Mesa Developers Discuss Dropping Older Drivers, Removing Untested Code
Emil Velikov began the discussion by calling for a deprecation on the old DRI drivers. This original plan would also deperecate the old DRI driver loader.
- Dropping i915, r200, and other "effectively unmaintained drivers" was then brought up, possibly moving them to a legacy branch of Mesa.
- Part of the benefit of dropping older drivers would be able to remove a lot of run-time checks, removing some code paths only used by the older drivers, etc.
- Potentially dropping NV04 and NV05 was also brought up as it's "unused, unmaintained, and demonstrably *broken*."
- Dropping Gallium3D drivers that don't support native integers was discussed, but that would affect Etnaviv, Freedreno A2xx, NV30, and others.
- An idea of moving DirectX 9 and older GPUs into its own Mesa code-base and let that evolve into its own legacy driver project, albeit there aren't many developers interested in this older hardware or with the time/resources to invest in such code, hence why Mesa's existing legacy hardware support is in bad shape.
These sort of discussions happen every year or so on Mesa-dev about dropping old pieces of Mesa that are in a less than ideal state. Often times these discussions just fizzle down without any action, but we'll see this time. The discussion had been happening in this mailing list thread.