X.Org Project Has Five New Summer Projects
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 26 April 2010 at 11:19 PM EDT. 19 Comments
Back in March we talked about the possible X.Org projects this year during Google's Summer of Code, for which X.Org is a veteran participant (in the past items like the ATI R300 Gallium3D driver and generic GPU video decoding have been tackled), but the list of accepted projects for this summer have now been announced. Gallium3D H.264 video decoding, an OpenGL 3.2 state tracker, and porting of the DRM code to GNU/Hurd were among the talked about possibilities, but none of those will be addressed as part of GSoC 2010.

Instead, being worked on this summer within the X.Org project thanks to Google is improving input support for XCB, a Cairo state tracker for Gallium3D, creating a fully plug-and-play USB multi-seat solution using upstream software components, KMS support for the Permedia 3/4 graphics cards, and improving the GLSL compiler back-end for the ATI R300 driver.

Seeing a Gallium3D state tracker for Cairo will be particularly exciting for this 2D graphics API as it's used by GTK+, Mono, Mozilla Firefox / Gecko, WebKit, and many other free software projects. The Cairo state tracker will be joining the OpenVG and Xorg state trackers as other accelerated 2D components for this graphics driver architecture.

It's also exciting to see kernel mode-setting support being worked on for more hardware, but the Permedia 3/4 hardware comes as a bit surprising, if you even recognize the name. The Permedia 3 and Permedia 4 are products of 3Dlabs. These were low-end OpenGL-capable graphics cards that were offered by 3Dlabs prior to their acquisition by ATI. The 3Dlabs Permedia graphics cards that have been around for more than a decade are rightfully rare these days, but it's picking up kernel mode-setting support. The purpose of this GSoC project though is to document the KMS driver writing process rather than expecting this driver to have a useful life. Going with an older, simpler graphics processor should make it easier to implement a KMS driver over the course of a summer than a modern GPU that is much more advanced.

Improving the GLSL (GL Shading Language) compiler for the Gallium3D R300 driver will also be much appreciated by many users and should provide noticeable results once complete.

Christoph Reimann, Igor Trindade Oliveira, Lucas Ferreira, Matt Turner, and Thomas Stellard are the five new X.Org student developers that will take on these new projects this summer. Best of luck in successfully completing their projects. The announcement of these accepted projects was made on the X.Org mailing list.

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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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