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[Savannah-hackers] Re: submission of Waves, Clouds, and Sand - savannah

From: Mathieu Roy
Subject: [Savannah-hackers] Re: submission of Waves, Clouds, and Sand -
Date: 26 Feb 2003 10:52:10 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.2

address@hidden said:

> > The main idea behind the restriction on Savannah is pretty simple:
> > actually, it is now possible to use a completely free system, as
> > GNU/Linux exists.
> >
> > As now this completely free system exists, new bricks to add to this
> > free system mustn't depend on non-free bricks. It would be adding
> > proprietary software in the chain.
> >
> > You said that people having brand new 3d cards do not want to use 2d
> > graphics. I have an ATI Radeon at home. Indeed, I use them in 3d when
> > playing at game, that actually are proprietary, running on a
> > proprietary system.
> > While I use a free system (98% of the time, when I'm not playing), I
> > use VESA drivers. Sure I do not take full advantages of my hardware,
> > sure I do not play tremendous 3d games. But I won't spend time on this
> > to make my free system dependant. While using proprietary driver on a
> > system which is 98 % non free does not really disturb me, I would
> > never add them on a free system... and neither I would promote 3d
> > games that would incitate me to install proprietary stuff on my free
> > system to use them.
> So, because you don't have free 3D drivers, and don't want to install the
> proprietary ones...  you use proprietary drivers anyway, to play
> proprietary games, on a proprietary operating system.  (I'm guessing you
> use Windows.)
> Having a "completely free system" is essentially meaningless in that case.
> Your physical box has a ton of non-free stuff on it.  The "free"
> distinction does not exist for practical purposes.
> So you encourage non-free games and drivers by purchasing those products,
> which does not help the cause of either free games or free drivers on
> GNU/Linux.

Purchasing product? Hum.

My physical box have a partition will absolutely non-essential stuff
that is non-free. It's not a problem for me.

Basically, what is installed on my box is my problem. The fact that I
may use Microsoft Windows sometimes do not incitate other persons to
do the same to use free software. And this is what matter : the fact
that people use proprietary software or not is up to them as long as
they act as absolutely end user ; when you make something with your
computer to distribute it, the consequences do not only apply to you.

Frankly, who care if I play sometimes to a non-free game. There's
absolutely no consequences.

The situation would be different if I was using MS Windows to
contribute to Savannah and if a proprietary plugins as flash was
needed to get access to Savannah.

> > If new free 3d games appears to be dependant on proprietary
> > drivers, 3d cards manufacturers will never have interest on
> > contributing on free drivers.
> I think the opposite may actually be true; I think that if cutting-edge
> free games appear, that will show 3D vendors that people are serious about
> 3D graphics on free systems. We don't have enough people asking for free
> drivers since they are not exposed to the whole FSF philosophy when they
> play their games on Windows.
> Who do ATI, NVidia, et al. listen to?  Id software, Epic, Hollywood F/X
> shops, and so forth.  Id makes games that help sell the hardware.  If we
> stick with feature sets from two generations back for our free games, we
> aren't going to be on their radar, and we won't get enough users to reach
> the critical mass needed to successfully lobby for free drivers.

There's is flaw in your speech, you are saying that :
        1) people do not use free drivers to get nifty 3d rendering
        2) the reason is because there not good free 3d games
        3) you propose to make a good 3d game dependant on proprieraty drivers
        4) and this would incitate ATI, NVidia et al. to free their

Why would they free their drivers if everybody is satisfied with them
as non free?

If we accept such choice, we should accept for instance 3d filesystem
browser dependant on non-free drivers et caetera. 
There will maybe more and more 3d software. If building them on
non-free stuff becomes natural, what will be the result?

> > To promote free drivers, it would be surely helpfull to have
> > high-visibility projects relying on them.
> I'm not sure how that would help, because the end-user with the vendor's
> proprietary drivers will be able to run the same software that any partial
> free implementation would be able to run.

And that's not a problem. On free system like Debian GNU or RedHat,
people won't find proprietary drivers installed from the
start. They'll have to search for it. And if there's no reason to do
so, they'll probably stop to do so. 
>  Additionally, in order to test free drivers, you need software which
> uses those features.  Right now that means proprietary games.  I
> don't see how to get away from proprietary software completely when
> making a replacement for either a driver or the software which uses
> it.

Indeed, to test free drivers, you need software which uses those
features: cannot your project uses those features?

You we're saying that features lacks in free drivers but if you're are
not willing to use existing features, you do not help me free drivers.

> If I create a free game now, I can develop against the vendor's
> reference implmentation (proprietary drivers) for correctness.  That
> enables people working on free drivers to test against my
> previously-developed, known-behavior game.

Why not directly using free reference implementation? Doesn't it

Mathieu Roy
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