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Graphics Software Linux

ATI Committed To Fixing Its OSS Problems 205

Posted by kdawson
from the about-time dept.
Sits writes "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?"
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ATI Committed To Fixing Its OSS Problems

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  • by danomac (1032160) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:19AM (#19068043)
    I'd wager a guess they're going to fix the binary drivers only.

    Why would they open a spec when they can compete with the binary drivers?
    • by InsaneProcessor (869563) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:23AM (#19068117)
      The video card industry is so secretive with thier software. ATI even locks the BIOS so after POST you cannot access the card to download it. They are so afraid that the competiition will find out how they work or that someone else will build a better driver. This is the only part of the PC buisiness that is this large, yet this secretive. I thing that they are just overly paranoid.
      • by div_2n (525075) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:55AM (#19068727)
        Or maybe they have some sloppy hacks to try to improve frame rates for certain games so that they score better in comparisons. Anyone remember the Quake 3 [slashdot.org] fiasco that ATI was involved with?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by MightyPez (734706)
          Right, because no other vendor has ever been accused of that! [extremetech.com]
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by div_2n (525075)
            I thought we were discussing ATI, but I don't disagree with you. I've always felt the reasons many hardware vendors are reluctant to be more open doesn't solely revolve around "trade secrets" and such. Being open shines lights in dark corners that can make some people nervous about.
            • by MightyPez (734706)
              We are discussing ATI, but if we are going to start bringing up 5 year old driving fudging in Windows drivers regarding AMD (yes, they own ATI now) saying they will try to improve open source support, then it's pretty much fair game.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Really I don't understand it either. Unless there's things like the Quake.exe hack all over their drive code, to make the cards seem better than they are, I don't see why source code has so much to do with it. They are in the business of selling hardware. They should ensure that their hardware works as well as possible, on as many platforms as possible. If that means open sourcing drivers, then I don't see the problem. I'm sure that they could even get a performance boost if they let millions of hacker
        • IP (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @04:04PM (#19073537) Homepage Journal

          They have already sold the card, so it doesn't matter as far as revenue who writes the best driver. Good open drivers might help sell cards. I would sure choose a good card with a good open driver.

          I think it's an IP issue. They've bought into some fundamental patented IP, the license forbids releasing driver source (or it's something they have patented and it is counted as an asset on their Balance Sheet), and the patent covers something so integral to their design that it isn't worth the R&D it would take to get around it.

        • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:05PM (#19074627) Homepage Journal
          "I'm sure that they could even get a performance boost if they let millions of hackers with tons of free time optimize things for them."
          I am not.
          1. Millions of hackers? There isn't a single FOSS project that millions of hackers have contributed too.
          2. There are very few people with the experience to write a good much less great 3d driver.
          3. Even with the specs I am guessing that the majority of contributions will be security or code clean up and not performance optimizations.
      • by Shazow (263582) <<andrey.petrov> <at> <shazow.net>> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:44PM (#19070821) Homepage
        Actually, it's more likely that the reason all their software is locked away and kept secret is because it's probably infringing on numerous software patents. When Joe Sixpack can go down to the patent office and register a doubly linked list as his own invention, lots of possibilities for lawsuits open up.

        I did some research into this for a course, but I don't have sources to cite off the top of my head. Definitely something worth looking into.

        - shazow
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why would they open a spec when they can compete with the binary drivers?


      Because they can compete with open source drivers. Otherwise, why would Microsoft fear Red Hat and Novell?
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Because they can compete with open source drivers. Otherwise, why would Microsoft fear Red Hat and Novell?

        The closed-source drivers are already competing with the open-source drivers.

        So far, they are winning, for most users. (although those of us who still have machines with antiquated hardware like a Rage 128 receive no help from them.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by danomac (1032160)

        Because they can compete with open source drivers. Otherwise, why would Microsoft fear Red Hat and Novell?

        C'mon, we all know the likelihood of them doing that is slim to none. There's nothing pressuring them to do this. Last I checked, NVidia doesn't have open source drivers either.

        As the poster above you indicated, the video card industry is pretty secretive. The chances of them opening the spec and revealing their "trade secrets" are extremely slim to none. Unless something else happens in the indus

    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      I'd wager a guess they're going to fix the binary drivers only.

      Fine with me as long as they actually do a good job of it. I'm sick of having only one well-supported choice for 3d cards, especially since some of the ATI cards are very good deals.

      I love OSS and would prefer drivers with source, but I'm also pragmatic, I know it's not going to happen any time soon, and in the meantime would just rather have healthy support from multiple hardware vendors. I've been hoping that ATI being bought by AMD -- who w
  • by Timesprout (579035) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:19AM (#19068045)
    Why dont you ask ATI what it means. How is Slashdot supposed to be privy to ATI's roadmap?
  • This is not news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyphercell (843398) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:28AM (#19068199) Homepage Journal
    If you read the original article that all of this questioning is derived from you realize the article summary has more content than the linked story. This means aproximately nothing. ATI pays lip service to open source software news at 11.
    • ...service to open source software news at 11.
      If open source software ever makes news at 11, I'll be amazed. The traditional media doesn't understand that PC != MS.
  • by plcurechax (247883) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:30AM (#19068241) Homepage
    I know from talking to them at the Ottawa Linux Symposium a couple of years ago that the technical people within ATI were keen to support Linux the best that the could, but said they were mainly limited by management / legal to aim for competing with whatever nVidia offered the Linux community. If nVidia offered a complete open source driver, they would be pressured to do the same.

    • by dpilot (134227) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:57AM (#19068785) Homepage Journal
      I have owned or made purchasing decisions for 6 3D graphics cards.
      * 2 were Matrox G400s, based on their being the first mainstream card to get 3D hardware support under Linux. I even ran Utah-GLX on one.
      * 1 was an ATI Radeon 8500LE, based on price/performance and the existence of the open source R200 drivers.
      * 3 are nVidia cards, since there's no competitive contemporary open source 3D any more, and the quality of nVidia's binary seems to be better. There are reverse-engineering efforts on both, but it's unclear who will be the clear winner on this.

      So I *have* put my money where my mouth is, and will continue to do so.

      I also recommend hardware for friends and co-workers, and this is a factor. Even for a friend who is only going to use Windows, if all else is equal I would advise that he "reward" the company for its Linux support. Notice that in this case I said, "all else is equal," and let the friend know why I gave the advice I did.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crush (19364)
        no competitive contemporary open source 3D any more, and the quality of nVidia's binary seems to be better.

        I'm not going to directly disagree with you because I'm unsure how you'd define the above. What 3D tasks do you want the card to do? Because if all you want is basic 3D acceleration good enough for e.g. TuxRacer [sourceforge.net] or Open Arena [openarena.ws]and the fun desktop effects with Compiz/Beryl [oreillynet.com] then Intel has very nicely provided complete Free/OpenSource drivers [intellinuxgraphics.org] for most of their integrated components (*) including the GMA

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by LWATCDR (28044)
          Only problem is that I have never seen an Intel video board. They all seem to be integrated on the motherboard. So if you have an AMD system you are stuck.
          • by crush (19364)
            Good point. I was being sloppy thinking about cards vs chips. However, for the price of some of the newer nvidia cards you could get one of the cheaper G965 Intel motherboards. Another $250 gets you a Core 2 Duo with virtualisation capability. I used to be an AMD partisan but Intel is really throwing down as far as Open/Free goes and their prices and power efficiency are excellent too.
            • by LWATCDR (28044)
              Except I have a lovely Gigabyte Nvidia motherboard with an AMD 4200 X2 that does everything I need it to do.
              A lot of people have better things to spend their money on than a new CPU and Motherboard. Now if I was building a new system I might be tempted but X2s are so cheap now and still bloody fast enough.
              Yes Intel has some good stuff out but I have to mention that they didn't disclose all the specs of their GPUs and have not OSS their wifi drivers. They still have blobs. I don't have a lot of problems with
      • All else Equal, actually means a lot. The mainstream segment (With the biggest amount of profit for GPU manufacturers) is currently split between the 7900GS and the 1950Pro from Nvidia and ATI both with almost exactly the same performance under windows (When taking overclocking into account). Since Nvidia has better open source drivers their card becomes more compelling.

        This performance parity shows up in one level (low-Medium-High) each generation and the card with linux drivers will have far better long
        • by LWATCDR (28044)
          "Since Nvidia has better open source drivers their card becomes more compelling."
          Before the RMS/GPL police show up Nvidia has better Linux drivers for their cards. Nvidia doesn't have any open source drivers.
          I understood what you meant and I to buy Nvidia boards because they have better Linux support.
    • by krbvroc1 (725200) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:14PM (#19069107)
      So much for showing a little leadership? Basically, we will just follow nVidia. I've got 1U Supermicro rackmount servers that have ATI 'Rage MX' chipsets on them and there is not even a solution for these chips other than a very slow unaccelerated driver. They don't even have a working binary driver.

      ATI's lack of driver quality and commitment has always been a problem for me. I went from 3dfx to Nvidia and have never personally purchased an ATI product specifically because of their poor Linux support.
  • Marketing? (Score:5, Funny)

    by markov_chain (202465) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:31AM (#19068265) Homepage
    an ATI marketing spokesman said, from the stage, that ATI knows it has a problem with open source and is committed to fixing it.

    There goes the good old problem solving by marketing. Wait until their developers hear about this :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CaptnMArk (9003)
      Marketing is not a problem. Lawyers and managers are.
      • by rbochan (827946)
        Someone who does marketing is incapable of telling the truth. At least a lawyer can try.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Svartalf (2997)
      Oh, never question that the developers know that there's a serious problem. Trust me on that one. It's just I seriously doubt that middle and upper management have a single clue as to how to honestly fix it.
  • by wowbagger (69688) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:33AM (#19068305) Homepage Journal
    I'll believe that AMD/ATI is fixing their problems when I can have a driver that:
    1. Supports XvMC
    2. Supports the tuner on my All-in-Wonder, either via XVideo or Video For Linux
    3. Has reasonable 3D performance without locking up (GoogleEarth will kill my card dead in seconds, requiring a hard power off to fix it.)
    4. Has reasonable 2D acceleration.
    5. Runs on the current release of the kernel - on i386 and i386-64 AT LEAST.
    6. Supports PCIe cards


    This is *the* limiting factor which has prevented me from buying a new computer - any new machine would be an i386-64 with PCIe video, and right now the only real choice there would be Intel graphics.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      This is *the* limiting factor which has prevented me from buying a new computer - any new machine would be an i386-64 with PCIe video, and right now the only real choice there would be Intel graphics.

      First the nit: i386-64? Are you on crack? If you want to call it something cutesy, call it AMD64. The 486 was the last non-RISC CPU either AMD or intel made. Everything since has been internally [mostly] RISC with an x86 decoder glued onto it.

      Now the meat: Why is nvidia not an option?

      And actually, a better q

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I made the mistake twice of buying an integrated TV tuner. First it was an ATI TV card that only worked with other ATI Video cards, and then it was the Voodoo 3500. I now have a hauppauge 150, and I am happy to know that I won't have to buy another TV card for a long time to come. It's also nice to know that if I replace my video card, that I don't have to replace my TV Card.
    • i have a 7500 AIW and my only quible is the phantom KM module (required to do capture)

      if you have the packages for gatos (or the ati dkms set)
      you should be able to get both avview and xawtv to work (both programs may not auto set to sane values but..)
      • by wowbagger (69688)
        Nope - I cannot get the tuner in my 9600AIW working. I can get composite in working just fine, but the tuner won't see anything.

        It's really a shame - the idea of the tuner and video capture being on the video card makes a great deal of sense, but the implementation of the software bites small rocks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:35AM (#19068351)
    ... when they only mean 'Linux support'. And personally, I don't consider closed source binaries OSS support at all. AMD has been good about making the information available for open-source programmers so their chips can be supported. Perhaps their purchase of ATI will force a shift in the corporate culture there too. Well, we can hope.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:44PM (#19069701) Journal
      Mod that post right up. Intel are doing it the right way, by releasing DRI drivers. Any operating system that wants to support DRI can then use the Intel DRI drivers. Once the DRI code is running on a kernel, it's just a matter of porting the small glue layer for each card (or card family) and then the bulk of the driver can be compiled and used whatever the underlying architecture is.

      Even the nVidia binary drivers have wider support than ATi, since they work on OpenSolaris and FreeBSD as well as Linux.

  • Current State (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scubanator87 (1023313) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `78rotanabucs'> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:37AM (#19068397)
    I am currently running the *newst* ati binary drivers and although they have added the Catalyst Control center (improvement ofer the old fglrx control center) mine (and a few other people i know using the same driver) cant seem to get dual monitor to work. And with the Opensource ati driver atleast AIGLX works but still no dual head display.

              ATI needs to step up the quality of their coding and there is no *good* reason why ati does not support AIGLX and why their 8.35.5 is having problems with dual monitors. Because my laptop uses ati and i was so displeased with its state of drivers forced me to go with nvidia when i built my desktop a year ago. Im sure many people using Linux stay clear of ati when possible for the same reason. When and if they get their stuff together it will receive a warm welcome...if they do it right that is.

    Also why is it people need programs like envy [albertomilone.com] to install their drivers. Hopefully ATI and nvidia will pick up the slack hear and make it easer to install the drivers.
    • by metamatic (202216)
      You're lucky having something as sophisticated as dual monitors broken. On FireGL T2, the proprietary ATI drivers don't load textures properly. Programs like Second Life become a total mess and eventually lock up the system.
      • And I say you're lucky. On the X300 in my laptop I can't even log into SL (it seems to run at around 1 frame a minute on just the login screen while spamming that it failed to allocate memory, a similar error message to the one with regards to /dev/shm not being mounted, but completely unrelated to (/dev/shm is mounted perfectly fine). Because of my horrible experience with ATI cards, and pretty good experience with NVIDIA cards I've already been responsible for multiple people going with nVidia over ATI,
    • I am unclear why envy is needed at all in Ubuntu Fiesty. Doesn't it already contain nvidia and ati drivers?
  • Dell .... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taniwha (70410) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:47AM (#19068573) Homepage Journal
    suddenly Dell is shipping boxes with Linux .... a big customer to ATI .... and Dell is talking to Ubuntu .... "How do we know which of our boxes work well for Linux, will cause us the least amount of tech support grief' ... Ubuntu guy says "well these drivers don't work so well .... they're not well supported by their manufacturers" ..... Dell guy starts crossing boxes with ATI cards off the list .... and tells ATI marketting who start worrying that Dell will start to not buy ATI at all .....
    • Re:Dell .... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:58AM (#19068801) Homepage Journal
      That was my thought. But it gets worse. Dell is also a big and relatively new AMD customer. Intel's integrated graphics solution works very well under Linux. So for the low end Linux solution Intel maybe the system of choice. The Dell guys might start crossing ATI and AMD off the list. Intel offers easier on stop shopping and a more politically correct FOSS system.
    • by locokamil (850008)
      Ain't competition grand?
    • by radish (98371)
      It's not only ATI, I have a pretty recent nVidia card and I can't make it work with Ubuntu. Well, I should clarify that, I wanted to try the live cd and it doesn't work, I'm lead to believe that it can be made to work with a full install but I don't have the time to tinker right now. Still - I'm a little surprised that the brand new version of Ubuntu won't work "out of the box" on a pretty common card.
  • Fast track? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by huckda (398277)
    I doubt ATI will fast track anything for OSS...

    they may eventually solve SOME problems but I sincerely doubt they'll be throwing a team on resolving all of the issues resulting from using one of their cards with Linux.
  • In some areas, the closed linux binary driver maintains feature parity with the Windows [ati.com] counterpart [ati.com].
    • by gmack (197796)
      If the driver worked most of the time I would have less to complain about. As it sits they have a driver that is known to reintroduce bugs into the system and to make it worse won't even compile on several recent kernels while in x86_64 mode. NVIDIA at least compiles so after buying a mid range then a top of the line ATI I've switched to NVIDA. It still annoying
    • First off some and parity parity; is BS. There's some parity in features between the vesa driver and closed source driver; the both present graphics on the screen.

      Unless your idea of parity is like a Java Boolean: true, false, and null.

  • Oh Oh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by shking (125052) <babulicm@MOSCOWcuug.ab.ca minus city> on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:55AM (#19068737) Homepage
    A friend of mine recently had his dog "fixed". What, exactly, does ATI intend?
  • by keko_metal (1010011) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:55AM (#19068739)
    I own an ATI 9800 PRO graphics card. It's a great piece of hardware. But "I need a good driver", which is translated to: If they don't release an outstanding driver in the next few weeks, my next card will be nVidia. Or better... If they don't release an outstanding full open-source driver in the next few weeks, my next card will be nVidia. Yes. I know that nVidia drivers aren't outstanding, and aren't open source. But I've been stuck in the bad side so long, that I won't be satisfied with "just the same as the competition".
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by taniwha (70410)
      same here - I'm up for a new (probably Dell) high-end laptop this month and honestly, because of the drivers, ATI's getting the shove (and I'm a fan, I used to work for them) - if I'm spending $3000 for hardware I want some that will suspend and resume, shutdown without freezing etc etc simple things - though WoW would be nice too
    • by DrYak (748999) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @05:19PM (#19074837) Homepage
      There are open-source R300 [sf.net] drivers that cover the 9500 up to x850 range of cards. I've used it for on old 9600XT AGP card (AGP chip) and HIS-overclocked X800 AGP card (PCIe chip with PCIe-to-GP bridge). The performance seem to be acceptable for my needs - which is surprising, knowing that R300 driver was completely developed from reverse engineering.

      Recently the driver has been included in the official DRI tree. Most distro use it to provide open-source 3D acceleration. It is the default drivers for near every GPL-compatible Beryl/Compiz LiveCD (like Kooraa, for exemple) and function well enough with them (the same can't be said for official binary drivers).

      As usual you should stop focusing on the hardware maker - who doesn't { have the possibility to / want to } throw resources at an OS that represents only a smaller fraction of their market share.
      You should instead seek what has been produced by the OSS community - through large-scale collaboration they often manage to put out some marvels.

      There no way one could except ATI to open-source drivers. They may have problems with code in their drivers that wasn't produced in house and that can't be opened cheaply.
      BUT what AMD/ATI realy need to do is to help the DRI/FreeDesktop guys develop their own driver, and for that they need to document a little bit their chips. The best thing could do to the OSS community isn't trying to make their BLOB drivers less borked. The best thing would be to provide list of registers and samples so the community could write a R500 driver.
  • In other news (Score:5, Informative)

    by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @11:57AM (#19068787)
    Announcing free software drivers for the new Intel 965GM Express Chipset [marc.info]

    ATI, NVIDIA: fuck you. Open source graphic drivers are possible, period.
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      Not 100% related, but I ordered a 965-based motherboard because Intel has open source drivers for the X3000. This is going to be my Linux-only system. I have previously been an nVidia person, and my current 7900 works well for Wine/etc, but I heard that Beryl works -very- well on a Mac Mini, which has an Intel chipset.

      Maybe my purchase (and post here) will help nVidia and ATI realize that they -are- losing customers by not open sourcing their drivers.

      I'll even go so far as to say that the first of the 2 t
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Dan Ost (415913)
        Make sure you contact ATI and nVidia and explain to them what you did and why you did it.
        The more detailed the explanation, the better. This is how we educate manufacturers.
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          That's a good thought, actually... A nice, calm, this-is-why letter wouldn't do any harm at all. Especially to nVidia since I've spent thousands of dollars on their products in the last few years... They should miss me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bfields (66644)

        Not 100% related, but I ordered a 965-based motherboard because Intel has open source drivers for the X3000.

        Yup. I bought a new machine recently for work that's Intel-based (essentially this [newegg.com], minus the monitor). I mainly use it for kernel development. My criteria were:

        1. I want the fastest kernel compile I can get for cheap. (Turns about to be 3.5 minutes with my kernel config, for about $700 spent. Not bad.)
        2. I want to boot the latest kernel out of git and have a fighting chance that everything will
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by SuluSulu (1039126)

      Announcing free software drivers for the new Intel 965GM Express Chipset [marc.info]

      ATI, NVIDIA: fuck you. Open source graphic drivers are possible, period.

      It seems to me that ATI/Nvidia have very different markets than Intel. Intel benefits from open source drivers because they produce low performance integrated video chips. People who choose Intel do so because they are cheap and/or because they need low power consumption (think servers, cheep computers, and laptops). On the other hand, people choose ATI/Nvidia because they want better 3D performance. This means that good drivers that work better than their competition are more important for ATI/Nvi

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LWATCDR (28044)
      Well sort of. Intel didn't release all the specs of the chip because of DRM restrictions. They work well enough but Intel didn't provide full documentation.
  • I will believe it when I see the results. I am not trusting ATI/AMD.
  • Unfortunately at work I am stuck with an ATI X1300 card with Linux. I have to put up with text in my editor getting constantly corrupted, my mouse cursor corrupted and lots of other weird quirks. I tried to fire up Google Earth and that just hung. All of these things work perfectly on my nVidia cards at home, and over the years I've used nVidia (since the Gforce 2) I've only rarely had problems.

    Even ATI's installer sucks badly. It took a week before I could finally get the ATI driver to install on the c
  • by iamacat (583406) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:21PM (#19069223)
    How do we feel about Microsoft's decision to exclude open source drivers by requiring signatures on everything in XP/Vista? Would we want them to rule out GPLed software based on MFC and .Net? It's no better for Linux to enforce a particular license for drivers or impose license restrictions on KDE/Qt apps. An operating system should be license-neutral for any applications and plugins it supports. A user should not be limited in what kind of hardware he can buy for his Linux computer.
    • by Synn (6288)
      Drivers don't have to be a particular license for Linux, Nvidia has been doing their own drivers on Linux for years now just fine. It's just that ATI's drivers suck.

      Also you aren't restricted to using a particular license for QT. You can purchase a licensed version of QT and use any license you want. You're only required to use a GPL license for QT if you use the free version of QT, which is GPL'd. But if you want a free lunch you can always use GTK which is what GNOME uses.
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:32PM (#19069455)
    right now, as much as I dislike it - nvidia IS the linux owner for HTPC use.

    all the howtos talk about the nvidia binary (sigh) driver and how it helps (but isn't a full solution) to mpeg motion accel. in hardware.

    but with ati, there IS no solution. "don't use ATI" if you use linux and want fast video for home theater use.

    I bought an ati card for the windows side of my htpc design - but I won't be buying them again until they show an xvmc driver for linux.

    its just a shame they ignore unix like that; especially in the days when HTPC building is really starting to get popular.

  • Thanks ATI (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MetricT (128876) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @12:37PM (#19069565) Homepage
    While everyone is harping about ATI's past sins, I'd like to thank ATI for committing to fixing those problems. We should commend (and purchase from) companies that make our lives easier (I'm looking at you, Broadcom...)
    • They're a small team working on the drivers, the OpenGL group as a whole. And they're laying off 5% of their workforce to placate the stock market on dismal earnings- do YOU think they're going to carry through on that commitment in the next 6-24 months? I don't. I'm not commending anyone for anything until I see results- while Matthew Tippet's team (small one- very small) has done amazing things for us (I wish the man's team was PROPERLY staffed up!!) he's hamstrung by the upper management's insistence
  • Or is ATI only concerned with fixes to its binary driver to maintain feature parity with competitors?
    Yes, they do NOT care about the open source stuff.
  • by fo0bar (261207) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:04PM (#19070069)
    I attended the Red Hat summit last year. Lots of good information (there were a ton of talks about Xen, a good one about the finer points of LVM, etc), but the price wasn't worth making it a yearly thing.

    That being said, I think the conference has the potential to quickly degrade to LinuxWorld-level, and this announcement doesn't surprise me. Companies will come out of the woodwork and start screaming "Yaaa, we like Linux! Hooray for open source!" for a week, but then not do anything until the next conference/expo rolls around.

    (On a related note, the last notebook I bought came with Intel graphics. I specifically chose this because I didn't want to deal with the headache of ATI and Nvidia's binary drivers. Intel is no saint, but at least having full 3D drivers in Xorg is nice.)
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @01:08PM (#19070139)
    Ever heard of, "Certified Output Protection Protocol (COPP), Protected Video Path Output Protection Management (PVP-OPM),
    Protected Video Path User Accessible Bus (PVP-UAB) and Protected Broadcast Driver Architecture (PBDA..."

    All lovely things that Microsoft and ATI (will/do) use to piss you off, and make connecting all of your expensive new PC & AV kit virtually impossible.

    Better binary drivers? Maybe.

    Genuinely 'open' architecture that would enable the OSS community to bypass (more easily) current and future DRM, while still being able to view the result on the lastest hardware? No way.
    • I don't see what the problem is. They're never going to make a Linux player for hi-def discs that use those protections anyway.
  • BS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I had an Ati Radeon Moblility 7500 which I used on Ubuntu Edgy Eft. I used the open-source drivers and it worked fine. 3D support was kinda iffy in some places, but it worked all right. That being said, I now own an nVidia Geforce Go 7300 and using the restricted drivers, it works like a champ. I don't give a rat's ass if the thing is closed or open, if nVidia is committed to releasing a high quality driver for Linux, I'm going to side with them. I can't speak for the Ati binary driver, but given that m
  • They don't give any f**ck to Linux drivers. More than 5 years, oss people begging them to do something for Linux drivers.

    So ? DONT BUY.

    Thats simple.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Some people don't have a choice. When the IT department at work buys you a laptop with an ATI chipset in it, if you want to run Linux on it, what are you going to do? Suck it up and deal with it, that's what.
  • Tons of companies say they're committed to lots of things. It doesn't mean anything.

    Wait until they produce something that fixes the problem.
  • You know, cause complaining to their Linux department has accomplished jack-shit in the past 2 years. The peon transfers me to his manager, and his manager says "I'm really sorry, I have some very exciting news to tell you, but I can't under our NDA". I asked him if he could generalize the news, to see if it maybe fixes the problems I'm having. He says he will liaze with me to ensure I get a proper response from their Linux team, that will somehow keep me from selling my (STILL) $650 X1900. Anyways, I wou
  • ATI has proven itself to be unreliable and basically dishonest. Additionally, there is no money motive to do this. Linux users are such a tiny fraction of the graphic card buying market that there is no reason for them to do this work.

    Sure would be nice to have open source drivers for any decent 3d graphics card under linux. But it's all about money. Corporations are beholden to their shareholders, and board members can even get sued for pursuing a non-profitable course of action. This would most certa
  • Does it mean I might be able to get better resolution on my radeon 9600 than 1024x768 on Ubuntu?

    Installing any other drivers causes the system to hard lock upon the log in screen.

  • by fudgefactor7 (581449) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:42PM (#19073129)
    Read my Journal for the scoop, but it works like this: they (ATI) know their OSS/Linux support is "teh suck," but choose not to fix it. Why? The answer is simple: why should they? In the 3D realm, you have two choices ATI or nVidia. That's it. Linux isn't where the bread-n-butter is, Windows is where the revenue is. As a business, you go where the money is, not where your heart may lead you.

    What's more, it may not be just one component that's truly sucky: All I know is that ATI's FGLRX + 3D + Xorg = failure. Their driver may be fine, there could be an issue with Xorg and ATI together, or some unseen combo that nobody is looking at--or it would have been fixed. So, as a result you have, really, only one good choice for Linux 3D, and that's nVidia. Nvidia knows this and loves it. ATI chooses to chase the other guy rather than fix things and gain new converts.

    In a month or two when nothing has come of this, at least you'll know why. Pay no attention to the flapping heads of ATI until they actually DO something.
  • Commercial uses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by madopal (308394) on Thursday May 10, 2007 @03:56PM (#19073385) Homepage
    We've been using OpenGL and Linux on ATI cards for our arcade game for over a year now. We're facing a major hurdle, though. AGP hardware is getting harder and harder to find in quantity, and the fglrx drivers don't correctly support vblank in the PCIx cards they have [cchtml.com]. We're trying to use the commercial end to get pressure on them through the buyers, but it's slow going.

    When they can't be bothered to get their drivers to pay attention to vblank properly, you know it's not their top priority.

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