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Thread: What Was Decided With S3TC & Floating Points For Mesa

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    Default What Was Decided With S3TC & Floating Points For Mesa

    Phoronix: What Was Decided With S3TC & Floating Points For Mesa

    Last week I mentioned that a developer called for a discussion about merging the OpenGL floating point textures and render targets branch into mainline Mesa. This code has been ready for a while but hasn't been merged due to patent concerns, but to alleviate that while pushing the code forward, the proposed idea was to add a --enable-patented build option. Over the weekend, the discussion continued and it was then also proposed to merge the S3TC texture compression work (another feature where developers are concerned about patent infringement) and to conceal that behind the new build option too. So what happened since and did the work make it into the mainline Mesa Git repository?..

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTE5Mw

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    If I understand the process correctly Mesa has to be rebuild either way if the S3TC work is brought in tree or left as a library

    If it's left as a library and it isn't present at compile time Mesa won't have S3TC support again as per my understanding (and I might be wrong)

    I'm guessing it would be better to bring it in tree to prevent the library falling out of sync with the rest of Mesa

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    Software patents suck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstm View Post
    Software patents suck.
    the bigger problem is that an open specification decided to use patented stuff IMO

    i don't know however if it could be done in another way

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    Quote Originally Posted by 89c51 View Post
    the bigger problem is that an open specification decided to use patented stuff IMO

    i don't know however if it could be done in another way
    "Open" means that the specification is available to read and study free of royalty; nothing else. You are confusing "open specifications" with "open implementations."

    And no, it couldn't have been done any other way. There is an actual _reason_ why people want OpenGL 3 support including all of its mandatory features; you realize this, right? Floating point textures are _essential_ for many modern rendering techniques. You cannot do them without floating point textures and render buffers. Period.

    Without floating point textures, I really don't give a shit what other OpenGL 3/4 features Mesa gains. It's useless for modern AAA game engines until there is proper floating point support. Everything else modern games do is totally possible on OpenGL 2/DirectX 9. Geometry shaders, hardware tessellation, and so on are nice and useful but are not as essential.

    The only other thing that the newer OpenGL versions bring with them that is essential is instanced rendering (which is already available as an extension in Mesa, so that's all good) and newer versions of GLSL that are ever so slightly less retarded than the original GLSL. (But GLSL still sucks. Nobody serious is using it directly; I've yet to meet anyone who didn't vastly prefer HLSL or Cg, and Cg only when portability is essential -- that's how bad GLSL is. For the simple graphics stuff I do it's fine, but the graphics pros I work with uniformly despise it, and the OpenGL API in general. That includes the ones who learned OpenGL before DirectX, I might note, so don't claim it's bias from familiarity. Mostly the GLSL complains all revolve around how hard it is to build advanced runtime effects composition layers, which was actually literally impossible to do right until GLSL 4.10/3.30, and even with those it's still way harder to get right than with HLSL/Cg.).

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    @elanthis

    I probably used the wrong word there. In other words i would prefer to have something that is free for everyone to implement, read, set it on fire or shove it up his bottom if he likes to. But from your post i come to the conclusion that this would be impossible or very difficult.

    As for the rest of your post i am not a Computer engineer and have no idea about the limitations of the GLSL or the OpenGL API. Write a hate/rage mail to Kronos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    "Open" means that the specification is available to read and study free of royalty; nothing else. You are confusing "open specifications" with "open implementations."
    Not really. He was just using the concept of "open" that most of us understand (the dictionary definition of "open" justifies why I say "most of us"). On the other hand, the narrow definition of open specifications that keeps being mentioned in these discussions is ludicrous. There, "open" refers more to the piece of paper the specification is written on than to the actual object of the specification.

    And again, the definition of "open standard" varies according to whom makes that definition. Only last week or so the UK government provided the terms it uses to define open standards, which require that they have "intellectual property made irrevocably available on a royalty free basis". This puts the UK in line with other countries, most notably the EU.

    So the confusion only exists if you decide to give more credit to the world views of Nvidia, AMD, Apple and the likes than to what common sense dictates and quite a few of (presumably) democratically elected governments throughout the world understand.

    And no, it couldn't have been done any other way. There is an actual _reason_ why people want OpenGL 3 support including all of its mandatory features; you realize this, right? Floating point textures are _essential_ for many modern rendering techniques. You cannot do them without floating point textures and render buffers. Period.
    That's a pity. It tells us a lot about how rotten the IP system is. Even more reason to not accept the language and definitions of those who support and impose it. If we don't, we run the risk of running out of arguments and ideas.

    PS. I believe you are confusing "open implementations" with "free to implement".

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    Quote Originally Posted by thefirstm View Post
    Software patents suck.
    Damn right. That's why the US residents should finally wake up and do something about it, because "Yes, you can!" and you're most likely the only ones who can.
    If you find anything in the current legislation outrageous, stupid or both, simply start urging your representative to change that and don't forget to be persistent, because they just can't ignore the flood of mail and phone calls forever. If only "bothering your congressman with something like this as many times a day as you can" was made into a competition. The only problem might be organizing something like that on a massive scale and that's when social networks come in. I wonder how much longer is it gonna take before sheeple realize the power of democracy, which they're so unwilling to use.
    I'm quite sure that many Europeans would love to help, but there's probably not much we can do other than showing our support.

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    Quote Originally Posted by »John« View Post
    If you find anything in the current legislation outrageous, stupid or both, simply start urging your representative to change that and don't forget to be persistent, because they just can't ignore the flood of mail and phone calls forever.
    They sure can ignore it, especially when corporations and lobbyists are stuffing cash into their pockets. I think a lot of Americans have become so jaded and cynical that they're hopeless about their government. I find a lot of policies insanely stupid (corporate welfare/bailouts, our health system, the War on Citizens aka the War on Drugs, etc.) I'm not one to advocate violence and revolution, but it may be one of the only effective tools we have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanL View Post
    They sure can ignore it, especially when corporations and lobbyists are stuffing cash into their pockets. I think a lot of Americans have become so jaded and cynical that they're hopeless about their government. I find a lot of policies insanely stupid (corporate welfare/bailouts, our health system, the War on Citizens aka the War on Drugs, etc.) I'm not one to advocate violence and revolution, but it may be one of the only effective tools we have.
    The problem we have in our country is that 'Big Government' depends on 'Big Corporations' and visa versa. Without the direct intervention of the government into capitalistic markets the major corporations couldn't survive. They would buckle under their own weight and bureaucracy.

    Small/medium businesses are intensely competitive and in a open market multiple smaller players would feed off of major corporations like sharks on a whale carcass.

    Major corporations know this. They see what happened with Linux versus SCO Unix, SGI Irix, IBM AIX, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, etc etc. The see what happened with Android versus Microsoft Mobile... they know this, they understand this and they aim to use patents to prevent and control who is allowed to make software and hardware that is competitive with them.

    Can't afford the patents? Then you can't afford to compete. And that is exactly how they want it.

    It's the same thing with DRM. It has much less to do with piracy then it has to do with who is allowed to make compatible hardware and software. It was never about piracy. It's about _control_. Control of the markets, control of who is allowed to compete with them. It's a instrument to protect industrial cabals and it 100% depends on the government to even have a chance of working. Without government and their guns then it's a house of cards.

    Unless you able to pay their fees, join their organizations, agree to their limitations, and implement their designs then they use the government as a weapon against you to prevent you from supplanting their supply chains in addition making cheaper open devices that they don't control.

    Everything that you have been told about 'IP' and the purpose of DRM by the media and government institutions is a lie. It's bullshit created by the people that benefit most from the controls to trick the people into volunteering to be victims of those controls.

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