is not available: no Direct rendering (something is "unset")


                            For all I know people using nVidia cards and Drivers (proprietary) can have Direct Rendering over multiple X-sessions and can also have the same Video playback on multiple workspaces (as seen in the vide above)

                            So even if Intel released all the documents so there is a stable open-source driver, the nVidia Proprietary driver still provides more functionality.

                            I don't care which driver I use as long as I have 3D support for all logged in users, and 3D apps run properly with Compiz!


                            Edit: For some reason I re-enabled compiz and I can do pretty much everything (except 3D support for all logged in users).
                            Last edited by Alecz; 08-08-2008, 12:16 PM.

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                            • I personally could also live with prop drivers... if they would work. And this is the problem here. If you can make a working driver, okay, I can live with closed specs but if your drivers are clearly broken meaning you ( the vendor ) is incapable of producing a working driver, then I ought to say you are obligated to open the specs so others who can do a working driver can take a stab at it. That's in a nutshell all I'm getting at... nothing more, nothing less.

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                              • Originally posted by Alecz View Post
                                Maybe most of you will not agree with me but I don't see that big of a fuss over OS drivers vs. proprietary drivers for video cards or anything else.

                                I understand that hardware manufacturers cannot release the code for drivers and stuff like that because of IP agreement.

                                However, I think that most users just want their hardware to work! Why does it matter if the driver is proprietary or open source as long as it works?

                                I have a laptop with Intel GMA 950 using the Open Source driver. I can say am NOT impressed but mostly satisfied.
                                My problems with that Card/driver are:

                                Compiz: while it runs... I cannot properly run other 3D applications. I get all kinds of tearing. Try Google Earth with Compiz enabled!

                                No acceleration on multiple X-sessions: Only the first logged in user can use hardware acceleration and has direct rendering.

                                Cannot have a video on 2 workspaces at the same time as in this video:
                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6bRpsqr7D0 (2:30 - 2:55)

                                Every once in a while acceleration is not available: no Direct rendering (something is "unset")


                                For all I know people using nVidia cards and Drivers (proprietary) can have Direct Rendering over multiple X-sessions and can also have the same Video playback on multiple workspaces (as seen in the vide above)

                                So even if Intel released all the documents so there is a stable open-source driver, the nVidia Proprietary driver still provides more functionality.

                                I don't care which driver I use as long as I have 3D support for all logged in users and 3D apps run properly with Compiz!
                                The debate is not so much over driver features and capabilities, but more of system wide stability and integration. Open source drivers are much better at this.

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