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Discussion: Partial Open-Source GPU Drivers

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  • #16
    Originally posted by fat_chris View Post
    Agreed.

    Off-topic: I don't usually mention things like this but "I could care less" is totally wrong and it annoys the hell out of me when I see it. You're basically saying the opposite of what you wanted to because you said "could" instead of "couldn't". If you *could* care less about something, then that implies you care a great deal about the issue and you have some way to go before you don't care. If you *couldn't* care less, then you don't care at all about the issue. I don't know where people got the idea that it was "could" and not "couldn't" but I see it everywhere, usually by Americans I think (maybe it's just another American butchering of the English language?). When said aloud it doesn't really matter but when written down it just looks stupid and makes no sense, especially to people whom English isn't their first language and perhaps don't know the proper phrase.
    It's because the "n't" in Couldn't is easy to leave off or not hear in conversation. So a lot of people think it's "could", as wrong as it is.

    And yes, when I was young, I was very much confused the first time I heard someone say "I could care less".

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Joe Sixpack View Post
      I tend to be a little more pragmatic than most on issues like this. If the binary driver works perfectly then honestly, I could give a rats ass if it isn't open source. I could care less about the politics - I just want things working properly.
      +1

      If you have this opinion there isn't much more to say about this topic, but I just want to show that there is a notable percentage of people who do not care at all or that much about whether their software is FLOSS or not and just want to have their system running properly.

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      • #18
        Funny... if Software works good no one care about where it was made and with which licenses or pieces of thought.
        But if something goes wrong, even those who did not at all care before are shouting for someone to blame.
        Nothing works for eternity if there is no one who maintains it. And this is a lot harder in Linux Area if software is not FLOSS. Also, ppl. who do not care about FLOSS, do not care about their future, the future of the system they use and depend on. And this is a very dangerous idea...

        If ppl. care if FLOSS or not is not that important to the Devs. They just don't want to do syssiphos-work and being blamed for errors they can neither track nor fix.

        Comment


        • #19
          I don't have a problem with an open-source DRM getting merged that happens to be used by closed-source DDX/OpenGL drivers. However, nothing should be merged solely on the basis of "the blob needs it"; there should be some reasonably solid assurance that it's a generally useful/necessary interface that could also enable an open-source driver. Otherwise, why should kernel devs accept responsibility for maintaining the interface?

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          • #20
            If that binary blob were being executed by an IO processor on the card instead of by the main processor, then nobody would be complaining at all, even though the two scenarios are basically equivalent.

            So the open source stance is: "If the closed-source code has to be run or loaded by the main processor, then it is BAD. If the same closed-source code is on a ROM chip, then it is perfectly okay."

            There is no functional difference between a software binary blob and a hardware binary blob. Why do we insist on drawing a distinction?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by frantaylor View Post
              If that binary blob were being executed by an IO processor on the card instead of by the main processor, then nobody would be complaining at all, even though the two scenarios are basically equivalent.

              So the open source stance is: "If the closed-source code has to be run or loaded by the main processor, then it is BAD. If the same closed-source code is on a ROM chip, then it is perfectly okay."

              There is no functional difference between a software binary blob and a hardware binary blob. Why do we insist on drawing a distinction?
              The distinction is that firmware doesn't interact with userspace, DRM modules do.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Yuma View Post
                The distinction is that firmware doesn't interact with userspace, DRM modules do.
                Really? Are you sure about that? You've NEVER seen a userspace crash from faulty hardware?

                You are 100% sure that a piece of hardware is completely incapable of manipulating its open-source driver into doing something malicious?

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                • #23
                  leave my kernel alone.

                  I have to say that for the time being...I am totally against the inclusion of DRM of any kind into the main line kernel; open-source or not. This is not to say that I am anti-DRM or anti-TCP (trusted computing), I can see the benefit to the usage of such technologies. The problem I have, is the way in which the current implementations of the technology are being abused by corporations; whose only desire is to screw their customers for their own benefit. Until we have stringent consumer protection laws that clearly lay out how this technology can be implemented, their inclusion into the kernel is unacceptable.

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                  • #24
                    I think drm in this context is "Direct Rendering Manager" (ie the kernel component of the graphics stack) not "Digital Rights Management".

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by bridgman View Post
                      I think drm in this context is "Direct Rendering Manager" (ie the kernel component of the graphics stack) not "Digital Rights Management".
                      wooops... my bad
                      don't I feel silly now

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                      • #26
                        Don't feel bad. Around 2002-2003 Digital Rights Management was becoming a much bigger issue (to the point that it drove us out of supporting open source drivers), we were starting to ship proprietary Linux drivers for workstation so needed to talk about the Direct Rendering Manager a lot, and our workstation driver team had introduced a cool performance optimization called Direct Ring Manipulation.

                        Of course everyone wanted to use abbreviations in meetings, and for a while almost everything abbreviated to DRM. It was a confusing time, let me tell you
                        Last edited by bridgman; 07-22-2009, 02:16 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ge0rgy View Post
                          Funny... if Software works good no one care about where it was made and with which licenses or pieces of thought.
                          But if something goes wrong, even those who did not at all care before are shouting for someone to blame.
                          Nothing works for eternity if there is no one who maintains it. And this is a lot harder in Linux Area if software is not FLOSS. Also, ppl. who do not care about FLOSS, do not care about their future, the future of the system they use and depend on. And this is a very dangerous idea...

                          If ppl. care if FLOSS or not is not that important to the Devs. They just don't want to do syssiphos-work and being blamed for errors they can neither track nor fix.
                          Please refrain from generalizing. Don't expect every single computer user on the planet to be sensible about where a software comes from when I wonder how many know about what a computer is... This is exactly like slavery, which is still not quite over. Teaching freedom in a world like this is very hard. So don't expect people to care about software freedom and to be aware of consequences at once. It will take time, that's why we're here.

                          Software freedom is from a philosophical and ethical point of view. Not everybody is ready/able to see anything philosophical or ethical in a software at all! When we buy a car, what probably matters most is that it works without bothering us too much, right? We might even not care that much about how much CO2 or whatever gas they reject, right? I think the same goes with software for many computer users.

                          Educate first. Debate afterwards. But don't blame it on those who do not understand.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by fat_chris View Post
                            Agreed.

                            Off-topic: I don't usually mention things like this but "I could care less" is totally wrong and it annoys the hell out of me when I see it. You're basically saying the opposite of what you wanted to because you said "could" instead of "couldn't". If you *could* care less about something, then that implies you care a great deal about the issue and you have some way to go before you don't care. If you *couldn't* care less, then you don't care at all about the issue. I don't know where people got the idea that it was "could" and not "couldn't" but I see it everywhere, usually by Americans I think (maybe it's just another American butchering of the English language?). When said aloud it doesn't really matter but when written down it just looks stupid and makes no sense, especially to people whom English isn't their first language and perhaps don't know the proper phrase.
                            I like you

                            The funny part is, sometimes I think of something in my head and then type it out as I'm saying it silently in my head. That often leads to grammatical errors.

                            Off-topic: I thought fat people were supposed to be jolly?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by frantaylor View Post
                              Really? Are you sure about that? You've NEVER seen a userspace crash from faulty hardware?

                              You are 100% sure that a piece of hardware is completely incapable of manipulating its open-source driver into doing something malicious?
                              By interact with userspace I meant they present an API to userspace that can't be broken, not that they do things that can disturb userspace.

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