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Raspberry Pi Gets New Wayland Weston Renderer

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  • Raspberry Pi Gets New Wayland Weston Renderer

    Phoronix: Raspberry Pi Gets New Wayland Weston Renderer

    After working on the Raspberry Pi support for Wayland/Weston, Pekka Paalanen has announced a new "rpi-renderer" for the low-cost ARM development board...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTM3NzI

  • #2
    The Pi already runs single programs decently without any sort of hardware acceleration. With improvements like these, I wonder how much more viable the Pi would be as a casual multitasking computer?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by scionicspectre View Post
      The Pi already runs single programs decently without any sort of hardware acceleration. With improvements like these, I wonder how much more viable the Pi would be as a casual multitasking computer?
      The answer would be still not great..... Its much better as a small server, sensor data collector, or controller for other devices.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by scionicspectre View Post
        The Pi already runs single programs decently without any sort of hardware acceleration. With improvements like these, I wonder how much more viable the Pi would be as a casual multitasking computer?
        The Pi still has a slow single core CPU. If it was dual core it would be much better, but the price would also be higher. :/

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        • #5
          The Pi in general isn't that great of a value anymore. The stupid thing is mostly all you're paying for is parts and manufacturing, considering it's a non-profit project. I feel like the RPi devs would get more success if they charged another $5 or so for a significantly more powerful CPU and more memory. For non-developer purposes, there are better systems for a similar price.

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          • #6
            The Pi's hardware is outdated, yeah. On the other hand, official support by the foundation and community support is so much better than with any other ARM board. This is often more worth than raw hardware power.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by brent View Post
              The Pi's hardware is outdated, yeah. On the other hand, official support by the foundation and community support is so much better than with any other ARM board. This is often more worth than raw hardware power.
              The range of projects and applications due to the community support far out value the processing/$.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                The Pi in general isn't that great of a value anymore. The stupid thing is mostly all you're paying for is parts and manufacturing, considering it's a non-profit project. I feel like the RPi devs would get more success if they charged another $5 or so for a significantly more powerful CPU and more memory. For non-developer purposes, there are better systems for a similar price.
                Agreed, they should do a both a $50 model and a $100 dollar model, more options with better performance would draw in more people. Though I'd love to see them focus more on parts that can get fully OSS drivers.
                Last edited by Kivada; 05-22-2013, 05:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  I think it's important to remember the intended audience, it's intention is to be an educational device; one that schools can use to teach pupils the basics of programming in Scratch and Python, it was never intended as a general purpose device for ordinary people. Whilst they're happy for that to happen, they won't compromise anything on the educational front in order to make it more appealing as a general-purpose device.

                  Pretty much everything about the hardware was focused on getting the costs down, that's why there are 2 USB ports instead of 3, for instance. If they start changing the hardware too much they would need to redesign the board, which wouldn't necessarily be trivial, and they would also need to support a fragmented community, where some programs can only be run on the (theoretical) model C that has a 1.2GHz processor.

                  edit: don't get me wrong though, I've love a Pi that had higher specs!

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                  • #10
                    damn Weyland Yutani

                    These guys are relentless.
                    They've been after the Xenomorphs ever since Alienware got bought out by Dell.

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                    • #11
                      So..... why are the wayland developers making a hardware specific backend for weston anyway? Is every arm board and intel and amd chip lines going to need specific backends for weston? What's the point in this?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kivada View Post
                        Agreed, they should do a both a $50 model and a $100 dollar model, more options with better performance would draw in more people. Though I'd love to see them focus more on parts that can get fully OSS drivers.
                        At $100 and above the appeal and the value of the Pi drops exponentially.

                        If i'm going to pay a 3-figure sum for a low-powered computer I'd rather spend more on any aftermarket board with an x86 Atom processor that is only a little more power hungry than the Broadcom SoC used in the Pi but has superior processing power. Not to mention all of the benefits that come with the x86 stack such as a wider range of precompiled software available and Flash support.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dh04000 View Post
                          So..... why are the wayland developers making a hardware specific backend for weston anyway? Is every arm board and intel and amd chip lines going to need specific backends for weston? What's the point in this?
                          Because in this case it is the only way to support the hardware. It does not offer any of the standard Linux APIs. Instead, it has a unique proprietary API. If we want to use the device, we have to use that, since there is nothing else. And in this particular case, you can thank the Raspberry Pi Foundation for contracting us (Collabora) to do this, and supporting us while doing it. Otherwise, you would not be running Weston on the RPi in any usable speed.

                          When hardware gets drivers into the Linux kernel and Mesa, or proprietary drivers supporting KMS, GBM, EGL, and GLESv2, we just use the Weston drm-backend with the GLESv2-renderer. That already covers practically all PC hardware.

                          Also, using dispmanx for accelerating X would be so unimaginably painful, that it's practically not possible.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pq__ View Post
                            Because in this case it is the only way to support the hardware. It does not offer any of the standard Linux APIs.
                            Which, right now, isn't possible for them to do because of the userspace code required to interface with the VideoCore. So it can't provide KMS.

                            Originally posted by pq__ View Post
                            Also, using dispmanx for accelerating X would be so unimaginably painful, that it's practically not possible.
                            Entirely due to limitations in X's architecture.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pq__ View Post
                              Also, using dispmanx for accelerating X would be so unimaginably painful, that it's practically not possible.
                              By accelerating X, do you mean X11 EGL support for GLESv2? Or RENDER acceleration? Or something else?

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