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An OpenGL 4.1 Gallium3D State Tracker Was Just Proposed
I think you guys are missing the point. Because of the patent issues support like this cannot be enabled by default in most distros leaving the end user to compile items from scratch if they wish to have that support enabled.
Doesn't Mint LInux already use some patented things which other distro's don't use because of the fear of lawsuits?
So maybe some distro's won't enable it, but others like Mint will.
As long as they have nothing to do with the USA they don't have to care about USA laws
Does anything, besides future kde versions , actually use OpenGL 4+ on Linux?
Personally I couldn't care less about OpenGL 4, 5, 10 whatever. All I care about is good OpenGL 2.1 support plus any extras needed by wine. And by good support I'm talking about support in the complete driver stack, not just the state tracker. So from my point of view I'd rather see a GSoC student applying for hacking on r600g.
Having said that, it's not for me to decide what other people should do in their own time, so if he wishes to work on OpenGL 4.1 I wish him good luck, although I agree with other comments that it does sound way too over ambitious.