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SubjectRe: GGI Project Unhappy On Linux
On Fri, 27 Mar 1998, Marek Habersack wrote:

> What are you talking about? PCs have always had a text mode and it worked
> good. So I see no reason why would it disappear! Sure, the normal video
> mode may be graphical, but there are many tasks that can be done in text
> mode just fine.

Why? When's the last time you saw your typical Winbloze user using a
text-mode window? Heck, in my experience most of them don't even know how
to *start* a DOS prompt, never mind make it full-screen in text mode!
*That* is why the text mode is disappearing. Also look at the MediaGX
chip, etc.

> Eh? It uses the same hardware what gfx mode.

You really *don't* know anything about PC video hardware, do you?

> Huh? When setting a mode the card doesn't give a damn about what the current
> video mode is! It simply fills the registers with pre-set values in the
> given order. Perhaps you were talking about software?

As Alan Cox has stated, and as I know from personal experience[1]: you can
go from a known video state to a known video state, and you can go from a
known video state to an unknown (i.e., garbage) video state. You cannot,
short of resetting the card (which typically takes a reboot), go from an
unknown state to a known state. It simply doesn't work that way. Why?
Because the people who designed the VGA video hardware were idiots (IMHO).
That's why kernel-arbitrated video mode changing is needed, and that's what
KGI is. As Varg pointed out so eloquently, KGI is a leetle teeny tiny
piece of GGI that needs to be in the kernel. The rest doesn't.

Jeffrey Sean Connell | Systems Administrator, zSolution. | PGP key at

[1] I wrote low-level code in assembly to talk to video cards, among other
things, before I found Linux. No fun at all.

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