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Re: [Public WebGL] blacklisting NVIDIA proprietary Linux drivers older than 295.* in chrome



On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM, Florian Bösch <pyalot@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 12:06 AM, Kenneth Russell <kbr@google.com> wrote:
>>
>> You can override this blacklisting at your own risk with an entry in
>> about:flags, but I'm afraid we don't have the resources to continue
>> advising people to upgrade their drivers each time they run into a
>> rendering artifact in Chrome fixed with later drivers.
>>
>> Ubuntu 12.04 ships with the 295 drivers by default. I've also manually
>> installed them using NVIDIA's binary installer on 10.04 (not without
>> issues on certain machines, though -- for example, those with
>> multi-monitor displays -- almost certainly due to my inexperience
>> maintaining Linux boxes). As far as I can see,
>> https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-x-swat/+archive/x-updates contains
>> entries for the latest drivers as far back as Lucid.
>
>
> An absolute minority of people is installing their nv drivers by hand from
> the nvidia download. The reason being that they almost never really work.
> Most people get their driver out of the ubuntu repositories. A significant
> portion however can't deal with these either, and they add the x-swat
> repositories. Some of the x-swat packes, especially the newer drivers don't
> work. I've had to revert driver updates twice after an x-swat update of them
> because X wouldn't start, at all.
>
> I understand your desire to stop telling people to update their drivers. But
> most people will not get your message when suddenly WebGL stops working.
> They'll get nothing. WebGL just stops working for them. Then they'll take to
> twitter and their blogs trashing WebGL and Chrome. Because a metric shit-ton
> of people will experience that, it'll be a metric shit-ton of trashing.
We'll have to see. In Chrome the Linux user base is a very small
percentage of the total number of users. I am sorry that any users
will be affected by this decision, but there are workarounds for savvy
users, and there are known problems with certain widely deployed
drivers (the 280 series in particular) which we simply can't keep
supporting.
-Ken


Sorry to revive this thread after a week, but I  had a thought. If Chrome could expose
the text that we see in the about:gpu GPU page when WebGL isn't supported
(e.g. Nvidia drivers < 295.* are buggy) to _javascript_, then websites could deliver
this useful message to their users and direct them to the right page to solve their
problem.

The community could even set up a really easy guide to help people upgrade.
Without that text, we're stuck with directing users to a generic upgrade page.

This would also be really useful under Windows.

Rob