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An Explosive Battle Over Nouveau Kernel DRM

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  • An Explosive Battle Over Nouveau Kernel DRM

    Phoronix: An Explosive Battle Over Nouveau Kernel DRM

    Like with most kernel release cycles, the Linux 2.6.34 kernel had another major GPU DRM update. There's core DRM improvements, the new hybrid graphics switching support, and advancements to the hardware-specific DRM bits...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODAzMw

  • #2
    What?

    How is this an "explosive battle"? Reading through their posts, it's fairly mild and (as far as I've gotten) pretty rational with little to no flaming :/

    Comment


    • #3
      Linus is happy now:
      http://lkml.org/lkml/2010/3/5/9

      Comment


      • #4
        the longer this thread goes, the more linus embarrasses himself (imho). sorry about the following rant, but i just cannot help it.

        things i noted so far
        - linus requests to pull nouveau into kernel staging
        - linus finds out that nouveau X driver/libdrm doesn't work after pulling new commits
        - people remind him that the warning was in a commit message, he apparently didn't read it
        - people remind him the purpose of staging

        it seems that he clearly does not read the descriptions of the commits he pulls (he missed airlied's warning).

        i don't know about you but it seems nouveau recently became linus' favorite driver. that's strange.

        he has a point about backwards compability, though. although i don't think it matters that much when dealing with staging driver.

        Comment


        • #5
          I for one, would not be able to handle the stress of being looked upon as the icon of a complete software ecosystem.

          If I were in his situation i would have trouble keeping up with demands and i would probably lash out on a few people.

          He seems to take things well in my opinion.

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          • #6
            What's this obsession with backwards compatibiility > progress?

            The Gnome must have realy got to him...

            Holy sh1t, what a sweat transision!

            All trolling and kidding aside... Linus failed, but when going over so much commits, one can't really blame him...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
              the longer this thread goes, the more linus embarrasses himself (imho). sorry about the following rant, but i just cannot help it.

              things i noted so far
              - linus requests to pull nouveau into kernel staging
              - linus finds out that nouveau X driver/libdrm doesn't work after pulling new commits
              - people remind him that the warning was in a commit message, he apparently didn't read it
              - people remind him the purpose of staging

              it seems that he clearly does not read the descriptions of the commits he pulls (he missed airlied's warning).
              Considering the amount of stuff he merges per day, he relies on the people around him to maintain the subsystems. Apparently, the explosive growth of the kernel ecosystem means that he now not only doesn't look at the code anymore, he doesn't read the individual commit messages either. How far can a kernel continue to grow until Linus needs secretaries that get stuff into his branch for him?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by yoshi314 View Post
                - people remind him that the warning was in a commit message, he apparently didn't read it

                it seems that he clearly does not read the descriptions of the commits he pulls (he missed airlied's warning).
                Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the warning only contained in a commit that was rejected?

                And one the thing that I haven't seen mentioned, nouveau have dropped all support for userspace mode setting some time ago, which means that if you hit this issue, you're basically stuck without X until you fix it, unless you reboot disabling nouveau and use the vesa driver or something.
                That's what makes this such an issue IMO, in the past if such an incompatibility occurred with a drm driver, all you'd really lose is direct rendering.

                I think the blame here mostly lies with fedora, and any other distro which enables such a staging driver by default, a driver which probably more than 40% of their users will have to rely upon.
                If it wasn't for that, this whole thing would be a total non-issue.

                Oh, and;
                Btw, I'm hoping some of this pain goes away for me, because I expect to get rid of the shitty nVidia card reasonably soon. The fact that my main box had a power supply that literally _required_ a power-sucking-piece- of-sh*t-graphics card has been painful to me.
                You gotta love Linus...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sadako View Post
                  Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't the warning only contained in a commit that was rejected?
                  No, the comment was in a pull request that was reject; AFAICS the next pull request didn't contain the warning, but that's not the issue..

                  Originally posted by Sadako View Post
                  I think the blame here mostly lies with fedora, and any other distro which enables such a staging driver by default, a driver which probably more than 40% of their users will have to rely upon.
                  If it wasn't for that, this whole thing would be a total non-issue.
                  This is the main issue; what Linus is saying is that it doesn't matter that you mark an interface as "unstable": once it's in the wild and widely used you're stuck with it.
                  IOW it's not the wording that makes an interface stable or not, it's the fact that userspace is relying on it (but, yes - I see why nouveau devs don't want keep old cruft around, especially in such a new driver).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    what's the big deal about this? that what happens when you use staging drivers, the api may not be stable. Besides this is a Fedora problem, they should understand the complications when using these sort of drivers.

                    I guess Linus is pissed off because his Fedora broke in this particular case, he should submit a bug to the fedora folks instead of all that bitching to the nouveau guys.

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                    • #11
                      I hope this doesn't cause some nouveau devs to just pick up their stuff and go away.

                      Nouveau is a great project, it completes the trinity of opensource drivers for most of the graphics cards existing out there, and I admire them for their work in reverse engineering almost every nvidia card from the riva tnt to the latest and greatest ones.

                      So nouveau devs, thank you for your work so far, and I hope you stick around a lot longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by [Knuckles] View Post
                        I hope this doesn't cause some nouveau devs to just pick up their stuff and go away.
                        Pff. A little drama never hurt anybody. Thick skin is pretty much a requirement in FOSS development.

                        You can say what you want about Linus and his tantrums, but they usually get results and on the whole lead to good things. After some initial mud-slinging the developers are now having a good, constructive discussion on how to handle stuff like this in the future. Ideas are presented, discussed and thought about. Good times.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by V!NCENT View Post
                          What's this obsession with backwards compatibiility > progress?

                          The Gnome must have realy got to him...

                          Holy sh1t, what a sweat transision!

                          All trolling and kidding aside... Linus failed, but when going over so much commits, one can't really blame him...
                          Simple since they have to test kernel for so long before starting new releases and identifying what needs to be done as far as packages they have to build this stuff up ahead of schedule. So instead of doing all this on 2.6.32 kernel and tesing it out on releases they build it all in 2.6.33 and 2.6.34 and end up sucking code into kernel fixing it on all 3 kernels and backporting fixes and front porting fixes. From what I can see.

                          Release blockers are number one filesystem problem, number two video not working and number 3 python anaconda problems, and anything that messes with users ability to update sytem, ie network. With the video stuff being so much work and so many changes it's going to get really really choppy. And they are going to have to be working on 2 if not 3 sets of code at once. As well as not holding up releases for tons of cards and then going through it all again as they pick up stragglers.

                          The big problem I see is there are going to be SOOOO many changes to fedora 12 and any 2.6.32 based system that whatever software you got to install will be so changed that you could end up with a system config that works but is so drastically different that you are not ale to boot your install for rescueing system or reinstall easily.

                          Which is why i'm jumping to fedora 13 on 2nd beta release.

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                          • #14
                            I would probably react the same as him, if I was in his spot. I would basically say: TEST YOUR STUFF and maybe you know, get the other guys maybe collaborate as a team...

                            I as running fedora 13 and I was impressed by the open source drivers.

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