>You'd be right. I'm not a developer, nor do I claim to be.
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.
>Linux developer - professional or not - doesn't give him
>standing to diminish someone like Chris. There's a difference.
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.
>No, vendors need to open source their frakking drivers so that the rest of the
>world isn't held up by their internal politics. There's a whole industry that needs
> to be able to move faster than they can.
In a perfect world yes. But this isn't a perfect world. There are lots of vendors that are trying to get all of their stuff mainlined. One example I can think of is Marvell that has been paying an external company to rewrite their drivers so they are acceptable as their previous binary blobs (that everyone who signed the NDA had the source code for) had no chance of getting included. Qualcomm has apparently been assisting the guys writing free drivers for their GPUs... If you look through the LKML though you'll see plenty of times where a vendor has offered their inhouse driver for mainline and it has been rejected because it's poorly written. There might be a few mails back and forth to try and correct the issues but a lot of the time the conversation dies and the driver doesn't go in. Bottom line is that open sourcing stuff that is wrapped around layers and layers of NDAs and licensed IP is not easy and once the open sourcing has happened it doesn't mean it's going in the mainline and it's going to be supported forever and ever. FYI: the kernel part of the nvidia drivers do have source available.
>So do I, and nVidia doesn't release that information with a simple NDA.
> It takes a hell of a lot of lobbying and a lot of money.
So don't use their stuff then.
"Hobbyists have a bit of a problem that they aren't very valuable to big semiconductor companies that need to ship hundreds of thousands of units to make a design profitable.""
>Yeah, but fuck 'em, eh? Awesome attitude
Where did I say that Trevor? You seem to run some sort of consultancy; 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? 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.
>Poor support outside of x86.
You keep going on about this horrible non-x86 thing but I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about.
>Reams of WONTFIX bugs and corporate history of simply ignoring bugs
>raised are all good reasons.
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.
>. 1) Inability to firmware update cards (nice to have in a lot of ways)
They haven't stopped anyone from updating firmware. They have locked out firmware that isn't signed with their key.
>2) lack of open source drivers that can be recompiled on other platforms (absolute must).
This is about that non-x86 thing again isn't it? Are you aware that nvidia have a bunch of SoCs with ARM cores and nvidia GPUs. By what I saw at Tokyo MakerFaire (I'm one of those hard done by electronics/computing hobbyists you are so concerned about BTW) it looks like they even have working CUDA on ARM. It was pretty funny really.. Nvidia had a stall with impressive CUDA and machine vision demos running on their SoCs and Intel was next door trying to flog their unimpressive buggy pentium class crap next door.. but that's another story.
>Now some of my clients have a desire to get into the firmware and tweak and tinker,
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. Take a read of this article by someone that has been reverse engineering GPU drivers, it might open your eyes a little bit: http://lwn.net/Articles/638908/
>because they need every erg of speed.
So, yeah, poking in a hex editor to tweak the settings of the cards which nvidia doesn't make available.
>But I think there's a much broader need for open source drivers that can be tweaked
What are you going to be tweaking exactly? I'm sure there are things to tweak but I'd like to hear a solid example.
>and recompiled for different architectures,
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.
>and where bugs can be fixed that nVidia won't.
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?