Posted Nov 12, 2012 13:08 UTC (Mon) by nix
In reply to: gnome-tweak-tool
Parent article: GNOME 3.8 to drop fallback mode
(and as an aside, modern hardware doesn't even have any sort of 2D engine beyond a dumb framebuffer any more; do we "emulate" the old 2D stuff via the 3D engine, or target the future, and make everything 3D which vastly reduces the overall amount of work necessary?)
I've been hearing that text-mode support and/or 2D support will vanish entirely from video hardware for ages, indeed this was why the framebuffer code was added to the Linux kernel in the first place -- some non-x86 platforms (e.g. famously Sun workstations) didn't have a VGA text mode and used a software framebuffer for everything (and with Sun workstations we learnt why that framebuffer should not be implemented in interpreted Forth).
But if you do that on x86, you break the BIOS. So video cards on x86 keep dragging around at least VGA text mode (and probably the whole panoply of even more ancient CGA/EGA/Hercules-compatible text modes and a bunch of VESA modes too).
Now you'd think EFI BIOS would give a chance to fix this -- only my new machine's EFI BIOS boots up in VGA text mode! So it doesn't look to me like VGA text mode is disappearing any time soon, and i fthat's not vanishing I suspect the 2D layer is sticking around too, even if in emulation, even if as merely a dumb framebuffer.
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