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Linus Torvalds Calls NVIDIA The Worst Company Ever

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  • Originally posted by RealNC View Post
    And ?
    ...and Linus is the main developer of the Linux kernel?
    ...and Linus Torvalds saying NVIDIA is the worst company ever when it comes to interacting with the development of the Linux kernel?
    ...and this is what the thread is all about?

    ...and Linux is not a "failure" in terms of market share?

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    • People here care about their desktops. Android is a different platform. The use of the Linux kernel in Android is quite irrelevant to us.

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      • Aside from Torvalds' NVIDIA remarks near the end, the entire talk is worth watching.
        Linus is what the world needs; people who speak the truth however unsexy it would be. Some may say that nvidia is good because they provide a reasonably good binary blob. That is true, but it has nothing to do with Linus's and the kernel developer community's experience with them. They do not care about blobs, they care about how the company works with them, and i have no problem believing that nvidia would be the most arrogant company to work with, just as he tries to points out in his famous style.

        Linus is a Finn, we are kinda introverted people. We focus on the essence of things and strip off the unnecessary sugarcoating of courtesy.

        Nobody expects a company to give away their technology, parts of drivers etc. But everybody should expect companies to give the very basic info of how someone would go about to build up support for the hardware. Just as AMD and most other manufacturers do. If they do not, i would go as far as saying it to be anticompetitive measures.

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        • Originally posted by varikonniemi View Post
          But everybody should expect companies to give the very basic info of how someone would go about to build up support for the hardware.
          Why? Did they sell it to you and say that they would provide that? If not then it is silly to 'expect' them to come forward with that information. WYSIWYG and it doesn't seem to hurt their product sales in the least (in fact they actually sell more then their competitor that does provide that information). IMHO, it is unreasonable to expect anything more then what is presented as is in the first place.

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          • Originally posted by deanjo View Post
            Why? Did they sell it to you and say that they would provide that?
            I think that people should. Unfortunately, most people don't expect that.

            If not then it is silly to 'expect' them to come forward with that information. WYSIWYG and it doesn't seem to hurt their product sales in the least (in fact they actually sell more then their competitor that does provide that information). IMHO, it is unreasonable to expect anything more then what is presented as is in the first place.
            Of course, the average Bonzy-Buddy user who installs malware if it promises cute kittens on the desktop and write replies with their credit card information to Nigerian scammers, he doesn't don't care. And they are the majority.

            So we are where we are. People being forced to use closed-source systems with hardware they own. A microprocessor manufacturer deciding what you can run on your computer.

            Well, as long as it has Bonzy Buddy, everything is ok I guess....

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            • Originally posted by asdx
              Are you really sure of that? I don't think so.

              http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTEyNTE
              Yup, absolutely as that 'rumor' has never been substantiated. You would think that AMD would be throwing up every type of good news PR there was if it was true now wouldn't you? They do for every other larger order but somehow this one would be the exception right?

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              • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                So we are where we are. People being forced to use closed-source systems with hardware they own. A microprocessor manufacturer deciding what you can run on your computer.
                Hey if you were the actual person developing the card that utilizes that silicon then you would have a right to expect that when you made the deal for that silicon suppliers product and stipulated it. However you are not the developer of that finished product and it is not sold to you as the raw processor to the end user nor have any such party entitled you to have that information, either the supplier or the end product vendor. Again, it is unreasonable to expect something that is not presented to you as an option in the first place. Just because the Dukes and the General Lee can jump down bridges don't expect Dodge to endorse, provide you with a how to or cover it under warranty for your failed attempts to replicate it.

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                • Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                  Hey if you were the actual person developing the card that utilizes that silicon then you would have a right to expect that when you made the deal for that silicon suppliers product and stipulated it. However you are not the developer of that finished product and it is not sold to you as the raw processor to the end user nor have any such party entitled you to have that information, either the supplier or the end product vendor. Again, it is unreasonable to expect something that is not presented to you as an option in the first place. Just because the Dukes and the General Lee can jump down bridges don't expect Dodge to endorse, provide you with a how to or cover it under warranty for your failed attempts to replicate it.
                  Correct, you uncivilized rioters, eat your premium consumer-grade guan-o-hamburger with secret patented chocolate favouring*. The best (and only) food for everyone!
                  Otherwise our honorable Mr. Smith will shoot you as possible terrorists.
                  Chicken should get fat and juicy, and not ask questions!!

                  * may cause addiction, headaches, diarrhea, cancer, anxiety, heart disease, vomiting, nausea, temperature, agenesia and sleep problems. NO WARRANTIES SOEVER. WE DONT CARE!

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                    Hey if you were the actual person developing the card that utilizes that silicon then you would have a right to expect that when you made the deal for that silicon suppliers product and stipulated it. However you are not the developer of that finished product and it is not sold to you as the raw processor to the end user nor have any such party entitled you to have that information, either the supplier or the end product vendor. Again, it is unreasonable to expect something that is not presented to you as an option in the first place. Just because the Dukes and the General Lee can jump down bridges don't expect Dodge to endorse, provide you with a how to or cover it under warranty for your failed attempts to replicate it.
                    At the end of the day, if you buy Nvidia, you buy a closed platform. Like PS3 or iPhone. People who want general-purpose, programmable hardware but Intel or AMD.

                    Sadly, most people don't mind closed platforms in this day and age.

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                    • Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                      At the end of the day, if you buy Nvidia, you buy a closed platform. Like PS3 or iPhone. People who want general-purpose, programmable hardware but Intel or AMD.

                      Sadly, most people don't mind closed platforms in this day and age.
                      Or like many many many other devices. How many android phones for example are truly open from top to bottom? Most are using closed blobs as well.

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                      • NVIDIA works and is cheaper (less power consumption and more quiet). AMD doesn't work. Even nouveau would beat Catalyst on some GPUs, I bet.

                        Théorie du complot, quand tu nous tiens.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Calinou View Post
                          NVIDIA works and is cheaper (less power consumption and more quiet). AMD doesn't work. Even nouveau would beat Catalyst on some GPUs, I bet.
                          Radeon and nouveau work. Usable. 40-70%, but its good progress.
                          Nvidia has a good driver, but by far not perfect!

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                          • I know this thread is somewhat old an dhasn't seen a post in a while, but I felt like this was the only one I could reasonably make this statement on.

                            I wish to stay objective here. I know it seems pretty fruitless on Phoronix, but it's there.

                            We have a number of objectives in getting to that "happy place" platforms like Windows and OS X frequently enjoy regarding video support, which is not worrying about whether X or Y video card will be feature complete on the platform. Both in hardware and in device drivers.

                            Objective 1 - Full performance, full featured support for Linux in its device drivers. Here I find that this objective has been almost met by the nvidia binary blob. The only thing it lacks I'd like to see is KMS and native fbcon support so we wouldn't have to fall back on uvesafb. Intel also has full-featured device drivers, but the only reason why it's not on top here is because the hardware itself isn't really designed to drive much. If Intel were to invest in a GPU they could put on-board as well as on dedicated cards for gamers, I think Linux would have their killer graphics hardware. Catalyst doesn't meet this goal, and radeon and Nouveau, while definitely sufficient for most desktop usage outside of gaming, are not going to bring about the Linux gaming market as they are now.

                            Objective 2 - Open source drivers. Intel meets his objective nicely with objective 1, barring the lacking hardware itself. Nouveau and Radeon are nice! I use Nouveau frequently, but I find myself frequently using the binary blob because it better meets Objective 1, which is, debates over "freedom" or "security" aside, all "normal" end users will care about: The driver being able to provide them all they want without hassle. There are technical reasons why open drivers are a good thing (Such as KMS/native fbcon, not to mention it's easier to assure that the driver is stable.).

                            Objective 3 - The "Just Works" concept. As I said, normal end users really won't much worry about Objective 2. Maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't, doesn't matter. What matters is what they *expect* not what we *think* they should expect. Good news and bad news for the open drivers on this. Open drivers are usually the first thing every distribution defaults to. So for them next to zero configuration is needed. This will keep MOST users on the open driver without complaint. Where this objective begins to miss the mark is when they install Steam, fire up, oh, Half-life 2 and find that the game renders too darkly because Mesa 9.x isn't installed, but Mesa 8.x. To us power users, the solution seems simple and obvious. To "idiot" users, all it means is "Linux doesn't run the game right" and except in certain cases they won't be made aware that, say, the binary blob provided by nVidia runs Half-life 2 VERY well. And we'd be --desktop_user for certain in those cases.

                            These objectives are *not* mutually exclusive. As I said, Intel is VERY close on hitting all three of these if they'd simply provide the right kind of GPU. nVidia meets objective 1 but falls short on 2 and 3. Catalyst meets none of these objecives. Nouveau and Radeon partially meet 1 and definitely hit 2 and 3.

                            Now, to the topic at hand. Is nVidia in the wrong for not cooperating with the kernel devs? Yes. I think so. Because despite possible third-party IP there are *some* parts of their interface they can definitely at least shed a little light on, or they never would have provided the (Now-obsolete.) nv driver. Let's also not forget their objective in Linux support is not actually providing a usable desktop to end users but a powerful graphics infrastructure for graphical workstations and CUDA-based high-performance computing. One reason why I (And I bet a lot of others.) got excited about Valve porting to Linux is because they might *just* give nVidia the motivation to have a desktop objective as well. While it may not help with "openness" it CERTAINLY will help their driver improve for desktop users, including MAYBE features we'd sorely like their blob to have, short of being open source.

                            Was Linus Torvalds right in his approach to nVidia? No. I honestly think the "fuck you, nVidia" attitude helps nothing. In fact, while I do believe maybe calling them out on not being all that helpful was fine, the attitude probably would have sooner served to both drive nVidia into less cooperation (Would YOU cooperate with anyone telling you to "fuck off" and gives you the bird? I wouldn't.) but also shows to end users of other platforms that we're both overly political and openly HOSTILE when we don't get our way ("Why should I use Linux when they're clearly so closed against anyone doing things how they want?" Whether this is true is irrelevant, it's a perception problem, plain and simple.). One admitted problem is that many people look at Linux, and often see an overzealous "free or nothing" attitude that makes them question whether they'll get what they want from Linux.

                            I want open source drivers. I *want* Nouveau to succeed, but I need to keep an objective eye if I want to make the "most" out of my desktop using Linux, and unfortunately it often means binary blobs, unpleasant though that may be.

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                            • Originally posted by Yaro View Post
                              I know this thread is somewhat old an dhasn't seen a post in a while, but I felt like this was the only one I could reasonably make this statement on.

                              <snip>
                              I don't agree with the open source driver fetish here. AMD and NV drivers do what I want, and no, I don't care about the edge cases the fanatics will bring up.

                              AMD & NV are not going to disclose everything needed to open source the stuff that is currently available as blobs because that would expose too much IP.

                              Get used to it.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by hoohoo View Post
                                AMD & NV are not going to disclose everything needed to open source the stuff that is currently available as blobs because that would expose too much IP.

                                Get used to it.
                                You have no idea what you're talking about.

                                AMD have an open source driver.
                                Intel have an open source driver.

                                Sure they can have open source drivers without expose too much IP.

                                Also, the graphics card can have a firmware that abstracts away the IP, such as AtomBIOS used on AMD cards.
                                Or they can selectively pick what parts to include in drivers, example some vendors do 2D acceleration, but may not chose to include video acceleration.

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