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From
SubjectRe: SVGA kernel chipset drivers.
Date
From: Ian main <imain@vcc.bc.ca>
> On Thu, 30 May 1996, root wrote:
>
> > I was wondering if there are any plans incorporate any of the major video
> > card chipsets into low level kernel driver support. SVGALIB at current
> > has a very limited number of chipsets that it supports not to mention I
> > would think a low level kernel driver would get better performence out of
> > the video hardware. I for one would like to be able to use the features
> > of my Matrox MGA Millenium in linux :)
>
> Call me crazy.. I had a talk with someone a while back about
> this. We thought it'd be a good idea to have a single driver implemented
> somehow.. one that X could use, and any other app that chose to. This
> would have a few advantages. It would be more stable (ie no wierd text
> distortion etc. like you get with SVGALIB sometimes) because the one
> driver could have complete control over the video card. Also... Xfree
> supports a lot more hardware that svgalib does. If some of the code for
> the X drivers could be used in this new implementation, it would be much
> better than SVGALIB is now.

A project called GGI is doing exactly that. Want to help support
your video card or work on the library? You can join the GGI
mailing list linux-ggi@eskimo.com by sending mail to listserv@eskimo.com
or to the maintainer, irish@eskimo.com. Note that he will be gone
for a few weeks, so be patient.

> Now I am not the one to say where this should be implemented..
> whether it be in the kernel, or just a standard library.. I dunno, but
> it makes a lot of sense to me.

GGI is using a multi-part approach. All hardware IO and such is done
in a kernel driver. The kernel provides acceleration features when
the hardware has them, but does _not_ provide an emulation library.
The userspace library uses acceleration if available, otherwise it
just uses a mmapped framebuffer.

> Having a single _smart_ driver for the video hardware would make
> graphical applications much more attainable, stable, standardized,
> supported, etc.

Telnet in and 'kill -9' your X server. Now go to the console and...
Oh, there is no more console. :-(

Together with the SAK patch, GGI fixes this completely.

----

OK now, everyone interested in this _please_ join the GGI mailing list.
This thread has been here before, several times.

Steffen Seeger (misc hacker, maintainer)
http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/~sse/scrdrv
Andreas Beck (memory, libs)
http://www-public.rz.uni-duesseldorf.de/~becka/doc/scrdrv.html


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