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United States
I’ll do it, but only if you’ll help

Pledge “open3d”

"I will favor purchases from the first of ATI/AMD or nVidia to open source their graphics drivers but only if 1,000 other people or organisations will do the same."

— Marcus Hewat, paying customer

Deadline to sign up by: 31st December 2007
216 people signed up, 784 more were needed

More details
As a paying customer, I expect the graphics cards for PC that I buy to work out of the box with the open source and Free software that I use. This is currently not the case because the two major graphics card manufacturers are currently in a "stale mate" situation where they both keep their drivers proprietary at the customer's expense. To create an incentive for one of these manufacturers to open their drivers I make the following pledge:

When either "ATI/AMD" or nVidia open source the 3D drivers for their discrete graphics cards for PC, I will favor buying their products over their competitor in all circumstances over the next five years even if the other later open sources it's drivers.
-this pledge does not affect buying decisions for products with open source 3D graphics drivers prior to the pledge (for example if Intel where to start producing discrete graphics cards)
-if both manufacturers open source their drivers within 31 days of each other, they are considered to be released simultaneously and this pledge does not apply.
-this pledge only affects buying decisions of discrete graphics cards, such as PCI-Express or AGP cards
-the new open source 3D drivers must at least equal the features and performance of the best (other) open source 3D drivers available at the time of their release (such as the r200, r300 and Intel drivers)
-the new open source drivers must support all discrete video cards of the manufacturer currently in production.
-the open source drivers must be in a license compatible with the "open source" or "Free software" definition and must be distributable with in a GNU/Linux Distribution
-specifications of all the graphics cards currently in production, provided under NDA to any current, Mesa3D or DRI developer who places a request is also acceptable, provided it contains sufficient information to allow developing and distributing Open/Free drivers that meet the other requierments

This pledge is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

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Comments on this pledge

  • FORZA!
    Umberto Belladelli, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I doubt this will happen, though AMD have announced that they will open source they're drivers. Either way it won't hurt to pledge.
    Currently I'm looking out for some nice Intel cards - purely because they are OSS and work so well.
    Xilon, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I would really have done this anyway, although I still hold a grudge with Nvidia for their bait-and-switch over free drivers in the early 2000s.
    Joshua Rodman, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I have already followed this philosophy in purchasing 2 Matrox G400 cards and an ATI R200-based card. Friends also ask me for recommendations, and two extra factors are source availability (pragmatically for stability, as opposed to "merely philosophy") and community/marketplace position and participation.
    Dale Pontius, 13 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Be open, what are you afraid of?
    Alexandru Dobrinescu, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I don't care for the intel exception. If intel manages to put out a card which is comparable to a new mid-range nvidia or ati card I think they should get just as good a deal as the big boys.

    I say this because intel is already playing nice, and are likely to do so in the future. If we give them a reason to jump into the fray I think they deserve the break.

    I would suggest rewording to something along the lines of a full OpenGL pipeline (current intel chips use a lot of emulation of the graphics pipeline in software)

    I think the nvidia/ati open driver cold war can go on forever, we need some small party contenders to come in and shake up the balance of power.

    I say offer this pledge to all comers who produce a modern midrange full hardware OpenGL pipeline add on card with free (GPL or BSD) drivers.
    Dan Warren, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Dear Dan Warren, I believe this pledge does give Intel just as good a deal as "the big boys". The pledge specifically says:
    “this pledge does not affect buying decisions for products with open source 3D graphics drivers prior to the pledge”
    This means that someone who takes the pledge can still freely buy an Intel graphics card with Open Source drivers whatever ATI or nVidia do.
    The goal of this pledge is to financially motivate manufacturers who have not yet Open Sourced their drivers and not penalize the ones who already have (Intel only as of today). I have worded this pledge as carefully as possible and I think it works as intended. I hope you will understand that it is impossible to edit the text of a pledge that has already been signed.
    Marcus Hewat, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Looks like AMD is about to release an open sourced driver for R500 and above cards. They will also be releasing specifications and have pledged to work with the FOSS community on the open source drivers.

    Hal, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • I'm absolutely going to buy the one that has open source drivers! I'm pretty sure when they do so the quality of the driver will increase. Or, at least, the community will come up with dozens of cool hacks ;-)
    Amr Mostafa, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
  • Recently (start of 2008), AMD/ATI has been regularly releasing 2D and 3D specifications for its graphics cards. nVidia has not.
    For this reason, I recommend favoring ATI/AMD and Intel in your graphics card purchases. I also recommend avoiding nVidia graphics cards.
  • 1000 people are lots, and really lots. I would be happy if only a few, let's say 5 people would favor a buy of hardware because of open source drivers, but watching at least 200 people signing I'm impressed. Anyway I was about to buy a ATI/AMD x1050 AGP port, but it got sold out, and only the more expensive Xyyy models are available. I guess AGP is out of business.
    Nick Flosser, 12 years ago. Abusive? Report it!
This pledge is closed for new comments.

Current signatories (Green text = they've done it)

Marcus Hewat, the Pledge Creator, joined by:

  • Thibaut Semence
  • Frédéric Duranton
  • Charles Sporn
  • Adam DiCarlo
  • Kartik Mohta
  • saido6pac
  • Arthur Pallas
  • Iliyas Jorio
  • Lou Nettune
  • Johnny Westerlund
  • Robert Smit
  • Erkki Hoikka
  • Henry Harrington
  • João Mendes
  • Pierre Ossman
  • Duncan Innes
  • shikhar bhushan
  • Tom Hopstaken
  • Davide Prina
  • muszek
  • James Deeks
  • Egor
  • Chad A Simmons
  • Hadic Koslovic
  • Tom Mensch
  • Allan Lewis
  • Ole Edsberg
  • Brian McGilligan
  • Pip Stuart
  • Benjamin Goodger
  • Mads Ravn
  • Eugene
  • Lukas Sabota
  • Aliham
  • Anders Juel Jensen
  • Peter Johan Sørensen
  • Sebastian Rolf
  • Anssi Ylönen
  • Tom Kox
  • Лазутин Алексей
  • Jacques du Rand
  • Zani Deetlefs
  • Trevor Pankonien
  • Clifton Hyatt
  • Cliff Pankonien
  • Mats Rauhala
  • Andreas Meier
  • Lorenzo Franceschini
  • David Malloy
  • Silvio Crispiatico
  • Rob Rogers
  • Mikko Lukas Räsänen
  • Andrei Slăvoiu
  • John Beppu
  • Tony Dunlop
  • Filip Joelsson
  • Helen Griffiths
  • Bernardo Innocenti
  • Scott Weikart
  • Sven Müller
  • Dennis Du Krøger
  • Kai Gillmann
  • Marius Caldas
  • Matias Hermanrud Fjeld
  • Joshua Rodman
  • Dale Pontius
  • Nicolas Bigaouette
  • Jakob Petsovits
  • Ben Campbell
  • Caroline Müller
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  • 39 people who did not want to give their names

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