OT: Accelerated 3D GFX cards with Free drivers (was Re: [linux-audio-user] Re: The best distro for music creation)

cmetzler at speakeasy.net cmetzler at speakeasy.net
Thu Dec 15 08:14:04 EST 2005

> Heh, I think you misunderstand how free drivers work.  You're caught
> up in the Windows model.

No, I'm not.  In fact, I've never used Windows at home, ever.  Not once.
I started using Linux in 1996; prior to that, I didn't even have a home
computer, living entirely on SunOS and various SYSV machines at work.

> Free software drivers work like this:
> 1) Vendor provides a sample implementation or hardware documentation
> to someone or some organization
> 2) That individual (who usually has nothing to do with the
> manufacturer!) produces a driver
> 3) You communicate to the hardware vendor and they say "WTF, we didn't
> write that dude...", AND THEY ARE RIGHT

Except this is wrong in the Matrox case, since the drivers were
written by Matrox.  This is why Matrox got so popular in the first
place -- they *wrote free drivers for Linux*.  But along the way,
after several years of maintaining them, they decided to no longer
do so.  In the meantime, the DRI project's one expert on Matrox
bailed, who worked with the folks at Matrox on maintaining the
drivers, also bailed, and they didn't find someone to replace him.
This left Matrox in general, and 3D in Matrox in particular, without
any support on either the corporate end or the volunteer end.  But
people still go around saying that Matrox cards have well-supported
free drivers, including effective 3D drivers.  It isn't so.


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