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Thread: Nouveau Drops Its Old DRI Driver

  1. #1
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    Default Nouveau Drops Its Old DRI Driver

    Phoronix: Nouveau Drops Its Old DRI Driver

    In some weekend Linux graphics news not related to the much belated X.Org 7.4 or the recent open ATI innovations, there is another interesting change to report on coming from the Nouveau developers who have been tediously reverse-engineering NVIDIA's binary X driver. Recently they began work on Kernel-based mode-setting and NV50 series EXA Composite / X-Video support, but this news is different...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NjU4Nw

  2. #2
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    Default Good move

    Their dropping incomplete support for an obsolete technology - which is good. These guys have a great shortage of developers, and I think it's a good long-term solution for them to support the latest tech only.

    I always thought, for example, that they are wrong in trying to reverse engineer the old NVIDIA cards, which will be obsolete and disappearing from the market soon anyway. They should concentrate on the present and future - say the 8xxx series and above, which are very different from everything before them, and little of what they've done on the older chips can be reused.

    I hope I make some sense, it's very late.

  3. #3
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    I don't agree that they should support only new cards. I don't want my fx5700le to become a paperweight! However, I doubt the code they dumped actually did much from the user's point of view, and I think they've been working on ways to do a fixed-function gallium driver. I hope nouveau manages to get basline-level open-source nvidia support, but for now, I'm buying ATI.

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    From what I see, NV20+ (which includes Geforce 3 and 4 TI (not MX)) supports shaders, which is a prerequisite for gallium, so it seems that that will be the focus.

    Perhaps a nouveau-legacy driver will come up that uses old DRI interface...

    BTW I also think this is a good thing

  5. #5
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    I agree, dropping support for old cards is pretty bad, and those are the ones nvidia supports best (although lately that doesn't mean much...).

    I'm looking forward to be able to use AIGLX and stuff with my old nvidia cards; last time I wanted to use a 2mx got bitten by a driver bug that just froze X.org on start, and had to use another, more recent graphics card.

    I think nouveau should start thinking about a release though... It's pretty hard to follow them if they always need git-everything to work, and the versions that are packaged by distros are always old and most of their bugs have been fixed, so it's not even much use reporting them (or waiting for distro-packaged versions with fixes).
    Last edited by [Knuckles]; 07-14-2008 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Fix typo

  6. #6
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    I always thought, for example, that they are wrong in trying to reverse engineer the old NVIDIA cards, which will be obsolete and disappearing from the market soon anyway.
    i have riva tnt agp card in an old p2-366 box and i'd appreciate it being supported. that old box works quite well for my usual daily stuff (mail reading, www browsing, ssh server, ftp server, storage box (it has a couple of big hdds inside) ). 2d acceleration would be nice, 3d - not necessarily ;-)
    Last edited by yoshi314; 07-14-2008 at 08:40 AM.

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    It would be nice if Nvidia released docs for say everything before Geforce 3.. Shouldn't harm their business in the least.

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    As I mentioned, this is only 3D acceleration, up to GeForce 4MX series (series 3 and 4TI are supported), because of gallium's requirement on shaders.

    An old DRI driver might come eventually, but for now, we'll have to see

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by curaga View Post
    It would be nice if Nvidia released docs for say everything before Geforce 3.. Shouldn't harm their business in the least.
    You think that. I think that.

    They don't think that way and the trick is in convincing them that supporting those ancient parts (even if it's just releasing tech data...) is in their best interests...best of luck on that- you're getting the happy medium with AMD and Intel right at the moment. We're just going to have to see if they see the same advantages we do in all of it- if so, you can bet NVidia will follow suit if only to keep up.

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