The GL_ARB_robustness extension is about robustness (obviously) and greater security for OpenGL contexts. GL_ARB_robustness makes it easier for applications/games to recover from hardware errors (e.g. GPU video memory problems) as well as software/driver problems. For those interested in the full details on the OpenGL robustness support, read the full specification at OpenGL.org.
There's been some test cases in the past for Intel/Mesa with ARB_robustness, but no full implementation for the open-source GPU drivers. Mika Kuoppala, one of the Finnish developers formerly at Nokia until last year that then joined Intel's Open-Source Technology Center, published his latest "ARB robustness enablers" on Thursday.
These kernel patches are about changes needed so that user-space (i.e. Mesa) can query about whether a context has been lost, among other work. The re-worked patch set against the i915 DRM driver cleans up some code, gives three seconds to declare a hang, semaphore kicking for hung rings, and a test case for the new exposed kernel interfaces.
Assuming the interface to user-space looks good along with the other changes, this is a potential merge candidate for the Linux 3.10 kernel and is to be followed by Mesa support work to take advantage of the new Intel DRM driver capabilities.