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Re: nvidia and FC2



Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:

You're avoiding the issue. NVIDIA has already stated why they can't make
the drivers free software: they have third party licensed software that
they didn't do themselves.


OK, that's part of the issue, but in reality the NVidia driver contains a number of patented technologies that can't even be legally implemented in an open source driver. S3TC comes to mind; please read:

http://dri.sourceforge.net/cgi-bin/moin.cgi/S3TC

ATI's open source driver does *NOT* implement S3TC, making it useless for most modern 3D games. Gamers who play UT2003 on Linux know all too well that the binary NVidia stuff is really the only way they can go.

As such, you really can't blame NVidia for not building an open source driver. If they did, they'd be immediately sued by patent-holding corporations like S3 and Microsoft. So the way I see it, you have three options:

   * Use the 2D-only open source "nv" driver...which, contrary to what
     has been said on this forum, is actually quite well-developed
   * Buy a card from ATI or another vendor, and use open source drivers
     to achieve limited 3D rendering capabilities (maybe you can play
     older games or run demonstrations).
   * Use the NVidia drivers on an NVidia card, and have 3D capabilities
     equal to those of, say, NVidia hardware running under DirectX on
     Windows.

I understand the frustration of seeing a company leverage an open source OS to provide a proprietary solution (especially for something like a device driver), but I really think this is an area where the company has no choice. They have chosen to invest time and money in an OS with marginal popularity. They didn't have to--there are very few Linux games that take advantage of their hardware right now--but they *did*, and I think it shows a lot of foresight on their part. The could have easily ignored Linux, since in the gaming industry it really does have almost zero market share.

Just for the record, I use the "nv" driver, since I don't do 3D under Linux very often (card's not good enough for most games these days), and I hate having to rebuild the NVidia driver each time I upgrade the kernel.

Jeremy



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