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Mesa 9.0 Released With Open Source OpenGL 3.1 Drivers

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the death-to-directx dept.

Graphics 79

An anonymous reader writes "The Mesa developers released Mesa 9.0 with open-source OpenGL 3.1 driver support. This de facto OpenGL Linux implementation now supports the several year old OpenGL 3.1 specification for Intel hardware while the other drivers are still at OpenGL 3.0 or worse. Other features to Mesa 9.0 include completing MPEG1/MPEG2 video acceleration, early OpenCL support, bug-fixes, and new hardware support." OpenGL 3.1 support is limited to Intel hardware, but at least ATI/AMD hardware supports some of OpenGL 3.1. A few features from OpenGL 4 were also added.

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Mesa Same As Me (5, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#41594577)

Mesa same as me,
Slashdotty as I can be,
Loving software free,
Cleanshaven, save goatee.
Burma Shave

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

mat.power (2677517) | about 2 years ago | (#41594719)

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#41594791)

Nice!

Re:Mesa Same As Me (2)

ulricr (2486278) | about 2 years ago | (#41595115)

just to clarify, because it's obscure pop culture, it's. not from xkcd http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma-Shave [wikipedia.org]

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

mat.power (2677517) | about 2 years ago | (#41617947)

I didn't think it was that obscure anymore? Either way thanks for the link for those who don't know!

Re:Mesa Same As Me (3, Informative)

gatzke (2977) | about 2 years ago | (#41594819)

Cleanshaven, save goatee.

I accidentally read this as goatse. Not. the. same.

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#41594949)

First day, new eyes?

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | about 2 years ago | (#41595263)

me 2, wasnt until u pointed it out i realised.

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#41595909)

thats how i read it the first time too.

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41595065)

At one time, I thought that there should be a fork of Mesa: Maybe "Black Mesa". (That was a joke, ha ha, fat chance)

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about 2 years ago | (#41602359)

Mesa same as me,

Please stop confusing non-Americans. I thought this was a Jar Jar Binks reference.

Re:Mesa Same As Me (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#41616849)

Americans should have
(and this ain't no ruse)
A monopoly
On being confused...?

BURMA SHAVE.

Switching to the Linux (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41594635)

I would like to switch away from the Windows (I already am not touching Macs unless forced to), and this nice improvement in graphical performance might just be a step in the right direction for me to do the full switch at some point. Unfortunately I still am pretty dependent on the Adobe package for graphic tools in my line of work, but I hope to see the alternatives get there fast now that Adobe has consistently been pissing on its own leg for a longer period of time. And then there are the games. Pray tell this situation will improve.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#41594849)

Unfortunately I still am pretty dependent on the Adobe package for graphic tools in my line of work, but I hope to see the alternatives get there fast now that Adobe has consistently been pissing on its own leg for a longer period of time.

There has been no strong push to provide alternatives for the Adobe-applications, so why would there be anything such now all of a sudden? I do not see the situation changing for years to come.

And then there are the games. Pray tell this situation will improve.

With Steam arriving on Linux things may slowly start turning for the better, but that too will take years. Basically if the game you want to play hasn't already been ported over or doesn't work satisfactorily via Wine then be prepared to wait for a good, long while more, and do not expect old games to be ported over, only completely new releases.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41594983)

I work primarily with digital graphics. My experience with Adobe products is making me feel like they don't care anything anymore as they have a sort of monopoly on 2D imagery. I hope they're not going deeper into 3D as I would hate to switch from Blender, which is my current favourite creation tool for all things threedee. Maybe it's patents that is keeping others from entering the 2D digital creation world to take on Adobe, but I do not really know. Really, I would like Linux to be a great choice for graphical artists to use in terms of convenience, which is currently the only thing Adobe does right.

I also saw my previous comment was cut off in the end there. Weird, but it was nothing of importance. :3

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41595277)

Autodesk dominates the closed source 3D market much like Adobe dominates the closed source 2D market. Other people don't try to enter the market because it is bloody hard to write software which can compete with these products. Even Microsoft bought Softimage at a point then gave up and sold them off to Avid. Today Softimage is owned by... Autodesk. Autodesk, not content with having 3D Studio, bought Softimage and Maya. Today there is little competition left. There are lots of patents in the area but I don't think that is the main problem.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41595373)

So what is the main problem?

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

progician (2451300) | about 2 years ago | (#41596481)

A single word: monopoly. These markets are basically frozen.

15000 dollars ought to tell ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41598735)

autodesk: 3dsmax 2013 BUT hey we'll sell it to you at nearly half off for 8500....

ya know what that encourages....me pirating it and then using it till im so good at it someone hires me and/or invests enough in me i can legally buy it and off i go.....

thus you get a guy whose pissed off about having to pay that kinda a crap for start up.....and whom will then sit back on disability for the next ten years doing as much as he can for free jsut to bone dry the whole industry....

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41595227)

There has been no strong push to provide alternatives for the Adobe-applications, so why would there be anything such now all of a sudden? I do not see the situation changing for years to come.

What? Never heard of the GIMP for bitmap drawing or Inkscape for vectorial drawing? IMO Inkscape is superior to Illustrator. I even use it in Windows.

The situation is more dire for video editing where there are several programs with somewhat laughable feature sets like you would see in entry/mid level video editing programs in other platforms. The interesting thing is the best library for multimedia is probably libavcodec and its open source. The best video players are open source as well.

Games are a bit of a mess. You have access to all the emulators so if you play old games (consoles, DOS) you are covered. There are a couple of nice open source games like Warzone 2100, Wesnoth, Frets on Fire. However if you want to play recent PC games like Mass Effect, Call of Duty, Dragon Age, Starcraft II you are pretty much screwed. If one of those fabled Linux consoles ever came out perhaps we could have platform commonality and get more games via that route. Otherwise I do not see companies like EA or Activision doing Linux ports.

I suspect eventually Wine will run DirectX 9 games better than Windows itself does but that isn't much consolation since you are following a moving target.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#41595811)

What? Never heard of the GIMP for bitmap drawing or Inkscape for vectorial drawing? IMO Inkscape is superior to Illustrator. I even use it in Windows.

Of course I have heard of those, you misunderstood my point. I even use GIMP on Windows on almost a daily basis. But as I said, there is no actual PUSH to provide alternatives to the Adobe software stack, and even many GIMP developers themselves don't view GIMP as an alternative to Photoshop so much as an entirely different thing altogether. Also, GIMP, Inkscape et.al. are totally separate applications; there is no interplay between them like there is between Adobe's own products.

The interesting thing is the best library for multimedia is probably libavcodec and its open source.

I personally am partial to GStreamer and FFMpeg. But alas, I guess it's mostly a taste-thing as they all are pretty good feature-wise.

Re:Switching to the Linux (2)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | about 2 years ago | (#41596551)

But as I said, there is no actual PUSH to provide alternatives to the Adobe software stack, and even many GIMP developers themselves don't view GIMP as an alternative to Photoshop so much as an entirely different thing altogether.

So what? That's the first common misconception about FLOSS and 'other' software in general. Linux does not try to be Windows replacement, GIMP does not try to be a Photoshop replacement, Evolution does not try to be an Outlook replacement and so on and on...if you stop seeing "replacements" and start seeing independent software projects instead, it will make your life easier. Sure, some or most of them have the same area of interest, but most FLOS software does not try to be a drop-in replacement, they try to make better, free software.

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596621)

Maybe there eventually will be some coherent alternative on the K-side, Krita already have professional users, and Karbon is probably one of the more under-advertised applications out there, it deserves much more recognition than it gets.

I'd say you can get pretty far as is with the free alternatives, were Scribus (I know it's not a "K-app", but at least it's Qt.) takes the place of "IResign", but where it falls down is if you need interoperability with adobe-stuff.

Re:Switching to the Linux (4, Informative)

dexotaku (1136235) | about 2 years ago | (#41595325)

There has been no strong push to provide alternatives for the Adobe-applications, so why would there be anything such now all of a sudden? I do not see the situation changing for years to come.

Um. What? Seriously, what?

This .. the lack of usable, powerful equivalents [that don't require an engineering degree or at least mindset in order to learn how to use, like software such as Blender] to such applications as:

  • * Photoshop [GIMP ain't there yet, but it's getting closer - the next major release may shift this considerably, when they add 16bpc image support among other things]
  • * Lightroom [Raw Therapee is getting -really- close but metadata interoperability with Adobe apps via XMP or equivalent is basically a requirement for professionals to take it seriously]
  • * Premiere .. or Sony Vegas .. or farther up the line, AVID et al [there are literally no even remotely-near-equivalents in the video NLE arena, basic editors - sure, but anything more advanced doesn't exist, though again - development -is- at least taking place in tools to build up to that degree of functionality - we'll probably be there in the early 2020s]
  • * After Effects [no even remotely-near-equivalents at all, no development that I'm aware of]
  • * Indesign [Scribus is inching forward but there are a few interface obstacles that make it simply bizarre to use for anyone who's ever used "pro" layout software .. even Pagemaker 4 - from the early 1990s, for Windows 3.1 - is still functionally superior]

... are basically what are holding back *all* of the people I know who would like to switch away from Windows but can't due to the requirement of usable production tools [for business -or- any other use].

There are some shining examples [look for an audio NLE on linux and there are several very decent competitive options to programs like Vegas, Audition, Sound Forge, etc., or check out Inkscape for graphic design] as well of course, but there are various reasons why those may not be suitable solutions too [such as the multitude of choices on linux of who-knows-how-well-they're supported low-latency audio driver subsystems which may make required things like synchronous multitracking impossible with a given piece of equipment or even particular distro].

I occasionally teach uni [mostly arts] how to use graphic design / video / audio software; many can't afford Macs [where the Adobe applications and other stable equivalents already exist and credulous, uneducated users aren't even aware of or simply don't care about the walled-garden[s] that will affect what they can do with their own hardware] and among those who can't, the majority would like nothing more than to switch away from using Windows.

My observation of reasons for resistance to the adoption of linux by the sections of the populace that I deal with on a regular basis [musicians, videographers, video/audio editors, graphic artists, photographers, professional academics of many stripe[s], writers, etc.] are thus:

  • #1 the lack of serious production tools - closed- or open-source, free [as in beer] or not .. almost everyone I know would GLADLY pay Adobe or whomever fistfuls of dollars for native linux versions of their applications *just* to be able to get away from Windows.
  • #2 is the lack of native iTunes because so many people are inextricably tied to Apple's store [half of the reason I refuse to open an iTunes store account or for that matter purchase any iDevice - the other half being that I both can't afford to and also refuse to effectively pay more to get less overall functionality/control].
  • #3 is, predictably, gaming [Steam may alter this somewhat].

I have helped a number of people [including both children and seniors] switch to linux, but their usage profiles are pretty uniform: they're content consumers, not producers. They read and send email, browse the web, and almost everything they do can be done in a web browser on any OS. The majority of what they use are platform-agnostic programs [other than cosmetic differences] .. like firefox, skype, PDF readers, and media players.. For them, I find most linux distros are *vastly* superior to Windows - the repository system[s] alone simplify things incredibly compared to either Windows or Mac OS - it's no wonder that both Apple & MS are shifting to "store" systems that act much like linux repos.

So - again.. what?

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595997)

In the NLE arena there is also Lightworks ( http://www.lwks.com/ [lwks.com] ) and it have a public closed alpha for linux, if the initial statement is honored its going to be dual licensed ( open source and proprietary ).

The is not a source code release due to technical an legal reasons, they need to do code cleanup and it have some legacy code that dates back 20 years.

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596383)

If you seriously want a linux alternative to Premiere, you should look no further than the KDE Non-LInear Video Editor. (Ugly name. Good software.) It's got a more limited range of plugins and effects out of the box than its closed source for-pay alternatives, but it's fully functional, at least on par with the last AVID software I used (4 years ago now).

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Prune (557140) | about 2 years ago | (#41601267)

Well, Wine is always an option. Photoshop runs in Wine without a problem.

Additionally, one of the most important graphics production applications, Autodesk's Maya, runs natively on Linux and has absolutely no difference from the Windows version.

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41603707)

WTF, why would you run Windows programs on WINE when you can run them on Windows and have them work properly.

The thing is, people who aren't gnutards don't want to willingly make life worse for themselves.

I use Linux, though mostly I use Plan9 and Windows, and I don't get this mentality of self-flagellation for the sake of some hypothetical freedom. I'll give you a hint, the Linux source code and Gnu source code sucks, so much so that when you want to figure out how something works, you don't, you give up. Free software/opensource but the source code is usually so terrible and unreadable that it's of little to no value.

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594855)

If you're seriously into the latest games you might want to keep a Windows machine around just for that. Sorry.

Wine bites it. I'm not yet convinced that any VMWare/Virtualbox solution works well enough for games. The linux ports included in the Humble Bundles are great n all, and I've bought every one, but the HIB games tend to be 3+ years old so not really the latest and greatest.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about 2 years ago | (#41595003)

I work for the games industry so I need to be able to play some serious games regardless of console, mobile or PC. Hopefully I will be able to change some stuff myself as my career progresses. I am not the one to leave a potential market untouched!

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595061)

When did you last time try the GIMP or Inkscape? They're quite capable tools. And there are plenty of games for the GNU/Linux operating system.

I'm glad you're not drinking the Mac kool-aid.

Stop waiting and start working.

Re:Switching to the Linux (2)

GioMac (862536) | about 2 years ago | (#41595209)

Both GIMP and Inkscape are far far away from Adobe products. It's worth to pay extra USD 1K for application that will save your time, brain and achieve perfect results.
Unfortunately

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595939)

Both GIMP and Inkscape are far far away from Adobe products.

Thank god.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 2 years ago | (#41596221)

how many slashdot readers have an extra $1,000 laying around to blow on software? I don't.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

progician (2451300) | about 2 years ago | (#41596647)

If you have that kind of money, you could just throw at a serious software developer in order to get improvements in GIMP or Inkscape, or whatever. A few donation like that, and there would be no shortage of programmers' time for these products.

Re:Switching to the Linux (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 2 years ago | (#41596361)

When did you last time try the GIMP or Inkscape?

I use GIMP almost on a daily basis. That's irrelevant, however, as I never said anything about the quality of GIMP or Inkscape. I said there is no push for an alternative to the Adobe software-stack.

And there are plenty of games for the GNU/Linux operating system.

Yes, if you're into crappy clones, Indie-games, or decades old games. Linux is a great server-OS, but it definitely isn't a gaming-OS yet.

Re:Switching to the Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599511)

Yes, if you're into crappy clones, Indie-games, or decades old games. Linux is a great server-OS, but it definitely isn't a gaming-OS yet.

I'm a game developer. Windows is no more a "gaming-OS" than Linux is. Cross Platform Engines will bring games to Linux. It's inevitable -- Why ignore market share -- i.e. turn your back on money -- needlessly? Just start with a cross platform base, and building the game to run on Linux or Mac takes hardly any extra effort, there's a bit more testing required but the cost/benefit ratio shows it to be profitable. Engine makers compete on every front -- One new competitive feature is Cross Platform Support.

What you mean to say is that there aren't many AAA games out for Linux, yet.

Perhaps the importance of opening up will be noted (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about 2 years ago | (#41594655)

More and more as home computing becomes about appliances instead of about general purpose PCs and more and more, different detail markets are looking to Linux to make these things happen, video chip makers who have bet most of their business on Microsoft-only support will soon need to rethink that notion.

Long ago, no one thought IBM could be humbled. No one could have imagined Novell becoming a novelty. And no one in Windows-centric IT shops want to admit that the vast majority of internet and databases out there are running on Linux servers and services.

Things are shifting but some people aren't noticing or believing.

F* You NVidia... F* You.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41594763)

I get the impression(whether this is better or worse is another question) that makers of video chipsets understand that Linux support is necessary to win certain markets(embedded Android stuff, *nix graphic workstations, compute clusters, etc.); but that "support" does not need to mean anything other than 'set of binary blobs that work with the one blessed kernel version and system configuration. If you are the purchaser of a consumer product, suck it up. If you have a suitably large enterprise support account, please contact our engineering/integration team.'

In the 'appliance' market, you aren't even supposed to touch the software, just twiddle the 'apps' on top of it, and much of the hardware(even when the components are well understood and fairly standard) is overtly hostile to tinkering. Yes, the chipset vendor had better have a Linux BSP if they want to make a sale; but(based on the state of 3rd-party Android ROMs), they definitely don't have to do it in a way that is overly helpful to 3rd parties.

In the expensive Workstation and Compute Stuff market, you have customers who will pay good money, sometimes excellent money, to Make It Work; but you also have customers used to the fact that 'Product X is only supported on RHEL Antiquated Edition with Nvidia Drivers v.Y'.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 2 years ago | (#41594813)

I hope that it doesn't stop at just Linux support. I'm actually OK with there being proprietary drivers as long as documentation is available so that we can build open drivers as well. In an ideal world all drivers are open.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (2)

cpghost (719344) | about 2 years ago | (#41594869)

Exactly. What good is a binary blob for a specific version of the Linux kernel, when you need to run this piece of hardware on another incompatible version, on another architecture, or, say, on another open sourced OS like, say, FreeBSD? We don't need vendor lock-in through binary blobs; Open Specs is what we need. Support can then be provided by volunteers.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594857)

Except Android is not Linux.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594907)

Android runs on top of linux.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595633)

Android runs on top of a forked version of Linux.

Or hundreds of forks of Linux.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41595085)

At the level of a graphics driver, a driver for Android is pretty much necessarily a Linux driver. It is vanishingly unlikely to be an Xorg driver(which is presumably why so many of these 'run stock arm distribution on android device!' schemes end up doing something ghastly with VNC), but it will have to interact with a kernel that is largely-though-not-100% a Linux kernel.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41600955)

but you also have customers used to the fact that 'Product X is only supported on RHEL Antiquated Edition with Nvidia Drivers v.Y'.

This is not limited to Linux. With Windows, the situation is very similar. You are usually on your own with the latest and greatest drivers. Software support for the later drivers comes only after the next major release of the design package.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594873)

IBM and Novell lost their business area because competition shut them off. Also, the irony here is it's largely Microsoft who did that.

In order for that to happen to Windows, you need serious competition on the PC desktop. Not on servers or databases, on desktops. And there are ZERO viable candidates except maybe OSX by a long shot. You are fighting the wrong battle there.

>Things are shifting but some people aren't noticing or believing.

Things shift when there is a force shifting them; things don't shift just because you wish them.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594887)

And no one in Windows-centric IT shops want to admit that the vast majority of internet and databases out there are running on Linux servers and services.

Yes, but Windows internet services have been growing at a flat rate for the past 5 years. Still small percentage wise, but growing none-the-less and in the top 500 to boot.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595113)

Yeah. Totally "F* you" for providing a rock-stable and blazing-fast driver supporting all the lastest OpenGL specs, with OpenCL support from day one and not 4 years late, while the high-and-mighty opensource drivers are buggy as hell for all the cards less than 5 years old, support OpenGL revision that's 1.2 release versions behind, and achieve about half of the performance of Windows drivers. I feel for you mate.

Except, not really.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (1)

mallan (37663) | about 2 years ago | (#41598227)

+1

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41604059)

Totally "F* you" for providing a rock-stable and blazing-fast driver...

Stop trolling. NVidia was the first company to refuse to provide adequate documentation needed for developing those opensource drivers, and other companies followed. They're basically the reason why those opensource drivers are now 5 years behind the state of the art. So yeah, fuck 'em.

Oh, and their drivers are buggy as hell.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41610585)

Then why do they work? I know AMD and Intel gets fair share of application developer time to fix all the bugs so that morons get your OpenGL and not semi-random pixel noise if anything. On the other hand, I have not heard that nVidia needs this special treatment because they actually get their OpenGL (nearly) perfect.

Re:Perhaps the importance of opening up will be no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41598181)

Yes, damned nVidia for having OpenGL 4.3 in a stable driver the day OpenGL 4.3 is finalized. How dare they be better than AMD/Intel/Matrox/everyone else!!!oneone

Once upon a time, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594675)

Once upon a time, Mesa was the magic that let me run quake 2 on a pc voodoo 2 graphics card on a mac by translating OpenGL to the glide library. It has come a long way.

"at least ATI/AMD hardware supports..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594677)

You mean using the proprietary firmware?

(captcha: depress)

Re:"at least ATI/AMD hardware supports..." (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41594841)

You mean using the proprietary firmware?

(captcha: depress)

As much as I dislike binary blobs, the dirty little not-terribly-secret is that most 'peripherals' of any significant complexity have firmware, it's just a question of whether they store it onboard or have just enough in nonvolatile storage to have the blob transferred to them by their driver on power-up.

In the video case, Intel's "Video BIOS" shares flash space with the rest of the (proprietary and not very replaceable unless your board is one of the rare birds supported by coreboot) goo in your motherboard's BIOS flash chip. For whatever reason, presumably board cost, AMD's parts load firmware from their driver on power-up.

Honestly, there are really only two dividing lines that seem worth drawing: 1. If you are a true purist, you could insist 'no proprietary blobs, period.' I wish you luck; but it's a perfectly ethically cogent position. 2. If you are of a pragmatic bent, you should insist that binary blobs be redistributable with the drivers that they support. There've been some vendors, from time to time, who forbade 3rd parties(like, say, linux distributions) from redistributing unaltered copies of their device firmware in order to support the vendor's device when you first booted up. You would have to resort to ridiculous little runarounds "Download the Windows driver from foocorp.com/drivers/xyzPCI and run frmextrct.sh then copy firmware.bin..." that would eventually end up being scripted and done for you on request. That's just nonsense. There is no reason to put up with vendors who won't allow redistribution of firmware blobs to make the lives of people who own their hardware easier and more convenient...

Re:"at least ATI/AMD hardware supports..." (1)

Entrope (68843) | about 2 years ago | (#41594911)

When I see a 2.6 MB kernel module (for fglrx; I recall Nvidia's being closer to 9 MB), my assumption is that it is mostly code that executes on the host. Code or data that gets loaded onto the peripheral can easily live in a file, or in a executable section that gets discarded after use. Given how specialized the devices are, how much translation and optimization is needed to convert application-level APIs to hardware operations, and the fact that the vendors have begged off on providing host-side source code because of NDAs with third parties, it will take a lot of evidence to convince me that the size of the binary blobs is due to peripheral code rather than (intentionally proprietary) host code.

Re:"at least ATI/AMD hardware supports..." (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#41595165)

I think that we are talking about two different things:

If you use the Free AMD/ATI graphics drivers, you get only the most basic functions unless you provide a proprietary firmware blob. (debian package containing those firmware blobs, among others [debian.org] ).

For those device firmwares, the entire "RADEON" directory, covering all supported models(list is in the debian package, I won't clutter this post) is 260k across 41 different firmware files.

As you note, though, fglrx and Nvidia's equivalent modules(plus all the non-kernel stuff that goes into X or elsewhere) is a comparatively gigantic mass, much of which is running on the host CPU and in host memory.

I was referring only to the firmware required to make the free drivers work, which is a nasty surprise the first time you see the message on startup; but does not appear to do what the proprietary drivers do.

what the fuck is mesa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594691)

what the fuck is mesa?
why do i care?
why does this matter?

oh right, this is slashdot.
apple rules!
microsoft drools!
samsung is evil!
foxconn!
obama!
timothy!

Re:what the fuck is mesa? (2)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41594805)

I'd like to know what the hell does matter to you if this isn't good enough nerd news.

Re:what the fuck is mesa? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41597711)

what the fuck is mesa?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesa_(computer_graphics) [wikipedia.org]

why do i care?

I rather doubt you care at all.

why does this matter?

To you? I doubt it does.

oh right, this is slashdot.
apple rules!
microsoft drools!
samsung is evil!
foxconn!
obama!
timothy!

Seek help and get on medication. I am not saying this as a put down, this is advice from someone who has sought help. I now make pretty much double what I used to make before I sought help if that might help motivate you. You don't have to deal with your problems on your own, and the correct medication can make a world of difference.

Yesterday's Logo was better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594705)

Yesterday's Atari logo was better.

Re:Yesterday's Logo was better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41598613)

Cool story, bro.

The correct story should be ... (1)

rudolfel (700883) | about 2 years ago | (#41594737)

... that Mesa supports Software OpenGL on Intel hardware. Intel has a long way to do a graphics card. They only produce LCD or CRT drivers

What the... OpenGL 3.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41594889)

This de facto OpenGL Linux implementation now supports the several year old OpenGL 3.1 specification for Intel hardware while the other OPEN SOURCE drivers are still at OpenGL 3.0 or worse.

FTFY.

More importantly... (4, Funny)

DMJC (682799) | about 2 years ago | (#41594927)

More importantly... Nouveau is starting to become performance competitive with the Nvidia Binary Blob. As Mesa adds features and rapidly catches upto the closed drivers, it'll surpass them for performance if not features. The time is coming quickly when the drivers built into Linux will be better than the official ones.

Re:More importantly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595243)

More importantly... Nouveau is starting to become performance competitive with the Nvidia Binary Blob.

10/10. Hilarious joke.

Re:More importantly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595245)

Notice the "Funny" flag...

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595073)

I can't wait to use that OpenGL compliant hardware acceleration, GLX, pbuffers, framebuffer objects, GLSL, and redirected rendering that Mes... Oh wait... If you've ever actually had to deal with graphics, you'd know it's a fucking nightmare on Linux. Mesa always has been, and probably always will be, a huge fail.

Still Alive (1, Funny)

Maintenance Goof (1487053) | about 2 years ago | (#41595079)

Go find a Linux driver. I think I prefer to stay Windows. Maybe you'll find someone else to help you. Maybe Mesa... THAT WAS A JOKE. Haha. FAT CHANCE. Anyway,Windows 7 is great. It's so delicious and moist.

Re:Still Alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595307)

Your euphoria is beyond scale... I wonder how hard you'll crash after the effect goes away.

Re:Still Alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596129)

I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though you broke my heart and killed me.
And tore me to pieces.
And threw every piece into a fire.
As they burned it hurt because
I was so happy for you!

Re:Still Alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595591)

Same here bro! Using Win7 was better than vagina for me too

Re:Still Alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41599571)

Windows 7 is a Lie!

What the hell is Mesa? (5, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#41595237)

The documentation for Mesa begins --- short and sweet --- with this simple one line description:

Mesa is an open-source implementation of the OpenGL specification - a system for rendering interactive 3D graphics.

The Mesa 3D Graphics Library [mesa3d.org]

Re:What the hell is Mesa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41596483)

Mesa can basicaly emulate a lot of OpenGL API's allowing the user to run OpenGL applications on non OpenGL supported OS'es/Hardware..

mesa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41595455)

I've always been a bit confused on exactly what Mesa is. Is it just software OpenGL? I'm using an ATI card with a hardware accelerated OpenGL driver. Does Mesa still have a role in that setup somewhere?

Re:mesa (1)

neonsignal (890658) | about 2 years ago | (#41605909)

It is a software implementation of OpenGL, but it now also provides the libGL glue to various hardware acceleration drivers. So it does have a role on most Xorg systems. An exception is the Nvidia proprietary infrastructure (which replaces large portions of the normal 3D graphics stack).

intel rules the world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41597911)

this is relevant only if the year is 2012 and when linux still tried to run grafics-matrices-math on x86 processors ...
methinks amdti(tm) (pronounced "AM-TIE") and nvidia have their "own" libraries that implement (allow access to? offload?) openGL onto THEIR non-x86 processors?
emulating a soundblaster thru the internal pc-speaker .. THAT was fun!

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