Re: Nvidia, Intel, and clout

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On Sat, 2004-11-27 at 18:36 -0500, Sean wrote:
> On Sat, November 27, 2004 1:57 pm, Rodolfo J. Paiz said:
> I quoted you accurately.  I quoted the portion to which I wanted to
> respond.   Please read back and you'll see that the quote didn't injure
> your point.

I disagree. My first response was based on the premise that taking
positive action to help Linux gain wider and deeper support was better
than taking negative action to damage a company, as well as the premise
that *if* someone were so bloody-minded IMHO as to actively seek the
widespread reduction of a company's products, then in that case other
targets could be found which would be more appropriate choices at this
time. I do believe the specific text you quoted was not well-chosen.

> What you seem to be missing is that it is a reasonable desire to promote
> better choices for the open source world.

That's a remarkably unintelligent comment, considering that my original
post you critiqued specifically dealt with my opinions on how to promote
those better choices. You may or may not agree with my opinions on how
to promote better choices, but to claim that I am not aware of this
option is either clueless or willfully blind.

> To that end, it is reasonable
> to  look for ways to motivate companies that aren't providing open source
> solutions.  Asking people to think carefully before they support Nvidia is
> a reasonable thing to do.   The OP never used the word boycott.   His post
> seemed rational and thoughtful.   Personally, I do boycott Nvidia because
> they don't provide what open source solutions.

I quote from Bill Gradwohl's original post:

"Trade papers like Computer Reseller News, Infoweek, E-Week, etc. 
regularly report on Linux, so why not give them an article that 
factually portrays Nvidia issues in an attempt to "influence" Nvidia's 
sales. If the Fedora Project were to put out a press release stating 
their concerns the major publications would likely print it, and 
purchasers could be better informed leading to fewer problems on this 
list, happier end users, and lowered sales for Nvidia."

It would seem clear that Bill is looking for the maximum possible
negative impact on Nvidia's sales, by seeking a way to have major
industry publications report (note, factually) on what he sees as "a
major problem area". This is not what I consider reasonable or
advisable. It is not what I consider an effective path of action.

And it is not AT THIS TIME in the best interests of Linux, IMHO, since
at the high end there simply ARE NO ALTERNATIVES that will work well to
the best of my knowledge. It used to be "Windows or SGI". It is now
"Nvidia on Linux with closed-source drivers or Windows". We are trying
to get to "Open-Source drivers on Linux with no need for Windows". And
destroying Nvidia's sales, if some such effort were successful, would
damage Linux more (by reducing the early adopters of Linux in such
markets) than it would help by increasing the purity of the distro.

If you choose to believe the opposite, that is your choice and your
opinion. But I do not think it correct, nor do I think it makes the idea
of deliberately campaigning to reduce Nvidia's sales beneficial to
Linux, hence a reasonable option. Claiming a moral high ground will not
help you promote this opinion of yours... I find it short-sighted and
still choose to disagree.

Furthermore, I again quote from one of Bill Gradwohl's posts:

"Actually, I don't care if they have open source, closed source, or no 

Your whole argument is based on the desire to promote the Open Source
movement, and you have consistently argued in other threads that the
nature of the closed source driver is what you find objectionable.
Clearly Bill just wants the thing to work properly and couldn't care
less whether the source is there or not. Hence, *you* are putting words
in his mouth, not I.

> > If someone chooses a better option and that means less business for
> > Nvidia, so be it. That's the free market at work and I like that. And
> > part of what you missed is that I advocated finding, choosing, and
> > supporting those "better options" wherever possible.
> Yes, indeed.  Thanks for agreeing with the main idea behind my post.  
> Would be nice to hear more from you on what open-source video card
> solutions you promote and suggest for people.

Odd, this. Bill says we should go reduce Nvidia's sales. I respond
advising him to "convince people to issue that press release, but focus
on the needs of the users. Focus on getting more support, on
highlighting the number of people who use this. Make the manufacturers
*want* to support us. And then, of course, actually buy the stuff that
supports us." Now, all of a sudden, you're happy that you convinced me?
Please... no taking credit for something I already said.

As for what I recommend, when someone says they would like to use Linux
but they *need* absolutely top-of-the-line graphics, I recommend Nvidia
on Linux rather than telling them to stick with Windows. I also
recommend that they pressure Nvidia to release open-source drivers
since, until they do, the user is going to get stuck with some kludges
and problems every so often. I do *not* turn away someone who wants to
try Linux as an early adopter just because Nvidia offers only closed
drivers. Especially since no other company offers any supported high-end
drivers at all.

When someone does not need those capabilities, I recommend lower-end
Nvidia or ATI boards that *are* supported by open-source drivers, as
well as Matrox or S3 boards that have worked beautifully for me with
open-source drivers as well. Most anything works really.

Today, there are lots of choices in the middle to lower levels of the
market. Someday, we hope the same will be true of the high end. But I
believe that Nvidia is the lesser of many evils, since I believe that
they are making more and more of an effort to support Linux whereas many
of their competitors are not making *any* effort.

So it seems that all they've managed to do is raise their visibility to
zealots who will leave a company in peace for not helping Linux one tiny
bit, but who will actively seek to damage them for offering Linux
drivers, support, and an upgrade path on all their devices but using a
closed-source driver.

Personally, I think you're being radical, unrealistic, and in the end
harmful to the Linux cause. You may think whatever you please about me.
We both want Linux to succeed, and we disagree violently about the best
way to do that. Agree to disagree. Just don't try to twist my words
around as I feel you've done in this discussion.

Rodolfo J. Paiz <[email protected]>

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