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Re: What makes a production kernel?

On Sunday 25 April 2004 14:59, Tom Diehl wrote:
> On Sun, 25 Apr 2004, Eric Hattemer wrote:
> > I know the rawhide kernels are more about testing and saying, "hey,
> > would this day-old feature be cool to eventually put into production",
> > but what's the philosophy on the FC2 kernel?  Has it already been
> > decided that it will be an older version?  I haven't tried all of the
> > new kernels, but neither the nvidia nor the savage X drivers have worked
> > on any kernel I have tried since 2.6.3-1.118.  I know a lot of people
> > have said, "Blame NVIDIA.  They don't come out with a new driver every
> > week to match the way our kernels are changing", but I don't think this
> > is a reasonable stance.  The nvidia module is widely used, and I think
> It does not matter if you think it is reasonable or not. They have the
> Linux kernel source. No one outside of Nvidia has their source. How would
> you like to change the spark plugs on a car with the hood welded shut?

It does matter what he *thinks*.  His perception of Linux gets spread to all 
he comes in contact with.  You have NVidia on one side welding their the hood 
shut from the inside, then you have Red Hat on the outside welding the hood 

> > to say that FC2 doesn't support it may be a serious issue for some
> > people.  I know most people don't care about the savage driver, but I
> > wonder if a new one will ever be released.  I don't think its a good
> > idea at this time to include a default kernel that isn't backward
> > compatible in this respect to the older ones.
> Like it or not if you buy a closed piece of hardware this is what you
> get.

So he should walk away from Linux because he wants good video performance?  
There is no 3D hardware available with open source drivers that is on par 
with the closed source drivers from NVidia and ATI.

> What I fail to see is why people buy this crap from companies and then
> whine on these lists that it does not work. This is just plain stupid.
> Do you really think whining that you screwed up on these lists is going
> to change anything?? PLEASE PLEASE go whine to NVIDIA, or buy from a
> hardware vendor who is interested in supporting open source.
> Tom

Lets go one step further, the NVidia drivers are even encrypted!  Thats right, 
encrypted, they get unencrypted at run-time.  NVidia and ATI do not want to 
expose their trade secrets to the competition so they close source their 
drivers.  The driver support is horrible from both companies.  I do not 
believe that we are going to see an Open Source GPU on the level of NVidia's 
anytime soon.

Its going to take HP or IBM to get behind a product to get NVidia to jump.  
Red Hat simply doesn't care because the driver is closed source.  Even if Red 
Hat did care, they do not have the in-house expertise to resolve video 
issue's.  They would just simply pass it on to NVidia, so they tell us to go 
bug NVidia, because thats all they would do if they did support NVidia.  
Sometimes the video problems are a complex software/hardware issue and 
looking at what changed in the kernel might get the driver to compile, but it 
doesn't mean that your video card will work in video mode X with zilion 
colors, AGP 8X, and SSB on.   HP and IBM have the in-house software/hardware 
developers that can drive issue's to the bit banging transistor level.

Can you blame NVidia or ATI either for their stance?  I cannot.  What is the 
ROI on a Linux driver?  Probably not very good.  The mere volume of the 
Windows install base will drive NVidia business decisions unless you have 
someone like HP or IBM behind a product line.  The same goes for Red Hat, 
their ROI on a closed source driver would be horrid also.  How many Red Hat 
Enterprise customers need a NVidia 5900 FX Ultra for Quake III games?


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