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SubjectRe: Closed source userspace graphics drivers with an open source kernel component
On Sun, Jul 4, 2010 at 9:03 PM, Theodore Tso <> wrote:
> On Jul 4, 2010, at 3:27 AM, Dave Airlie wrote:
>> So its as crap as the others since the kernel space is uninteresting
>> and doesn't give you any idea how to actually use the GPU, its just a
>> slightly intelligent shim which transfers command streams and
>> interrupt to/from gpu/userspace.
>> Its like having an ELF loader but no source to the compiler or linker,
>> and saying the CPU is open.
> We have sources to our web browsers but not to the a number of the
> various web services that the browsers talk to (GMail, AIM, Gmane,
> Yahoo Finance, Google Search, etc.).
> And we have the sources to the Intel wireless drivers, but not to the
> firmware, and that's not necessarily considered a horrendous thing.
> And we generally consider our laptops to be open even though
> we don't have access to the BIOS or the SMBIOS, which can
> interrupt the OS at any time, potentially for milliseconds at a time.
> So the world isn't quite as black  and white as you would make things
> out to be...

Oh sorry I didn't realise I was downloading the 3D driver userspace
via firefox, or it was shipping in a ROM on my board,
or was running on a separate processor, and certain companies were
rather more worried about just adhering strictly to the legal GPL than
the reasons Linus picked the GPL in the first place.

I will give that one area is less black and white, ARM GPU companies
have no markets outside of Linux, the whole derived from a previous
Windows driver is a lot more grey than it is if you are nvidia.

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