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Discussion and Support for the OptiTrack, SmartNav and TrackIR brands by NaturalPoint

TrackIR for Linux

by tilarium » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:19 pm

Hi ,
What about drivers for linux?
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by VincentG » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:51 pm

We are very interested in providing support for our hardware in Linux, though are unsure of the market and its ability to provide a return on the investment that we, or a developer would need to make to have proper drivers Which also would not violate the open source requirements for Linux, while also maintaining proprietary secrets for our software and hardware..

It is currently something that we are looking into.
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by phel21 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:42 am

I think investments should be small. This is a prime example of something that can be built in a student project. Such projects frequently involve things that require NDAs. Something along the lines of Nvidia's graphics driver where the essentials are kept private but which can be relinked with various kernels would be nice. With linux there is of course also the added challenge that there is no abstraction layer similar to directx, but to have it handled as joystick axes (6) should work too (f.ex. with x-plane for linux). I also wouldn't be surprised if it was possible to share a lot of code between ports for linux and osx.
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by Jim » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:21 pm

As the OS world evolves and more games are published for OSX and Linux, we will be right there to support it and provide software. I hope that day isn't too far off.
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by Marcovd » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:03 am

[quote=NaturalPoint - Jim]As the OS world evolves and more games are published for OSX and Linux, we will be right there to support it and provide software. I hope that day isn't too far off. [/quote]

Most clients here who asked for Linux drivers bought your product, including me. Except for the researcher from some university, but still he/she asked for it. Some even buy every new version of your product. Not because they need it, its because they can't play without it anymore. Your product's mouth-to-mouth marketing is exceptional, it sells itself.

A search on the forums reveals that since the beginning people are constantly asking for linux support.

Naturalpoint states that one of the factors (besides ROE) involves sufficient Game Developer's request for Linux support for the willingness to develop a driver.

We know how this works. No software/hardware company wants to invest in a platform which will be popular in (i roughly estimate) 5 years. For the same reason not a single game developer will request for such support from your part.

You (obviously) want to invest the least amount of money to support the most amount of users for the longest possible time. Maybe now the time is right to avoid: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the ... head_start)

So in the current situation linux users have to beg over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over (you catch my drift) again before any company will take a serious look at supporting linux. However you guys at least tried to have a driver developed for linux, for some reason that support dropped.

And then most linux clients of a product (for instance your product) give up asking for it. It's not like they have the motivation for demanding freedom of speech or protesting against war. They give up, and when they purchase hardware they do it the other way around: is it supported by linux?

Why do you think users are taking all this time and effort asking for linux support? There seems to be no other alternative.

So what happens, almost no developer takes the plunge, the ones who do fail because of a weak business case, and some (notably the leading game houses like ID) succeed but their impact is negligible.

Are you seriously stating that a ~$145 product can not cover driver support for platforms other than Windows? If not, why not let people buy a linux driver online? A wrapper approach (like NdisWrapper) seems the most feasible option.

All the TrackIR's/SmartNavs/Optitracks have a serial number. There are 8994 registered users on this forum, so what percentage of the userbase has to request for a linux driver for developing one?

What were the problems in seeking a private-volunteer developed solution?

So lets be honest; a more precise answer will be, linux will not be supported for _at least_ the coming 5 years.

Regards,

Marco
(TrackIR serial: 0xxxxx)
Last edited by Marcovd on Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:49 pm, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: removed camera serial number
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by jah71 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:14 pm

Linux is rising in popularity. I dropped almost $10,000 for the Optitrack / Arena MOCAP system. I am in the process of starting my own Animation and VFX studio that will be using an all open source solution; with exception to this. I have to keep one PC with windows just to use the MOCAP system.

I know there are a lot of other people that are looking to do what i do. The open source community is huge and there are a lot of developers out there that would jump at the chance of making your products work for Linux.

Your Optitrack products price point are targeted at a certain demographic that would be the most likely to use linux in an Open Source environment / studio.

Please develop drivers for Linux, or release them for other open source developers to do so.
In doing so you are only widening your target user base.
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by Marcovd » Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:05 am

Can i get an official response to my questions?

Recieved this response over the mail months ago:
"We are very interested in providing support for our hardware in Linux, though are unsure of the market and its ability to provide a return on the investment that we, or a developer would need to make to have proper drivers Which also would not violate the open source requirements for Linux, while also maintaining proprietary secrets for our software and hardware."

Lets face it. The linux kernel is in constant development, but still a wrapper approach is an option. 'Linux' does not have open source requirements, some distributions just enforce them.

Again, the longer you wait, the more reason for people to reverse-engineer the system. Noticed some videos of the Wiimote on youtube recently?
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by Spatula » Wed Jan 28, 2009 6:43 pm

I don't know anything about Linux yet, as I just recently began using it. I found this driver http://www.thewretched.org/trackir.html but it wouldn't work. I'm guessing it is incompatible with the kernel (TrackIR driver v0.7 for Linux kernel 2.4.3) and there have been no other rls out. Could this type of thing be why supporting Linux is so problematic for trackir? If kernel builds come out daily, does the driver need adapted to keep up? If so, all that trackir needs to do is get something started and turn the development over to the open source guys. Don't bother asking EA, UBISOFT or any other game developer to care about supporting their games...they don't care about fans/gamers only their wallets. It can only help trackir sales to get linux fully supported...Microsoft will probably have to ask congress for a bailout though.
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by MiniMe » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:36 pm

I too would love a Linux driver. MS Flight Simulator is the only reason I have a Windows partition. The future of that franchise is in doubt (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/03 ... _partners/).

If MSFS development does end we'll see lots of folks flocking to Flightgear and X-Plane which is available on Linux. People like me will then be thrilled to be fully liberated from Window$ but sad to be missing trackir...
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by xalen » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:12 am

Plus one for a linux driver. I first wanted one a year ago, I still want one, I still haven't bought trackir as a result. As soon as a linux driver comes out I'll buy trackir, if it doesn't, I won't!... ever!
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