After Dropping Old GPU Drivers, Ian Axes More Mesa Code
Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 31 August 2011 at 04:47 PM EDT. 8 Comments
One week ago Ian Romanick called for old Mesa drivers to be removed from the mainline tree so that Mesa can move forward and be cleaned up to better the support for modern GPUs. These old Mesa drivers were DRI1-only, rarely ever received new work, and were largely for vintage graphics processors that most people haven't touched in years (e.g. the 3Dfx Voodoo days). With most developers approving this move, the old Mesa graphics drivers were removed. Ian Romanick has now moved further along with a slew of new patches to delete more code from Mesa.

There was over 85,000 lines of code removed when stripping out the old drivers last week from the Mesa mainline tree. There's about one dozen new patches surfacing today that also shed more weight from core Mesa. These patches today aren't removing any functionality from the drivers still within the Mesa tree, but rather is eliminating code that can be done away with now that the old drivers have been dropped.

The principal work done by today's patches is removing the front-facing bits of the GL_EXT_paletted_texture and GL_EXT_shared_texture_palette extensions to OpenGL. Old drivers such as the 3Dfx Mesa driver still exposed this extension and benefited from the OpenGL paletted texture support. GL_COLOR_INDEX data still can be uploaded, but the data can no longer be stored internally as a color index.

This first clean-up move since stripping away the old Mesa drivers will lighten up core Mesa by over 1,000 lines of code.

The patch series begins here, but will likely be merged to Mesa Git soon without any resistance.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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