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AMD and NVIDIA bitchfight over open-source?

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  • AMD and NVIDIA bitchfight over open-source?

    There's a Bridgman interview, if you don't already get all of your questions answered by him here...

    http://www.techeye.net/software/amd-...source-support
    Michael Larabel
    http://www.michaellarabel.com/

  • #2
    Awesome! Pretty much what Mr. B already told us here a thousand times. Still, I expect a bunch of flames over this. Some people just don't want to cut AMD some slack.
    Started using Linux way back in 2004 with a 9800pro, and aside from newbie mistakes and pitfalls, I did manage to fully use my cards with fglrx incredibly well; sure, they lacked some features that were new and exciting back then, but for the most part you had alternatives or ways of going around the limitations. Now that fglrx has caught up in terms of performance (and to a lesser extent features), plus all the work being done in the open source side, I really can't ask for more. Thumbs up to AMD, seriously.

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    • #3
      Good article.
      I've noticed that anytime Nvidia is asked about doing something similar to AMD in terms of documentation, they just throw the "IP protection" garbage out there that really answers nothing. What are they "protecting"? No one is asking to open-source their driver, we just want something to work with so we can maker our own driver that "just works" for what we need.

      I applaud what AMD has done for the community. I'm sticking with them from now on.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BlueJayofEvil View Post
        Good article.
        I've noticed that anytime Nvidia is asked about doing something similar to AMD in terms of documentation, they just throw the "IP protection" garbage out there that really answers nothing. What are they "protecting"? No one is asking to open-source their driver, we just want something to work with so we can maker our own driver that "just works" for what we need.
        Considering they cross licence pretty much any graphics related patents (or they simply wouldn't be able to make a card) it can't be that. Likely it is some other companies IP in the driver which they licenced and simply cannot release. This was the reason fglrx wasn't open sourced wasn't it?

        *pokes bridgman*

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        • #5
          Interview but no pic? Aw c'mon! (Or is that bridgman with the slingshot in his back pocket, doing a Bart Simpson impression? )

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Hoodlum View Post
            Considering they cross licence pretty much any graphics related patents (or they simply wouldn't be able to make a card) it can't be that. Likely it is some other companies IP in the driver which they licenced and simply cannot release. This was the reason fglrx wasn't open sourced wasn't it?
            The proprietary driver source is shared across OSes (Windows, Linux). Besides things like drm protection, it also contains information licensed from other vendors (things like drivers for 3rd party hardware like thermal chips and video decoders and support libraries licensed from other parties). Considering the closed source driver is >30 million lines of code, it would be a HUGE task to clean and review it for release then make sure it works after all the necessary stuff was removed or reimplemented. Having to then try and keep it synced with the latest changes would be an even bigger ongoing task.

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            • #7
              "Open Source" people were flaming ATI because they wouldn't give out the specs of their hardware so others could write drivers. Recently AMD gave out specs. Now what's the bitch? Go write the drivers you claimed you would write when you get the specs.

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              • #8
                Yawn. Nothing new, helpful, or exciting here; just a lot of spinning...

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                • #9
                  Glad Bridgeman got called on
                  Nvidia offers no support or collaboration to the open source community. In terms of open source, we’re in a totally different league to them [nvidia].
                  Sorry man, respect ya but that is total bullshit unless your specifically talking about and only drivers.

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                  • #10
                    I was specifically talking about drivers. I know that NVidia contributes in other areas, and that some of their proprietary driver bits get used in other open source projects (eg the CUDA lib for video decode which gets used by open source transcoding projects).

                    If the article had been a transcript of the actual interview, with questions and answers kept together, it would have come across with a completely different "tone" -- and if that transcript had been handed to NVidia their response would have been more along the lines of "yeah, I guess that sounds right... but our driver is still better".

                    In other words, too dull to ever see the light of day on anything other than Phoronix, B3D or similar without a major rewrite

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                    • #11
                      Besides, when you compare this article to "Australia bans A-cup boobs" or "Human beings are aliens; Celine Dion explained" I think it comes across pretty well

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                      • #12
                        Still, you have to admit, the NV guy has a point - their driver is still the best one out there.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Hoodlum View Post
                          Considering they cross licence pretty much any graphics related patents (or they simply wouldn't be able to make a card) it can't be that. Likely it is some other companies IP in the driver which they licenced and simply cannot release. This was the reason fglrx wasn't open sourced wasn't it?
                          That's what I'm getting at. AMD released documentation without revealing 3rd-party licensed stuff. I don't think anyone expects them to hand over the proprietary/patented bits, but Nvidia doesn't seem to think open specifications are viable like AMD has done? Nvidia keeps saying "our driver has IP" yet that's not even what the question was to begin with.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BlueJayofEvil View Post
                            That's what I'm getting at. AMD released documentation without revealing 3rd-party licensed stuff. I don't think anyone expects them to hand over the proprietary/patented bits, but Nvidia doesn't seem to think open specifications are viable like AMD has done? Nvidia keeps saying "our driver has IP" yet that's not even what the question was to begin with.
                            Reading the phoronix interview with nvidia I got the impression it was more "no that costs us money, time & effort" / "you aren't important enough"

                            Here's what he said:

                            Q: AMD was able to open source and/or document a lot by separating out the parts they couldn't legally disclose. Similar problems have been cited as preventing NVIDIA from open sourcing their driver (licensed 3rd parts code, etc) or documentation. Could nVidia use the same strategy?

                            A similar strategy might be technically possible for NVIDIA, but for better or worse I think it is quite unlikely. There are several reasons for this:

                            -
                            Snipped reasons for not opening the closed driver as they have already been mentioned earlier in this thread (the same reasons ATI didn't open fglrx).
                            -

                            "- Unfortunately the vast majority of our documentation is created solely for internal distribution. While at some point it may be possible to release some of this information in pubic form it would be quite a monumental effort to go through the vast amounts of internal documents and repurpose them for external consumption."

                            Source

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hoodlum View Post
                              "- Unfortunately the vast majority of our documentation is created solely for internal distribution. While at some point it may be possible to release some of this information in pubic form it would be quite a monumental effort to go through the vast amounts of internal documents and repurpose them for external consumption."

                              Source
                              Ah, I forgot that interview. Thanks for bringing it up.
                              Maybe someday they will have the power to help out like AMD has done but I guess they don't want to exhaust their resources at this time.

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