Tech Source’s Timothy Miller wrote into the Linux Kernel Mailing Listearlier this week topitch his idea for a
This means full disclosure on all register interfaces so that no one has todeal with anything closed source (BIOS included). The goal here is to producea graphics card which is a Free Software geek’s dream in terms of openness. IfTech Source (me being its avatar) can develop a relationship with the Linux(and BSD) community, users and developers can get a product that they wantwithout being locked out by hardware vendors that feel they have to protectevery last little bit of IP relating to their products. The EXPRESS PURPOSE ofthis product is to be free-software-friendly.
The reason this idea came up is because I, as a user of Linux, am oftenfrustrated by the lack of open-source support for graphics cards which are not”pre-owned”. Sure, SOME companies release specs so that we can develop opensource drivers, but those cards tend to be prohibitively expensive, slowerthan their cheaper counterparts from ATI or nVidia, and they STILL don’tdocument the internals of the BIOS so that the card can be ported to a non-x86system. Furthermore, since all these vendors focus exclusively on Windows,they don’t give much help to open source developers who may produce driverswhich work but which are sub-optimal in performance or stability. (Here, Ihave to make the obligatory CYA statement that there is nothing wrong withtheir business models — it’s just unfortunate for Linux users.)
So, here are some questions to answer: (1) Would the sales volumes of this product be enough to make it worthproducing (ie. profitable)?
(2) How much would you be willing to pay for it?
(3) How do you feel about the choice of neglecting 3D performance as apriority? How important is 3D performance? In what cases is it not?
(4) How much extra would you be willing to pay for excellent 3Dperformance?
(5) What’s most important to you, performance, price, orstability?