DVI output, ATI or nVidia

Lonni J Friedman netllama at gmail.com
Wed Jun 27 15:28:02 UTC 2007

On 6/27/07, Dr. Michael J. Chudobiak <mjc at avtechpulse.com> wrote:
> Lonni J Friedman wrote:
> >> OK, random example: where is the nvidia bug tracker? Pretty standard
> >> support tool for anything linux-related - the kernel, xorg, gnome, kde,
> >> openoffice...
> >
> > Its available to all of NVIDIA's customers.  If you have to ask where
> > it is, then you're not an nvidia customer.
> Hmm, I didn't order my Intel GPU direct from Intel either, but I can
> still access the driver bugzilla. I guess you finally have some evidence
> of how open source support can be better.

Different perhaps.  I don't see how that makes it better other than
listing hundreds, if not thousands of bugs that haven't been fixed,
and may never be fixed.

> > How is being forced to purchase a specific display device in order to
> > use the GPU a lower hurdle than using any display device with the GPU?
> You can plan for hardware requirements. The closed-source bugs and
> kernel incompatibilities of the binary drivers are harder to manage.

I'm sorry but I'm not following you here.  Are you stating that having
the source for the driver allows you to plan your hardware
requirements?  I find it hard to believe that any significant
percentage of people are reading the driver source in order to decide
whether they should purchase that hardware.

> > Many people are editing movies on laptops.  Just not with Intel GPUs.
> OK, agreed, they should use closed drivers and ati/nvidia hardware.

I'm not even making that argument.  I'm just saying that people are
seemingly unaware that the market segment which finds Intel's graphics
offerings sufficient is a rather small segment from a revenue
perspective.  Most people are unaware of the fact that desktop usage
is not where most companies get the bulk of their revenue, other than
by sheer volume.  Its done either by quantity or quality.  And no, i'm
not implying that Intel's drivers or hardware are low quality, just
that they are going on quantity to make money.

> > I'm saying that open sourcing a driver does not equate with support.
> > I'm sure that Intel does the best job that they can to support
> > whomever they deem as important to their business.  However,
> > pretending that just because they have open source drivers their
> > support is somehow better is delusional.
> So intel has open source drivers AND good support, and nvidia just has
> good support (well, for its direct OEM customers, at least).

Again someone is throwing around the phrase "good support" yet not
defining it.  What defines good support?

> >> In what way is the closed nvidia code and process better than being
> >> open? How does that benefit users?
> >
> > I never claimed that it was better.  I just said that its certainly no
> > worse.
> Exactly equal, perhaps :-)
> > No one here has yet to provide any concrete evidence to prove
> > otherwise.
> OK, how about the fact that kernel developers can't debug kernel<>driver
> relationship issues because the driver is closed? Hence the kernel
> bugzilla prohibition against reports from nvidia users? Does that not
> count as evidence?

Can't or won't?  I've seen many kernel backtraces from systems that
happened to have closed source drivers on them, where the backtrace
never even made a passing reference to the closed source driver and
the developers refused to look at it.  Sure, there's a chance that the
closed source driver contributed to, or even caused the problem, but
there's an even better chance that it was completely uninvolved.  This
stance seems more to do with religious zealotry than technical
limitations.  And its certainly their right to stand up for their
principles.  However, hiding behind them is something entirely

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