NVIDIA driver *taints* kernel???

Guy Fraser guy at incentre.net
Fri Jan 21 18:05:47 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-21-01 at 03:37 -0600, Gain Paolo Mureddu wrote:
> This issue (IMO) is a very delicate one (despite the taint)... simply 
> because to some people it will give them the creeps to think of having a 
> single piece of proprietary software in their systems... I'm not against 
> proprietary (if by that we understand comercial too) software on my 
> system, as long as it gets the job done. Sure I'd rather use free 
> software (free as in freedom) than proprietary. Still the Open Source 
> model is generating a shift in people's perception of how software could 
> be developed, delivered, deployed and more importantly used. In this 
> regard in particular, besides being one of the areas where Linux needs 
> more support, mainly from the manufacturers and possibly vendors to 
> broaden hardware support, consumer hardware at that, and whether we like 
> it or not, 3D graphics cards fall into this category (from low2mid 
> range) because often lower-end graphics solutions from the leading 
> companies rely on virtually the same hardware as their top notch 
> top-of-the line products counterparts (G6600/X600). The way I see it, 
> companies have two options: a) Either they provide the drivers 
> themselves (which has been the case for 3D graphics cards from nVidia 
> and ATi, heck even Matrox) or b) they provide as much information as 
> they can (without violating any treatees they could have with third 
> party technology providers... S3TC, anyone?) so the community could 
> write pure Open Sourced drivers which will obviously lack both: features 
> and performance. These two later "side-effects" may not be a problem for 
> those users to whom proprietary, closed-sourced software gives them 
> goosebumps, but may lure away from Linux users who are willing to 
> consider the system as their primary OS. I could not say for sure, but I 
> estimate that a great deal (most?) of the home desktop owners also at 
> some point do some gaming (which would justify at least support for the 
> low2medium range products), where as on corporate desktops that would 
> not be of any relevance, and full 2D power may still be required.
> Sadly, in the way our society has been modeled, mass success and 
> pedantic purity are mutually exclusive (refering to pure OSS and mass 
> addoption)... For some even the price appeal of OSS is not enough to 
> make the switch, if they're not assured that they will still be able to 
> use their computer as they are used to... It is difficult to keep 
> everyone happy... and in that regard Linux and the broad range of 
> distributions is a belssing.
> My 2¢
Well put.

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