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SubjectRe: SVGA kernel chipset drivers.
On Mon, 3 Jun 1996, Ingo Molnar wrote:

> On Mon, 3 Jun 1996, Jon M. Taylor wrote:
>
> < serious insults omitted >
>
> > > We HAVE a uniform graphics API already. It's called X.
> >
> > X is a GUI. A graphics API does things like individual pixel
> > writes, line- and shape-drawing primtives, stroked font support
> > (sometimes), and provides hooks to acceleration features like blitting.
> > A GUI does windows, menus, higher-level display management primitives,
> > mouse support, etc.
>
> ok. let me explain it a bit.
>
> - As far as X is concerned, there is absolutely
> no need for more kernel support than there is now.

I guess you could say that. It gets the job done.

> - SVGAlib will get merged into X with the DirectVideo() interface

I agree that the directvideo stuff will be a real shot in the arm
for X, but to say that it will 'get merged into X' is a bit off the
mark. One of the main advantages of SVGAlib is that is *isn't* X - it
allows you to use graphics without using X, which a lot of us like.

> - SVGATextMode uses "text mode" which is considered to be obsolete once
> graphics cards can do graphical font handling as ergonimic as in
> textmode. There are architectures with absolutely no textmode support,
> etc.

This is also true. *Real* textmodes are, however A) fast, and B)
a LOT more memory-efficient. This is the point of SVGATextMode - you can
do a lot of playing around with it, but in the end you are still in a
textmode, not using graphics. Each has its place.

> This is how Linus sees the future i guess. Any problems? No place for GGI
> in this picture.

Well, I guess if we don't care about doing things in a cleaner
way, you are right. I'll be the first to admit that, right now, X is a
good enough solution for most people. Does that mean we shouldn't even
entertain the notion that things could be done better? Sure, it isn't
going to kill anyone if things continue the way they are, but why sit on
that forever? Isn't Linux all about continual advancement?

> Please argue against these points, or you are really as
> dense as someone before suggested :)
>
> [ i personally see future for textmode stuff, but this point is debatable
> IMHO ]

Textmode stuff is nice if it does what you need, which in a LOT
of cases it does. I grep up with an Amiga, and while the lack of
text-only modes wasn't a very big deal (actually it simplified a lot of
things), there *were* times when I could have used being able to open a
text-only screen and have it take 8K instead of 150K (640x480x16).

> < other insults omitted too >

Thank you.

Jon Taylor = <taylorj@gaia.ecs.csus.edu> | <http://gaia.ecs.csus.edu/~taylorj>
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites.
Moderation is for monks." - Lazarus Long



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