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The Direct3D 10/11 State Tracker Is Still Around

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  • The Direct3D 10/11 State Tracker Is Still Around

    Phoronix: The Direct3D 10/11 State Tracker Is Still Around

    Last September there was the release of a Direct3D 10/11 state tracker for Gallium3D. This natively implemented Microsoft's graphics API from DirectX for the latest versions 10 and 11 with Gallium3D Linux graphics drivers. While it sounded quite enticing when the code was first released, there hasn't been much activity since that point...

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

  • #2
    What are the legal issues surrounding the distribution (in binary and source form) of a Direct3d state tracker, if any? Surely Microsoft has patented and trademarked it to hell and back.

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    • #3
      Tessellation

      There's a bit more. I actually added SM4 (in addition to TGSI) as source language for the nvc0 shader backend to get tessellation shaders easily, and I've finally made my GTX470 spit out a tessellated triangle now.

      Not sure how much further I can take it though, really depends on how much trouble I run into on my way to Heaven. Unigine, I mean.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by allquixotic View Post
        What are the legal issues surrounding the distribution (in binary and source form) of a Direct3d state tracker, if any? Surely Microsoft has patented and trademarked it to hell and back.
        Why would there be legal issues surround the distribution? The only thing it has in common is an API, not any MS code. The DMCA has a specific exemption for implementation of APIs for interoperability. It's no different from Wine implementing the Windows APIs, eh?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 3vi1 View Post
          The DMCA
          The DMCA does not cover patents.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
            The DMCA does not cover patents.
            And exactly which patents do you think an implementation might violate? Wine has a DX9/10 implementation in software already (updates for 10 have been landing the last few days). Anything that's not pre-existing in OpenGL is probably going to be in the realm of obvious.

            Please don't help the trolls spread FUD.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 3vi1 View Post
              And exactly which patents do you think an implementation might violate? Wine has a DX9/10 implementation in software already (updates for 10 have been landing the last few days). Anything that's not pre-existing in OpenGL is probably going to be in the realm of obvious.

              Please don't help the trolls spread FUD.
              I'm just stating a fact. The trolls mentioned patents, and you mentioned the DMCA. And I mentioned that the DMCA does not cover patents, because it doesn't.

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              • #8
                D3D is patented the same way OpenGL is. e.g., floating point textures in D3D is going to be just as much of a non-starter as it is in OpenGL.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                  I'm just stating a fact. The trolls mentioned patents, and you mentioned the DMCA. And I mentioned that the DMCA does not cover patents, because it doesn't.
                  The bit I mentioned about the DMCA was because the original post was vague as to where he thought the legal threat would come from (trademarks?), and he specifically mentioned "distribution", which is generally more closely tied to copyright. The rest of my sentences were dismissing the patent argument.

                  Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying they wouldn't try it. I just don't see how they could win... unless... they file... here in east Texas. Auuughhhh!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                    D3D is patented the same way OpenGL is. e.g., floating point textures in D3D is going to be just as much of a non-starter as it is in OpenGL.
                    I must be reading that wrong. Haven't they both support floating point textures for like seven years now?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 3vi1 View Post
                      I must be reading that wrong. Haven't they both support floating point textures for like seven years now?
                      Microsoft owns the patents (previously owned by SGI), so obviously D3D is in the clear.

                      The OpenGL specification includes some patented technology. It's more accurate really to state that modern computer graphics are founded on some technologies that are patented, and any and all graphics APIs worth using are going to rely on implementations licensing or violating those patents.

                      This is one of the reasons why your Open Source Linux drivers on mainstream distros are going to be indefinitely stuck on OpenGL 2.1.

                      This is a pretty well known fact and frequently mentioned topic on the boards here. I take it you're new. Welcome.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                        It's more accurate really to state that modern computer graphics are founded on some technologies that are patented, and any and all graphics APIs worth using are going to rely on implementations licensing or violating those patents.
                        That sounds like a page out of the MPEG Cartel/Crapple's playbook. "It's illegal for other codecs to compete without giving us a cut, but we're not going to say it like that because we don't want the DOJ and EC sniffing around"

                        Ding ding. Ding ding. Stop and pay the troll. Innovation Tax time.

                        I should probably also state that patents like these are how companies like Microsoft and Apple kick their feet up and relax on a pile of legacy software. As long as nobody can compete without violating their patents, where's the incentive to do better?
                        Last edited by DaemonFC; 06-04-2011, 07:11 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                          This is a pretty well known fact and frequently mentioned topic on the boards here. I take it you're new. Welcome.
                          No. I just usually quit reading discussions when they degrade to FUD.

                          Presumably, the implementation of floating point textures would be done by the graphics driver or the card firmware, not the state tracker - so this is a non-issue anyway.

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                          • #14
                            Couldn't for instance Mesa3D gets so optimized so for instance AMD decides it will be the official driver for windos as well. Like their new driver for windos embedded. This D3D state-trackers will be put to good use then.

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                            • #15
                              Problem with patents is that patent holder may require license from each and every OS shipped.

                              So unless distribution maker (and there are lots of them) get license to cover its customer's too, OEMs (and there are lots of them) would have to step in and pay for the licenses.
                              Too much for basically free (as free beer) OS.

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