[Openchrome-devel] Future of the openchrome project

Luc Verhaegen libv
Tue Sep 15 06:19:05 PDT 2009

On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 02:29:56PM +0200, Bartosz wrote:
> Hello.
> I wonder if it possible split openchrome project to two separate projects:
> 1. Openchrome: Project to support old Via graphic chipsets (for example
> CLE266, KM400/KN400/KM400A/P4M800, CN400/PM800/PN800/PM880, K8M800,
> CN700/VM800/P4M800Pro). Source code will be taken from existing openchrome
> project.
> 2. Openchrome9: which support new Chrome9 graphic hardware: Support VIA
> K8M890/P4M900/CX700M/VX700/CN700/CN896/VN896/VX800/VX855 Chipset. Code taken
> from VIA (via-xserver-86a-50283_src), and developed by VIA and community.
> All source code will be common for VIA and community.
> With this solution, there were no duplicate code (for Chrome9), because
> developer from VIA and community will works on the same code. The community
> will be response to keep openchrome/openchrome9 code up to date.
> The Openchrome9 code, will be added to standard Linux distribution, and the
> catching/triaging bugs will be much easier.
> The Man Power will be use effectively and all developers and testers will
> work on the same code.
> The main target of this idea, is to VIA company and community must work on
> the same code.
> What do You think about this idea?
> Best Regards
> Bartosz Kosiorek

Let's put this under the looking glass, shall we.

First, why split up the X driver between unichrome and chrome9?

All the bits that the X driver should handle directly are mostly the 
same, with only minor differences. What is not the same is 2d engine 
init, 3d engine init and exa render acceleration. Every other part of 
what is under the X drivers control has only minor differences (and 
things like the overlays changed way earlier). So from this point of 
view, splitting the X driver is a no-go.

Then, taking in VIA code afresh and starting the cleanup process afresh.

Do you know the history of how this code came into xfree86, do you know 
why and when and how the unichrome driver was formed, do you know what 
happened before openchrome forked away, and what changes openchrome has 
today that happened before the fork but were not really kept up 
afterwards (they were kept up at unichrome).

First part there is: VIA dumped code, community took over, VIA continued 
on its own path nonetheless. What do you think will happen, when the so 
called community (there's really just you now.) goes and takes over 
again? Will VIA really work closely, or will it continue to play its own 

I know what some people will answer here. And my reply to that is: what 
has happened in the past year since the big statements? What did just 
happen on the dri-devel ml? Do you really think things are fundamentally 
different now from 6 years ago?

Secondly, a lot of cleanup happened at the unichrome project. This 
cleanup was mostly driven by one person, a person capable of seeing 
structure in big messes and capable of working towards this structure in 
a gradual way over a long period of time. This is exactly the sort of 
effort that will be required to turn the latest via codedrop into 
something useful. Do you really think that the openchrome community can 
handle that sort of thing today?

You don't have to buy into any of this, you are free to trash the above 
like most people do anyway. But time will tell what really will happen.

Luc Verhaegen.

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