Will Linus Apologize to Nvidia?
Linus Torvalds notoriously gave Nvidia the finger a while back, due to his perception that Nvidia was the worst company Linux developers have ever had to deal with over the years. Now Nvidia is reaching out to Torvalds and Linux, hoping to make amends for its past bad behavior.
Nvidia is now trying to get on Linux developers' good side. Yesterday, Nvidia's Andy Ritger e-mailed developers of Nouveau, an open source driver for Nvidia cards that is built by reverse engineering Nvidia's proprietary drivers. Ritger wrote that "NVIDIA is releasing public documentation on certain aspects of our GPUs, with the intent to address areas that impact the out-of-the-box usability of NVIDIA GPUs with Nouveau. We intend to provide more documentation over time, and guidance in additional areas as we are able."
Torvalds has responded to Ars, saying he's optimistic but not quite ready to apologize to Nvidia. "We'll see," Torvalds wrote in an e-mail. "I'm cautiously optimistic that this is a real shift in how Nvidia perceives Linux. The actual docs released so far are fairly limited, and in themselves they wouldn't be a big thing, but if Nvidia really does follow up and start opening up more, that would certainly be great.
"They've already been much better in the ARM SoC space than they were on the more traditional GPU side, and I really hope that some day I can just apologize for ever giving them the finger."Read more: Ars Technica
You can watch a video clip of Linus' remarks about Nvidia (skip to the 49 minute mark if the link doesn't do it for you). Please note that there's a bit of profanity, and of course Linus gives Nvidia the finger in the video.
I'm glad to hear that Nvidia is pledging to change its ways. But the proof is in the pudding, as they say. Nvidia's credibility is on the line now, so if they don't deliver it will just make the company look even worse than it did before (if that's possible).
Linus should probably hold off on that apology until Nvidia proves itself in a consistent way, over time. Short term efforts on their part that might fizzle out just aren't going to cut it.
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