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Nouveau Driver Q&A

Published on 3 September 2007

Page 3 of 5 - 1 Comment

Michael: How many hours per day on average are the Nouveau developers working on the driver?

That really depends on the person and on the task he is working on and whether help from other developers is needed. And of course there real life restrictions (like summer vacation, thesis work or school) which have a heavy influence on the time spent.

Some examples:

- Writing a TiNDC takes about 7 days of work with roughly 2 hours per day (if topics get complex there is peer review, which adds burden on the developers too).
- I (marcheu) work a couple of hours on it each day, ranging from 0 to 5-6 hours. I wish I could do more, but hey I also have to work for a living. I also sometimes find myself spending lots of time in technical discussions on IRC, and not so much coding.

Moustacha: What can those with minimal coding experience do to help out (without stuffing up their machine)?

Generally speaking: testing and giving feedback to us. Please don't be discouraged if no one answers you (because the channel is silent or there is a heated discussion / testing spree on the way), your feedback won't get lost.

And please: Don't come into our channel, report and vanish for ever. Lurk in the shadows and await sudden requests for either more data points or tests with patches applied. That is important to us so that we can verify our fixes work out ok. Remember: Your hardware and software setup may be radically different to what we have available. So you may be the only person who can reproduce your bug.

Regenwald: Do you think that TV-Out, S-Video etc. will ever work? what do you think about the current performance? Do you think about releasing benchmarks? What about dual-screen?

TV-Out is likely. Thunderbird (of NVClock fame) is looking into it and has identified some registers already. We think that will fit quite well within the randr-1.2 conversion that we're working on.

Dual screen (randr1.2): Airlied is working on and off on this and got randr-1.2 dual screen working on a very specific hardware setup. Airlied wants to work again on it from September on last thing I heard from him but currently, work has stalled.

Benchmarks: It's open source you know. We are really trying to get things working right now and are not so much interested in benchmarks yet.

That said:

1. We did compare our Xv implementation to that of the blob's. It helped us determine whether we could still improve and we can now claim better performance there. Unfortunately that speed advantage is sometimes eaten by EXA doing too much synchronizations (forcing a wait), so there is still work to be done.

2. Hey, it's Open Source. Do it yourself and let us know. Benchmark pointing out large performance differences is valuable feedback for us too!

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