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Slashdot: NVidia and Linux Troubles

Mar 22, 2000, 21:27 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frank LaMonica)

"NVIDIA developed a driver for its TNT chipset that rendered indirectly through the XFree86 3.3.x X Server. That driver used a clone version of GLX that was developed by Terence Ripperda, was released with source code, but was, by NVIDIA's own admission, an interim driver intended as a short term solution. They placed information on their web site which announced their plans to release a DRI based driver at some time in the future. They recently made a joint announcement with SGI and VA Linux to publicize their upcoming binary only XFree86 4.0 compatible driver. Although the binary nature of their driver presents its own problems, especially with distribution, code maintenance, and support, we have to acknowledge that some companies believe their IP needs to be kept confidential in order to protect the interests of their owners. If customers trust that their interests will be maintained adequately by the vendor of their closed source software, the mechanism exists under Linux to allow that to happen. XFree86 4.0 has the capability to dynamically load binary drivers, so it is possible for anyone to develop a binary only driver."

"A question was raised as to whether their upcoming binary driver was based on the Direct Rendering Infrastructure (DRI) which PI developed and that will be part of XFree86 4.0, or, if their upcoming driver would use its own, closed source, proprietary infrastructure. If NVIDIA creates its own closed source, proprietary infrastructure, that violates that basic premise of the open source paradigm - that the "road" which all users must use needs to be open sourced and freely available...."

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