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Thread: Ryan Gordon Criticizes Open-Source Drivers Again

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ean5533 View Post
    I don't know enough about the topic to make a bulletproof argument either way, but my gut tells me that static bundling is a bad path to start walking down.
    But since the distributed software is proprietary and recompiling against different versions of the libraries is not possible there is no other way to make it run on an old ubunto and at the same time on a new arch without having to install a crapload of legacy dependencies on Arch.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    Why not provide a .tar.* like firefox nightlies?
    Installation process: Extract them with your favourite archive tool.
    Running it: Double click on the binary.
    don't know the technicalities behind this -and i am not a computer hacker- but what we need is something that will be able to work both on a website and through a "software store/app". (ie click a "link" on the web and get the store/app handle it for you).

    and this needs to work on all distros and be central (in the sense of one way to install at least for the average user) and be able to handle commercial stuff experimental stuff and many more.

    influential people high on the community must push towards that direction.

  3. #13
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    From what I can tell, Ryan is a person that deeply loves linux and open source, but is also incredibly pragmatic. His hybrid binary format got shot down by the zealots, which is unfortunate. I for one would love to see more people like him in positions of power, instead of people that argue whether the man-pages are free http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/2006-03-15 . Here is a guy that can actually improve an experience for users.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXY View Post
    But since the distributed software is proprietary and recompiling against different versions of the libraries is not possible there is no other way to make it run on an old ubunto and at the same time on a new arch without having to install a crapload of legacy dependencies on Arch.
    I don't deal with closed source software on Linux very often, so I've never had to think about it. However, I can immediately say that bundling libraries would get very ugly very quickly, because you don't know when to stop. That is, you don't know when you can assume a certain library will definitely be installed.

    Let's say you write an app that uses cairo. If you bundle libcairo2, you also have to make a decision about whether to bundle each of its dependencies or to assume that they exist on the system. Here are all of libcairo2's dependencies. And each of them have their own dependencies. How do you make the decision about which ones you need to bundle and which ones you can assume will already exist?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garytr24 View Post
    From what I can tell, Ryan is a person that deeply loves linux and open source, but is also incredibly pragmatic. His hybrid binary format got shot down by the zealots, which is unfortunate. I for one would love to see more people like him in positions of power, instead of people that argue whether the man-pages are free http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/2006-03-15 . Here is a guy that can actually improve an experience for users.
    Well, it may sound strange, but arguing for things like that is important. It's because of holding onto open principles in all cases that got GNU/Linux to where it is today. The thing is....linux isn't windows. It's not meant to be. If you want linux, but then want it to happen all like windows, then what's the point? So sticking to your guns in the larger and smaller cases is very important, including to the end experience for the user.
    Also, I'm not 100% familiar with the deal around why the hybrid format was rejected, but I suspect it's mostly: what's good for games is nice and all, but the entire system shouldn't revolve around that. I'll repeat however: I'm not 100% familiar with that situation!

  6. #16
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    I've said it time and again, let the distributions handle it. They know their own systems best. The problem isn't the package format. I'm on Gentoo, I can extract an .rpm or .deb if I want, Portage can even do that for me if required, but that alone doesn't mean the thing is going to work. I've sometimes wondered why some distros don't try harder to package commercial software. Gentoo seems to have more than most. "But how can the package manager download commercial software?" people moan. Surely it wouldn't be hard to provide a mechanism where the user can interactively point the package manager to some manually downloaded archive. That's how Portage does it and it works well. Maybe distribution developers can't afford to buy all these games? A valid point, except maybe in the case of the Humble Bundle. But it would surely be worth studios distributing a small handful of free copies to developers of the most popular distributions, especially if it saves them from having to do all the leg work themselves.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewi View Post
    I've said it time and again, let the distributions handle it. They know their own systems best.
    That sounds like a silly way to handle the problem. Now a commercial software vendor is tied to a package maintainer for each and every distribution they want to support. Not only that, but the vendor is also now living by the package maintainer's schedule. The vendor can no longer provide release dates; the package maintainer sets the release date. The vendor can no longer push out timely updates; the package maintainer has to approve each update. And let's not forget that many distributions might simply refuse to package the vendor's software for any number of reasons.

    There are way too many downsides to this idea.

  8. #18
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    We need a unified packaging system.

    Also the file system isn't very cooperative.

    (You could use environment variables for solving this.)

    What we need is a unified packaging process/format.

    I do consider things like freedom as in 'are the man pages free' important.
    In the sense of when you make something, get everything done!
    Not just something that compiles without errors and has barely been tested or something.

    It's really sad that the drivers are causing so much problems.
    Maybe there should be a warning about the drivers not yet being feature complete and bug free?

    The idea that the distributions should be boss over the software provided reminds me of apple's draconian app store rules.
    Again somebody is being placed in charge of somebody else's work and literally has to review all software in the world.

    I would like to see distributions that let software be installed from any place but use their warehouse to implement sophisticated rating systems that test and warns me before installing.
    Rating systems could check the software for it's validity(crc for the file, works for both binary and source package), if the sources can be trusted (by testing it and adding it to a white-list), present warnings for known problems (blacklist for malware and viruses and other lists for software with problems).

    Chewi, what you propose is close to what is being done now and is a source of problems.
    Your expectations are completely unrealistic. How do you expect all game companies to give free copies to all relevant distro's.
    They should pay someone to track and list all information for all distro's. This cannot possibly work reliable.

    As in the package manager downloading from on-line sources. That's how repositories work. And ubuntu has ppa's.

    You're right about the distributions know their own stuff best but everyone doing something unique causes problems.
    As an application developer I should ask all hundreds of distro's to include my application in their repository of trusted sources.
    Furthermore I would have to test everything on all of them. Because the number of distributions IS LITERALLY hundreds it's crazy.
    There is the LSB = Linux Standard Base for this. Any application only needing the stuff in LSB should work on all LSB compliant distro's.
    There are testing tools for distributions.

    There should be more activity in these area's instead of the current 'look at me, this new gimmick in my environment/distro that asks for all applications to be rewritten is totally awesome!' attitude.
    I'm looking at, this is only one example of the many things there could be used, stuff like Unity. It really sucks. There should be done something about this. In this example a specification for an applications presentational stuff e.g. icons, menu name, 'jump lists' and other menu/graphical building blocks so that new stuff like unity can use these building blocks.
    Last edited by plonoma; 08-08-2011 at 11:15 AM.

  9. #19
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    Okay but there's nothing stopping them from doing their own thing as well if they feel the need. Gentoo, at least, will package commercial software whether the vendor cares about it or not. Might as well try and work with the distros that are willing, especially if the end result is more likely to work.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirv View Post
    It's because of holding onto open principles in all cases that got GNU/Linux to where it is today.
    Which is... where? 1% of the desktop? Not much to brag about on the linux side, frankly. And it's been 20 years. Look what Microsoft did with 20 years. Ok we have a successful platform with Android, but I don't know how "open" Android can really claim to be. And ok, linux is successful in the server realm, but most of that success can be attributed to what amounts to a super-cheap variant of UNIX, detached from expensive hardware.

    Linux brings very few competitive advantages in the operating system world which is why, in general, it hasn't been embraced.

    It's pretty much been the religious-like zealotry that has kept linux back and stuck in the "hobby OS" territory... which, if you think about it, is really where a lot of those religious types wish it to be. Which is fine. But then you can't complain about proprietary video drivers and lack of software and no games for linux. If they want to keep their clutches on it and not open it up to a general user base, then don't expect developers and publishers to support the platform.

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