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Thread: Intel's Special Driver For Poulsbo Uses Gallium3D

  1. #11
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    They could just as well fork Mesa into that 3D support blob as well, making it impossible to trace Gallium3D calls, couldn't they? That's at least how I understand Mesa's MIT license.

  2. #12
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    Jun 2008
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    the closed-source component, which is the Gallium3D code to provide some fast OpenGL acceleration

    Why is it that the really useful stuff is never open source?

  3. #13
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    this news about blob-thing sucking from "new api for easy and simple driver implementation" is a very very disturbing.

    bad tendency.

    even whole "GEM except TTM, UXA instead EXA, overcomplicated stuff over 'modesetting_drv'\Gallium" wasn't cheering at all...

  4. #14
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    This is not as cool as you might think.

    First, this driver uses an older Gallium API, probably version 0.1, so most of the current tools and state trackers won't magically work until it's updated.

    Second, although dumping Gallium calls is a very easy trick due to trace and rbug, it doesn't help since those calls are one level above the closed-source layer. Since the DRM is open-source, however, you could definitely just use a trivial state tracker like python or dri to dump tiny bits of state, revenge-style, out of DRM, and build a reverse-engineered driver that way.

    Third, Imagination has historically been absolutely horrible about code licensing terms, and I for one will not be surprised if this code includes the same "I agree to not reverse-engineer this shit for any reason" clause as the license that came with their GLES blob for OMAP3xxx chipsets. I was part of a team last year (the OSWALD project) that wanted to use SGX code and the team ended up shipping no 3D at all because of the licensing conditions. You may note that TG/VMWare has been sitting on this code for a while, and that's because Imagination's a company that really just doesn't like the open-source community.

    ~ C.

  5. #15
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    Just when I thought Intel was becoming less evil!

  6. #16
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    Interesting, is the vaapi part open source or binary?

  7. #17
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    Nov 2008
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    Madison, WI, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by MostAwesomeDude View Post
    This is not as cool as you might think.

    First, this driver uses an older Gallium API, probably version 0.1, so most of the current tools and state trackers won't magically work until it's updated.

    Second, although dumping Gallium calls is a very easy trick due to trace and rbug, it doesn't help since those calls are one level above the closed-source layer. Since the DRM is open-source, however, you could definitely just use a trivial state tracker like python or dri to dump tiny bits of state, revenge-style, out of DRM, and build a reverse-engineered driver that way.

    Third, Imagination has historically been absolutely horrible about code licensing terms, and I for one will not be surprised if this code includes the same "I agree to not reverse-engineer this shit for any reason" clause as the license that came with their GLES blob for OMAP3xxx chipsets. I was part of a team last year (the OSWALD project) that wanted to use SGX code and the team ended up shipping no 3D at all because of the licensing conditions. You may note that TG/VMWare has been sitting on this code for a while, and that's because Imagination's a company that really just doesn't like the open-source community.

    ~ C.
    I could dream... and then have my dreams crushed like a kid who just got back from Trick or Treating on Halloween and having their parents take away everything with sugar on it...

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MostAwesomeDude View Post
    Third, Imagination has historically been absolutely horrible about code licensing terms, and I for one will not be surprised if this code includes the same "I agree to not reverse-engineer this shit for any reason" clause as the license that came with their GLES blob for OMAP3xxx chipsets
    It's well known that Imagination Technologies is managed by morons, but the kernel module *is* GPL after all and there's no way they can stop people from modifying it once the shit hits the fan, so to speak.

    This no-RE clause is pretty common fare and it hasn't really stopped anyone from picking blobs apart before (WiFi drivers immediately sprint to mind, but you could probably find examples in any category with a little digging). Clean room RE is protected pretty much everywhere in the world, so they don't have much to stand on.

    Granted, there's a real danger of patent lawsuits here, but Imagination would have to be even larger morons than they currently are to go down that road.

  9. #19
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    Will this work on Menlow then? I don't even care about fast video or 3D, at this point I just want my web browser to work - the open source bits are enough for that, right? The VESA driver in Fedora 10 didn't even support my custom screen resolution out of the box, so I just gave up - I don't really have any time to mess around.

  10. #20
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    May 2008
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    IMHO these new drivers are last minute fix (probably with big additional costs) of badly planned and executed project (Poulsbo). Result: by licensing Imagination technology Intel damaged perception of own HW and SW competence for mobile market.

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