Rant about ATI

Marek Wawrzyczny marekw1977 at yahoo.com.au
Wed Aug 9 06:18:59 PDT 2006

On Wednesday 09 August 2006 17:24, Erwin Rol wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-08-09 at 09:31 +1000, Marek Wawrzyczny wrote:
> > From the users perspective I just want things to work. I would love to
> > be able to show Linux at its best when showing it to Windows/Apple
> > desktop users.
> >
> > I could not care less where the driver comes from.
> So just use Windows, if you don't care where your drivers come from, you
> also don't care where your OS comes from.

Ok, me bad for trying to put a more light hearted spin on this 
issue. "Couldn't care less" is not the right term to use, of course I care 
where the drivers come from. 
However, saying that the choice is either Windows or open source drivers is a 
bit extreme.

> > To me, the driver is just a little (albeit an important) part of the
> > big X picture.
> I think you very much are not seeing the big Xorg picture. If there
> would only be closed drivers there would be no Xorg at all. Since how
> would the developers write Xorg if they have nothing to test it with.
> People that are using closed source drivers are like people that commit
> insurance fraud, they never think about what would happen is everybody
> would do that and they always think/say everybody else also does it.

I never said that there is no place for open source drivers either but unless 
I've missed the open source driver (other than radeon or the r300) for my 
Mobility X600 then unfortunately they don't work for me. Whether it is a good 
thing or a bad thing, I have to use Ati's driver or not use Linux at all. At 
the end of the day, I will use what works for me (and comes from a reputable 
Btw, I don't get you insurance fraud comparison. I own my hardware and use a 
driver using an documented and published ABI. I wasn't aware that the Ati 
driver violates X licensing.

> With your "i don't care" you endangering not only the future of Xorg but
> of all FOSS, since people like you are the reason FOSS drivers are not
> needed because you don't care anyway.

Why do all posts have to be taken out of context? I do care about open source 
drivers. I would love to use one. The trouble is that my hardware is still 
unsupported. So what am I to do? I don't have the know-how to 
create/modify/fix the drivers nor will the majority of users if Linux is ever 
to become more than a geek thing (note, I am being flippant here, it is 
already far more than just a tool for us geeks).
Are you saying I should just drop Linux altogether then? I mean, come on, what 
sort of attitude is that?
I do what is within my means to help advocate Linux and in order to do that, 
it helps if I can actually run the damn thing.

As for endangering the future of X and FOSS? If all current FOSS developers 
were to turn into greedy, materialistic capitalists and quit, FOSS would 
still go on because new developers would take up the challenge. A closed 
source driver poses no more threat than running FOSS on closed source 

Closed source drivers are not a threat. They simply mean that paranoid 
manufacturers can protect their IP but at least a clueless end user has a 
chance to experience FOSS.

Software patents, this is the true threat to FOSS.

Marek Wawrzyczny

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