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More Details On The OpenGL Situation In KDE's KWin

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  • Originally posted by energyman View Post
    and please point out which dirver for R700 cards support FBO? Or opengl 3? Or Opengl 4?
    All ATI open source drivers for every Radeon support FBO provided you have KMS.

    R700 cannot do OpenGL 4.

    OpenGL 3 won't be in Mesa unless someone resolves some patent issues.

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    • Originally posted by marek View Post
      OpenGL 3 won't be in Mesa unless someone resolves some patent issues.
      Hmm. That means there's no real future with the open drivers when it comes to desktop multimedia/gaming. Staying with GL2 will render them useless for that audience.

      How would this patent issue be resolved?

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      • Originally posted by RealNC View Post
        Hmm. That means there's no real future with the open drivers when it comes to desktop multimedia/gaming. Staying with GL2 will render them useless for that audience.

        How would this patent issue be resolved?
        By the patents expiring? This will likely happen 2020'ish.

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        • Or distribution makers may start buying patents.

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          • If that's true, then we have an extremely serious issue here where the open drivers can't possibly even begin to compete with the blobs.

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            • Originally posted by marek View Post
              Or distribution makers may start buying patents.
              Buying patents and writing Mesa code are two different things though. Could you clarify a bit how distros buying patents would allow Mesa devs to implement GL3?

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              • Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                Could you clarify a bit how distros buying patents would allow Mesa devs to implement GL3?
                The could pretty much free the patented things so Mesa devs could implement them without anyone having to worry about getting sued.

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                • Are the patent licenses even available for open source distribution? I could easily see the owners only licensing in the scenario where someone can't just freely copy the Mesa from Red Hat onto their own distro and run it. Regardless, that's going to take a ton of money because these licenses are not cheap.

                  I think the most likely scenario for access before the patents expire (starting 2018 i think?) is to do something like the fontconfig guys did. Create plugins, commented out code, etc., which individual users can activate at their own risk. I don't think the main VMWare/AMD/Intel developers are very interested in doing this, so it might have to come from the community.

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                  • Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                    Are the patent licenses even available for open source distribution? I could easily see the owners only licensing in the scenario where someone can't just freely copy the Mesa from Red Hat onto their own distro and run it. Regardless, that's going to take a ton of money because these licenses are not cheap..
                    You completely misunderstood. FSF/distros/whatever instance would need to buy the whole patents and then give Mesa a license.

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                    • This patent situation only covers S3 Texture Compression, right? This is a well known problem, and most open source games continue to work if it isn't available.

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                      • Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                        You completely misunderstood. FSF/distros/whatever instance would need to buy the whole patents and then give Mesa a license.
                        And that's exactly what i'm not sure they would be allowed to do, since there are an infinite number of possible copies of mesa. As opposed to just licensing it for something that's centrally controlled.

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                        • Originally posted by Remco View Post
                          This patent situation only covers S3 Texture Compression, right? This is a well known problem, and most open source games continue to work if it isn't available.
                          No, it's more than just that. Open source games can work around the problem, but the stuff covered is too useful not to be used by commercial engines. Unigine requires it, for example.

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                          • Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                            And that's exactly what i'm not sure they would be allowed to do, since there are an infinite number of possible copies of mesa. As opposed to just licensing it for something that's centrally controlled.
                            DOH! I just read your post again and you were talking about buying the entire patent rather than just licensing it. That would indeed make everything possible - although i can't even imagine how much money it would cost. Those patents are a money making machine since they've got ATI/NVidia over a barrel.

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                            • Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                              DOH! I just read your post again and you were talking about buying the entire patent rather than just licensing it. That would indeed make everything possible - although i can't even imagine how much money it would cost. Those patents are a money making machine since they've got ATI/NVidia over a barrel.
                              Thanks for the lack of an edit button, phoronix. /sarcasm off

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                              • Originally posted by Remco View Post
                                This patent situation only covers S3 Texture Compression, right? This is a well known problem, and most open source games continue to work if it isn't available.
                                One of the others I heard is that floating point textures are also patented. It's impossible to implement OpenGL 3.0 without them.

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