[ardour-users] ardour-users Digest, Vol 37, Issue 16

Thomas Vecchione seablaede at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 21:43:49 PST 2007

> With Ubuntu you have to apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx  and similar
> with debian for whatever reason Debian and Ubuntu have to place it in a
> 'restricted' repository.  Isn't XORG the open source project you speak
> of? 

Actually the open source projects I was referring to were separate from 
Xorg, though what they do will probably be merged into both the kernel 
and XOrg at some point when they are stable.

> I could care less if hooks have to be made to the proprietary drivers,
> I have the hardware,  it just seems silly I would have to worry about
> where a distro chooses to place that. 
> Make me hit a disclaimer if you want,  and pass through this during an
> install,  rather than installing and apt-get xorg!

This entirely goes down to the distribution you choose.  Some 
distributions ship with the proprietary drivers already set up, some 
give you the option between open source and proprietary at boot or 
install, some just ignore the proprietary drivers.

And brings back to the point of the original post, this has less to do 
with the manufacturer, and more to do with the distribution itself.

> Firmware,  the driver as I think of it was another matter.

Firmware and what most people call drivers(In Linux they would be the 
equivalent of the kernel module) are two separate things.  Firmware sits 
on the card itself and operates it at a hardware level.  The 
driver/module communicates with the firmware to provide control over the 
functions of the card.

Some cards require firmware to be loaded every time the card is started, 
some keep the firmware in a cmos style ram or other semi-permanant storage.

> It just made no sense to me at all why this firmware sits on the ALSA
> site,  with two different sets of instructions.  One of which was
> translated from another language.  
> This is what I meant by ghost ware,   Echo/Event does not acknowledge
> it,   and someone has taken the time to write the driver but not explain
> themselves fully. It kind of sits in purgatory.

I will be the first to admit the ALSA documentation is a combination of 
confusing and outdated.  I even still get confused by it on occasion.  I 
doubt I am alone.  In most cases the average user won't even have to 
worry about the majority of it, even in distributions that don't 
automatically set everything up(Like Gentoo)

I am not sure I would classify software as ghostware because of that 
though.  I would agree though that it does need good documentation 
written for it, but what distribution should that documentation be 
written for?  That is what puts off many people from writing good 
documentation these days, installing it on one distribution can be 
completely different from another.

When I finish up the project I am working on, assuming a steady job does 
not come out of it, I will be re-setting up a site for community 
documentation at a general level for linux, and hopefully it will be 
able to be extended at some point to include a variety of distribution 
specific documentation.  Problem is, this is only one of hundreds of 
sites with similar goals.  Do I think it will do any better?  I don't 
know.  Why don't I contribute to the other options?  Because I haven't 
found one I really like yet, thus my option of choosing to create a new 
one;)  But that is a different topic anyways.


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