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Just Another Tech Blog

Anything and everything having to do with technology, computers, science, and most of all... Linux! The documentation of my Linux endeavor.

ATI Committed To Fixing Its OSS Problems

Friday, May 11, 2007

Via Slashdot:
"Chris Blizzard blogged from the Red Hat summit that an ATI marketing spokesman said, from the stage, that ATI knows it has a problem with open source and is committed to fixing it. Does this mean ATI will finally resolve alleged agpgart misappropriation, and fast track the release of open source 2D drivers on its latest cards while releasing specifications for its mid-range cards? Or is ATI only concerned with fixes to its binary driver to maintain feature parity with competitors?"
ATI makes some excellent cards (although I am an nVidia-type guy), which in the past I have considered purchasing. However, their terrible Linux drivers have kept me from doing so, and I have decided not to buy any ATI products until they actually put a good effort into their Linux drivers or at least OSS. I am sure many felt the same way. So, technically it is good news to hear that ATI actually does care, or seems to care, about open-source. However, somehow I have a feeling that ATI may not follow through... and if it does, can it repair the damage already done? I have read many a story of a loyal ATI fans who simply became disgusted with ATI and their blatant lack of support for OSS. Many of these people pledged never to return. So the question is: How far will ATI go? Can these "lost" customers be reclaimed?
At the moment, there is not much to read about this yet, and neither are there many official announcements on any ATI or AMD website (yes, the speech is official, but not everybody had the privilege of going). Right now, it seems that all ATI is doing is going up and saying "Yeah, there's a problem, we'll fix it." Somehow... this all sounds kind of hollow. I mean, let's see some code, some action, some drivers! As Linux Torvalds so eloquently put:
Talk is cheap, show me the code.

-Linus Torvalds
Until I actually see these drivers working... I'll have to remain skeptic.
Not to forget, lets hope that these drivers come out before the hardware is obsolete. Having drivers for hardware that is out of date... doesn't really help all too much.
So, basically, I think the general consensus of the community is that until we actually see ATI working actively with OSS standards/ community, we can't really get all too excited.
Looks as though for the time being, you'll have to stick with nVidia.

Read more @ Slashdot and Enterprise Linux Log. Direct link to blog post from the summit @ Christopher Blizzard's blog.
posted by linnerd40, Friday, May 11, 2007


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