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Quotes of the week

[T]he time taken to do a community graphics driver for any GPU where specs have been available approaches infinity, unless the vendor actually does the driver or pays someone to do the driver the hope of a community supported driver reaching maturity while the product is still available is slim.
-- Dave Airlie

So yes, if a user reports a bug that's attributable to a single bit memory error that's otherwise unreproduced and unexplained, it's totally reasonable to chalk it up to cosmic rays until some sort of pattern of reports emerges.
-- Matt Mackall
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Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 1, 2007 17:43 UTC (Thu) by jmorris42 (guest, #2203) [Link]

> the hope of a community supported driver reaching maturity while the product is still available is slim.

Dunno about that, lets look at the current situation:

Intel kinda sorta supports X development so their current stuff is supported.

Nvidia don't do jack, none of their stuff is supported today, but progress seems to be picking up steam and rolling faster than they are bringing out new hardware. So five years out we might see drivers for shipping hardware but probably not the newest stuff.

But look at ATI. Lots of shipping hardware able to be driven with Free drivers. Everything up through the Radeon 9250 has a stable, if underperforming driver. Up through the X850 can supposedly run GL well enough to use the new 3D desktop eyecandy. And that is by reverse engineering, imagine what could be accomplished with a datasheet or two to work from.

Of course that is the theory, personally I have never had success with an ATI card and the Free driver, my systems have had random lockups until I either disable GL or install the closed driver.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 1, 2007 18:24 UTC (Thu) by grouch (guest, #27289) [Link]

Of course that is the theory, personally I have never had success with an ATI card and the Free driver, my systems have had random lockups until I either disable GL or install the closed driver.

My experience has been the opposite, so far -- I had random lockups with closed drivers and have had none with free drivers. Currently running an ATI Radeon 9250 with the free driver. FPS reported by glxgears is nothing spectacular, but I gladly accept less overkill for more stability.

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 1, 2007 23:29 UTC (Thu) by airlied (subscriber, #9104) [Link]

You might have noted I'm the ATI maintainer and we've never had major unfunded work apart from the R300 3D driver and by the time it became stable the r500 chips were on sale, maybe you can still buy cards the r300 supports you can still buy 9250 but trying getting one in a new machine....

I should clarify I meant available == buyable in a new machine without resorting to ebay..

When I said community supported I meant in the sense that the company drops specs and someone not funded by the GPU company writes the driver, I suppose you could count the original radeon drivers as community funded, but once the money that was being used to write them disappeared the maintainers didn't hang around for too long...

Quotes of the week

Posted Feb 8, 2007 20:42 UTC (Thu) by anton (subscriber, #25547) [Link]

Thank you for the r300 driver. Because of that my Radeon 9600 card
does 3D now with Debian Etch out of the box (ah, not quite, I had to
switch to a 2.6.19.2 stock kernel first). I also recently bought an
X550 and an X850XT (and a friend of mine an X800GTO and two X850XTs),
which all work nicely in 3D thanks to the R300 driver, and really out
of the box on Debian Etch.

The X800GTO came in a box that was bought new without resorting to
Ebay (but it was built to requirements).

In any case, you are mostly right about the new-machine issue, but
still, ATI earned some money from your work (and their releasing R200
data contributed to that; BTW, the R200 driver made me buy a 9250,
another sale for ATI).

But yes, they would certainly have more incentive to release the
information if the resulting drivers got out to us users quicker.


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