[Mesa-dev] S2TC - yet another attempt to solve the "S3TC issue"

Jose Fonseca jfonseca at vmware.com
Tue Aug 9 02:01:44 PDT 2011

----- Original Message -----
> On Mon, Aug 08, 2011 at 05:49:09AM -0700, Jose Fonseca wrote:
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > > The suggestion however is to include a S2TC-like method with
> > > Mesa, to
> > > basically
> > > make sure that in the long run NO distro has no support for S3TC
> > > uploading,
> > > without requiring an extra decision in each distro.
> > 
> > I wouldn't oppose bundling S2TC for software renderers, but
> > enabling S3TC decompression on hardware is an orthogonal matter,
> > which depends on the licensing terms between the IHV and S3.
> > 
> > If you wanna fix this, convince IHVs to fully license the S3TC use
> > in their hardware for Linux.  So far the only IHV that _seems_ to
> > have such wide cross-OS license is NVIDIA.
> > 
> > I think it would be good to add a FAQ about this in the docs.  But
> > I'm done with this stupid thread.  I'll enjoy my vacation and stop
> > wasting time with this nonsense.
> In other words: you want the EXISTING support in Mesa to upload S3TC
> compressed
> textures (pre-compressed, not runtime compressed) to the hardware
> removed.

I couldn't let this statements go unchallenged..

The option in question is disabled by default, and I don't agree this is inducing in infringement in any way as we always highlighted the S3TC pitfalls in the mailing lists, and the IHV's S3TC licensing terms have not been disclosed, but I agree that at the very least we should better document this option in docs/patents.txt, to avoid misunderstandings as you're having, and yes, probably also have the option disabled by default with a configure option, as we do with floating point textures, which the drivers may override or not, as the breadth of S3TC license of the target hardware is known.

Thanks for pointing this issue out, Rudolf.  Thanks for playing devil's advocate in a public forum, and forcing us to take a stricter stand on this matter.  I am confused though, because I thought you were trying to help the Linux community, not the patent trolls.


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