Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The First DRM Pull Request For Linux 2.6.35 Kernel

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #46
    Originally posted by monraaf View Post
    A strength of Windows is that it has full featured graphics drivers at launch of graphics card x. In the OSS graphics drivers department this is where Linux is still lacking. I'd personally rather see Linux play catch-up there at the cost of supporting museum-pieces forever.
    I'm not sure that sacrificing the one would bolster the success of the other. Combine the seminal wisdom of the Mythical Man Month, with the fact that there is a significant chance of driver developers being less familiar with one type of technology than another. For example, some developers who know AGP hardware really well (maybe airlied) are working on that because they have the knowledge. Senior developers who are privy to all the NDAs and the latest docs (provided that those docs are useful) are probably equally capable of hacking on r800 or r300, but junior developers -- of which there are many -- may not have access to the docs they need; or they may be running up against a learning curve as they begin work with new hardware, or new architectures such as Gallium3D.

    Also, a lot of the hold-up for r800 with the open source drivers in particular is the legal team at AMD. They have to carefully screen documentation for anything that might be used by Nvidia to let them extract new technical knowledge they don't currently possess. These two companies are constantly at one another's throats about this kind of thing, hiding their internal R&D technology from the other. With the demolishment of Nvidia's official open source strategy, they are much less at risk now of exposing their IP, while AMD is still trying to stick its neck out there.

    The funny thing is, the legal team is still a bottleneck even if all the code we need is written! AMD's internal developers (who get paid to work on the open source graphics stack) definitely have access to all the AMD documentation they need to write a driver, but they can't release that code as open source until they clear it with legal. Protecting their patents and other such nonsense.

    So yeah, the issues with slow development of the r800 OSS driver (and, in general, the development of open source graphics drivers for the latest chipsets) is impeded by the quagmire of our legal system, as much as (if not more than) the lack of manpower. I can't blame AMD for protecting their "IP" any more than I blame Red Hat for taking out defensive software patents, though: both companies reluctantly play by the rules of the legal system, as a means of survival. If they were to ignore the patent landscape entirely and just give us the code/docs as they are, it would be like dismantling your entire nuclear weapon arsenal during the most tense period of the Cold War. Suicide.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by monraaf View Post
      Sure. And you are free to add support for it. But when AMD employees spend a disproportionate amount of time on AGP and other legacy support I find this quite problematic. An hour spent on legacy support is an hour not spent on support for more recent hardware. And this is precisely an area where AMD is lacking.
      Define disproportionate. There are whole departments worldwide who've not upgraded from PCI, let alone AGP, not to mention all of the notebooks around which are AGP. You can't ignore something which has been backburnered forever.

      Comment


      • #48
        Supporting obsolete stuff (10+ years) is for those who have extra work force and don't know where to apply it.
        As a customer, even if I bought a cool OpenGL 4.0 capable video card I wouldn't expect AMD to provide support for it until like 2025, I'd upgrade anyway in like 3 to 5 years, or 7 years at most.

        Comment


        • #49
          Isn't this all hypothetical anyways ? The AMD developers haven't spent much time working on AGP anways.

          I suspect the issue here is lack of clarity between working on GPUs which happen to be available on AGP cards (the transition to KMS covered the range from r100 through r7xx) and working on AGP itself (mostly helping end users understand how to slow down the AGP bus and turn off AGP-sensitive optimizations in order to get their systems running).

          If you're saying that our developers should not have helped with the transition to KMS and GEM/TTM that's a fair argument but I guess we disagree on that.

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by cl333r View Post
            Supporting obsolete stuff (10+ years) is for those who have extra work force and don't know where to apply it.
            What about 10 year old parts that are still being actively designed into new servers ? The rv100 derivatives (eg ES1000) are still active in the embedded market and we do support them for that reason.

            Comment

            Working...
            X