Nvidia amd64

Michael W. Lucas mwlucas at blackhelicopters.org
Fri Sep 28 07:43:52 PDT 2007

[I would trim this down, but it's so damn big that I'm certain I'd
confuse attributions...]

On Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 08:47:11PM -0700, Garrett Cooper wrote:
> Sam Fourman Jr. wrote:
> >On 9/27/07, Kjell Tore Ullavik <ktullavik at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>Remko Lodder wrote:
> >>>On Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 03:07:42PM +0200, Giulio Ferro wrote:
> >>>> Sam Fourman Jr. wrote:
> >>>>>>>There is no driver.
> >>>>>>I sort of surmised that already...
> >>>>>>So, we are still years away from seeing a working nvidia driver,
> >>>>>>by the look of it...
> >>>>>I guess what I am confused about, is there someone actively working on
> >>>>>the Nvidia requests, or does a capable individual need to take the
> >>>>>lead on this project?
> >>>> And that's exactly what I'd very much like to know...
> >>>>From what I know and what I can see; there is nobody actively working in
> >>>this region to get the things fixed to get this far. Ofcourse like 
> >>>rsync.net
> >>>you are free to sponsor these items if they are really important to you,
> >>>without that, do notice that people do this in their own free time, which
> >>>could either take some time before it's there, or might not be 
> >>>interesting
> >>>enough to work on currently (because of other things at work, private 
> >>>life
> >>>other code etc).
> >>>It's not a matter of a capable individual taking the lead, it's a matter
> >>>of having someone capable enough working on this for some time, which can
> >>>be achieved by sponsoring that capable person for example.
> >>Maybe the FreeBSD project could provide an official site for bounties?
> >>Some things might have more interest among users than developers,
> >>and an easy way to create and donate to bounties for everyone to see may
> >>make it less of a barrier for people to put their money where their
> >>mouth is.


There's been discussion about the possibility of providing an
"official" FreeBSD bounty page run by the FreeBSD Project.  As I
recall, for a variety of legal reasons the Foundation will not do it.

Remember that "the FreeBSD Project" is not a legal entity.  We are a
loosely affiliated gang with no existence outside the minds of our
members and users.  This does not affect people much in the software
world -- you don't care that the main FreeBSD FTP server is actually
owned by ISC, or that the Web server is provided by Yahoo!  Legally,
TFP cannot hold your money in trust as part of a bounty.

These two points reach a simple conclusion: there will be no "official
FreeBSD Project Bounty Page," end of discussion.

(I'm sure that people are going to blather about it more, but this
really is the final word from the FreeBSD Project side.  The Internet
loves beating that greasy spot on the ground where the dead horse used
to be, though...)

"Enough interest" is not a question of quantity, but a qualitative
question.  It doesn't matter if millions of users want a nVidia amd64
driver if none of them can write the code.  Every one of those
millions of users may be a high-quality human being with a great deal
of inherent worth, but if they don't have the quality of "can write
the code" they don't count.

When someone who has the skills to develop the kernel support nVidia
requires is sufficiently interested to develop that kernel support, it
will happen.  Not before.

If you don't have the skills, but you believe that you have sufficient
motivation and interest, then you tneed to do the work to motivate a
developer.  Hint: email alone, no matter how impassioned or whiny,
will not do it.  If you do not do this, then you do not have
sufficient interest.

>    What needs to be done is FreeBSD users need to be asked, 
> specifically, if they have interest in an amd64 capable nvidia-driver 
> being released.  If so, then a donation page should be setup and 
> coordinated either through the FreeBSD Foundation (desired) or a 
> trusted, private individual who will distribute the funds to the parties 
> implementing the feature.

Great idea!

The Foundation is not going to do this -- last I knew, they do not
accept directed donations for legal reasons.

Everybody on this list is an individual, however.  Step up.  Do it.
Yes, I'm talking to you, the person reading this right now.  That's
how you become part of the loose gang called The FreeBSD
Project. Don't ask me to do it.  I think that there should be better
FreeBSD books available in bookstores, and so I'm doing that.

This is the *only* way ANYTHING gets done in the FreeBSD Project.

>    Personally I think that this should apply to many things, not just 
> nvidia-driver. If that was done, maybe volunteer work (I know, less 
> volunteer, more work) would move along faster. The same thing occurs in 
> the business world but instead of small bounties it's usually a large 
> sum of money for a set of features developed and supported over a long 
> period of time. At least that's what Linux would make me think...

I would suggest that whoever does the work break up the nVidia needs
list into a small series of steps that could be accomplished (and
bought) more easily, rather than a single monolithic bounty.

I would also suggest that whoever does this talks to a lawyer first.
You might find the legal restrictions on this less onerous if you're
not in the USA.  Here, it's hard to just be a good guy.  :-(

>    Just my two cents..

Two cents?  Wow.  Mine is, like, a half-penny.  :-)


Michael W. Lucas 	mwlucas at BlackHelicopters.org, mwlucas at FreeBSD.org
      Coming Soon: "Absolute FreeBSD" -- http://www.AbsoluteFreeBSD.com
On 5/4/2007, the TSA kept 3 pairs of my soiled undies "for security reasons."

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