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ATI R300 Mesa, Gallium3D Compared To Catalyst

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  • monraaf
    replied
    Originally posted by adamk View Post
    If you use code under the code's license, in the way it was intended, how can you be a leech?
    Here's the Wikipedia definition of a leech:

    In computing and specifically on the Internet, being a leech or leecher refers to the practice of benefiting, usually deliberately, from others' information or effort but not offering anything in return, or only token offerings in an attempt to avoid being called a leech. In economics this type of behavior is called "Free riding" and is associated with the Free rider problem.
    Now such behavior may be allowed by the license, the U.S. Constitution or by God, it doesn't really matter. A leech is still a leech even when it is perfectly in it's legal right to do so.

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  • yotambien
    replied
    Originally posted by Svartalf View Post
    Originally posted by yotambien
    It's not about developers, but about users (that's you). There's a reason why the licenses are either MIT or LGPL. Programs (thus users) have to use those libraries, regardless of what license those programs are written on. Or else you won't play much Q3 with the OSS drivers.
    Actually, if it's LGPLed only, it'd not impact the users at all.

    It really is more about the pool of available people willing to do the work and have the right skills to do it. It's not an easy thing doing this stuff- and at least until Gallium's done, you're going to need a developer at least a couple of cuts above average to do the work.
    There is no point to argue here. I was answering moonraf, who was wondering whether licensing the graphics stack to the GPL would attract more developers. In this case, the choice of license has less to do with the developers and more to do with the possible uses their work will have. MIT and LGPL are fine in this respect, GPL is not. Of course, maybe moonraf was referring to LGPL all the time when he wrote GPL, I don't know.

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  • adamk
    replied
    Originally posted by rohcQaH View Post
    Simply by differentiating between laws and ethics.
    How is it unethical to use code in the way it's intended to be used by the license that was chosen by the developers?

    Adam

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  • rohcQaH
    replied
    Simply by differentiating between laws and ethics.

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  • adamk
    replied
    Originally posted by monraaf View Post

    On the other hand, the more liberal license of the graphics stack has not yielded in any significant contributions from the BSD camp. And they've been leeching on Linux code for quite some time now.
    If you use code under the code's license, in the way it was intended, how can you be a leech?

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  • V!NCENT
    replied
    Don't confuse yourself with the blobs. We are talking about a shitload of "must work now!", complexity due to legacy and then changing and achanging the codebase, undecrypted processing all acros the board, coding while not even finnished [gpu], sorting out errors, zero creativity due to zero legal limitations, not something they believe in (proprietary), deadlines, win/mac/linux environment with different interfaces and meetings, etc, etc, etc...

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    If I'm not mistaken, both the FGLRX and the Nvidia driver teams number quite a few full-time developers.
    There's less on the AMD side than the NVidia side right at the moment, but the point's taken.

    I don't know if it qualifies as "lots of manpower", but it's probably far more than the number of people working on FLOSS drivers full time. And they have 15 years of accumulated optimisations and a large head start on top of that.
    No, it really doesn't qualify as a "lot of manpower" on the side of the equation we're talking about- but the cumulative years of experience on what to/not to do with this stuff does offset that some. Once you hit a certain threshold, though, they become a bit more obvious and clear with observation of what's going on when you do <X> within the driver. It took me about 6 months to start beginning to get "useful" with my client's Windows side sustaining engineering work (Doing OpenGL drivers, mind...)- at which point the contract was up and they didn't have budget to continue with me and one other contractor working for them. This was picking up the knowledge that we're discussing here and then trying to make use of it to fix busted applications.

    The same will be probably true for the Gallium driver framework once the whole thing gels and they start doing the other part of that learning curve. It'll take a bit longer than I took to get up to speed with things on my contract, mainly because they won't have full access to the knowlege base I had (One of the OpenGL ARB reps and a co-author of one of the best books on OpenGL was my boss while I was working there...) but it will come and you will start getting a few more people interested once they see it's repeatable (right now it's a lot harder work than it needs to be because you're duplicating things within each of the drivers available- which makes it difficult to optimize anything or fix a range of issues in the driverspace...).

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  • pingufunkybeat
    replied
    If I'm not mistaken, both the FGLRX and the Nvidia driver teams number quite a few full-time developers.

    I don't know if it qualifies as "lots of manpower", but it's probably far more than the number of people working on FLOSS drivers full time. And they have 15 years of accumulated optimisations and a large head start on top of that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    Well, the GPU drivers are obviously suffering from the lack of community contributions. Of course, there is significant work being done by a number of community developers, but I don't think that it's realistic to expect the GPU drivers to be written 95% by the community, like many large FLOSS projects are.
    One could say the same thing about the OS itself.

    I think that Gallium3d is a step in the right direction. It centralises lots of the technology, so it is much more reusable. It should make writing drivers easier. But I'm guessing that we'll still be dependent on the manufacturers for much of the basic infrastructure work for new GPUs.
    The basic infrastructure's amazingly similar in nature for most GPUs.

    It's going to be more in knowing where the vicious pinch-points are within the architecture of a given chip- and then avoiding them when you're feeding command streams to it. We're going to probably start seeing incremental boosts in performance with the FOSS Radeon support here in a little bit as the final pieces of Gallium seem to be gelling. This would be them removing things that bottleneck the GPU or the CPU at the worst possible times. All it takes is a 1msec stall in the pipelines to drag you to the floor in framerates on things.

    You might need the vendor's help on that part, you might not.

    The reason why open drivers lack behind the closed ones is that writing GPU drivers is not easy, and takes lots of manpower.
    I would hesitate to say "lots" of manpower, but it certainly takes more highly skilled people than are available right now- whether you're talking about AMD's fglrx or the FOSS Gallium stuff.

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by yotambien View Post
    It's not about developers, but about users (that's you). There's a reason why the licenses are either MIT or LGPL. Programs (thus users) have to use those libraries, regardless of what license those programs are written on. Or else you won't play much Q3 with the OSS drivers.
    Actually, if it's LGPLed only, it'd not impact the users at all.

    It really is more about the pool of available people willing to do the work and have the right skills to do it. It's not an easy thing doing this stuff- and at least until Gallium's done, you're going to need a developer at least a couple of cuts above average to do the work.

    Leave a comment:

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