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Super! Patented Mesa Floating-Point Is Merged!

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  • #21
    It is really bad when you can not provide mesa binaries with all features enabled. Of course a fast system can compile full mesa in a couple of minutes but do that on a slow one. Also when you want to show something off a live system with a game that requires float it is more or less impossible (well i know only heaven, but that could change). s3tc can be added within a few seconds - the lib is very small, but for float that does not help. The s3tc lib is basically a joke too - most linux gamers need it and because of a stupid patent it is not default. s3 could really officially allow the binary distribution of it, same for sgi and the float extensions.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by deanjo View Post
      Apple has very few patents regarding h264. Nokia even has more patents against it as does educational institutions like Columbia. Sometimes I really think people point out apple because "all the other kool people do it".
      People "point out" Apple because Apple has specifically involved itself in the discussions regarding the HTML 5 video tag, its possible request of Theora, and the patent problem of H.264. I couldn't comment on Nokia's position because they didn't say anything about this, since they didn't involve themselves/weren't involved in those discussions. I'd expect most people to do the same, that is comment on things they know about, and refrain from talking about what they don't have a clue about. Obviously you have a different opinion.

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      • #23
        I did a quick search on floating point textures but couldnt find a succinct (or even a lengthy stand-alone) definition. Could someone either explain it or point to a good source?
        ***hides head in shame***

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        • #24
          Originally posted by liam View Post
          I did a quick search on floating point textures but couldnt find a succinct (or even a lengthy stand-alone) definition. Could someone either explain it or point to a good source?
          ***hides head in shame***
          second that

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          • #25
            Originally posted by liam View Post
            I did a quick search on floating point textures but couldnt find a succinct (or even a lengthy stand-alone) definition. Could someone either explain it or point to a good source?
            ***hides head in shame***
            This is the GL extension added: http://www.opengl.org/registry/specs...ture_float.txt

            Essentially a texture is just a big map of pixel locations and the associated color value at each one. Pixel[0,0] = 256, Pixel[0,1] = 189, etc. Floating point textures merely allow the values stored inside the texture to be floating point numbers instead of restricting them to whole numbers only.

            If this concept seems obvious and you're wondering how anyone could get a patent on this idea, you aren't alone. Doing FP calculations in hardware is much more complex than whole numbers, but there's really no difference at all on the software side.

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            • #26
              I wonder if you need to have the patent to be able to legally use the extension for testing purposes. I'm curious about how much of a performance bump it brings.

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              • #27
                Float textures may increase visual quality in exchange for performance, but only in apps that can use it!

                S3TC increases performance by reducing bandwidth load.

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                • #28
                  I haven't read the linked to document yet but it SOUNDS obvious...but that would hardly be the first time an obvious thing has been patented

                  Thanks for the explanation!

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                  • #29
                    Large companies that ship Linux with a computer or ship commercial Linux should get a license that will cost the consumer twice of the added license price and with that particular profit buy the patent from SGI or SGI itself.

                    Companies like that should simply be eliminated. The acquired patents should be used to bankrupt/troll other troll companies.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by marek View Post
                      Float textures may increase visual quality in exchange for performance, but only in apps that can use it!

                      S3TC increases performance by reducing bandwidth load.
                      Ohhh, ok. Thanks for the clarification.

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