Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Sep 2010 22:42 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu If there's one consistent piece of criticism that gets lobbed in Canonical's and Mark Shuttleworth's direction, it's that they do not contribute enough code - or anything else for that matter - to the Free software world. Mark Shuttleworth has apparently had enough, and has written a very, very lengthy blog post detailing how he feels about this criticism.
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RE: duh
by Fettarme H-Milch on Wed 15th Sep 2010 14:48 UTC in reply to "duh"
Fettarme H-Milch
Member since:
2010-02-16

We have enough Linux coders

Do you mean Linux as kernel or the ecosystem?
If you mean ecosystem: Hahahahahahaha!

If anything, X.org and Mesa are terribly understaffed.
Look at the recent problems with KWin 4.5: Those aren't bugs in KWin. Those are driver bugs.
Nothing more recent than OpenGL 2.0 is supported by FOSS drivers and even that support is buggy.
KDE aims to become a player in the mobile space which means that KWin will be ported to OpenGL ES 2.0. Sadly OpenGL 1.x and ES 2.0 are pretty much incompatible.
Missing support for GL ES 2.0 and buggy support for GL 2.0-only may result in KDE producing two back-ends for KWin that share next to no code. If Xorg/Mesa supported OpenGL 3.x, 4.x, and ES 2.0 no duplicated KWin development was required.

Nouveau also could need much help, especially in power management and support for composite window managers.

Voluntary developers can only do so much and GPU developers don't want to spend more resources on Xorg/Mesa.
Xorg/Mesa needs full-time developers of commercial distributors. Red Hat contributes a lot, so do Sun/Oracle and Apple (yes, Apple!). Novell does less but still contributes. Mandriva does a bit.
Canonical, sadly, nothing.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: duh
by poundsmack on Wed 15th Sep 2010 15:52 in reply to "RE: duh"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

I meant Kernel, as in the Linux kernel. Not software built on top of it or for it. I should have clarified because you bring up a very valid point, to which i agree.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: duh
by Zifre on Thu 16th Sep 2010 00:09 in reply to "RE: duh"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

If anything, X.org and Mesa are terribly understaffed.

X.org, definitely. But I think Mesa is actually doing pretty well. Progress is happening fast, and it is one of the most active FOSS projects. (Linux and Mozilla are the only projects I know of that might be more active.)

Missing support for GL ES 2.0 and buggy support for GL 2.0-only may result in KDE producing two back-ends for KWin that share next to no code. If Xorg/Mesa supported OpenGL 3.x, 4.x, and ES 2.0 no duplicated KWin development was required.

First of all, Mesa does support GL ES 2.0 (it is used by Wayland). I'm not sure how complete or correct it is. Second, although different graphics APIs might not be compatible, that hardly means that they would share little code. 90% of what works in GL ES 2.0 will also work in GL 2, 3, and 4. GL 3 and 4 would only be used for optional eye-candy or performance enhancing features. The core rendering stuff would be basically the same. Lastly, the renderer is a very small part of a window manager. Drawing rectangles onto the screen is not terribly complicated. The hard part is window management.

Nouveau also could need much help, especially in power management and support for composite window managers.

I agree there. If Canonical could pay a few developers to work on Nouveau, progress would be much faster (and it is already very impressive). It would probably be the most useful thing that they could do with their money.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: duh
by Fettarme H-Milch on Thu 16th Sep 2010 13:25 in reply to "RE[2]: duh"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

X.org, definitely. But I think Mesa is actually doing pretty well.

If it was so well, where is OpenGL 3.x support? I'm not even beginning to ask for 4.0.

Btw: While both are technically separate projects, they pretty much go hand in hand for 3D-accelerated GPU drivers.
Xorg's GPU drivers can't support higher versions of OpenGL than Mesa offers. And Mesa is f*cked when drivers incorrectly claim to properly support feature X of OpenGL 2.x.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: duh
by lemur2 on Thu 16th Sep 2010 02:14 in reply to "RE: duh"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Look at the recent problems with KWin 4.5: Those aren't bugs in KWin. Those are driver bugs.
Nothing more recent than OpenGL 2.0 is supported by FOSS drivers and even that support is buggy.


Well it should be pointed out that for the ATI FOSS drivers the programming specifications have only been available for just over a year now. ATI FOSS drivers are entirely new code (AMD/ATI did NOT release their driver code as FOSS, only the programming specifications).

OpenGL support in FOSS drivers (at least, for the ATI FOSS drivers) is buggy because it is so new. It will improve in very short order as the driver gains a bit of maturity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: duh
by Fettarme H-Milch on Thu 16th Sep 2010 13:35 in reply to "RE[2]: duh"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

Well it should be pointed out that for the ATI FOSS drivers the programming specifications have only been available for just over a year now. ATI FOSS drivers are entirely new code (AMD/ATI did NOT rel
ease their driver code as FOSS, only the programming specifications).

OpenGL support in FOSS drivers (at least, for the ATI FOSS drivers) is buggy because it is so new. It will improve in very short order as the driver gains a bit of maturity.

And how does code get marture? By having people to work on it.
Novell worked a while on radeonhd but ever since AMD chose to support the normal radeon driver, Novell stopped to work on radeonhd.
To make matters worse, financial trouble of Novell meant that the radeonhd developer was fired.
That leaves the situation in the following way: AMD works on the driver but only with the barest minimum of resources and only after AMD's slow "Legal Team" gives its OK to work on certain driver features.
Distributors could stept in and at least help stabilizing existing features but Novell currently can't (so they say), Red Hat puts its resources to Nouveau (where they are even more needed), and Canonical simply does nothing.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: duh
by fanboi_fanboi on Thu 16th Sep 2010 21:53 in reply to "RE: duh"
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

So wait ... you mean, these entities are understaffed because ... coders don't like to work for free?

Perish the thought. Who would've thought.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: duh
by Fettarme H-Milch on Fri 17th Sep 2010 00:02 in reply to "RE[2]: duh"
Fettarme H-Milch Member since:
2010-02-16

There are commercial entities called distributors that make money of Free Software projects.
If for whatever reason a FOSS project is broken and the distributor relies on that, it's the distributor's obligation towards its customers to fix what's broken.

Across the whole Linux stack, Xorg/Mesa is the piece that currently needs the most work.
If the whole FOSS world was made up of volunteer hobby programmers, it would be perfectly OK if FOSS was moving at a slower pace than it actually moves right now. However the world is as it is and commercial distributors exist. As long as they are freeloading, they are behaving against what the FOSS projects as well as the paying customers could expect.

Edited 2010-09-17 00:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3