Does 3Dfx really support Linux?
Or was its LinuxWorld announcement just marketing spin? Register readers ask
In our story on 3Dfx's marketing-led Linux support announcement we pointed out that most of the developments the company had highlighted were actually programmes already in place within the open source community. However, some Register readers kindly got in touch to detail the extent of that development work. In particular, reader Paul Komarek informed us that Glide for Linux has been available for at least 12 months before 3Dfx's Monday announcement. "Daryll Strauss [the guy who's done the port 3Dfx is promoting] has been working by himself for at least one-and-a-half years," apparently with only "occasional help from 3Dfx". That suggests that, like various other companies who've hitched a ride with the open source community, 3Dfx has essentially used Strauss' work to spare itself R&D dollars. To be fair to 3Dfx, it did credit Strauss in its announcement, but it would be interesting to see if he got any real reward for his efforts beyond a pat on the back. "About releasing the 3D specs for the Banshee," adds Paul, "nVidia gave the Xfree86 project code for drivers for the Riva 128 and TNT. This code is open source, of course, as Xfree86 wouldn't take it otherwise. "In my opinion 3Dfx is releasing this info so Linux users can buy a Banshee for Windows games but use it for their desktop under X in Linux. That way they [3Dfx] can still avoid committing driver-writing resources to Linux but have Linux users buy their cards." Where, asks Paul, is the real change in 3Dfx's attitude to Linux in that? ®
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