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Radeon Driver Enables Full 2D Acceleration For HD 7000

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
    Again, free software does not have to be free, but anyway...
    Care to elaborate? I don't quite follow.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by bug77 View Post
      I'm a programmer. Should I start writing unusable software and give it away for free so I can make a living solely based on support? Because, you know, I'm quite embarrassed for holding the mankind back.
      Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
      Again, free software does not have to be free, but anyway...
      Written on the quite usable R600g drivers.
      Originally posted by Rexilion View Post
      Care to elaborate? I don't quite follow.
      There is multitude of free licenses. The true ones adhering to hacktivism are the copyleft ones. Like GPL.

      One should always watch for the reason the software is developed, because its the primary motivation behind any action and license is only a legal expression of this. If the author has made up his mind and can market the free software in correct way, he will earn just the same amount of income as with proprietary license, but the results will develop faster and will never risk dying under corporate dust.

      First, there are concepts where the software is written purely for demonstration or enjoyment purposes. Aka "student software". Regardless of license its very likely not to be used anywhere, the author will abandon any support or functionality improvements the day he decides. Its a "walking dead software". Still, using free license is arguably better here, because his work might be picked up and pushed forward. But never a promise here.

      Only exception to this is writing a patch for demonstration/out of joy - the author just needs certain functionality for himself, so he writes a patch, maybe submits it upstream and is done. But because its only a customization to existing stack, it does not possess the negative instability of the whole and he works essentially for results that he consumes himself.

      Then there are more-less professional goals. Lets take the top versions of both proprietary and free software - those written for money.
      p1) The software is written with either great bank debt or prepayment (kickstarter). The subject of sells is the code, this is why the author absolutely needs to sell multiple copies of that - regardless of content. If author has not miscalculated his abilities, took time and did honest work, and if he is lucky enough to impress the investors, and if he is lucky enough to impress the reviewers, and he makes it just long enough till software gets understood by the public - 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 & 6, then he can earn a TINY bit of his each sold copy.
      By the way - no one mentions any support here. No one mentions that software should be bug free. No one mentions absence of DRM. Thats in the package anyway. So? Writing proprietary software is easy eh?

      p2) When someone is not sure enough (or never sure enough in his life), he can apply to work as "one of the many". He will be monthly paid, expected to implement certain amount of work, and will receive a tiny fraction of income back. Like a sheep in stock. This is arguably current situation in gaming market, when indies and deceivers are excluded. No risk, no gain.

      f1) The software is written either as a service to someone paying, or the author advertises features with strict payment amounts - while not denying any external help (for what ever reason necessary). The author can also charge for the functionality, till his costs are covered and then provide the segment as open. Open license makes it possible for many to take part in development process and for subject to progress fast - correct management provided. The author makes a living by selling his abilities as a professional. If the work is not meeting expected quality standards, the project will not survive. No one will pay for crap. In free version - the crap is seen when its mile away. The chance of fraud is substantially lower. The ability to directly control the developer is much higher. The amount of non-creating positions is also substantially lower.

      ) This is something that many know. The core version is provided as free. Anyone is free to improve it. The advanced functionality, or working version costs and is proprietary. The developers are missused to code for free. And the money is made by a small group. The open version is unusable. The closed version is just as proprietary as it gets. Welcome to opencore. Opencore is neither free nor proprietary.
      The major difference with free software is that the controlling party makes sure open version is crippled.

      So, like I said, work for money or from personal interest, publish changes under GPL without any "contribution agreements" that allow copyright transfer - so they are not stolen from you and from community and used as a fuel for proprietary software, and you are good.

      And if you do crap, regardless under which license, you will recieve crap. You get what you put.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by edsdead View Post
        Have you tried to use the proprietary Catalyst (Crapitalist?) drivers with Linux? It's a constant pain in the rear. X gets updated, but Catalyst no longer works with X. So you try to install some new application and it needs some updated X functionality. One of two things happens. Either a new version of X gets installed, and lo and behold X is broken. Or you simply cannot upgrade. But let's set aside the many technical problems with proprietary drivers for a moment.

        Proprietary software is ethically wrong. It's holding back the progress of mankind. Think about how much faster technology progresses when software is done out in the open.

        Also, it is naive to think that proprietary software is about gettings things for free. Programmers get paid to write free software. People buy hardware that is supported by free software. And companies sell support for free software. Free in this context is about freedom, not about price.

        -ed.
        I'm a developer and I love open source software, but this idea that open source software progresses faster than closed source is just silly. If this were true then the original topic(HD 7000 2D accel) wouldn't have made the news in December of 2012. Can open source software progress faster than closed source? Sure, but such an oversimplified claim is borderline ridiculous.

        There are many examples of proprietary software that pushed innovation and/or usability: UNIX, Photoshop, etc.

        In the case of Photoshop, the open source world has had plenty of time to catch up and make software that is far better than Photoshop, assuming open source does indeed progress faster. IMO, GIMP is the closest and it does a good job of being an open source alternative but GIMP it isn't exactly pushing the boundaries. Now, don't get me wrong. I personally use GIMP and would never buy Photoshop but I'm also able to see past my own use cases and realize not everyone is the same.

        This is of course ignoring the fact that if you take financial incentive away from programmers then there will be many less programmers writing software than there is today(including those that write open source software). Yes, programmers do get paid to write free software but they are far outnumbered by the folks that write proprietary software. Yes, companies sell support for free software but again this is a very small market in the grand scheme. Many(most?) open source developers have a day job involving proprietary software.


        Why is selling support for a free open source program ethically better than selling a proprietary program with support?

        And why does almost every conversation on this site end up in a open source vs proprietary software argument?

        ---------------

        Has anyone tried these new patches for HD7000 that can tell us more about their experience with them?

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by bug77 View Post
          I'm a programmer. Should I start writing unusable software
          You dont sound like a very good programmer.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by dalingrin View Post
            Why is selling support for a free open source program ethically better than selling a proprietary program with support?
            Because open software stops wasted effort reinventing the wheel every time someone has an idea of how to do something better. And everyone benefits, the new company that makes the improvements has the benefit of the existing code base and the previous contributors have the option of incorporating the new changes if they so choose. The result is better software for everyone, the Linux kernel is the most successful example of this type of collaboration. Multiple company's contributing to one single code base for use in many different applications.
            Mesa was neglected for years which is why the OpenGL support is lagging so much. But with increased activity in recent years and multiple orginisations working together they are building one codebase they can all share and improve without any single company having to waste time reinventing the wheel. This is how they can support development of new drivers with less developers, leaving more money to employ developers to invent all kinds of new innovations rather than wasting effort on what's already been done by someone else. This equals high quality software with less wasted effort that anyone/any company can improve/reuse/use hence benefiting mankind, hence more ethical.

            Originally posted by dalingrin View Post
            And why does almost every conversation on this site end up in a open source vs proprietary software argument?
            Because especially on a forum that's based around news on open source software it boggles the mind that people here still don't get the benefits.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by dalingrin View Post
              I'm a developer and I love open source software, but this idea that open source software progresses faster than closed source is just silly. If this were true then the original topic(HD 7000 2D accel) wouldn't have made the news in December of 2012. Can open source software progress faster than closed source? Sure, but such an oversimplified claim is borderline ridiculous.

              There are many examples of proprietary software that pushed innovation and/or usability: UNIX, Photoshop, etc.

              In the case of Photoshop, the open source world has had plenty of time to catch up and make software that is far better than Photoshop, assuming open source does indeed progress faster. IMO, GIMP is the closest and it does a good job of being an open source alternative but GIMP it isn't exactly pushing the boundaries. Now, don't get me wrong. I personally use GIMP and would never buy Photoshop but I'm also able to see past my own use cases and realize not everyone is the same.

              This is of course ignoring the fact that if you take financial incentive away from programmers then there will be many less programmers writing software than there is today(including those that write open source software). Yes, programmers do get paid to write free software but they are far outnumbered by the folks that write proprietary software. Yes, companies sell support for free software but again this is a very small market in the grand scheme. Many(most?) open source developers have a day job involving proprietary software.


              Why is selling support for a free open source program ethically better than selling a proprietary program with support?

              And why does almost every conversation on this site end up in a open source vs proprietary software argument?

              ---------------

              Has anyone tried these new patches for HD7000 that can tell us more about their experience with them?
              Just to be clear: Photoshop has dozens of (probably poorly paid) Indian developers and a huge budget behind it,
              while I can probably count the number of GIMP contributors on my right hand.
              I believe Open Source progresses faster, given the same resources as proprietary software.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by dalingrin View Post
                In the case of Photoshop, the open source world has had plenty of time to catch up and make software that is far better than Photoshop, assuming open source does indeed progress faster.
                Well, like with professional audio software you probably need very experienced people to implement most stuff efficiently. I think for quite some features you need at least a M.Sc level of education/book reading for even understanding the theory/math behind it.

                Comment


                • #53
                  further thoughts

                  Originally posted by dalingrin View Post
                  I'm a developer and I love open source software, but this idea that open source software progresses faster than closed source is just silly. If this were true then the original topic(HD 7000 2D accel) wouldn't have made the news in December of 2012. Can open source software progress faster than closed source? Sure, but such an oversimplified claim is borderline ridiculous.

                  <omitted>

                  There are many examples of proprietary software that pushed innovation and/or usability: UNIX, Photoshop, etc.

                  <omitted>

                  This is of course ignoring the fact that if you take financial incentive away from programmers then there will be many less programmers writing software than there is today(including those that write open source software). Yes, programmers do get paid to write free software but they are far outnumbered by the folks that write proprietary software. Yes, companies sell support for free software but again this is a very small market in the grand scheme. Many(most?) open source developers have a day job involving proprietary software.

                  <omitted>
                  This hardly seems to be a fair comparison. If ATI/AMD were a bit more open about their proprietary hardware, then the free software drivers could progress more rapidly. The free software drivers seem to be hamstrung by internal ATI/AMD review processes about what will be made public vs. what will be kept secret. This is why I question ATI/AMD's committment to free software.

                  UNIX is a bad example for "proprietary" software that "pushed innovation." AT&T shared source code freely with the BSD project and others in the early years. Moreover, many of the key innovations in UNIX, such as Berkeley sockets and TCP/IP, were developed at Berkeley, not AT&T. In fact, it was 4.3 BSD that pushed AT&T to write System V in order to compete with the BSD system!

                  While it does seem likely that there are more people paid to write proprietary software than free software, it also seems likely that an increasing number of people are being paid to write free software. The uptick in the number of funding sites for free software projects supports this notion. These sites are demonstrating that people are willing and able to pay developers for features in free software.

                  -ed.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by edsdead View Post
                    This hardly seems to be a fair comparison. If ATI/AMD were a bit more open about their proprietary hardware, then the free software drivers could progress more rapidly. The free software drivers seem to be hamstrung by internal ATI/AMD review processes about what will be made public vs. what will be kept secret. This is why I question ATI/AMD's committment to free software.
                    That's not entirely fair. Some stuff does take longer to release than others, but it basically comes down to manpower and community interest. The frequency with which we can release code/information depends directly on how busy we are. Also there usually aren't nice programming guides ready for release so we have to either write code to take advantage of the new feature, or write programming information for the community, both of which take time. We generally try and push out enough working code and documentation so that that community can run with it if they want to implement features before we get to it. There are a number of areas where the information has been available for a while, but no one has done anything with it until recently or not at all (MSAA, HiZ, geometry/hull/domain shaders, programmable interpolation, hardware bits for additional GL extensions, etc.). There are also areas where things could be improved that have a major impact that have nothing to do with hardware information (improving the driver memory manager, adding more common OpenGL/OpenCL infrastructure, improving EXA/glamor, etc.).

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by agd5f View Post
                      That's not entirely fair. Some stuff does take longer to release than others, but it basically comes down to manpower and community interest. The frequency with which we can release code/information depends directly on how busy we are. Also there usually aren't nice programming guides ready for release so we have to either write code to take advantage of the new feature, or write programming information for the community, both of which take time. We generally try and push out enough working code and documentation so that that community can run with it if they want to implement features before we get to it. There are a number of areas where the information has been available for a while, but no one has done anything with it until recently or not at all (MSAA, HiZ, geometry/hull/domain shaders, programmable interpolation, hardware bits for additional GL extensions, etc.). There are also areas where things could be improved that have a major impact that have nothing to do with hardware information (improving the driver memory manager, adding more common OpenGL/OpenCL infrastructure, improving EXA/glamor, etc.).
                      Maybe I'm the only one but I think this GPU book might also help a lot to attract new developers (new to GPU driver development).

                      http://cgit.freedesktop.org/~marcheu/lgd/

                      Unfortunately progress seems to be more or less stalled. :/

                      PS. I say "attract new developers" because it feels like you (AMD representatives) are not that happy with the amount of community contributions.
                      Last edited by entropy; 01-03-2013, 10:19 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by entropy View Post
                        PS. I say "attract new developers" because it feels like you (AMD representatives) are not that happy with the amount of community contributions.
                        Don't think we are saying that *we* are not happy. There is actually a fair amount of community development activity happening, but it isn't necessarily in the same areas where users have the most interest. If you look at compute, for example, there are a number of active community developers and some of their work crosses over into graphics (compiler fixes, for example).
                        Last edited by bridgman; 01-03-2013, 11:14 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                          The idea was that this would be a community-developed driver with a bit of help from AMD, so if you are not happy with the rate of progress, then it's probably fair to say that *you* are not happy with the amount of community contributions.
                          I understand this, but I also think that most people would be extremely happy with the driver, if the power management and UVD parts which have apparently been written by AMD programmers, were released. These are the main gripes with the open drivers, and also the things where the community can't help much, or their contributions would be already obsoleted by already existing (but yet unreleased due to technical review) code. Correct me if I'm wrong.

                          In terms of adding GL functionality and optimisations, I think that the community is doing a really good job already. It's just that some people don't realise how difficult a task this is for all of Mesa, and how much has already been achieved.

                          I feel that the work AMD is doing -- concentrating on CL support and new hardware enablement -- is the right thing to do. If only the PM (and perhaps UVD) were finally fixed, it would be a mean driver!

                          I appreciate all the work the AMD OSS team is doing, so keep it up.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                            Don't think we are saying that *we* are not happy. There is actually a fair amount of community development activity happening, but it isn't necessarily in the same areas where users have the most interest. If you look at compute, for example, there are a number of active community developers and some of their work crosses over into graphics (compiler fixes, for example).

                            The idea was that this would be a community-developed driver with a bit of help from AMD, so if you are not happy with the rate of progress, then it's probably fair to say that *you* are not happy with the amount of community contributions.
                            That's why I said *feels*.
                            If it's not the case - that's much appreciated - because I guess it might have a negative impact on your open-source strategy.

                            Well, indeed, I'm not happy with the progress concerning this book/document.
                            But I didn't intend to point at those people coming up with the great idea and now have other priorities.
                            It's IMHO just unfortunate that it seems stalled.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
                              I understand this, but I also think that most people would be extremely happy with the driver, if the power management and UVD parts which have apparently been written by AMD programmers, were released. These are the main gripes with the open drivers, and also the things where the community can't help much, or their contributions would be already obsoleted by already existing (but yet unreleased due to technical review) code. Correct me if I'm wrong.

                              In terms of adding GL functionality and optimisations, I think that the community is doing a really good job already. It's just that some people don't realise how difficult a task this is for all of Mesa, and how much has already been achieved.

                              I feel that the work AMD is doing -- concentrating on CL support and new hardware enablement -- is the right thing to do. If only the PM (and perhaps UVD) were finally fixed, it would be a mean driver!

                              I appreciate all the work the AMD OSS team is doing, so keep it up.
                              Agree on UVD, and partially agree on PM (community could have done more but I understand why it didn't seem like a good use of limited time), but the discussion was about HD7xxx general support not PM/UVD and I think we're well past the point where AMD-supplied info is the primary gating factor for HD7xxx.

                              We did explicitly exclude UVD at the start of the program, but also said we would work on finding ways to release some support and we are continuing to make progress on that. I really wish people would stop trivializing the situation though... the fact we started writing code internally doesn't mean that is the code we can release, but the process can't really even *start* until we have working code internally.

                              PM is a bit of a different story, in the sense that everyone is having to wait for "perfect" (which we knew would be time-consuming and uncertain) simply because "good enough" (improved driver-based PM) didn't come along a year or two ago like we expected. We are pushing ahead with what we hope will be a pretty capable PM solution, but that was never meant to be "the next step" since we knew it would probably take a long time. I did expect PM to play out differently, but I guess that's water under the bridge now.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                                I really wish people would stop trivializing the situation though... the fact we started writing code internally doesn't mean that is the code we can release, but the process can't really even *start* until we have working code internally.
                                I wasn't trying to trivialise, I was just going by the information available to me, and it is understandable that I don't have deep understanding of AMD's internal processes, especially ones dealing with technical and legal review

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