One week ago Ian Romanick called for old Mesa drivers to be removed from the mainline tree so that Mesa can move forward and be cleaned up to better the support for modern GPUs. These old Mesa drivers were DRI1-only, rarely ever received new work, and were largely for vintage graphics processors that most people haven't touched in years (e.g. the 3Dfx Voodoo days). With most developers approving this move, the old Mesa graphics drivers were removed. Ian Romanick has now moved further along with a slew of new patches to delete more code from Mesa.
If you're not following me on Twitter, you're missing out on news and some very interesting photos that were posted this weekend. No, it's not of the latest beer, but of a feast of graphics cards. A 40-way comparison of NVIDIA/AMD graphics cards on Linux with the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers versus their proprietary brethren is being carried out for publishing in September.
From this year's Google Summer of Code we know that morphological anti-aliasing (MLAA) for Gallium3D was a great success ready to be merged, there was good progress with the OpenCL Gallium3D state tracker, and the remote Wayland Display Server didn't make it too far. But was it a success for the VP8 state tracker for accelerating Google's video codec in Gallium3D with VDPAU? Here's a status update.
The death sentence to legacy Mesa drivers was carried out over the night. All DRI1 drivers have been removed from the Mesa tree along with support for BeOS and other old code, in an effort to remove drivers that receive little maintenance and are just causing a greater burden in re-factoring core Mesa code for the modern drivers. This means though that the Linux desktop loses its support for hardware like VIA Unichrome and 3dfx Voodoo graphics cards.
It's now possible to build and run mainline Mesa releases on Google's Android platform. While this doesn't make too much sense to use Mesa on Android for mobile ARM devices due to the lack of open-source Mesa / Gallium3D graphics drivers in this area, this support opens up new possibilities for running the Android operating system on x86 netbooks and tablets.
Last year at XDS 2010 Toulouse there was a discussion about killing old X.Org / Mesa drivers with fire. In particular, dropping all the old drivers that go un-maintained and have little in the way of users and modern functionality. Last year they decided to not really do much about it since these drivers cause little maintenance burden, but the topic has been brought up again and it sounds like these crusty old Linux drivers will finally receive their death sentence.
Google's 2011 Summer of Code is coming to an end with today being one of the soft deadlines for the student developers to finish up work on their summer projects. Of the Mesa / GSoC summer projects this year, I mentioned the MLAA support for Gallium3D was a success with the post-processing infrastructure and morphological anti-aliasing support seeking mainline inclusion into Mesa. Here's a status update on how the Gallium3D OpenCL support has come over the summer.
One of the projects being worked on via X.Org / Mesa with the 2011 Google Summer of Code is morphological anti-aliasing (MLAA) support for Gallium3D / Mesa. Back in July there was MLAA code ready to be tested, but now the student developer behind this code, Lauri Kasanen, has published patches that add the post-processing infrastructure to Gallium3D. The work may soon be ready to be merged to master.
Benjamin Franzke, the open-source developer that for a number of months has been contributed to Mesa / Wayland, has continued with his work. His latest achievement is landing some new EGL code in Mesa, which will benefit Wayland too.
Intel's Eric Anholt and Ian Romanick have each published a large number of patches to the Mesa development list. Eric dropped a series of 37 patches that implement his MapTextureImage work for OpenGL while Ian Romanick has nine patches today for his Mesa IR cleaning.
With the release this week of the OpenGL 4.2 specification (and accompanying GL Shading Language 4.20 revision), the TODO list for the open-source Mesa developers just got a bit longer. Mesa / Gallium3D still lacks full support for OpenGL 3.0 and all of the revisions since that 2008 specification release.
One month ago I mentioned there was a possible workaround for the S3TC patent situation. The possible S3TC workaround was S2TC, which is a simpler implementation of texture compression than the patented S3 Texture Compression algorithms, and comes gratis from the developers of the Xonotic game. However, Mesa developers still aren't thrilled about this possible solution.
For those not closely watching the Mesa Git tree, just hours ago the Mesa GLSL-To-TGSI translator was merged to master, making it a feature for the next Mesa 7.12 (or potentially Mesa 8.0) release.
Now that Mesa 7.11 has been released, will the GLSL to TGSI translator be merged to master? All indications would be yes.
For those not living in the wonderful land of Git for Mesa, the second release candidate of the forthcoming Mesa 7.11 release is now available.
Besides pipe-video landing in Mesa, there's some more good news to report when it comes to accelerated video playback over Mesa/Gallium3D. There's a VP8 state tracker for this Google format that's actively being developed.
As expected, Christian König has pushed the Gallium3D pipe-video work into the mainline Mesa repository, which will be one of the big features to be introduced in Mesa 7.12/8.0 release, not the forthcoming Mesa 7.11.
Last month it was announced that the GLSL IR to TGSI translator for Mesa that avoids the use of the inefficient and old Mesa IR was ready to be merged. A month later, the code for this core Mesa improvement hasn't been pulled.
The next release of Mesa, which will be released as either Mesa 7.12 or Mesa 8.0 (assuming OpenGL 3.0 compliance) next January, is already beginning to receive some exciting features. Mesa 7.11 isn't being released until the end of this month, but the changes taking place in Git master are quite enticing for those wishing to live on the bleeding-edge of open-source Linux graphics drivers.
Yet again Marek Olšák has made another great improvement to Mesa. Recently this independent developer has been working quite a lot in implementing OpenGL 3.0 support for the open-source Mesa stack. Ending out this weekend, he now has working OGL3 floating-point depth buffers per the GL_ARB_depth_buffer_float extension.
While this is non-news for many Phoronix readers that are Mesa Git followers and already onto tracking Mesa 7.12-devel after using Mesa 7.11-devel for months already, for everyone else, the first release candidate of Mesa 7.11 is now available.
Thomas Hellstrom of VMware has just merged to Mesa master the XA Gallium3D State Tracker that we previously talked about on Phoronix.
There's another item on the TODO list for Mesa's OpenGL 3.0 support to scratch off. Marek Olšák has been viciously finishing up bits of OpenGL 3.0 support (along with his always-excellent work to the Radeon Gallium3D drivers) and has now produced a set of 13 patches that provide floating-point depth buffers.
Via a commit to the TODO list concerning Mesa's support for the OpenGL 3.0 specification, Marek Olšák has confirmed that vertex texture image units for OGL3 are "DONE" and working on the R600 Gallium3D driver.
Due to some user confusion after this morning's Intel Gallium3D article regarding what Intel IGPs are actually covered by this community-alternative to Intel's official classic Mesa driver, here's an overview of all the different Gallium3D drivers.
Mesa 7.11 has been branched in preparation for its release next month. What this means is that now Mesa Git master is for Mesa 7.12, which will be the graphics code in-development until next January when it's either released as 7.12, or Mesa 8.0 should the OpenGL 3.0 support land by year's end.
Benjamin Franzke, a developer who as of the past several months has been hacking on Wayland and working to get it running over OpenWF along with making other improvements, has written a graphics buffer manager (GBM) for Mesa.
One of the Google Summer of Code projects pertaining to Mesa / X.Org is to bring-up open-source OpenCL support with the Gallium3D driver architecture. There's long been a branch of Mesa dubbed "Clover" that provides an OpenCL state tracker for the Gallium3D driver architecture, but it hasn't been usable as there's a lot of work to be finished. This GSoC project attempts to change that and there's already been a big milestone achieved.
Back in April we reported on the ambitious project by a lone, independent developer to write a GLSL IR to TGSI translator for Mesa that wouldn't involve using Mesa's crufty IR. This work would also be a stepping-stone to GLSL 1.30 support in Mesa, which is needed for OpenGL 3.0 support in this critical free software project. Today the developer is reporting that he believes this translator is ready to be merged into Mesa.
Hurra! A new Gallium3D state tracker was just released! But it's not the state tracker for OpenCL support, VDPAU or VA-API encoding/decoding, or anything else like that, but rather it's for something new: the XA State Tracker. This state tracker provides a new means of X.Org Acceleration (hence the "XA" name) and was developed by VMware.
726 Mesa news articles published on Phoronix.