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NVIDIA's Response To Recent Nouveau Work

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Smorg View Post
    ...

    Now that is just horrible reasoning. Does anyone honestly think Nvidia is learning anything they don't already know from AMD's code? I highly doubt it. The value added to the product by virtue of FOSS drivers far outweighs any competitive advantage given. If you can build a functional driver through reverse-engineering alone, you aren't going to be giving away any secrets by just opening up the driver. Seriously... anyone who intentionally renders their hardware worthless for that reason can go sodomize themselves with a hot iron poker.
    Well said my friend!

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    • #17
      professional market

      On this very forum, a nvidia driver coder told us that they account mostly GNU/Linux on the professional market.
      Meaning that as soon as the AMD driver gets honorable results, it is very probable that a significant part of that market will start switching to AMD. And AMD GPUs have been the best for nearly 2 years and even if nvidia manages to take again the palm, it will never be significantly better to justify sticking to their GPL-violation-but-tolerated/hate-generator blob.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by birdie View Post
        It's ugly and incomplete but it does support all NVIDIA GPUs and it IS open source.
        I guess that depends on your definition of "open source". The Open Source Definition explicitly forbids obfuscated code (including e.g. only supplying preprocessor output, which some of the nv obfuscation resembles), and the GPL implicitly forbids it via its definition of "source code". To be clear, I don't think this is actually a licensing problem in practice since X clients aren't generally considered to be linking with the server, but it strains some assumptions that are typical for "open source".

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
          I guess that depends on your definition of "open source". The Open Source Definition explicitly forbids obfuscated code (including e.g. only supplying preprocessor output, which some of the nv obfuscation resembles), and the GPL implicitly forbids it via its definition of "source code". To be clear, I don't think this is actually a licensing problem in practice since X clients aren't generally considered to be linking with the server, but it strains some assumptions that are typical for "open source".
          Unfortunatly:the driver code is not protected with the GNU GPL. It's MIT/BSD-like which allows to close the code, improve it and make it work better *without* releasing that improved code (cf Darwin/MacOS). For instance the current graphic stack could be "stollen" by apple, secretely improved with hardware secrets provided by GPU manufacturers to be "better" than the stock open source driver. LLVM can suffer easily the same fate for shaders compilation (see the story of the SUN plugin into GCC...). Well there are *very* good reasons to protect code with the GNU GPL: one of them is "we" can legally go for "optimal code". With a MIT/BSD-like license, you have no way to retrieve optimal code... (well... you still can whine and expect multi-million corporations to listen to you), even with the GNU GPL it is hard and often impossible so...

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          • #20
            nVidia is a hardware company

            The nouveau drivers enhance the value of nVidia hardware, and presumably will help increase sales. As long as nouveau doesn't cause some sort of legal problems for nVidia, I'd expect them to keep their current approach.

            That hands-off approach, by the way, is probably legally the best stance they could possibly take. The moment they get involved, either helping OR hindering, they effectively accept some responsibility for nouveau, if only because in some instance they may have failed to "hinder enough" to satisfy some third party.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by sylware View Post
              Unfortunatly:the driver code is not protected with the GNU GPL. It's MIT/BSD-like which allows to close the code, improve it and make it work better *without* releasing that improved code (cf Darwin/MacOS).
              That's not really the issue, though. If something is under a non-copyleft license such as an MIT or BSD-style license, the original is still there and can be forked into an open continuation if the community is prepared to do so. Obfuscation hinders this, regardless of users nominally having the right to do it according to the license. I don't see how GPL protects against this except in the same sense that it "protects" against e.g. the Artistic license.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                That's not really the issue, though. If something is under a non-copyleft license such as an MIT or BSD-style license, the original is still there and can be forked into an open continuation if the community is prepared to do so. Obfuscation hinders this, regardless of users nominally having the right to do it according to the license. I don't see how GPL protects against this except in the same sense that it "protects" against e.g. the Artistic license.
                I just pointed out that the code is not GNU (A)(L)GPL (except for what's get distributed within the Linux kernel). It's MIT/BSD.
                I don't want to start a (MIT/BSD)/GNU GPL troll here. As far as I'm concerned, my personnal choice is to code protected by the GNU (A)(L)GPL, that I cannot do on the new graphic stack.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Smorg View Post
                  It isn't that they didn't want to open their blob, its that they can't. It contains code that AMD doesn't have the rights to release. Even if they did release it, you probably wouldn't want it. Redevelopment in order to cleanly integrate things with xorg seems to be working out nicely. AMD is being fully cooperative when it comes to hardware documentation as far as I can tell.
                  I never said AMD didn't want to open the blob, or that they were being anything but fully cooperative. Indeed, I personally think they are doing fine, but if you look around the forums here, you will find people complaining that they haven't opened up their blob, and complaining more about AMD than about nVidia! So if they are going to be damned anyway, why bother opening it at all.

                  Originally posted by Smorg View Post
                  The important difference is: AMD actually wants free software solutions for their hardware. Nvidia does not.
                  Correction: AMD believe that they stand to make more money from a free software solution for their hardware than they will from not having one. nVidia do not. They are both big corporations, their first and final commitment is to the bottom line, and what they perceive as being the best booster to it. You are a fool if you ever think otherwise.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by birdie View Post
                    NVIDIA has nv driver. It's ugly and incomplete but it does support all NVIDIA GPUs and it IS open source.
                    This is not quite the case.
                    The nv driver does not support all chipsets, in particular not the newer IGPs (GeForce 8200/8300/9300/9400). Also the driver code is obfuscated, which means hacking on it is intentionally made difficult.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by RobbieAB View Post
                      if you look around the forums here, you will find people complaining that they haven't opened up their blob, and complaining more about AMD than about nVidia! So if they are going to be damned anyway, why bother opening it at all.
                      It's certainly true that people are always going to complain, it's what we tend to do best. But I think a lot of that would go away if people were relatively happy with the OSS driver. The issue is that it doesn't yet give them support for any of the advanced features of the hardware, while the blob has issues with supporting recent releases of the graphics stack and is buggy. So people think the solution is to mix the two together, not realizing how much work that would take. Nvidia is spared much of the complaints because their driver is mostly satisfactory to users.

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