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Thread: A Major Rework To The X.Org Video Driver ABI

  1. #21
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    According to my info.
    Mac OS 10.7 supports OpenGL 3.2.
    http://developer.apple.com/graphicsi...1070_Core.html

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cl333r View Post
    I wonder what's so wrong with the X.org video ABI that it needs a rewrite?
    Quote Originally Posted by DeepDayze View Post
    Ditto...why not just clean up the bugs and streamline the ABI a bit so that both FOSS and proprietary drivers can be easier to maintain as well as having the ABI being stable.
    Newer laptops with nVidia optimus and other technologies that render with one GPU and then pass it through to another GPU that's attached to a monitor for display.. Apparently doing this in Xorg currently requires nasty hack-jobs to get the job done.. (ala BumbleBee)... That's why the ABI is changing.. Hopefully these ABI changes will bring better nVidia optimus compatibility as well as things like Hybrid SLI / Hybrid Crossfire..

    I was looking at buying a laptop with an nVidia GPU, but then realized that nvidia does not support their laptop GPUs on Linux anymore unless you buy a laptop with a hardware GPU switch / mux.. I wanted to blame nVidia for that, but really, the problem is in Xorg because it just can't switch back and forth between two completely different GPUs (nvidia and Intel) seamlessly while sending the video out to the same display... All Intel laptop CPUs now have GPUs in them and they're hooked up directly to the laptop's display whether you have another discrete GPU or not.. So that's a serious problem for Xorg unless you have a hardware switch where you can choose which GPU you connect your laptop's LCD display to.. Most nVidia optimus laptops don't have these hardware switches, but some laptop manufs. are providing them so that people can use their discrete GPU in Linux..
    Last edited by Sidicas; 09-22-2011 at 04:53 PM.

  3. #23
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    Default Best of both worlds?

    Merging the drivers back in isn't strictly necessary for a massive ABI rework. This ABI rework can be a cut off point like when Microsoft went from XP to Vista/7. Current drivers won't be expected to work with Xorg releases after the rework, and new drivers released after the masive ABI break won't be expected to work with older versions of Xorg.

    For newer releases of Xorg after the ABI rework, we could go back to the current model of allowing drivers to work with multiple versions of Xorg (provided the Xorg versions in question have come after the ABI rework). Then we can repeat this process the next time a massive reworking of the ABI is needed.

  4. #24
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    These constant large changes to the linux graphics framework is probably one of the reasons hardware manufactorers don't like supporting linux.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwat47 View Post
    These constant large changes to the linux graphics framework is probably one of the reasons hardware manufactorers don't like supporting linux.
    is unavoidable for now, remember that unlike windows or other commercial OSes linux didn't have a graphic framework or something close enough to handle anything beyond opengl 1.X and basic Xrender accel.

    so is not like linux have an stable framework and developers are messing with it cuz the fun of it, is more like linux next generation graphic framework is still on early alpha state (nobody has say is stable to begin with) in which state is normal and necessary to mess with the API until you reach certain goals and pass it to production level.

    this process from thinking the platform up to today alpha code has taken like 5 years and i believe it will take another year at least to have something close to a beta more stable codebase with at least GL 3 and other goodies like openVG, etc.

    why has taken so long? you may ask

    1. if you have to put a scale in the quality of developers needed to write gpu drivers and the entire graphic subsystem from 1 to 10, it would require level 11 developers and those are not easy to find and is especially hard to find them to work in an open project, so right now in the entire graphic stack linux have like 10 developers that commit code in their free time and like 3 or 4 full time to contrast it with something, is pretty close to say that microsoft and nVidia for example have around 300 developers full time dedicated to this task on windows and drivers respectively and still you found serious bugs in windows/DirectX (remember windows vista nasty bugs in directx that at the end forced microsoft to rebrand Vista SP2 + some goodies into windows 7 and that even required a massive patch in the Directx subsystem and drivers)

    2. unlike windows or Mac that had incrementally reached a moderm graphic framework over years of releases this 4 + 10 ish guys have to do it from scratch and in a way that can be maintained over time without years of previous experience or code before them, so is easy to complain but is a real titanic task that these guys are taking off and so far is pretty damn impressive work considering the facts

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiryu View Post
    Merging the drivers back in isn't strictly necessary for a massive ABI rework. This ABI rework can be a cut off point like when Microsoft went from XP to Vista/7. Current drivers won't be expected to work with Xorg releases after the rework, and new drivers released after the masive ABI break won't be expected to work with older versions of Xorg.

    For newer releases of Xorg after the ABI rework, we could go back to the current model of allowing drivers to work with multiple versions of Xorg (provided the Xorg versions in question have come after the ABI rework). Then we can repeat this process the next time a massive reworking of the ABI is needed.
    Very good point, or at least merge the drivers temporarily while the rework is being done so that the drivers also get equal attention, then once the new ABI is stable and relatively bug-free split the drivers out again

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by plonoma View Post
    According to my info.
    Mac OS 10.7 supports OpenGL 3.2.
    http://developer.apple.com/graphicsi...1070_Core.html
    Ah, that's interesting. I hadn't heard that 10.7 had added that. Looks like you only get 3.2 in Core mode, though, so most apps will continue seeing only GL2 support while it allows new ones to access GL3.2.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeepDayze View Post
    Very good point, or at least merge the drivers temporarily while the rework is being done so that the drivers also get equal attention, then once the new ABI is stable and relatively bug-free split the drivers out again
    I thought of that too, and it might work, but I think a temporary merge would find itself becoming permanent given the circumstances.

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