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Guess what? Yet another disgruntled Fedora+ATI Customer

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  • #31
    Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
    Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex (currently in alpha4) is set to be released on October 30th and most likely will use Xserver 1.5 (the latest post feature-freeze alpha uses 1.5RC). I don't know if Xorg 7.4/Xserver 1.5 will be declared stable by that time (who know up to this point), but I guess AMD/ATI will be "forced" to support the most popular distro out there.
    Well, just try to view the problem from ATI's side: If they had prepared support for Xorg 7.4/XServer 1.5 at the release of Fedora they would've implemented the whole DRI 2 infrastructure in there driver, which would have been a great move but would've NOW been totally useless as DRI2 has been droppend from Xorg 7.4.
    The problem which lies here is that there's absolutely no use in supporting "GIT-quality" software (as a company like AMD) because it could change way too heavy and render the whole implementation in a driver useless and require a complete rewrite. This is just a waste of resources and money (and from what I have heard, money is something which AMD is constantly loosing these months).

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    • #32
      I'll read the other responses later, first I want to address this from Fedora-user to Fedora-user, ktxs.

      Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
      I'll write the conclusion first and try to explain it later: If you're a die-hard Fedora fan (as I am) and you like using 3D on Linux, stay as far away as possible from ATI latest products. Now the explanation.
      This used to be true for Linux in general a few years ago, but doesn't seems to be the case any more, except for Fedora... With fglrx, that is.

      Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
      ...
      But, I'm a (proud) Fedora user and apparently, and it seems that's a bit of a sin for ATI (the Fedora part, not the proud part). Here's why:

      * The closed source drivers won't work on Xserver 1.5. The only solution for this is downgrading the Xserver (which beats the whole point of using Fedora), or install Ubuntu or another supported distro. No thanks, I support innovation (and so should ATI).
      Actually, Fedora broke its own rule with this one (see full explanation bellow). First Fedora used to be comprised of the latest stable code for most of its packages, being some packages (nothing at base level, mind you) those which were experimental or pre-release code. Fedora 9 is the first Fedora release to include pre-release code for key infrastructural components (I don't count ALSA as a critical infrastructural package, but Fedora has been shipping with -rc alsa packages for some time now). As such, they broke the project broke their own rule of having the latest stable code, alienating themselves in the process (see bellow why this was actually a good thing!). AMD/ATi don't publicly support XServer 1.5 because it is still at pre-release state, which means they'll have to make many changes as the code matures into the final release... A support nightmare. And you're talking specifically of their closed drivers, Fedora is a distribution comprised entirely of FLOSS, which means they do not have to (and don't actually) think about supporting these blobs.

      Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
      * The free software drivers that supposedly support the chipset can only give the bare minimum of functionality (using the latest from the git repo), no 2D acceleration, no 3D acceleration. Just a glorified VESA driver.
      Yes. The drivers are not fully functional... yet. Not for R200 and up, for that matter. AMD has only recently begun to release documentation for their products and while it has been slowly progressing, I'm sure that support will eventually arrive. Just not yet. I'm confident that we'll even get same-day open drivers support eventually for ATi products, maybe within the next two years or so... but that's IMO.

      Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
      When Fedora 9 was released, I had my old card (an NVIDIA 8600GT), and it only took a few days for NVIDIA to release a barely working driver first, and a fully functional one a little later. That's support. But, I won't go back to NVIDIA 'cause I don't want to support the close-driver model any more.
      You won't support closed drivers, and yet you complain about ATi not supporting XServer 1.5 with their binary blob? As I said above, maybe ATi is waiting for the code to stabilize enough before publicly supporting it.

      Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
      All I can do now is learn my lesson the hard way.
      As have we all, even ATi (which at last supports Linux and the Open Source community as they should with a proprietary and open offering!)

      Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
      So the moral of the story is: If you're a Fedora user, don't buy the latest products from ATI, if you don't mind closed-source drivers, buy NVIDIA.
      As much as I support FLOSS and Fedora in particular, I have to agree with you. Currently nVIDIA needs to face more serious competition in the *nix workstation and desktop fronts, and in particular in the open drivers front.

      XServer 1.5 in Fedora 9, why it was a Good Thing?

      First of all, I'm not fully aware about actual dates here, BUT back when a key Red Hat employee was appointed XServer Release Manager, Fedora 9 was still in its testing phase, and early XServer 1.5 was included in the distribution. I'm sure the intention was to try and get XServer 1.5 enough testing during this period so that it could be released with Fedora 9 or shortly after... Alas, this never happened. However two good things did happen:
      1. XServer got more testing and the code got more mature by the greater exposure that including it with a release version of Fedora had. This doesn't mean that it is going to be released soon, but at least meant that the hiatus surrounding XServer 1.5 stopped, and development was continued.
      2. It is also true that many users have opted to downgrade their Xorg versions so that they can make use of the closed blobs from ATi and nVidia with Sulphur. However there seems to be quite a bit of users using the distribution as it was intended in the first place.


      All in all, the inclusion of XServer 1.5 in Fedora 9 gave the opportunity for testing the code with a wider number of users, many of which, though using a "technical" distributions, may not necessarily be "technically inclined", and more importantly, it has enabled further development on the software and helped bringing it closer to release.

      Since Fedora's principles are to construct the distribution entirely off FLOSS code, without any consideration to proprietary binary drivers also meant that by including this critical infrastructural piece of software many users were either "forced" to downgrade Xorg, switch distributions, linger on F8 longer, or (for the better) use the open drivers.

      I'm one of the lucky ones in the last group, as the radeonhd driver available for Fedora 9 supports (even with initial and slow DRI support) my RS690 based Radeon X1200 in my laptop. I can't do much gaming with this GPU anyway, so currently I'm quite happy with it (and I'm happy to have compositing and AIGLX with XV [No Compiz, but Metacity's composer, though])

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      • #33
        Originally posted by energyman View Post
        And I still would like to know how do you handle several jdk/jre in fedora and switch on the fly.
        You use alternatives (that's the name of the command, just so you know)

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Thetargos View Post
          You won't support closed drivers, and yet you complain about ATi not supporting XServer 1.5 with their binary blob? As I said above, maybe ATi is waiting for the code to stabilize enough before publicly supporting it.
          Hmmm...maybe I didn't expressed myself correctly. I support the COMPANIES that adhere to the open-source (free/libre actually) drivers, but since in this case the open-source divers provide only the most basic functionality, I had to use the closed-source ones.

          Thanks for your answer. It was very informative and it convinced me that perhaps the best way to go right now is install Fedora 8 on my desktop.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by m4rgin4l View Post
            Thanks for your answer. It was very informative and it convinced me that perhaps the best way to go right now is install Fedora 8 on my desktop.
            If it's just about the Xorg version and not about lacking support for your graphics card in general, then just downgrading Xorg would probably be the easier way, since you already have installed Fedora 9. Worked for me, and I haven't had a single problem where components of F9 would have complained about the lower Xorg version. Descriptions how to do the downgrade are available and easy to follow.

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            • #36
              The key thing about xorg7.4/xserver1.5 being included with Fedora 9 is that it was SUPPOSED to be released LONG ago.

              Check this page: http://www.x.org/wiki/Releases?actio...t=XorgReleases -- says that 7.4/1.5 was intended to be released back in MAY. F9 was released in May. Now here we are 3 months later and still no 7.4/1.5. It was xorg that dropped the ball on this one, not Fedora, and not AMD.

              The good news is that what we have is stable enough to actually use, as well as the points made by Thetargos above.

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