Nouveau Companion 34

Written by KoalaBR in Display Drivers on 29 January 2008. Page 1 of 2. 1 Comment

The 34th edition of the Nouveau Companion is now available for your reading pleasure. The Nouveau crew this time around debates the issue of whether they should push a 2D-only release of the Nouveau driver out the door while continuing the 3D work, integrating MMioTrace into the mainstream kernel, the status of RandR 1.2, TV-Out support getting underway, and last but not least is the status of the Nouveau Gallium3D driver.

Here we are again: issue number 34 is here for your reading pleasure. Thank you very much in your continued interest in our driver and TiNDC.

Just as an example how important testing is for us, during the last 14 days both rindolf and AndrewR reported regressions. Rindolf had problems with jitters after extended periods of time in X while AndrewR got a kernel panic. Both problems were introduced about one week before they were reported, which made searching for the bad patch quite easy. So, even if there are no bug fixes or new features announced for your card, please do test at least once in a week to make sure everything keeps working.

During the last weeks, the discussion came up, whether we should work on getting a 2D-only release finally out of the door. There were proponents for and against it arguments were exchanged and a decision postponed :).

Pro arguments:
- Distros could start shipping us without much hassle.
- It would get us more testers and users.
- It would show that we are really progressing at a good pace and that we are a successful (in regards to for end users graspable results)
- Better get a release out of the door before we offer 3D for real. 3D will get us a huge influx of testers and users and in combination with 2D may just overwhelm us.
- Release early, release often.

Contra arguments:
- NV5x support is very much not there.
- We don't want to support a stable DRM interface just yet (which would be needed for distro integration) as at least two more changes will be needed (for mode-setting and TTM).
- RandR 1.2 isn't good enough yet.
- No need for a huge amount of additional testers and users, we need dedicated testers, which are interested in solving specific problems, as we currently have.

As each sides had valid points, no final decision was found. So we decided to wait a few weeks longer and discuss our options at FOSDEM next month.

And for the record: No we were not approached by NVIDIA regarding specs (And to be honest we don't expect them to contact us).

The Current Status

It seems MMioTrace will stay broken for kernel 2.6.24, as the relevant kernel hacker doesn't intend to bring the hooks back. The good news, however, is that pq is starting to work on integrating MMioTrace into mainstream kernel and does get support by the said kernel hacker in order to find similar functionality to that which was removed. There is a consensus that MMioTrace is a worthy tool for mainstream kernel. If everything works out ok, we will see MMioTrace in a working state from 2.6.25 or 2.6.26 on.

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