"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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