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The "Ubuntu 8.10, Fedora in general, fglrx" thread for people who are sick of whining

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  • #11
    Originally posted by highlandsun View Post
    Unlike Microsoft, which stops distributing its old OS releases (so that they don't compete for sales with their current OS releases), nobody is stopping you from booting a circa 2001 Linux image onto your machine if you really want to test some old hardware.

    The pace of development is fast, but you don't need to keep up with it if the system you have today is working the way you want. In most aspects, my machines work the way I want. My current laptop is on Ubuntu 8.10beta, but I've only owned it for a month or two and I needed to install something new in order to get a working driver for the wifi. My old laptop still works fine on the last OpenSUSE distro I installed on it 2+ years ago, and likewise for my desktop machine from 3+ years ago.

    Don't blame your problems on the Linux development model. In my experience the Linux development pattern still solves more problems than it creates. The kernel changes because the hardware environment changes, and it takes a lot of effort to keep up. (And IMO it's only barely; slowing down the pace would make things even more unbearable if you're frequently buying new systems.) But if your hardware hasn't changed in 3 years and the system is running the way you want, there's no compelling reason to keep tweaking the software. You only need to update the software when you know that there's a problem in your current code, or there's a new feature that you want.

    Once you make the decision that you want some new feature, you have to pay the price. New = change = instability.

    And yes, AMD *does* have to release a decent driver for Linux. It doesn't have to release one with all the bells and whistles that the gaming community demands, but there's a large market of professional/HPC work running Linux on AMD hardware, and they would lose an important market if they ignored Linux completely.
    You seem to of taken the inverse of what I said and tried to give it as a counter-argument. Are you actually suggesting that old hardware should only work on old distros? So, as time passes and you keep that extra video card or whatever around -- the one that you paid money to own -- "just in case," then that "case" just happens to come along and kick you in the proverbial nads, it's your fault for updating to a distro that's actually supported now days, versus the old one, but doesn't have support for your old card? And this is all on the basis that a stable development platform with, say yearly point releases can't keep up with new hardware...

    Test old hardware? No, not testing, using old hardware. Why should I have to install an ancient, unsupported distro just to allow some hardware to work? Because the Linux development model says so. That's the only roadblock here. Let me give you an example:

    Your grandma's video card goes out and all you have is that extra Rage 128 (or whatever) laying around, and you tell her she's going to have to go back to a super-old distro that doesn't have nearly the same feature set as what she's used to, has known security vulnerabilities, and that she'll have to apply her own patches, (re)compile a bunch of stuff from source, etc. to keep using it ...that's totally her fault, not the Linux development model, right? Good luck selling that in a box at Best Buy. I can hear the screams to put her back on "that new-fangled Windows XP thing that worked fine before" already.

    Also, the driver's stability and features should come before adding support for some X-Server revision that the update-infatuated Linux users insist on using. A lot of Linux users will stick on 8.04 for a year or so yet; considering how small of a number of Linux users there are in the world, I don't think any of this really matters anyway. Did you ever stop to think that most consumers in general bought their desktop cards to play games on Windows XP/Vista, and NOT to hope to use it on a feature-lacking Linux install? Anyone who's sane will want to stick with their working Ubuntu 8.04 install that has support for more than the next year (so even if they don't want Ubuntu 9.04...). My question is merely, "Why can't my old hardware work on Ubuntu 8.04, too?" The answer is because: A) Nobody can/wants to update the old r128 FOSS driver, and B) The platform has changed so much in the last few years that the old driver can't even load anymore.

    You argue that a fast-paced development platform creates more benefits than problems, apparently the market agrees with you. Oh, wait... nevermind.

    Think I've said all I'm going to say

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    • #12
      Originally posted by downhillgames View Post
      You seem to of taken the inverse of what I said and tried to give it as a counter-argument. Are you actually suggesting that old hardware should only work on old distros?
      Of course not. I'm saying that when something doesn't work on a current disto, you still have the ability to go back to an older distro if you need it. Having a choice here is better than having no
      choice.

      Also, the driver's stability and features should come before adding support for some X-Server revision that the update-infatuated Linux users insist on using. A lot of Linux users will stick on 8.04 for a year or so yet; considering how small of a number of Linux users there are in the world, I don't think any of this really matters anyway. Did you ever stop to think that most consumers in general bought their desktop cards to play games on Windows XP/Vista, and NOT to hope to use it on a feature-lacking Linux install?
      What does that have to do with anything? You seem to have lost the point of your own thread... Any consumers who bought their systems for the purpose of running Windows obviously don't care one way or the other what Linux or any other OS does.

      Anyone who's sane will want to stick with their working Ubuntu 8.04 install that has support for more than the next year (so even if they don't want Ubuntu 9.04...). My question is merely, "Why can't my old hardware work on Ubuntu 8.04, too?" The answer is because: A) Nobody can/wants to update the old r128 FOSS driver, and B) The platform has changed so much in the last few years that the old driver can't even load anymore.

      You argue that a fast-paced development platform creates more benefits than problems, apparently the market agrees with you. Oh, wait... nevermind.

      Think I've said all I'm going to say
      The Linux development model doesn't force old drivers to break and stay broken. Anyone who wants to can pick up the old code and fix it. The fact that nobody has wanted to fix the R128 driver so far isn't the fault of the development model. If you really need it urgently, and you can't fix it yourself, you can easily hire someone to do it for you. With a closed-source platform, you can't do anything, you're just SOL.

      I still have a couple of Sony Minidisc data drives here; the last OS that Sony/Microsoft provided drivers for was Windows95. I was able to hack it to load under Windows98, but after W2K and WXP came around it was totally dead. Still, I was able to write a driver for Linux (I originally wrote it back in 1999) and I can still use these drives under Linux today. You seem to believe that Windows is perfect in always supporting old hardware, but obviously that's false. You seem to believe that the Linux development model forces old hardware to become unsupported and again, that's obviously false.

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      • #13
        Quit spamming the thread now with off-topic crap.

        @ your last post, yeah, 'cuz nobody dual-boots. And my point was that you don't have to compromise right now in XP to use old hardware, but you do in Linux. Without writing any code or doing any extra work; just install the driver and go.

        Go find another thread to misunderstand. shoo.

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