3d drivers and cards (was: Gnash - GNU Flash Player / John Gilmore)

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Wed Jan 4 11:35:36 UTC 2006

On Tue, Jan 03, 2006 at 01:30:44PM +0000, Alex Hudson wrote:
> I'm not sure if people are noticing (probably, they are), but more and
> more software (Gnash included) is becoming OpenGL reliant. 

> One of the biggest missing pieces in the free software desktop will
> increasingly become good OpenGL drivers. 

Thanks for raising the point.
I was aware of it, but I agree that this point needs more publicity.

> I have a Radeon 9200SE, which
> has a great free driver, and plays bzflag wonderfully. My Thinkpad has a
> Radeon Mobility 9000 (R250), which will hopefully run well with the
> upcoming r300 driver. But, these are both fairly crappy chipsets in
> comparison to the state of the art, and I'm to understand that beyond
> the r300 driver we're not going to get squat.

Still I am quite happy about the these driver efforts!
If ATI can get a clear lead on the Free Software OpenGL drivers,
there is a chance to some impact in the market.
And this is what we need.

So we need to give people more incentive to know which hardware
is better supported by Free Software (even if the manufacturer is
not helping as others have pointed out).

There have been quite a few efforts to bring together Free Software hardware 
compatibility information, but non of them has really gained critical mass,
because I am only darkly remembering some of them.

On the large scale there is a darker danger to Free Software drivers:
Software patents and digital restriction management legislation!
They both paint reverse engineeing as pure evil and fight it to the bone.

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