On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 18:12:49 +0100
Frank Barknecht wrote:
Well, Matrox *does* suck. I bought a Matrox G550 because it was
an upper-end card with an open driver. I repeat: the open driver
was the biggest reason I bought a Matrox, and not another, card.
So what happened? I spent over a year trying and failing to get
a working 3D setup. What I got instead was constant hard lockups
requiring a full system reset, and X log files filling up with
error messages from the DRI drivers before the reset. Even with
journalling filesystems, that's unacceptable. Passing the info on
to Matrox merely got responses that OpenGL/3D under Linux was not
supported. Passing the info on to the DRI project folks got no
response at all; further queries revealed that the DRI project's
Matrox experts effectively aren't involved in the DRI project
anymore, so now no open source developers are working on the Matrox
drivers. A little bit of time spent in the XF86/X.org/DRI bug
tracking systems will show similar Matrox bugs that don't get any
responses from the developers.
So what to do? I need halfway-decent 3D performance for my work.
Find a new line of work? Or buy a used old GF4 on ebay for $50?
I wish nVidia's drivers were open. But the fact that they're not
is a complete turnoff only if there is an acceptable alternative.
Sticking with Matrox when I cannot get my work done with Matrox
is not an acceptable alternative.
I suspect many people feel the same way about closed source audio
drivers. It's not that people don't value open drivers, or do not
care about this issue. It's more a question of whether someone
values open drivers so much that they're willing to forsake being
able to do particular things with their music.
For many (most? dunno.) users of proprietary software, free software
alternatives exist that will do everything they want, and do it well.
But for many others, that's not true. And telling those users to
simply forego doing what they want or need to do as a stand for a
cause is a very big request. Of course, people have sacrificed their
economic health, and much more, for the cause of freedom before. But
not for something as seemingly esoteric as free software; rather,
it's been the freedoms accompanying equality of race or gender or
religious background under the law.
Until RMS can persuade people that the freedom to modify the software
one uses is as important as the freedom to work in the field of your
choice without being held back by race or gender or religion, people
and businesses are going to have a tough time justifying sacrificing
their financial security for that freedom.
Chris Metzler firstname.lastname@example.org
(remove "snip-me." to email)
"As a child I understood how to give; I have forgotten this grace since I
have become civilized." - Chief Luther Standing Bear