Open source graphic drivers - VMS

This is a discussion on Open source graphic drivers - VMS ; http://news.com.com/8301-13580_3-9772788-39.html ATI/AMD have decided to release open source drivers for their graphics cards. This, to help the Linux world which really wnats everything to be open sourced. Perhaps VMS can benefit from this since I would assume this would make ...

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  1. Open source graphic drivers

    http://news.com.com/8301-13580_3-9772788-39.html

    ATI/AMD have decided to release open source drivers for their graphics
    cards. This, to help the Linux world which really wnats everything to
    be open sourced.

    Perhaps VMS can benefit from this since I would assume this would make
    FredK's job much easier and would enable him to support more modern
    graphics cards on VMS.

  2. Re: Open source graphic drivers

    On 09/06/07 12:44, JF Mezei wrote:
    > http://news.com.com/8301-13580_3-9772788-39.html
    >
    > ATI/AMD have decided to release open source drivers for their graphics
    > cards. This, to help the Linux world which really wnats everything to
    > be open sourced.


    Discern between *want* and *accept*.

    The Linux box I'm writing this on uses the closed-source nvidia
    driver to power my FX5200 card. Certain tasks (3D being the main
    one) are uncountably faster with this driver than the closed source
    "nv" driver.

    The reason that many (most?) Linux desktop users run NVIDIA instead
    of ATI is that not only is the open-source driver slow at 3D tasks,
    but the closed-source driver has, historically, *REALLY SUCKED*.
    Buggy as an ant farm.

    The nvidia closed-source driver is actually pretty good, if a bit
    bloated.

    As to why "we" want drivers to be open-source: support and bugs.

    Every time that NVIDIA releases a new version of the driver, they
    prune out support for older cards. Soon enough, NVIDIA will drop
    support for my perfectly adequate, fully functioning video card.

    I'll be left with the choices of:
    a) software stagnation,
    b) lose 3D and movie performance by moving to the OSS driver, or
    c) buying a newer video card.


    And then there's the *BIG REASON*: the vendor might decide to pull
    the driver, or stop supporting/enhancing/fixing it. Bit rot will
    eventually make it unusable by modern software.

    > Perhaps VMS can benefit from this since I would assume this would make
    > FredK's job much easier and would enable him to support more modern
    > graphics cards on VMS.


    Depends on if they are released BSD/MIT-style or GPL/LGPL.

    --
    Ron Johnson, Jr.
    Jefferson LA USA

    Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day.
    Hit him with a fish, and he goes away for good!

  3. Re: Open source graphic drivers


    "Ron Johnson" wrote in message
    news:%lXDi.39749$Pv4.34744@newsfe19.lga...
    > On 09/06/07 12:44, JF Mezei wrote:
    >> http://news.com.com/8301-13580_3-9772788-39.html
    >>
    >> ATI/AMD have decided to release open source drivers for their graphics
    >> cards. This, to help the Linux world which really wnats everything to
    >> be open sourced.

    >
    > Discern between *want* and *accept*.
    >
    > The Linux box I'm writing this on uses the closed-source nvidia
    > driver to power my FX5200 card. Certain tasks (3D being the main
    > one) are uncountably faster with this driver than the closed source
    > "nv" driver.
    >
    > The reason that many (most?) Linux desktop users run NVIDIA instead
    > of ATI is that not only is the open-source driver slow at 3D tasks,
    > but the closed-source driver has, historically, *REALLY SUCKED*.
    > Buggy as an ant farm.
    >
    > The nvidia closed-source driver is actually pretty good, if a bit
    > bloated.
    >
    > As to why "we" want drivers to be open-source: support and bugs.
    >
    > Every time that NVIDIA releases a new version of the driver, they
    > prune out support for older cards. Soon enough, NVIDIA will drop
    > support for my perfectly adequate, fully functioning video card.
    >
    > I'll be left with the choices of:
    > a) software stagnation,
    > b) lose 3D and movie performance by moving to the OSS driver, or
    > c) buying a newer video card.
    >
    >
    > And then there's the *BIG REASON*: the vendor might decide to pull
    > the driver, or stop supporting/enhancing/fixing it. Bit rot will
    > eventually make it unusable by modern software.
    >
    >> Perhaps VMS can benefit from this since I would assume this would make
    >> FredK's job much easier and would enable him to support more modern
    >> graphics cards on VMS.

    >
    > Depends on if they are released BSD/MIT-style or GPL/LGPL.
    >


    The answer is maybe. In the past we as a company negotiated with the vendor
    to obtain source (xFree86 generally) code. The problem was that the code we
    got was not as well optimized as the closed source Windows code - so we
    spent many man years fixing and optimizing the "open" source code. Over
    time vendors have created closed source Linux versions - closed source code
    is next to impossible to get from any vendor. Some vendors won't even talk
    to you (you can guess which one) about either.

    Having them implement a seperate Open Source driver and Closed Source driver
    is only a marginal help. One thing it will help to do is extricate Linux
    (and by extension UNIX) from using BIOS emulation to initialize secondary
    cards... especially if nVidia follows suit. There is a push in the
    firmware/hardware world to eliminate the video BIOS - but to do that without
    losing Linux support means the driver needs to have the init logic like the
    closed source drivers for Windows does.

    [VMS initialized cards by hand. In the ATI case, we actually use the same
    methodology as Windows to do it]




  4. Re: Open source graphic drivers

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > http://news.com.com/8301-13580_3-9772788-39.html
    >
    > ATI/AMD have decided to release open source drivers for their graphics
    > cards. This, to help the Linux world which really wnats everything to
    > be open sourced.
    >
    > Perhaps VMS can benefit from this since I would assume this would make
    > FredK's job much easier and would enable him to support more modern
    > graphics cards on VMS.


    Since, and I believe I'm quoting Fred K. here, a graphics card has the
    (marketing) life span of the average fruit fly, open source drivers are
    not going to be that much help!


  5. Re: Open source graphic drivers

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > http://news.com.com/8301-13580_3-9772788-39.html
    >
    > ATI/AMD have decided to release open source drivers for their graphics
    > cards. This, to help the Linux world which really wnats everything to
    > be open sourced.


    I believe that they also stated they would be releasing much more
    technical information about the cards too. For the last several years
    neither Nvidia nor ATI were letting this information out, making the
    writing of graphics drivers by third parties extremely difficult. I
    think this policy hurt ATI much more than Nvidia though, in the sales
    of high end cards for Linux workstations. During this time, the
    linux drivers from Nvidia have been pretty good, while those from ATI
    have historically been, umm, "not so good". Back in the
    day, when ATI used to release technical information, that didn't matter
    so much, since one could buy a very good X11 implementation from XIG for
    ATI cards. However since ATI clammed up on its technical specs third
    party drivers went away, and that pretty much left Nvidia as the only
    game in town for high end 3D graphics cards for Linux. The quality of
    the drivers was the deciding factor to go with Nvidia the last time I
    had to buy a set of cards. I liked the ATI cards, but there was no
    reliable way to use them on Linux. (The systems in question dual
    boot XP and Linux.)

    Regards,

    David Mathog

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