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I have both nVidia and AIT cards, and run their proprietary drivers because of other apps than the KDE/Compiz candy. Yes, I also think that I understand the benefits of open source. But, to claim that nVidia is its losing market today because they don't provide specs to open source developers needed is ignoring what the market looks like, today. We may be there one day, but it is still some way to go.
Nvidia want to make their own thing (binary propriatary drivers) so letīs do them, and letīs see how long they survife this way. At the moment they lose their market-leading in grafics cards and if they think they can ignore the free/open software movement by not releasing the specs of their cards we will see how that will work out at the mid/long term.
I have the sentence "the customer is the king" in my ears, i donīt think nvidia knows this, or they donīt agree with it. If itīs so and you want to use Linux, there are better solutions availible. If someone likes nvidias binary blobs, and donīt is really interessted in free software, and only use it because the kde theme looks better or he likes compiz or... itīs ok but for this personīs the nvidia drivers are good enough, so for them no free driver is needed. But to invest 100x the time normaly needed to make drivers just because nvidia dont want to open some specs, and reverse engineer it, I donīt get the point.
Itīs a clearer state if you let it like it is. If you want features and you didnīt understand the advantages of opensource buy a nvidia card, if you did understand the points of free software go for amd or intel.
NVIDIA proprietary drivers are actually the best Linux graphics drivers today. They have the best video acceleration (VDPAU), the best OpenGL implementation (version 3.2 with patented technologies, that open source drivers will never have and therefore will never be competitive in the gaming market), and last but not least, OpenCL and CUDA support (both have patented features). With all of that, I doubt that NVIDIA will ever care about open source drivers.
NVIDIA proprietary drivers are actually the best Linux graphics drivers today.
Except when they break, which is more than the astroturfers would like people to know. I stopped using nVidia after they backed out a fix for the compiz black window bug a day before announcing they were dropping all driver support for older cards.
The nouvou [sic] driver makes also not that much sense. Because nvidia looses itīs market share and it would be better do support that firms that work with the community instead of pushing freely nvidia with such a driver and "the better linux experince with nvidia hardware" the free software movement is now strong enough to ignore such a firm who dont like to work with us. The user gets that experince who nvidia wish to give if that feeling (closed source) driver is not right or users have problems with it (upgrading...) most people would see the guilty in this game.
It takes even the presure from Nvidia to release their specs if somebody makes with unnecessary hard work by reverse engineering a good driver for their hardware.
That statement makes no sense. You do realize that we reverse engineered the R300 and had a somewhat working 3D driver for it long before AMD released docs, right? There was much less buzz around that project than there was/is about nouveau, but we delivered. And it didn't stop AMD from releasing docs.
I can't speak to RadeonHD, but to add to what Dave Airlie and Drogoran posted, what you write about nouveau is fairly majorly untrue. Ben Skeggs (one of the lead nouveau developers, and a Red Hat employee) debunks your article here:
that's the list of bugs closed in nouveau in the last six months, and that's just Fedora reports - upstream reports and reports handled in other distros will add more.
Also I'd add an observation: when drivers make architecture changes, the news and comment sites kill them for being 'unstable' or introducing regressions (see: intel)...apparently, when drivers don't make major architecture changes but instead concentrate on fixing bugs and adding badly-needed functionality like working suspend/resume support, the news and comment sites declare them dead. Heh.
sabriah: as kano said, Windows 7 driver support is actually pretty good. I've run it on a couple of systems and it's supported all hardware (except the media keys on an Acer laptop) out of the box. It's almost as good as Linux in that regard, now.
Oh well. I had hoped for a long time that noveau would bring a free 3d for my older nvidia cards (Geforce2 and 3) but now ... well, I'm having some ATIs now which save me some power while even having more 2d and 3d capabilities. Though both are R600 based which means support is not 100% yet.
I think it's about time for radeonHD and xf86-video-ati forces to merge for the greater good. xf86-video-ati is going to support all the R600 and up anyways and in some parts they're even further. I doubt Novell would gain anything with radeonHD alone.