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Just merge something!

Just merge something!

Posted May 29, 2008 8:56 UTC (Thu) by nim-nim (subscriber, #34454)
Parent article: GEM v. TTM

I still remember seeing the first Utah GLX demos and thinking 3D was on its way to be solved.
What a fool I was.

After all this years I feel the GFX Linux developers suffer from a perpetual alpha mindset.
Stuff is started, advances enough to be used on some dev systems and be demoed at a few
conferences, then is declared "not good enough" and killed before it reaches most user systems
(because if actual users were exposed to it, they may file issues and demand that the result
is minimally maintained, and it's much more comfortable to just work on new prototypes after
new prototypes).

Other systems (wireless) have gone through several API rewrites in-tree while graphic
developpers where still debating is something should be merged at all. While the wireless
rewrites have been painful they've been a lot less painful than having them happen
out-of-tree.

So please just merge something. If it needs to be rewritten it will be rewritten, and the
rewrite will be painful, but at least users will have something to use in the meanwhile, and
they won't have to fish for new alpha code all over the internet.


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Re: Just merge something!

Posted May 29, 2008 21:49 UTC (Thu) by anholt (subscriber, #52292) [Link]

We have been told by Linus that we're not allowed to break userland API once the code gets
merged to the linux kernel.  We've got mistakes made 8 years ago, and fixed in better API 5
years ago, that we still have to implement because we're not allowed to break API.

It means that if you're unsure of maintaining an API today, you're really scared of merging it
and having to maintain it 5 years down the line when you've added better APIs and nobody in
their right mind is using the old software stack.

Not a userland API?

Posted May 30, 2008 18:17 UTC (Fri) by jhohm (subscriber, #7225) [Link]

I think TTM and GEM are not userland APIs, but in-kernel driver APIs; Linus's demand for
compatibility might not apply.

Not a userland API?

Posted May 30, 2008 20:34 UTC (Fri) by drag (guest, #31333) [Link]

Open Source 3D drivers in Linux do their acceleration using userspace drivers. 

The *_dri.so drivers are loaded by your Xserver-side of things and then the in-kernel DRM
stuff is what opens up a hole for those userspace drivers to interact with the kernel. The
Linux kernel is now slowly taking on additional duties to manage display modesetting and
memory management, which should lead to help moving X out of the root account and better
display performance.

Even with very expensive cards there still isn't going to be enough memory on board to manage
a very large display with many applications open on a 3D desktop. So your going to have to
have some way to deal with intelligent way to deal with moving memory in and out of a video
card.


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