Non-free drivers (Re: Invitation to ubuntu developers)

Mark Reitblatt Mark at
Thu Nov 30 06:36:05 GMT 2006

On 11/29/06, Tim Schmidt <timschmidt at> wrote:
> On 11/30/06, Arwyn Hainsworth <arwyn at> wrote:
> > If it was only to get 3D stuff working then maybe I'd agree with you,
> > but it isn't. Some machines simply don't work correctly with the Free
> > drivers.
> > As far as 3D stuff is concerned, it's optional IMHO, but getting the
> > correct resolution for 2D graphics is a must.
> Agreed.  Free drivers do so in all but the most exotic situations (a
> very occasional weird laptop for example).

I pointed out to you earlier that this is simply not true. A Dell
2007FP is hardly "exotic". If the open drivers performed as well as
you continuously claim, then I would be using the nv driver instead. I
have no need for 3-D, merely properly working 2-D.

> > And if it requires
> > proprietary drivers to do it... well so be it. When there is a Free
> > driver capable of doing the things that need doing, I'm sure a switch
> > will be considered.
> There are, they're already in Ubuntu, and we're talking about replacing them.

1) They are not always capable of doing the things that need doing.

2) We are not talking about replacing them. They will still be there.
We are talking about using the more capable binary-only drivers by
default when appropriate. In other words, providing the user with the
best tool for the job right from the start.

3) If the nv driver had the capability to get the resolution right
every time the binary-only driver did, I would support your position.

I think this conversation has more than worn itself out. Arguing about
all the wonderful benefits and magic pixie dust bestowed by Nvidia
simply opening up their drivers has no place on the Ubuntu-Devel list.
You've made your position perfectly clear, and so has everyone else.

Anybody who tells me I can't use a program because it's not open
source, go suck on rms. I'm not interested. 99% of that I run tends to
be open source, but that's _my_ choice, dammit.

-- Linus Torvalds

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