Nouveau X.Org Driver Less Than 30k Lines Of Code
Written by Michael Larabel in Nouveau on 22 July 2012 at 06:58 AM EDT. 4 Comments
After delivering some development statistics on the xf86-video-intel driver yesterday, today there's a look at the development activity surrounding xf86-video-nouveau. This is the X.Org driver for Nouveau, the reverse-engineered open-source NVIDIA driver.

The Git stats on xf86-video-nouveau show from 14th of November 2003 through earlier this month with its most recent commit on 6 July. At present, this Nouveau DDX driver component is spread across 60 files with 29,464 lines of code. The Nouveau X.Org driver at less than 30k lines of code was developed over the course of 2,281 commits from 65 different developers. While the Nouveau X.Org driver works for open-source NVIDIA and simply counting the number of lines of code isn't an appropriate measurement for much of anything, the 29.4k LOC size is significantly less than the xf86-video-intel driver at 204.3k LOC. The to-be-published xf86-video-ati Git stats show it's size at 61.4k LOC. So the Nouveau X.Org driver is a seventh the size of Intel's driver and half the size of ATI's driver. Again though this isn't much of a useful measurement for end-users and is only counting the DDX component but not the Mesa or DRM/KMS driver components.

Pace though on developing xf86-video-nouveau has certainly slowed down...

So far in 2012 there have just been 59 commits to xf86-video-nouveau, which is more than in 2011 when there were just 35. However, back in 2007 there were 697 commits, 729 commits in 2008, and 480 commits in 2009. Years ago there was user-space mode-setting (UMS) support in xf86-video-nouveau so there was extra work going on there, etc, but these days most of the interesting happenings are in the Nouveau KMS/DRM kernel driver.

The leading contributors to xf86-video-nouveau include Maarten Maathuis (631 commits), Stuart Bennett (599 commits), Ben Skeggs (520 commits), Stephane Marchesin (112 commits), Arthur Huillet (68 commits), and Francisco Jerez (56 commits).

Since Ben Skeggs became employed by Red Hat to continue work on Nouveau, the number of lines of code he has added to the driver has been very significant.

While Ben has been adding lots of lines of code, when it comes to the number of commits recently, Stuart and Maarten are battling it out for the top spot.

With the removal of UMS support from Nouveau, the DDX driver is no longer as big as it once was, but did increase in size from 2010 to 2011. For the past year, the driver's size by line count has been mostly flat-lined.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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