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SubjectRe: SVGA kernel chipset drivers.


> No, but a lot of them are. I, for one, would be very upset if any
> game I had assumed that I didn't use X and refused to work with it. I
> have the memory for X, I want the capabilities that X allows, and I do
> _not_ want to get locked in by any app which foolishly assumes that X
> is evil.
>
> You could simply have your game work with X and SVGAlib. That would
> let your game work now, rather than arguing that we need some all
> encompassing driver standard. Maelstrom, Abuse, Executor have all
> done it, and they work.

Hmm... I did a little test last night.. I ran X in one screen
and then attemped to run Maelstrom in a VC using SVGAlib.. X crashed,
and my font was changed.. commands wouldn't execute. I had to rlogin
and shutdown..
First Q. Does anyone know if there's a command to reset the
graphics mode/card? (ei a way to go on without rebooting)
Second Q. Should this be submitted as a bug? If any other
hardware on the PC could screw things up this bad.. it'd be labeled as a
"show stopper" in the bug list :). I guess this is normal? having any
user be able to crash my system?
Third.. well.. sort of a Q.. I was going to check tonight when I
got home (at work now) if you could set the display perameter in a telnet
session so it'd allow graphical apps to open a display.. If they could
we're looking at a _serious_ security hole.
Fourth Q. What should be blamed/fixed for such a thing? Is it
svgalibs fault that it doesn't work right? I have had numerous problems
with this dumb thing..

I have written some SVGAlib apps but it's not really a very good library
as far as video card support goes, and there
are lots of bugs with the switching etc. You may also be aware that
there are other graphics libraries available for linux.. I even saw the
BGI library. It's a take off of the Borland C/C++ lib for dos. So that
an app could be written for linux, and ported to DOS (and vice versa)
using the Borland compiler. I have no Idea how that library would handle
VC switching. But right now, it's very messy, and a bug in an
application can bring the whole system down. Not good.
I just read an article in byte about an OS called plan-9..
written by a small team of programmers at Bell labs (one of which is
Dennis Ritchie) The OS is basically a revamp of UNIX.. an "If I could do
it again, this is the way I'd do it aproach". In this system,
_everything_ is handled as a file. To make it an abstraction from the
hardware.
I would think that doing this with the video hardware would make
linux more portable. As an app would have to have less machine specific
code in it. Legacy libraries could be made to replace SVGAlib and others.
Sorry to go on for so long.. but I got lots of ideas. I agree
that the kernel does not need bloat. If the code for all the drivers for
these graphics cards (not just vga cards) had to be in the kernel source,
it'd be rediculous! The graphics driver(s) of your choice could come as
seperate packages, and compiled in, or perhaps as precompiled modules?

Anyway I've spewed enough for now.. lemme know what you think. :)


Ian



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