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

Jose Fonseca jfonseca at vmware.com
Wed Aug 10 04:32:20 PDT 2011

----- Original Message -----
> On Tue, Aug 09, 2011 at 03:25:05AM -0700, Jose Fonseca wrote:
> > How should you brought this? You should have assumed that we have
> > our reasons
> > -- after all we've been living under the frustration of these
> > patents,
> > walking on a mine field, for a decade --, instead of assuming we
> > have NIH
> > syndrome.
> So I should never try to do anything new, as likely someone else may
> have
> already done it and rejected it.

We must be talking different things. I was answering on how you should have approached this subject on the mailing list _after_ doing S2TC work. Essentially you started to wrongly accuse the developers of already doing illegal things, when your proposal was refused, which totally pissed me off. We strive to keep legal risk under check, and you were trying to tip the scale.

If you are talking of what you should have done before doing the S2TC work, then my opinion is that you should have:

- a) read all threads about S3TC on mesa3d-dev mailing list -- if you had done so you would have noticed that several times now people have proposed to develop a variant of the S3TC GL extension that would not require any software (de)compression (therefore completely avoiding the software side of the issue), but that it was always abandoned, because the hardware licensing terms were potentially too narrow -- the intuitive idea that "if I bought the hardware I must have the license" simply is not true in the general case.  The recent Apple/S3 lawsuit corroborates that.


b) contacted the developers before doing the work -- they would have told you the same.

Either would have saved everybody grief. That said, I still think that S2TC work is interesting for software rendererers (although that may not be your intention), or even if one day the IHVs do get a S3TC license for Mesa/Linux, we can use it to solve the software compression issue. But the hardware use, is and always has been in the IHV/S3 hands.

(Furthermore b) applies not only to patent issues but any contribution to any open source project. The only way to ensure one does not waste time is to get the maintainers' buy in for the general concept beforehand.)


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