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VIA Appoints An Open-Source Liaison

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  • #11
    Originally posted by grege View Post
    The answer is Linux and the solution is open drivers.

    [...]

    Open up the drivers

    [...]

    Everyone wins.
    I fail to see how users of the BSDs or OpenSolaris (or Plan 9, or AROS, or Haiku...) win under this scenario.

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    • #12
      VIA already open-sourced part of graphics driver

      It would be nice if Phoronix could cover the part of the graphics driver (AGP subsystem) that VIA has already open-sourced and submitted to the Linux kernel with the help of Greg KH:

      http://lkml.org/lkml/2008/5/30/442

      Congrats to VIA, they couldn't have hired a better guy than Harald, who is one of the foremost fighters for Linux and the Free/Open Source development model.

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      • #13
        VIA needs Linux

        Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
        I fail to see how users of the BSDs or OpenSolaris (or Plan 9, or AROS, or Haiku...) win under this scenario.
        Open drivers are open to everyone.

        The BSDs use ALSA and XORG too. Once the drivers are in the tree you could build a FreeBSD box using a mini-ITX VIA motherboard, and a neat little low power green server or media centre that would make.

        I have an EeePC 900 running Debian, all drivers are open source and readily available. A VIA netbook with the new Isaiah Processor will be great, and open drivers mean that you (and the manufacturers) could use any Linux or BSD without hassle.

        I have built a VIA mini-ITX box to run Ubuntu, it was doable but the X config took a lot of mucking around and getting the mpeg processor part of the graphics chip functional was a difficult thing.

        I hope that a year from now I can install any FOSS operating system on a VIA based machine and it will just work.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by grege View Post
          Open drivers are open to everyone.
          Driver code usually makes for terrible documentation, and it's rarely very portable. in general you can't just drop a Linux driver into BSD and expect to make a couple edits and recompile (and if you even think about doing the same for Plan 9, the inhabitants of 9fans would probably arrange to have you flayed). Sometimes code is factored nicely enough that large chunks of it can be reused, but that can't be taken for granted.

          Originally posted by grege View Post
          The BSDs use ALSA
          Since when?

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          • #15
            You have to be kidding

            OK You got me BSD does not use ALSA, perhaps they should make ABSDSA. Last time I tried PC-BSD it could be made work with my VIA Envy24T sound card.

            But, back to the point.....

            If VIA release the information needed to write drivers then anyone can use it. And that was the point of my original post. They must release documentation in the same way AMD/ATI are doing. The current VIA Linux video drivers are rubbish and certainly would not be used as the basis of the new driver, it would be written from scratch or the current open driver extended.

            If all they do is release to code to their Linux driver, they will shoot themselves in the foot.

            Intel are attacking VIA's hold on the mini-ITX world with the Atom processor. Open sourcing is a very effective way of fighting back.



            Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
            Driver code usually makes for terrible documentation, and it's rarely very portable. in general you can't just drop a Linux driver into BSD and expect to make a couple edits and recompile (and if you even think about doing the same for Plan 9, the inhabitants of 9fans would probably arrange to have you flayed). Sometimes code is factored nicely enough that large chunks of it can be reused, but that can't be taken for granted.

            Since when?

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            • #16
              Originally posted by grege View Post
              If all they do is release to code to their Linux driver, they will shoot themselves in the foot.
              It looks like we're in agreement then; I (mis)read your earlier posts as advocating just open-sourcing the driver code as though it would solve everyone's problems...

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              • #17
                S3 open source drivers! We want them!

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                  I fail to see how users of the BSDs or OpenSolaris (or Plan 9, or AROS, or Haiku...) win under this scenario.
                  It becomes possible for them to get OSS driver's too

                  What's necessary:
                  Port DRM
                  Port DDX to new DRM
                  Port DRI to new DRM

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by some-guy View Post
                    It becomes possible for them to get OSS driver's too

                    What's necessary:
                    Port DRM
                    Port DDX to new DRM
                    Port DRI to new DRM
                    Operating systems don't all implement the same device models and APIs (how do you port DRM to a system without ioctl?), and VIA makes a heck of a lot more than graphics cores.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                      Operating systems don't all implement the same device models and APIs (how do you port DRM to a system without ioctl?), and VIA makes a heck of a lot more than graphics cores.
                      I didn't say it becomes easy, just more possible

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