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Re: OT: nVidia driver [was: Wish list]

On Thu, June 9, 2005 6:26 am, Bryan J. Smith said:

> But you're talking about picking an arbitrary library/SDK for a purpose
> where the API may radically differ between the open source and the
> proprietary source versions.
> nVidia is _already_supporting_ OpenGL on X11 (GLX).  That's the whole
> reason many of us had to adopt nVidia in the first place!  Because it
> was the only damn viable hardware solution for Linux!  @-ppp

Your choice of past tense is very appropriate.  Lets move on to what we
should be promoting for people today.

> People aren't picking "nVidia-only" application.  They are picking
> nVidia to run those _open_standard_ applications on nVidia hardware for
> now.  They are _not_ tying themselves into nVidia-only applications.
> I think that's the point I keep seeing people miss.  And why the whole
> "open" v. "proprietary" can be demonized to make anyone's argument stick
> to whatever ideal they want.
> Me?  I'm more interested in using Freedomware where it's viable, and
> sticking with Standardware that still mitigates risk when it doesn't.

Those are your priorities and you're entitled to them.   But this is a
list for the development of open source software so perhaps you can
understand why some of us have a different set of priorities.

There's nothing wrong with nVidia hardware, the problem is when zealots
start running around telling everyone to use binary drivers, which is just
bad advice.

> And I'll be the first to 100% agree.
> I don't recommend people use nVidia drivers.


> But I really hate seeing _both_sides_ go at it with *0* understanding
> and all sorts of _unrelated_ "open" non-sense.  Like talking about
> proprietary libraries, when we're talking just hardware and drivers that
> does _open_standard_ GLX!
> If I choose nVidia's hardware to run my GLX applications, then I'm _not_
> tying myself to nVidia.  I'm only tying myself to GLX applications!

Actually you are tied to nVidia.  Every time a significant kernel change
comes out you have to rely on them to produce a new driver for you.   If
they tire of that exercise you are SOL or you'll have to go buy a
different piece of hardware.   Why not just start out by buying a
different piece of hardware that _is_ supported by open source and reduce
the risk?

> It's not about nVidia.  It's about realizing that what nVidia is sell is
> _not_ a "proprietary" solution that only works with "proprietary"
> applications.  It is GLX, and it is an open standard.

Sure, and there are open source solutions that accomplish the same thing. 
 While nVidia may still enjoy a slight edge in performance and features
there are _very few_ situations that actually demand the extra capacity
provided.   So, if you want all the advantages provided by open source
software the best choice is to avoid any solution like the one you're
still promoting.

> It's like chastizing someone who uses Macromedia Standardware
> applications to produce 100% W3C standards-compliant sites instead of
> Freedomware applications.  You may choose not to use Macromedia, but
> many of us are very aware of the risks involved, but we have mitigated
> those risks by sticking with a vendor who releases software that
> supports open standards, or only using that software in those modes.

No, that's a false analogy.  There are _real_ risks when running binary
only modules in kernel-mode.   Those same risks don't come into play with
binary only user applications.   That's a big difference.   Not to mention
there is a very real risk of you losing support for your beloved hardware.
 Again, a problem that doesn't exist in your analogy.

> If there _was_ a Freedomware solution that offered a similar, _viable_
> capability, we would.  But don't lump us into the same category as
> someone who blindly uses Frontpage.  Which is what I meant about the who
> "there are only 2 absolutes" non-sense.

Sorry, you are in that category if you fail to recognize that the vast
majority of the time there are perfectly viable fully open source
solutions.   That's fine if you want to pursue them yourself, just don't
come here and recommend the practice for others, it's bad advice.

> To me, it's not about some ideology, although that does come into play.
> It's about balancing feasibility against risk.

Supporting open source as a preferred platform is no more ideological than
the arguments you're putting forth.  Again, there are perfectly viable
fully open source solutions today for the vast majority of uses.  There is
nothing wrong with people promoting them over binary only solutions. 


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