Mesa Developers Discuss Dropping Older Drivers, Removing Untested Code

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 22 May 2017 at 06:34 AM EDT. 22 Comments
Last week Mesa developers had their once-in-a-while discussion about cleaning up the code-base and potentially dropping the older drivers.

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.
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