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Discussion: Partial Open-Source GPU Drivers

Jul 21, 2009, 22:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"Thomas Hellström of Tungsten Graphics / VMware initiated this most recent discussion, which can be found on the Linux kernel mailing list. He notes that some open-source developers are against allowing an open-source DRM that is just used by a closed-source driver for security, user-space interface validation and maintainability, and political reasons. The security aspect can be partially circumvented via public, NDA-free documents surrounding the hardware, and as Thomas proposes, by a documented security analysis of the driver that is written by the involved developer(s). In regards to the stable user-space interface, Thomas notes that often when open-source drivers are published for review they actually receive very little feedback and that in his opinion small programs that demonstrate the interface functionality would be sufficient for those companies still wishing to remain partially closed-source."

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