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NVIDIA Drops Their Open-Source Driver, Refers Users To VESA

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  • #46
    Originally posted by KDesk View Post
    Nvidia are liars! You can not trust such a company.
    Interesting. What did they lie about exactly and how damaging are those lies. nVidia customers need to know!

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    • #47
      There are a lot of reasons, specially if you live outside USA.
      Wow, that post suffers from a serious case of TL: DR.

      I hope you understand the concept of rhetorical questions, my friend. I didn't mean to ask what the point of Linux as a desktop was (speaking as a fervent user and supporter of desktop Linux myself, after all). Rather, I attempted to ask 'deanjo' why he chose to use an arbitrary FOSS distribution, made from GNU and Linux software, as the optimal system for his needs, especially given that he was so reliant on commercial, proprietary software.

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      • #48
        Oh, and I don't live in the US!

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        • #49
          Originally posted by mugginz View Post
          Interesting. What did they lie about exactly and how damaging are those lies. nVidia customers need to know!
          They said some time ago that they will continue to add basic support to xf86-video-nv driver, and now this...

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          • #50
            Originally posted by KDesk View Post
            They said some time ago that they will continue to add basic support to xf86-video-nv driver, and now this...
            Didn't they add some support lately?

            In fact, yes they did. See: "Finally, NVIDIA ION Support In xf86-video-nv"



            I don't think they ever said it would be kept around for eva. I might add though, why would anyone run an nVidia card of any description with the open source driver? If you wanted an open driver and specifically refused to run a blob then up until Nouveau hits maturity an ATI card would be a much better bet. I don't know why anyone would be arguing for nv to be maintained. If nVidia intended to develop it into a useful driver long term then you might have a case but the feature set provided by the driver has always been a "just enough to display something" solution. It's largely only ever been good enough for getting to the nVidia site to download the blob.

            Again, look at how many people actually use the nv driver. You're asking nVidia to waste money and resources keeping it up to date for no valid reason. Even when it comes to ATI cards you have people calling for the elimination of either the open or closed driver so that they can concentrate on just one or the other. Bottom line. Anyone using the nv open driver with an nVidia GTX 295 will still likely get a better experience from a 2 years old on-board graphics solution from Intel. nVidia have done the right thing in my view. Nouveau is they way forward for nVidia open drivers even though nVidia themselves aren't producing it and they have also stated openly they will not stand in the way of the Nouveau development.

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            • #51
              I have been running Linux on my desktop for 17 years now, because I want a free software desktop created by the people for the people. If I was willing to be beholden to corporations telling me what I can do (like upgrade to X.org or Kernel version whatever), through use of their proprietary software, drivers, plugins, or codecs, I would have just switched to Apple years ago, and been much happier for it. It saddens me greatly how few people running GNU/Linux have any ideology behind their choice.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by hubick View Post
                I have been running Linux on my desktop for 17 years now, because I want a free software desktop created by the people for the people. If I was willing to be beholden to corporations telling me what I can do (like upgrade to X.org or Kernel version whatever), through use of their proprietary software, drivers, plugins, or codecs, I would have just switched to Apple years ago, and been much happier for it. It saddens me greatly how few people running GNU/Linux have any ideology behind their choice.
                nVidia's drivers aren't doing much dictating with respect to what version of x.org or the kernel you must run. The only reason the blob is palatable to many is that it's performance is so awesome from a feature set, speed and reliability perspective.

                There isn't much a can guarantee in life but one thing for sure is certain. Without the current feature set provided by both fglrx and the nVidia blob you wouldn't have seen the adoption rate of Linux that we now have. Intel do a very good job for where an integrated solution is sufficient but for those who need the speed of a discreet card the blobs are the only viable solution at the moment. I wish it wasn't so but ignoring reality is going to get people nowhere and nowhere fast.

                Some Linux users don't recognise the benefits that come from having a critical mass of users. Where there are a sufficient amount of users you will get more people interested in developing for those users whether from commercial or community interests. Take 75% of Linux users away from what are currently using it as a desktop environment and it'd be interesting to see what ramifications that'd have with respect to developer interest.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                  Maybe you should look at their foundations then and what they have done with their fortunes.
                  Can't speak for Woz, but something tells me his foundation (assuming he has one) is a tad more ethical about its investments than the B&M Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation does more damage through its investments for profit than it could ever possibly hope to do with its charity. Here's some reading material for anyone who thinks otherwise.

                  Five days after the original LA Times piece, there was another story about the Gates Foundation and how, in light of bad press, they were considering actually having some ETHICS. Then two days later, sorry but no, The Gates Foundation decided it would just carry on exactly as it has been.

                  Originally posted by "Gates Foundation to keep its investment approach" - LA Times, 2007
                  It would be naive, Stonesifer said in a letter published today on the editorial page of the Los Angeles Times, "to think that changing the foundation's investment policy could stop the human suffering blamed on the practices of companies in which it invests billions of dollars.
                  I'd love to read about The Gates Foundation actually reversing this policy, but somehow I think that would be naive of me to expect.

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                  • #54
                    Almost forgot: the NV driver was always total crap. Obfuscated source? Even when all it does is modesetting? Talk about a stupid waste of everyone's time. Sounds about as useful as --- wait for it --- the VESA driver!

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                    • #55
                      On-Topic:
                      The nv-driver is no longer required anyway. The problem is not Nvidia moving away from an obsolete piece of software, but from pulling back from Open Source entirely, without any form of replacement. Also, it sends the opposite type of signal to what people have long waited to see: Nvidia does not open up more towards Open Source, but closes up against it completely.
                      That kind of action is of cleaving nature, it's effect resonates way farther than just the particular driver in question. For instance, due to this, I am even less inclined to ever consider cg-shaders over OpenGL fragment programs. It simply doesn't look like they would ever get more free software friendly than they currently are.
                      Also, it moves me more towards ATI, too, which might lead me to embrace ATI either sooner or more intensively once their driver-situation gets equivalent on the wine gaming front.

                      Off-Topic:

                      I advocate free software whenever possible. However, I do understand that in the capitalistic world we live in, it is harder to base business off free software than it is to sell some chunk of 'ol bytes. This results in that proprietary software will always be around, and sometimes there simply is no open source substitution available. It is then free software that benefits from interweaving with proprietary chunks, because this positively affects distribution. Free software is a part of freedom, which is always in a defensive stance (even when defending offensively), because, unfortunately, it never ceases being under attack. Freedom is weak, it is fragile and is always in need of help.
                      It is all well and good if it can be strengthened by working together with proprietary software, as long as one understands where to draw the line (see the question about when Linux is still Linux (particularly an issue at the moment with the new emerging "Linux powered" mobile devices)).
                      As a gamer, I myself am using proprietary software. When producers of such software release for Linux, to me, this is a victory, even if I myself hold no interest in the particular piece of software released.
                      Yes, it could have been open source, but only in theory. Almost certainly, if they would have had to open source their software, they would never even have considered a release. It is not about forcing, but about convincing people about free software.
                      Forcing Nvidia to open source their drivers would lead to them discontinuing their Linux-support.

                      On a note to the people that mentioned something along the lines of Linux being inferior of the desktop: Linux is an inferior and superior desktop-system at the same time. To make it more friendly for those that weigh the inferior parts more just requires extra work.
                      Yes, Nvidia and ATI both dropping their proprietary drivers in favor of developing open source counterparts would help, too. (especially with lacking support for new concepts like RandR 1.3 and companies that don't like to dispatch resources to solve the issue, for instance)

                      Originally posted by deanjo View Post
                      Maybe you should look at their foundations then and what they have done with their fortunes.
                      Suffer from the lack of the fulfillment of basic needs or live in a freedom-ridden world? Well, looked at it that way, I guess Torvalds and Stallman may have done less.
                      Note: Now, before people point at it: Yes, I do know that any comparison between those two kinds of commitment is purely opinion-based; and, yes, I do not really compare either of them, as my own opinion is concerned, they are not comparable. But, I felt like it should be pointed at, and I am not sorry for having done it in a rather stingy way.

                      Originally posted by dfx. View Post
                      and if you want to get all juicy bits from F/OSS community and crack it with some proprietary binary on all system layers - you are not a progmatic with "effective system", you are hypocrite with personalized cracked up system clinged up by nails and shivel
                      For someone to be hypocrite by doing this they had to shun either the use of proprietary or free software. Whoever does not cannot be possibly hypocrite by using either of them.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by synthil View Post
                        Rather, I attempted to ask 'deanjo' why he chose to use an arbitrary FOSS distribution, made from GNU and Linux software, as the optimal system for his needs, especially given that he was so reliant on commercial, proprietary software.
                        Because "it just works". No need to look any deeper then that because there is no deeper meaning.

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                        • #57
                          So Fermi requires the 3D engine even for 2D tasks and grafting that onto
                          the xf86-video-nv driver is a waste of resources. I certainly agree.
                          This has nothing to do with them hating open source.

                          And after seeing the Tegra2 documentation I'm pretty sure it would take
                          an insane amount of time to put together necessary information to enable Xorg devs
                          to write a complete driver for Fermi.
                          (the Tegra2 docs are woefully incomplete and vague. Sometimes a dump of
                          the relevant Verilog would have been more helpful than their list of register and bit names).

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Aziroshin View Post
                            On-Topic:
                            The nv-driver is no longer required anyway.
                            I agree. This is quite clear. The nv driver fills no real world role and so should be discontinued.

                            Originally posted by Aziroshin View Post
                            The problem is not Nvidia moving away from an obsolete piece of software, but from pulling back from Open Source entirely, without any form of replacement.
                            Well I understand that it feels that they're pulling away from open source but nVidia were never really big as far as open source is concerned anyway. If anyone were to put themselves in nVidia's shoes where they have a finite amount of resources to expend on Linux drivers, and the role filled by the nv driver is now being filled in a much better way by Nouveau, I think any reasonable person would make the same choice as nVidia made.

                            Originally posted by Aziroshin View Post
                            Also, it sends the opposite type of signal to what people have long waited to see: Nvidia does not open up more towards Open Source, but closes up against it completely.
                            The legal and other practical issues that surround a decision by any hardware vendor to provide details for the open source community to implement a driver for their hardware have been discussed quite a bit. AMD have shown it's possible to at least go some of the way to help the community. But to look at some of the real world issues surrounding the matter for a moment. Even AMD are restricted in what information they can provide. This lack of full disclosure compromises the quality of the open driver somewhat. While we live in this world with its patent law and such, not to mention the willingness of people to profit off the intellectual property of others at the drop of a hat, a company has to be pragmatic as to how open it can be and at the same time protect their market position.

                            nVidia have taken a certain position relating to the way an open driver can compromise their I.P. and for a while ATI were also of this mind set. Now AMD have opened up a bit at the same time providing resources to the FOSS community and should be commended for that. It's partially why my next graphics card will almost certainly be an ATI card after having used nVidia cards with Linux now for about 8 years. But lets remember that AMD aren't completely open. People want to call nVidia all sorts of names because of their stance on how open they are but when put to the test most of what is said is simply complete rubbish spouted by spoiled brats who don't have to deal with the consequences of the decisions that both AMD and nVidia need to make.

                            It's quite O.K. to praise AMD for their current level of openness but it doesn't follow that nVidia deserve to be chastised for their position at the same time. nVidia provide the premier graphics experience for Linux based desktops at the moment. They have for a long time. This may be starting to change however and with each new release of fglrx we get closer and closer to the full enchilada from AMD, but still only with the closed fglrx driver. It will likely be quite a while before open source 3D compares to closed 3D. I don't like it, many others don't as well but that's the reality of the situation.

                            Many zealots assert that we can and should all be happy with what the open drivers currently provide. When they do this they ignore all sorts of requirements that users may have and demonstrate their own personal arrogance and ignorance.

                            Originally posted by Aziroshin View Post
                            That kind of action is of cleaving nature, it's effect resonates way farther than just the particular driver in question. For instance, due to this, I am even less inclined to ever consider cg-shaders over OpenGL fragment programs. It simply doesn't look like they would ever get more free software friendly than they currently are.

                            Also, it moves me more towards ATI, too, which might lead me to embrace ATI either sooner or more intensively once their driver-situation gets equivalent on the wine gaming front.

                            Off-Topic:

                            I advocate free software whenever possible. However, I do understand that in the capitalistic world we live in, it is harder to base business off free software than it is to sell some chunk of 'ol bytes. This results in that proprietary software will always be around, and sometimes there simply is no open source substitution available. It is then free software that benefits from interweaving with proprietary chunks, because this positively affects distribution. Free software is a part of freedom, which is always in a defensive stance (even when defending offensively), because, unfortunately, it never ceases being under attack. Freedom is weak, it is fragile and is always in need of help. .....SNIP.....
                            I also advocate free and open wherever it is practicable. Unfortunately that's not possible with everything. Some like to spout just how exclusively open source they are while still using closed hardware. They demonstrate their hypocrisy by doing so. If there is enough demand for open everything then people will develop solutions to fill that market need. Where there aren't open solutions closed ones sometimes need to be adapted into the free environment creating a mixed solution. At the moment this is the best we can hope for until the freedom is everything brigade are willing to open up their wallets to get people to provide the completely open solutions that they cry out for.

                            This rant isn't directed specifically at you Aziroshin, but to the issues related to the points you brought up and to others who want to argue for things to be a certain way without being prepared to weigh up the real world ramifications of what they call for.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by synthil View Post
                              Then use their software. What's the point of using Linux, a clearly inferior solution to proprietary ones such as Windows 7 and Mac OS X?
                              There are points like security, many distros aren't resource hogs like proprietary systems, usability - nothing better then Linux package management (at least for me), powerful and feature rich environments, reliability and probably more. If good desktop means for you good 3D then good for you (however, you can use binary blobs with excellent 3D on Linux, but usually with rather poor 2D), but for many people good 3D or accelerated flash player isn't so important.

                              If I wanted the best desktop experience (and indeed the best 3D experience), then I'd migrate to Apple software.
                              I love Linux too and guess what? I have different opinion. The best 3D experience gives me so far KDE4 + its apps + open source Radeon driver.

                              If I wanted the best 3D gaming experience, then I'd migrate to Windows. But I don't.
                              I want the best gaming experience and I keep Windows next to Linux, but games are the only things why it still consumes some part of my hard drive.

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                              • #60
                                Again, kraftman, rhetoric! Linux is obviously the best solution for us, but commercial and global community feeling is definitely opposed to it.

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