[Openchrome-devel] [ANNOUNCE] May have to delay the release of OpenChrome Version 0.6 by 1 to 2 months

Kevin Brace kevinbrace at gmx.com
Tue Sep 20 04:54:21 UTC 2016


I will provide another update regarding OpenChrome Version 0.6.
In the previous announce e-mail I sent, I may have wrote that OpenChrome Version 0.6 will be released sometime in September.
I now feel like I may need additional 1 to 2 months to improve the code quality of FP (Flat Panel) detection and initialization code.
I do not necessarily want to use this e-mail to again criticize past developers who worked on OpenChrome, but that being said, the code quality of FP and TV code remains very poor.
I feel like I will need to spend more time fixing the code for FP before release.
    I do not necessarily want to get into my personal life, but in the middle of July, the place I lived (an apartment somewhere in the United States of America) had a fire at 4 A.M., and as a result, I was not allowed to return to my place for about 7 weeks.
Fortunately, I happened to have a monitor capable of dual VGA and DVI input inside my car, so I was able to continue the development for the next 2 months inside a nice hotel. (Refer to the numerous code commits I made related to DVI support during this period.)
I am now back at my place, but the contractor the building owner hired to fix up my unit really messed up my living quarters to the point where they piled up my belongings like how trash ends up in the dumpster . . . (They stuffed most of my belongings in black trash bags. They also did this to my same floor neighbors as well.)
I definitely had stuff stolen, and several of my neighbors have also reported they valuables getting stolen by whoever that had access to the rooms.
It will likely take another 3 weeks of intense cleaning and organizing to get to the point where I can perform any development works at my place.
My numerous VIA Technologies hardware I use for validation before code commit is hiding somewhere in the pile, so I will likely not have access to them for several more weeks.
I was planning to start to work on supporting HDMI for VX900H chipset, and recently acquired Zotac ZBOX nano VD01 for this purpose.
I hope it was not stolen by some of the crooked employees of the contractor tasked to repair my unit.
    I also started to work with the new DRM code that is meant to support KMS / TTM / GEM.
I managed to find an OS environment where I can compile the Linux kernel and install it.
Unfortunately, there is a bug with the code that prevents UniChrome IGP from displaying something on the monitor at this point.
I put a few fixes to the code (analog VGA related fixes), but so far, it has not fixed the problem.
I believe this is a UniChrome IGP specific bug since the new DRM has been observed to work with P4M890 (UniChrome Pro) and VX800 (Chrome9 HC3) chipsets.
One thing I noticed about the code is that it appears that it needs more than 512 MB of RAM just to boot the OS.
I really consider this a bug since the older DRI1-based DRM can boot with far less RAM.
In case of the test system I set up (HP Pavilion a800n - KM400A chipset), it was not working with 512 MB of RAM (it will result in a kernel panic), but it can boot with 1 GB of RAM. (Of course, the VGA monitor is not working yet.)
I will continue to work with the code to improve it so that someday it can be mainlined with the Linux kernel.
Unfortunately, number of more senior Linux developers were not too receptive (my personal opinion) to the VIA Technologies Chrome IGP DRM project, so at this point, I feel like I will be on my own during the entire development process.


As far as I am concerned, throwing out the existing DRM code advised by the above developers is not practical since VIA Technologies Chrome IGP was comparable in terms of functionality to Intel IGP up to the 3 or 4 Series chipsets, so analog VGA / DVI / FP support will be the baseline hardware support for VIA Technologies Chrome IGP DRM to be usable.


Kevin Brace
The OpenChrome Project maintainer / developer

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