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SubjectRe: SVGA kernel chipset drivers.
Date
Matty said:

> Not really.. I think the point is that the kernel drivers do all the
> low-level stuff that requires kernel/superuser privs, and any user-level
> program that wishes to perform these functions must call the kernel
> routines to do it for them. It's not meant to be a REPLACEMENT for X,
> after all, what CAN replace X? :) Think about it - there will be no
> need for a million & one setuid-0 X server binaries that are 2-3Mb in
> size! One generic server would be enough, which calls the kernel to do
> the card-specific routines, and hence doesn't need to be setuid-0.

so instead of several 2-3Mb Xservers you suggest several 2-3Mb Kernel
loadable modules??? Great a driver bug now crashes the system rather
than just leaving the display in graphics mode. I'll agree that a
keyboard sequence that calls restore_textmode would be nice but a Graphics
API in the kernel isn't really possible and will never happen anyway...

The Xinside is already just one setuid binary. XFree started a project a long
time ago to make the DDX (chipset) layer loadable, but it needs a lot of
programer hours and nobody who has the skill to implement it had the
dedication to do so, all that you gain is a few MB on the instalation CDROM.

> > THAT is why this discussion is so totally useless. You're just asking for the
> > kernel to support something that is _less_ capable than we already have. Do you
> > think I'm so stupid that I'd go for something as braindead as that?
>
> Nope, I'm asking the kernel to do what it's meant to do - be the hardware
> interface to user-level programs.

It already gives the hardware interface sufficient for svgalib and XFree to
run. To give more will never happen. XFree can't keep up with the rate of
svga card creation, and even when you have support like XF86_S3, the next
S3 chip bug breaks the server until somebody adds a work round.

A kernel graphics API will just make the linux kernel incompatible with a
whole new load of hardware. Don't reply "but the graphics API will be
optional". If it is optional then we just have two versions of Xfree, two
versions of Dosemu etc, double the complexity and you have gained nothing.

--
Jon. <jon@gte.esi.us.es, http://www.esi.us.es/~jon>


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