Phoronix: KWin May Drop Support For Catalyst, Vintage GPUs
The KWin compositing window manager for KDE may drop its older OpenGL renderer, which would remove support for vintage GPUs/drivers, but this would also include eliminating -- at least temporarily -- support for the AMD Catalyst graphics driver...
Well, that's an obnoxious pain in the ass. My Laptop has the videocard thats in it and thats it, I'd hate to lose my nice desktop effects and the functionality they bring while they think that AMD cares enough to upgrade anything. Like AMD cares about the KDE desktop users... I'm pretty sure that they don't give a spit.
Sometimes we are just stuck with the hardware we have. Otherwise than a few issues like this, my AMD graphics card works just fine for me in Linux, I found nvidias to cause me more problems with my monitor setup even.
In short, lame, and I hope they don't do this. Find other ways of convincing AMD to update their stuff, rather than annoy a bunch of users.
My brand new E-450 is affected by this (if I use fglrx). In fact, every AMD/ATI user is affected, because Catalyst forces a "compatibility profile" supporting OpenGL 1.4, even if your card in fact supports OpenGL 4.2.
I'm going to go ahead and agree with this decision. It's better that Kwin have a chance to improve than to burden the few developers we have with supporting old hardware poorly. Of course, as I said in response to the blog post in question, throwing fglrx out the window isn't a smart move, but you have to weigh the possible gains with the negatives. We're going to be moving to Wayland sooner or later, probably soonest for Intel users. We can't keep going along with the mindset that every project will work perfectly with every piece of hardware, even when it's impossible to find support. I had this issue with a graphics card in the past- no Mesa developer had any idea what was going on with the GPU, and with hardware was unavailable for them I had to choose a more recent card if I wanted decent performance.
Just because Linux can run on anything doesn't necessarily mean Linux users should count on it. Go for what's best if you want the best experience- it's a miracle things work as well as they do already for this old hardware.
Worst case, a few people who couldn't expect their graphics card to be relevant forever realize they need to use Compiz, and fglrx gets another huge bug to its name. The amount of people who would be seriously inconvenienced by this unfortunate, but at least he's giving us fair warning. :\ I'm sure if someone with experience who can work with Martin offered to separately maintain an OpenGL 1.x version he might think it over.