Opinion: NVIDIA drivers are a BAD Thing [tm]

alan alan at clueserver.org
Tue May 18 19:05:56 UTC 2004

The problem with this argument is that both sides have merit.

Unfortunatly if you want to use hardware accelerated OpenGL you are pretty 
much stuck with closed source drivers.

Yes, this is a "Bad Thing(tm)".

Until a vendor that makes a fast 3d video card decides to open source 
drivers, we are pretty much stuck with the situation.  (Unless someone 
wants to reverse engineer the chipset.)

I don't see it happening soon.

I have a friend who does hardware design.  He gave me one of the few 
explinations of why it is hard to get open source drivers for hardware 
that makes any sense.

According to him, in order to make anything useful in hardware you wind-up 
stepping on at least 40 or so patents.

If your driver is open source, it is fairly cheap for them to show that 
you are "infringing".

If the driver is closed source, it costs them a fair amount of money to 
prove "infrigement".

In one case, the reason that the card manufacturer will not release specs 
is because their macrovision protection could be overridden and they don't 
want to fight the dmca battles it would involve.  (Even though the flag 
for turning it off in that card is one bit.)

With the current patent system and CYA legal climate, I don't see much 
changing soon.

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