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Couple of guesses

a) If the drivers were open patent trolls and competitors would sue.

b) I have heard stories about some graphics vendors who have a lot of duplicated code in their drivers for supporting different generations of cards. Instead of building abstractions that achieve generality theyve succumbed to the copy paste rabbit hole.

c) If we all saw the mess that lives in the drivers none of us would be okay with it running it as a kernel module.

d) There are questionable optimizations that vendors would be caught on.

e) legal department requires too many changes/check (no swear comments, proper licence headers, ...) so it is too much work

f) convoluted build process which is impossible to recreate outside NVidia

g) some code is licenced from somebody else

h) obvious NSA backdoor built in

Linux doesn't seem to have problems with swearing in the source. I don't know why Nvidia would, either - the words exist for a reason and people use them to fill a conversational need, if you don't like certain syllables in succession grow up.

Here is an anecdote about the Netscape Open Source release which became Mozilla.

> When we created mozilla.org and released (most of) the source code to Netscape Confusicator 4.x, Netscape's lawyers made us go through a big "sanitization" process on the source code. Largely this consisted of making sure we had the legal rights to all the code we were releasing, and making sure every file had proper and accurate copyright statements; but they also made us take out all the dirty words. Specifically, "any text containing vulgar or offensive words or expressions; any text that might be slanderous or libelous to individuals and/or institutions."


Even John Carmack was pressured by the lawyers when he open-sourced Doom 3.


Because not every project is headed by Linus Torvalds. That man has almost no filter (which in my opinion is a good thing).

However, that same type of stuff may not reflect other organizations and members of those organizations in a good light. So there are definitely concerns there.

I'm a developer, and my company's closed source code definitely has its share of profanity and "WTF"s. But that would not fly for things we make available on GitHub, just due to concerns of our image. Most developers wouldn't give two shits about the comment...

Do you honestly believe that there would be any damage to your company's image that would last more than 5 seconds to a small minority of people that would even see an article regrading "improper language"?

Unless your fellow developers are posting extremely obscene racial slurs and threatening rape on the interns. In which case your company has bigger issues to worry about.

These problems almost entirely disappear by providing documentation. Nobody that I know is literally asking for the source to the Windows driver.

Yes, then all they'd have to do is hire a bunch of people to write documentation, like AMD's done for their open source driver. To the extent that they have documentation currently, it's likely wrong, incomplete (because the driver guys can just ask the hardware guys what's up), and it's got various trade secrets and future device plans in it.

a) and c) seem likely.

Also, if folks had the source, they'd likely start doing optimizations for particular cards and drivers--that being the case, there would be a really gnarly backwards-compatibility issues that would start to plague vendors.

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