[Mesa-dev] DEATH to old drivers!

Jakob Bornecrantz wallbraker at gmail.com
Wed Aug 24 17:07:07 PDT 2011

On Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 1:46 AM, Ian Romanick <idr at freedesktop.org> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 08/24/2011 12:11 PM, Ian Romanick wrote:
>> I'd like to propose giving the ax to a bunch of old, unmaintained
>> drivers.  I've been doing a bunch of refactoring and reworking of core
>> Mesa code, and these drivers have been causing me problems for a number
>> of reasons.
>> 1. The hardware is so old that it doesn't support a lot of features that
>> have been common for 12+ years.
>> 2. The drivers are so unmaintained that even hacking in new features
>> with dummy implementations is painful.
>> 3. The drivers are so buggy that many piglit tests hang the GPU.  I
>> tried doing a piglit run on a Rage128 Pro that I have, but I gave up
>> after having to blacklist 15 tests.
>> It also seems that at least some distros (e.g., Fedora) have stopped
>> shipping non-DRI2 drivers.  If nobody is shipping it, nobody is using it.
>> My specific proposal is:
>>  - Remove all DRI1 drivers: i810, mach64, mga, r128, savage, sis, tdfx,
>> and unichrome.
>>  - Remove all unmaintained Windows drivers: gldirect, icd.
>>  - Remove beos.
>>  - Remove fbdev (this is swrast on raw fbdev).
>> Opinions?
> I've put up an initial branch at
>        git://people.freedesktop.org:~idr/mesa kill-old-drivers
> The only thing that isn't deleted yet is BeOS.  There are a bunch of
> stray BeOS bits here and there, so I want to extract it carefully.

If you actually kept the DRI1 stuff in glx you would be able to install
old DRI1 drivers from a old mesa release alongside DRI2 drivers and
libGL from a newer one, since we have been pretty good (AFAIK) at
keeping the backwards compatibility in the DRI and libGL interfaces.*

This would of course depend on that somebody actually tested that
it still worked for every release and fixed any bugs, hopefully we won't
have that much churn in the glx code. Then again if nobody tests and
nobody have the time to get involved with fixing one or two bugs in
this little bit of code (diff said less then 1K loc), nobody really cares
and it wont be missed. Somebody who actually uses the hardware
needs to step and actually do something**.

That said I don't mind the drivers going, but I would like to see the
DRI1 interface staying as long as somebody can do some testing.

Cheers Jakob.

* I know that newer drivers might get grumpy on older libGL with
entry points missing in the dispatch but that shouldn't be a problem.
** At a minimum test and bisect where the bug gets introduced.

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