Intel's SWR Removed From Mainline Mesa, More Classic Code Cleaning Continues

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 7 December 2021 at 12:00 AM EST. 11 Comments
Last Friday Mesa classic drivers were removed from the mainline code-base and punted off to an "Amber" code branch where they will receive whatever attention moving forward. With that classic Mesa code removed, more code cleaning is now happening on top of the tens of thousands of lines of code already removed. Intel's OpenSWR driver has also now been removed from mainline.

Since the original classic Mesa drivers consisting of Radeon R100/R200, original Nouveau, and Intel i915 / i965 drivers were removed, more code cleaning can now happen on mainline for code that was just sticking around for these old, rather unmaintained drivers.

Dropping old TNL code cleared out an additional 2.5k lines of code for that software "Transformation 'n Lightning" code used by the vintage drivers.

Removing GLSL IR to Mesa IR shaved off 2.6k lines of code for that code that was only used by classic drivers.

Other removals are shaving off additional lines from mainline Mesa.

A lot of healthy code cleaning!

For those still running vintage GPUs with drivers removed from mainline, there will be the separate Amber code branch (effectively an LTS), but it's pretty much time to consider moving on...

In addition to this end-of-year cleaning, Intel's (Open)SWR rasterizer was removed today. Intel merged OpenSWR into Mesa a few years ago as an alternative to the LLVMpipe OpenGL software implementation. It was merged on the basis of being good for some areas like data visualizations and other workstation software compared to mainline Mesa but we haven't heard much of it in recent times.

In that merge request originally opened during the summer, it was mentioned recently Intel has seen some new customer interest in the driver. "After a period of diminishing interest, we recently started to get positive feedback from customers interested in using SWR. I have recently learned that one of the big simulation/engineering apps started offering SWR as an alternative 'driver' in cloud environments vs. llvmpipe and the feedback from their customers is very positive. Nevertheless, we have decided to move to 'classic' - at least for now."
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