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Graphics Open Source Linux

NVIDIA To Publicly Release Some Tegra GPU Documentation 85

An anonymous reader writes "It was revealed today during the annual X.Org Developers' Conference in Germany that NVIDIA will be publicly releasing Tegra graphics programming documentation. Initially this will cover their Tegra 2D engine but it's thought they might also be providing 3D engine documentation too. A slide shown at the conference says NVIDIA is committed to open-source. NVIDIA also allegedly has supplied documentation under NDA to one Nouveau developer and taken other covertly supportive steps. These actions come after NVIDIA has been notoriously unfriendly to open-source and months after Linus Torvalds pubilcly slammed the NVIDIA Linux support."
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NVIDIA To Publicly Release Some Tegra GPU Documentation

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  • Re:NDA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:21PM (#41413635)

    That depends what the NDA covers. It might cover just saying they gave him the document, it might cover him showing anyone the document, it might cover him telling anyone how code made from the document works, it might cover him not telling anyone how NVIDIA makes its pancakes. An NDA can cover a multitude of things.

  • Re:Unfriendly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ifiwereasculptor ( 1870574 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:32PM (#41413745)

    How is NVIDIA unfriendly toward open source. They have the only high-end cards that work consistently on both Linux and FreeBSD. They've been maintaining their drivers for open source operating systems for years.

    Right. Tell that to my GeForce FX. Or to a GeForce 6xxx. Or to an integrated 7xxx chipset. Neither Nouveau nor the blob work on anything GTK3 and NVIDIA already said they won't be fixing the blob anytime soon. Compare that with AMD - the open driver is already at near performance parity with the blob on their cards from the same period (r300). But AMD isn't a great example. Look at how Intel publishes their drivers and read what the folks from Valve are saying about how easy that makes everything for developers.

  • Re:we will see... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:45PM (#41413909) Journal

    Nvidia has done plenty of stupid things - and they aren't anywhere near as open source friendly as they should be. However, I can't see why anyone wouldn't at least applaud them taking steps in the right direction. It isn't "Nvidia is all open source! put away the pitchforks and torches", but why assume that this is marketing or damage control?

    It's literally in their long-term financial interest to be open with providing actual valid and useful it would enable us to fine tune their own shit to work better.

  • Re:NDA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Peter Bortas ( 130 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:48PM (#41413949)

    Getting HW documentation under NDA used to be a rather common thing for Linux driver developers and it's still not unusual. The NDA will say something to the effect of "You can't spread this doc, but feel free to build an OSS driver and talk about how it works".

  • Re:Unfriendly? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 21, 2012 @02:50PM (#41413971)

    Not when that driver doesn't play nicely with the kernel. It's like giving somebody an engine for their car that occasionally breaks down, but not allowing them to open the hood and fix it.

  • Re:Unfriendly? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @03:09PM (#41414219)

    Vs AMD which says "Here's 1000 pages of Spec" you guys can write code to do what ever you want.

    I'm not on the whole "BSD License is the Devil, GPL for life!" bandwagon. They're both open source. Nvidia actually provides timely updates and it works. My AMD machine on the other hand

    1) just had support dropped. The motherboard is around 2 years old and I just got the warning from debian that it is 'no longer supported'.
    2) It doesn't work. Hardware acceleration of x264 would just crash XBMC. I've heard it's gotten better but between "Crashes but is completely open source" and "closed source but works" I'm going to choose the latter.

System checkpoint complete.