Radeon Driver Commit Activity Is On The Decline
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 25 July 2012 at 06:34 AM EDT. 7 Comments
After delivering development statistics on the Nouveau driver and the Intel driver, here's some numbers looking at the development pace of the xf86-video-ati X.Org driver for Radeon graphics cards.

The Git stats on xf86-video-ati go back to 14 November 2003 with there being 2,970 Git commits in this time from 151 developers. The current size of xf86-video-ati is 64,148 lines of code spread across 83 files.

As one can see immediately, the pace of xf86-video-ati driver's development has dropped significantly.

The Git commit rate has slowed down dramatically since 2010. In 2010 there were 284 commits, 2011 brought just 155 commits, and so far this year in 2012 there are just 97 commits. This is in contrast to 2007, 2008, and 2009 that each saw more than 600 commits per year. In 2007 through 2009 were the high days for xf86-video-ati's development also at the same time that xf86-video-radeonhd was around when the open-source ATI/AMD Linux graphics strategy was just getting off the ground and they had a lot of catching up to do.

Since 2011, most of the interesting work has also just been happening within the Radeon DRM/KMS driver. New hardware support isn't implemented along UMS (user-space mode-setting) paths but just within KMS in the kernel, power management and other features have moved into the kernel, and overall the DDX drivers play less of a role these days than in past years. Even when it comes to 2D acceleration now, AMD is turning to GLAMOR as a generic means of piping 2D operations over OpenGL.

Alex Deucher, David Airlie, and Michael Daenzer lead xf86-video-ati's development, to no surprise.

Alex Deucher is really the most prolific open-source ATI driver developer.

The xf86-video-ati driver is much smaller than the xf86-video-intel driver but is much larger than xf86-video-nouveau.
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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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