Here's another reason to celebrate today besides the release of Wayland 0.85: Mesa 8.0 has been officially released! Mesa 8.0 is what brings OpenGL 3.0 compliance to several open-source graphics drivers, advances the Gallium3D architecture, brings many new features, and a heck of a lot of other changes that materialized over the past six months.
Marek Olšák, the well-known independent contributor to Mesa that's made a great deal of enhancements to the Radeon driver stack over the past few years, has a new patch-set. The latest patch-set he published last night cleans up the R600g driver and reworks its cache flushing code. This patch-set affects more than 2,000 lines of code, which is significant for this open-source Gallium3D driver.
Marek Olšák has made another exciting commit to the Mesa mainline Git repository this weekend... What he's accomplished now is making it possible to successfully advertise OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support within the R600 Gallium3D driver for the Radeon HD 2000 series and later.
While Mesa/Gallium3D is still a ways off from fully supporting the Unigine Engine's advanced OpenGL 3/4 renderer with decent frame-rates, there is work both by Mesa and the Unigine Corp developers to better this open-source graphics support.
Now that Mesa is beginning to catch-up with support for newer versions of OpenGL and the OpenGL performance is slowly improving, with more games and applications beginning to work on this open-source graphics driver stack as a result, the need for application workarounds is becoming more prevalent.
There's an update to the ongoing X.Org Endless Vacation of Code work, which is currently funding a developer to work on the OpenCL upbringing within the open-source world for graphics drivers. The latest work going on has been redesigning and largely rewriting the Clover state tracker that will provide the OpenCL support to Gallium3D graphics drivers.
On Sunday there was a new RFC patch-set by Tom Stellard of AMD with a new TGSI to LLVM conversion interface. The AMD R600 Gallium3D driver with its LLVM shader back-end was also updated, which is a prerequisite to OpenCL support.
On Sunday morning there were a number of video-related commits to Mesa for H.264 Gallium3D by AMD's Christian König.
Continuing in the coverage of the soon-to-be-out Mesa 8.0, here are some benchmarks of the CPU-based LLVMpipe software driver for Gallium3D.
While Mesa 8.0 has a lot to like about it from advertised OpenGL 3.0 support to performance improvements and new Gallium3D features, there are also several shortcomings of this major Mesa release for open-source graphics drivers.
While OpenGL 3.0 / GLSL 1.30 support in Mesa 8.0 has been what's talked about lately for this open-source graphics library to be released next month, there's a lot of other improvements too in Mesa 8.0 for those of you using the open-source graphics drivers under Linux.
Mesa, the heart of the open-source 3D graphics drivers for Linux, will see its 8.0 release in February with OpenGL 3.0 compliance.
It turns out that a developer is bringing Mesa's Gallium3D driver support to Haiku -- the operating system that seeks to re-implement BeOS as open-source -- per an outstanding monetary bounty.
The Mesa Softpipe driver is now getting close to handling OpenGL 3.0 support for the Mesa 8.0 release, which is expected to be branched next week.
For those not paying attention to the Mesa Git repository, Ian Romanick has landed more OpenGL 3.0 support work into the open-source code-base.
Here's one of the ways that Phoronix finds the performance regressions within the Mesa / Gallium3D drivers in a very easy way.
Vincent Lejeune has published an updated patch-set providing Uniform Buffer Object (UBO) support for OpenGL in Mesa.
The R300g and R600g Radeon Gallium3D performance is now up for certain workloads thanks to an important performance fix.
For those not keeping track, the Gallium3D state tracker for providing Microsoft Direct3D 10/11 support is still around.
Besides dropping the Intel 965 Gallium3D driver from mainline Mesa, the Gallium3D Cell driver has also been removed too.
For those wanting to live in a stable-and-tested world and forget about all the Mesa advancements that have been talked about on Phoronix in the past five months, Mesa 7.11.1 is now available.
Yesterday at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando, Canonical employees and others tried to hash out the general requirements for the X.Org stack to be found in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
A few patches have been published today for the VDPAU state tracker in Mesa's Gallium3D.
The death sentence to the ATI Radeon R300/R600 classic Mesa drivers has been carried out. It's all about the Gallium3D drivers now for upstream Mesa for R300 hardware and newer -- up through the latest Radeon HD 6000 series and Fusion.
Yesterday I wrote about the state of OpenGL 3.0 support in Mesa, but here's also some of the other missing items from the open-source graphics drivers.
Last month during XDC2011 Chicago it was publicly talked about how Intel wants OpenGL 3.0 support in Mesa and ideally before year's end. But how's that goal coming?
Last month at XDC2011 Chicago the long-standing goal of killing off Mesa IR was talked about by Intel. There's already been the GLSL-To-TGSI translator (and also competing with that is LunarGLASS to replace Mesa IR with LLVM IR), and now there's some new work to talk about in this area that works towards the common goal.
Marek Olšák, one of the most prolific independent contributors to Mesa / Gallium3D, has more exciting work at hand. Marek has published a patch to make the necessary changes to Gallium3D so that it can implement transform feedback support, a feature of OpenGL 3.0.
Ian Romanick of Intel, in the conquest to deliver OpenGL 3.0 support to the open-source Mesa stack by potentially year's end, has a new patch-set for examination.
Earlier this year Zack Rusin introduced ApiTrace as a new way to debug graphics drivers and other areas of the graphics stack. ApiTrace is an open-source utility that allows capturing DirectX/OpenGL API calls and to analyze them later on in a step-by-step manner. There's also other features like real-time editing of shaders and making other tweaks to how the calls are executed. ApiTrace even has a nice GUI too. Zack has now announced ApiTrace 2.0 and it makes this very useful graphics utility even much better.
911 Mesa news articles published on Phoronix.