"Ok so don't try to use someone else's wicked cool skill that you think are massively impressive to try to size up someone else because you have no idea what you're talking about."
Not being a developer (by choice, I might add), doesn't mean I don't know quite a bit about the field. (Well, fields. Development is broad enough to have specialized a long time ago.)
"You're taking offence to something that wasn't written. For most people that develop on Linux either at the kernel level, application or whatever are in no way affected by the revelation that nvidia has added signing to their GPUs. It affects a tiny minority of developers that are working on opensource drivers for nvidia GPUs and almost no one else. I think you're going to massive lengths to make this look like it deeply affects your friend's hobby project but I don't see how it does."
You are...whom? And who elevated you to the final arbiter of knowledge and understanding? And for that matter, who gave you the right to judge how many people have to be affected by something before it's important enough for others to care about?
"So don't use their stuff then."
So you're an economic/social darwinist. See my previous post in this thread.
" If everyday a bunch of charity cases walk into your office and give you their sob story will you do work for free or for a rate that means you lose money? You might once or twice out of the goodness of you heart but you aren't going to do it everyday until you go bust are you?"
First of all, you're so full of shit your eyes are brown. nVidia is in exactly zero risk of "going bust" if they support startups and hobbyists. They risk only making a (very) slightly lower profit.
As for me, I actually do my best to support those with esoteric requirements. In fact, I get together with other consultants in both of my major fields of endeavor to work out standards and do the equivalent of "open sourcing" as much of our work as possible. This makes it easier to support a large number of "edge cases" with a minimal cost on our side. It spreads the load amongst the network and ultimately builds good will amongst those individual and companies that form the edge cases. Good will that means a lot when the odd one goes gold.
"Hobbyists should stick to hobbyist friendly vendors that release proper documentation for their products and be hard on vendors that don't release documentation. What hobbyists really don't need is people flapping their gums about stuff they don't care about or need."
More economic darwinism and some extra judgement based on an appeal to your own authority. Don't push for change or seek better of vendors, just accept whatever your betters give you, and tell you that you should need. Neat-o! (Double bonus if you ad homeinem anyone who stands up for the edge cases.)
"The intel GPU drivers have been opensource for a long time. They still crash the whole X server when people do certain actions in kicad with some models of GPU. The bug has been there for about 5 years. Open sourcing the drivers doesn't instantly fix hard to fix bugs."
And now you're way out in the middle of nowhere. I never said anything about open source automatically fixing hard to fix bugs. I said it gave those who care enough the ability to do so. Now you're just manufacturing arguments.
"What exactly are they going to tweak/tinker? I can maybe understand that they might be able to find where values like the different core frequencies are held in the flash and overclock their cards but I very much doubt they are in IDA disassembling the stock firmware, documenting and re-implementing it on a daily basis."
You doubts are irrelevant. You've proven your limited capacity for belief repeatedly. While I'm not goign to waste my time going into a huge amount of technical detail, one example of what one group has been up to with their driver recoding has been changing the way vector calculations are done by the GPUs so that they can get (way) better performance from their algorithms. They had great success with the Phi, and so far have had good luck with AMD, but nVidia makes the hardware that is optimal for this task...if they could just change some of the behavior.
"So, yeah, poking in a hex editor to tweak the settings of the cards which nvidia doesn't make available."
Uh, no. But great job inserting your own prejudices and biases.
"What architectures do you think could really do with nvidia GPUs but don't have binary drivers. Keep in mind that there are only 3 or 4 current architectures that have pci-e interfaces."
You do realize that ARM, for example, is not remotely cross compatible, eh? Binary for one ARM isn't always (rarely, IME) going to work on a chip from another vendor. Or even a different chip from the same vendor. That's before we start looking to Power or MIPS.
I know, for example, of one group working to build an embedded PIC32 unit with a GPU (the "sidecar", as it's lovingly named) that is being optimized for extreme environments for purposes I can't go into because of NDAs. Some of the stuff they're doing requires some really crazy calculations to be done in real time (or as close as possible) and they absolutely need to tinker at the metal.
But I guess all them folk are just posers, eh? Just wanting to overclock cards and such.
"Unless the bugs are in the firmware that has no relation to the firmware being signed or closed source. Nvidia could have opensource drivers and closed firmware (like 99.9999999% of the stuff in your machine that has a mainlined driver but requires firmware).. would you still be demanding they remove the signing if that was the case?"
Actually, yes. I do generally request of all vendors that they either put in place a program to make it reasonably easy to get custom firmware signed (and then inject it) or - better yet - do away with signing and open source their firmware. For everything I can get my hands on from BMCs to the radios in my phone.
Part of the reason is security. These firmwares are often abandoned by vendors, yet units stay in play for bloody ages. Signing can be part of a defense, but it can also prevent community sourced updated for abandoned hardware that ultimately leave us more insecure.
Smartphones are a great example of this issue: a year out, and you're not getting any love. Try to roll your own, but it's fighting an up hill battle because of all the devices with undocumented, closed firmware. A lot of which has known vulnerabilities. That's before we begin discussions about nation states occupying your firmwares...and they won't have trouble getting their malware signed! (I'd really like to have a nice maintenance program that re-flashed all my firmware with known good copies relatively regularly, letmetellyou.)
And for all that we're having this discussion about GPUs today, the economic ethics being hashed out over these issues will be the default for future products. I don't fancy an "internet of things" full of abandonware with closed, unupdatable firmware.
How much of your "smart house" do you want to have to replace with the latest, greatest before you sell it, hmm? Are you okay with rebuying your car every year or two?
if you think I'm being alarmist, remember that these are markets nVidia is targeting with a vengeance. I don't particularly care for the implications - on a personal level or at a societal level - of economic darwinism being applied to technology when it becomes as ubiquitous and as critical, in many ways to human life as it is promised to become in the next 10 years.
But hey, there's nothing wrong with locking everyone out. As long as nVidia makes money doing so...right?