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Re: VGA cards

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 13:48, Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, 15 Dec 2009 13:24:07 -0800, Kelly Clowers wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 12:09, Camaleón wrote:
>>>> On the contrary, ATI gives us all this: http://www.x.org/docs/AMD/ and
>>>> Intel gives us at least this: http://www.x.org/docs/intel/ But Nvidia
>>>> gives nothing at all.
>>> Still far from a perfect approach: I would not put my hand into the
>>> fire for ATI :-(
>> So what, you want AMD to hire a bunch of devs to write a complete open
>> source driver? They can't afford to do that.
> They couldn't do that... although they wanted.
> AMD has not released the full 3D specifications for their drivers, only
> *partial documentation* for some of their chipsets, so even with 100
> dedicated engineers working on ATI drivers, we still have an incomplete
> open source driver.

What? Where did you get that? 100 dedicated devs would be absurd
for any driver, and their sure aren't that many in the case of ATI. There
are a few (like 3 or 4 I think) people employed to do work on ATI drivers,
I don't know that those are their only duties. And then there are a handful
of people that do some work in their free time.

Arguably even more than docs, a shortage of developer-hours is a major
problem for all Xorg related work.

> >From AMD website [1]:
> ***
> Is complete driver source code available?
> A4:     Some of the technologies supported in our driver are protected by
> non-disclosure agreements with third parties, so we cannot legally
> release the complete source code to our driver. It is NOT open source. We
> do, however, include source code for the control panel and certain other
> public segments. We also actively assist developers in the Open Source
> community with their work, so if you absolutely require an open source
> driver for your graphics card, we can recommend using drivers from the
> DRI project, Utah-GLX project, or others.
> ***

That is simple referring to their closed source drivers. The only thing
I know of that has actually been held back is some of the MPEG
acceleration stuff, since ATI implements it by licensing patents from
MPEG-LA . AFAIK, anything else that has not been released is due
to the docs not actually existing in a coherent form, or they are still
being cleared by the legal department.

> I am not seeing here nothing but the same "arguments" provided by nvidia
> and other supposed "linux-friendly" hardware vendors out there.

I don't know that anyone has called Nvidia "Linux friendly".

>> What they have done is fantastic and really about the very best that can
>> reasonably be expected.
> Well, yes.
> But AMD could do more for its Linux users and in fact, does not :-(

Yes and no? What is this, a quantum superposition?

Kelly Clowers

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