X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
Posted Aug 15, 2006 4:20 UTC (Tue) by drag
In reply to: X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
Parent article: X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
""You may think that "best tool for the job" people are sacrificing their ideals, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather that the scientists and doctors who are using high-end hardware requiring proprietary drivers be able to do their work than allow people to die in order to hold up their ideals over something and completely irrelevant to peoples' lives as software.""
How many Linux users using Nvidia binary drivers are doing it because they are doctors and require high end 3d graphics?
How many people need these graphics? How many people are going to loose their jobs or loved ones or anything like that becuase they suddenly uninstall flglx or they sudden go a buy a ralink card and get rid of their atheros one?
Probably the answer is: 'not very many at all'.
Think about it. How many of us NEED nvidia.ko on our machines? I know I am better off once I got rid of that crap.
But going around and saying "oh I wish I don't need binary drivers" is something else entirely. The answer is _You_probably_don't_.
"Average users aren't in much better of a position in many cases, either. The vast majority of my friends don't use any software other than games (and the OS the games run on). Proprietary, closed-source games. For these people, the whole reason for owning a computer is to play these games. They don't need or want the source."
Then why on earth would they ever want to run Linux?!
Windows provides better performance. Better compatability and probably better stability. It's simply a much much better tool for playing propriatory video games. There is no contest.
It's never going to happen that propriatory game companies will ever support Linux properly. Becuase if Free software becomes popular it will probably put them out of business.
I am not saying that it's morally superior to be pro-free software or anti-free software. I am saying there is a pratical choice.
What we have now is this sort of bizzare middle ground that doesn't realy work. A bog with unsteady footing.
Every distro supports closed source drivers. Even Debian. I can install module-assistant and go m-a a-i nvidia && apt-get install nvidia-glx and it will probably work. But they don't 'officially' support it. So it leaves users in Limbo. They get broken kernels with broken drivers and nothing ever works out of the box and nothing ever is effortless. Hear about a security update? You can't use it because now you can't play Doom3. If those drivers are officially supported they you would be able to get the latest kernel update and still be able to play Doom3.
If the drivers are denied completely by Ubuntu/Debian/FC/et al then people who want Free software drivers will be able to easily find out what is supported and will get the best quality free software drivers they can get.
Right now we have a huge number of people with half-working hardware bitching about FLGX drivers and NDISWrapper BS and how the kernel needs a stable ABI and this and that when perfectly good drivers for their hardware exist for their R200/R300/R400 ATI video cards and their Broadcom wifi and their TI wifi and they don't know it because the Ubuntu forums are full of howtos on getting craptastic ndis stuff running and how ATI sucks.
Anyways. For games there are lots of nice Free ones.
If your friends like going out and spending 400 dollars on a PC + 200 dollars on a video card + 100 dollars on Windows + 100 dollars on assorted windows BS in order to get it usable + 70 dollars for a video game worth about 4 hours of gameplay only to find out that previously installed game broke their dvd drivers with it's copy protection then that's their problem.
They'll learn that fancy != good, eventually. :-)
And I sincerly doubt that FSF is going to be any good at game making. Other people are working on that.
For instance Tremulous. It's a great game, but it doesn't have any players because everybody is busy with struggling to get Cedega or Wine to barely work.
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