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NVIDIA's Response To Recent Nouveau Work

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  • Xavier
    replied
    Originally posted by cl333r View Post
    If nouveau becomes as good as nvidia's binary driver then Nvidia should be very happy about it because Nvidia's only goal is to sell hardware, they keep developing a driver only because without a good driver their hardware would be mostly worthless / much less competitive.
    What will most likely happen is that the Nouveau driver will be slightly less good than the binary driver (after all NVIDIA has spent lots of manpower on this), but it will be good enough for nearly everyone to use it for Compiz and everyday stuff. So most people will stop installing binary drivers, which means less bugreports so a lesser quality as time will go. Later NVIDIA will be asked by its big clients to support Nouveau, and that's where they won't be so happy, because they'll have to opensource their advanced techniques in order to do so.

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  • birdie
    replied
    Exactly as I told a few days ago

    Originally posted by Smorg View Post
    The important difference is: AMD actually wants free software solutions for their hardware. Nvidia does not.
    NVIDIA has nv driver. It's ugly and incomplete but it does support all NVIDIA GPUs and it IS open source. So, let's be frank, NVIDIA just has a lot of third-party luggage in their drivers they'd rather not open.

    An, please, don't forget that the world changes and people too. Maybe NVIDIA's just trying to muster its courage to make the first step.
    Last edited by birdie; 12-15-2009, 05:23 AM.

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  • Smorg
    replied
    I want to say Nvidia must be insane. The reason this seams like a reasonable course of action is because of the way Andy described the architecture of the proprietary driver. With the vast majority of the codebase being shared between platforms, it stands to reason that they can't simply open-source it for similar reasons AMD couldn't simply re-license their fglrx driver under the GPL.

    That sucks for Nvidia, but I suppose they don't really have an alternative unless they tried documenting the hardware and releasing it to open-source developers.

    Personally, I'll be buying AMD/ATI from now on. I'm already getting decent initial 3D support on my 4870 with the very first DRI release in 2.6.32 to support it. Its only a matter of time before the quality of the completely free radeon driver blows Nvidia's proprietary driver out of the water. After that happens it will be really hard for desktop users to justify buying Nvidia.

    I really don't want to support a company that intentionally distances themselves from those trying to provide free-as-in-freedom support for their hardware.

    I don't see nVidia caring that much what nouveau get up to with their cards, and given the grief AMD/ATI have received for "Not opening the blob" since they delivered specs, I wouldn't blame nVidia for not openly helping any FOSS driver. After all, damned if they do, damned if they don't, why waste time and resources doing only to be damned anyway.
    It isn't that they didn't want to open their blob, its that they can't. It contains code that AMD doesn't have the rights to release. Even if they did release it, you probably wouldn't want it. Redevelopment in order to cleanly integrate things with xorg seems to be working out nicely. AMD is being fully cooperative when it comes to hardware documentation as far as I can tell.

    The important difference is: AMD actually wants free software solutions for their hardware. Nvidia does not.

    Originally posted by cl33r
    (1) cause they don't want to share their software solutions with their competitors
    Now that is just horrible reasoning. Does anyone honestly think Nvidia is learning anything they don't already know from AMD's code? I highly doubt it. The value added to the product by virtue of FOSS drivers far outweighs any competitive advantage given. If you can build a functional driver through reverse-engineering alone, you aren't going to be giving away any secrets by just opening up the driver. Seriously... anyone who intentionally renders their hardware worthless for that reason can go sodomize themselves with a hot iron poker.
    Last edited by Smorg; 12-15-2009, 01:57 AM.

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  • RobbieAB
    replied
    Not wishing to voice the really cynical suggestion, but what if nVidia ARE infringing someones patent? If they even suspect that is the case, the code is staying closed.

    I don't see nVidia caring that much what nouveau get up to with their cards, and given the grief AMD/ATI have recieved for "Not opening the blob" since they delivered specs, I wouldn't blame nVidia for not openly helping any FOSS driver. Afterall, damned if they do, damned if they don't, why waste time and resources doing only to be damned anyway.

    In the PR stakes we Linux lovers really don't know how to play the game...

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  • Svartalf
    replied
    Originally posted by cl333r View Post
    "Rarely" is still too much. Getting sued only once still can cost millions of dollars. So imho it's still a good reason to keep the source closed.
    Actually, a troll will sue you if you remotely look like that you're infringing on their "patent". Seriously. Source code or technical docs will not make it any real easier for them to figure out to sue you over something.

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  • cl333r
    replied
    "Rarely" is still too much. Getting sued only once still can cost millions of dollars. So imho it's still a good reason to keep the source closed.

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  • deanjo
    replied
    Originally posted by cl333r View Post
    the patent trolls/companies can't sue Nvidia cause they can't look up their patents in Nvidia's source code.
    Rarely does a patent troll rely on source code to look for patent infringement.

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  • cl333r
    replied
    If nouveau becomes as good as nvidia's binary driver then Nvidia should be very happy about it because Nvidia's only goal is to sell hardware, they keep developing a driver only because without a good driver their hardware would be mostly worthless / much less competitive.
    But they can't open source their driver and hand it over to the community (1) cause they don't want to share their software solutions with their competitors and (2) because if it uses somewhere patented stuff (even inadvertently for there are thousands of patents all over) the patent trolls/companies can't sue Nvidia cause they can't look up their patents in Nvidia's source code.
    So a really qualitative nouveau driver should be a relief for Nvidia and they could transfer the lots of folks working on its drivers to work on actually further improving its hardware (which Nvidia is all about) and leave the software development to the folks in the open source world and only help them when help is due.

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  • dashcloud
    replied
    Do you think they'll ever drop any cards from the nv driver (possibly because the nouveau driver is better on those cards than the nv driver?), or things will stay as they are for the foreseeable future?

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  • Louise
    replied
    Originally posted by MostAwesomeDude View Post
    hehe. Either nVidia do what you say, or you have a good hang on things

    In case of the first, could you ask then to open source it?

    In case of the second, what do you think nVidia's "fell of ownership" is for the microcode?

    Could there be innovative things going on in there, so they don't want AMD to learn from them?

    Or is microcode so specific to the card, and non related to performance, that they wouldn't care if it got distributed?

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