Buffer release events (was: Add support for eglSwapInterval)

Jonas Ådahl jadahl at gmail.com
Thu Oct 24 12:34:17 PDT 2013

On Thu, Oct 24, 2013 at 11:26:08AM +0100, Neil Roberts wrote:
> Hi
> Thanks for the interesting insights.
> > It seems to me as if the default should always be to just send the
> > event.
> I think I would vote for leaving the default as it is, ie, queuing the
> release events. It's really quite a corner case that delaying events has
> any effect on an application because most applications don't need to
> know about the release events until they are about to draw something.
> Usually they would only draw something in response to some event such as
> a frame callback or an input event. In that case the event will have
> caused the queue to flush so they will certainly be up-to-date about
> what buffers are available at the point when they start drawing. If we
> default to not queuing the event then I'd imagine most applications
> wouldn't realise they should enable it and would miss out on the
> optimisation.
> > We can identify buffer release events in weston as coming from one of
> > three sources:
> >
> > 1) wl_surface.commit
> > 2) surface_flush_damage (the gl renderer releases SHM buffers here)
> > 3) random releases from the backdend/renderer
> >
> > Number 2 above happens during the redraw loop so we can just post the
> > event and won't get a double-wakeup.
> Yes, I guess even if the compositor posts the event it's not going to
> actually send it to the client until the compositor goes idle again
> anyway and at that point it will probably have posted a frame complete
> callback too so the client would wake up anyway.
> > Number 3 is something we can't really control; I'd personally lean
> > towards posting the event here, but it's probably at most one
> > reference per surface so we can probably get away with queueing.
> > (Also, if the backend knows when it would release in the render cycle,
> > it may be able to optimize this better than some compositor-general
> > solution.) For these two, we can add an argument to
> > weston_buffer_reference to set the release event type.
> I think case number 3 is the main problem. It's useful for most
> fullscreen apps to have the event queued because most of them will be
> throttled to the frame callback and don't need the release events
> immediately. However this is also the use case most likely to want
> eglSwapInterval(0) which would want them immediately so really for this
> situation it is an application choice whether they should be queued or
> not.
> > Number 1 above is the source of the vast majority of out release
> > events. [...] The good news is that we can, from a client perspective,
> > deal with this one easily. The solution is to send a wl_display.sync
> > request immediately after the commit.
> Yes, I think it makes sense to always sync the rendering to at least a
> wl_display.sync call and the Mesa patch I sent does already do this. You
> are right that in practice this effectively solves the problem for most
> use cases. So really the only case where this matters is when the
> compositor is directly scanning out from the client's buffer. But on the
> other hand, that is exactly what a fullscreen game is likely to be doing
> and that is the most likely candidate for doing eglSwapInterval(0).
> > In any case, dummy sync and frame requests (you may need both) will allow
> > you to achieve glSwapInterval(0) without server-side support.
> I'm not sure I follow you here. The release event may be queued at any
> point after the frame complete is sent. In that case sending a sync
> event to flush the queue is only going to help if Mesa sends it
> repeatedly, but that amounts to busy-waiting which would be terrible.
> I still feel like the new request is the right way to go. The difficulty
> with interface versioning feels like a separate wider problem that we
> should think about. The crux of the problem is that Mesa probably
> shouldn't be using proxy objects that are created outside of Mesa
> because in that case it doesn't have control over what interface version
> or event queue it is using. Working around the need for the new request
> would just side-step the issue but it doesn't seem unlikely that Mesa
> would want to use further new surface interfaces requests later too and
> the same problem would come back.
> Maybe we should have a separate object that you can create per surface
> in order to do new requests. This could be created by a new global
> object much like the wl_shell interface. In order to make it usable to
> both Mesa and the application, we would have to allow creating multiple
> resources of the new interface for a single surface. I'm not sure what
> to call it though because it would just end up being something like
> ‘wl_surface_extra_stuff’. Considering that other objects may end up also
> needing a similar kind of interface, maybe it would make more sense to
> rethink it a bit and make the compositor allow multiple resources for an
> object in general. Then you could have something like
> wl_compositor.rebind_resource(object, version) which would make a new
> resource for any object and it could have its own interface version. I
> am just thinking aloud here though, I haven't really thought that
> through much.
> I will take a look at how much hassle it would be to get Weston to allow
> multiple resources per surface.

One idea that I haven't thought through that much as well is to add some
way for mesa to get the "actual" version of some object it was provided.
This could be done by adding a new global to put a "get_object_version"
request that mesa could get its own object for. Then it would need to be
specified that when a compositor got requested for an object of version
N, it must need to be able to handle requests for newer versions than N
as well. All this, assuming the opcodes for newer interfaces never
conflict with old ones, one could just send requests using opcodes
provided by the -protocol.h file mesa was built with, and the compositor
should react accordingly. One could see it as something similar to
instanceof on and casting the already provided object.


> Regards,
> - Neil
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