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Experimental ATI Driver Gets DRI2 Support

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  • #16
    Originally posted by RealNC View Post
    I wonder if Linux will stay in the "the OS for yesterday's hardware" state forever.
    You may as well say "I wonder if the PC hardware industry will stay in the 'in bed with Microsoft' state forever", because it's not that there's some peculiar limitation holding Linux (or *BSD, or Solaris, or Plan 9) back; it's that there's an army of engineers working specifically on supporting Windows.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by RealNC View Post
      I wonder if Linux will stay in the "the OS for yesterday's hardware" state forever. At least for GPUs :P By the time something actually works, it's 6 generations behind. r300... Maybe in the year 2193 we'll see good support for the R7xx. But by then, we'll be experiencing Fallout 3 in real-life anyway so no need for it
      Well, honestly, the work right now is not to support old cards, it's to support _all_ cards, including both those not yet out. Unified 3D engine and all that. Once the initial work is done, bringint new cards into the OSS support fold will be pretty simple, up until a brand new architecture is released. We hope by then that AMD will have its documentation process ironed out (the troubles now are for getting docs and hardware specs out that weren't originally designed for public consumption, as the hardware was designed pre-AMD-takeover/pre-OSS-friendliness) so the docs will be published prior to the cards being released. Plus AMD is likely to have its own engineers and/or Red Hat and Novell working on support in the drivers before the cards hit the market.

      We're playing catchup a little because there's all this hardware that existed before AMD/ATI got a clue. Unless AMD does an about face, we would be safe in hoping it won't happen again.

      The same goes for Intel hardware. Hopefully the next generation of Intel GPUs will get even faster OSS support than the release this summer. The driver had support before release, as I recall, but the driver didn't have an official release until a couple months after. Good step in the right direction, at least.

      The real problem, the way I look at it, is that the whole OSS stack -- from the kernel all the way up to the user-facing desktop components -- are still delivered and supported in an appliance model. Even if AMD releases a new driver, it's entirely likely that you'll have to wait 6+ months to actually GET the driver because you'll have to upgrade your entire freaking operating system to get the updated kernel/DRM/whatever necessary for the newer driver. Just like how if you want a bugfix update to Abiword or some other desktop app, you often need to upgrade the whole OS. It's gotten a little better lately with distros actually pushing non-critical updates to prior releases, but it's still a far cry away from "install what you want, when you want, without mucking up the package manager."

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      • #18
        Originally posted by elanthis View Post
        The real problem, the way I look at it, is that the whole OSS stack -- from the kernel all the way up to the user-facing desktop components -- are still delivered and supported in an appliance model. Even if AMD releases a new driver, it's entirely likely that you'll have to wait 6+ months to actually GET the driver because you'll have to upgrade your entire freaking operating system to get the updated kernel/DRM/whatever necessary for the newer driver. Just like how if you want a bugfix update to Abiword or some other desktop app, you often need to upgrade the whole OS. It's gotten a little better lately with distros actually pushing non-critical updates to prior releases, but it's still a far cry away from "install what you want, when you want, without mucking up the package manager."
        It doesnt work that way, and it cant. I for one hope and pray that we will never have to backport minor fixes to every possible combination of distro. The facts are that rolling updates are more efficient and do in fact provide minor fixes faster then any other model currently deployed. The only problem with rolling updates is monolithic packages vs modular packages. The problem today is monolithic packages like xorg and the kernel that have only recently started adopting effective modular designs. In my opinion xorg still has a long ways to go to achieve effective modularity, and the kernel allows waaaaaayyy to much shit to run in kernel mode.

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        • #19
          (Really off-topic...)

          Originally posted by duby229 View Post
          It doesnt work that way, and it cant. I for one hope and pray that we will never have to backport minor fixes to every possible combination of distro.
          You wouldn't need to backport fixes to older distributions if distributions weren't appliance-model software delivery mechanisms. If distros had constant updates, then there wouldn't be 10 version of Fedora in a handful of years, because all that Fedora 10 would be is just a snapshot of the current package set that users who installed Fedora 9 (or any earlier release) already got as updates.

          The facts are that rolling updates are more efficient and do in fact provide minor fixes faster then any other model currently deployed.
          Yes, rolling updates are great, and are exactly what I'd like to see. You seem to be confused and think that Linux distributions already have these. They do not. Try searching for "Ubuntu rolling updates" on Google to verify that.

          If you're lucky you might see a few updates on a distro. ATI drivers on Fedora are actually a great example of this already happening occasionally. It just needs to happen on a much larger and more consistent scale.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by elanthis View Post
            The real problem, the way I look at it, is that the whole OSS stack -- from the kernel all the way up to the user-facing desktop components -- are still delivered and supported in an appliance model. Even if AMD releases a new driver, it's entirely likely that you'll have to wait 6+ months to actually GET the driver because you'll have to upgrade your entire freaking operating system to get the updated kernel/DRM/whatever necessary for the newer driver. Just like how if you want a bugfix update to Abiword or some other desktop app, you often need to upgrade the whole OS. It's gotten a little better lately with distros actually pushing non-critical updates to prior releases, but it's still a far cry away from "install what you want, when you want, without mucking up the package manager."
            I hate to say, but it depends on the distro that you're using. Ubuntu goes by the appliance model simply because it is easier to support. Arch Linux and Gentoo are two distros that are designed around the 'rolling release' philosophy. True, often you'll need to update a batch of libraries and affect a number of applications, but generally these are contained enough to not warrant the need to 'upgrade the whole OS'.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ethana2 View Post
              If news about kernel mode setting, gallium, GEM, and DRI2 make me giddy, should I seek help?
              I get off on pre-alpha software. An anonymous 12-step support group can't be far off.

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              • #22
                Edit: oops, meant to post this in the other thread.
                Last edited by Zhick; 11-17-2008, 10:27 AM.

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