Linked by Hadrien Grasland on Thu 13th Jan 2011 17:13 UTC, submitted by Michael
Linux "Now that the kernel mode-setting page-flipping for the ATI Radeon DRM kernel module has been merged into the Linux 2.6.38 kernel and the respective bits have been set in the xf86-video-ati DDX, we're in the process of running new open-source ATI graphics benchmarks under Linux. Our initial results (included in this article) show these latest improvements to cause some major performance boosts for the open-source ATI driver as it nears the level of performance of the proprietary Catalyst driver."
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RE[5]: great
by lucas_maximus on Fri 14th Jan 2011 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: great"
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

The downside of these external, closed, modules is that they need to be updated everytime the kernel changes. AMD's proprietary drivers are always usually one or two Xorg versions behind, because they are slow to add new support.


That is not a downside of the closed modules, it is a downside of the kernel with their moving target ABI.

Edited 2011-01-14 12:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: great
by asdf on Fri 14th Jan 2011 13:17 in reply to "RE[5]: great"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

Let's stop raising that point. Stable in-kernel AP/BI isn't gonna happen in the mainline Linux kernel, ever. It's logistically infeasible and most kernel developers would swear by the ability to change APIs as development progresses.

What's possible and actually being done is maintaining stable ABI in the same distro release and for enterprise products this often can span many years. In that respect, it isn't too different from commercial operating systems.

Mainline is a development branch. Linux kernel is being developed way faster and in a very different way than proprietary operating system kernels. If for whatever reason stable ABI is a must for you (it escapes me why it would even matter for usual desktop users tho), go ahead and use something else. Quit whining about something which isn't feasible.

Edited 2011-01-14 13:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: great
by lucas_maximus on Fri 14th Jan 2011 13:41 in reply to "RE[6]: great"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Stable in-kernel AP/BI isn't gonna happen in the mainline Linux kernel, ever. It's logistically infeasible and most kernel developers would swear by the ability to change APIs as development progresses.


Constantly having to change an interface reeks of poor software design.

The whole point of an interface is that it stays the same and the implementation behind it changes.

What's possible and actually being done is maintaining stable ABI in the same distro release and for enterprise products this often can span many years. In that respect, it isn't too different from commercial operating systems.


Enterprise != My Desktop/Laptop.

If for whatever reason stable ABI is a must for you (it escapes me why it would even matter for usual desktop users tho), go ahead and use something else.


So according to your logic it is acceptable for a desktop machines for hardware to stop working after an update (which does happen).

A driver released 10 years ago for Windows XP will still work with Windows XP Service Pack 3 with all the latest updated ... In fact I am using Windows 2000 drivers on my old laptop because there are no Windows XP drivers for it ... The Interface has stayed the same therefore the older code still works.

Quit whining about something which isn't feasible.


It is feasible. The Kernel maintainers have the power to do this anytime they want.

Anyway none of this changed my original point. If there was a Stable ABI, less effort would have to spent on hardware support whether that code was open or closed since code doesn't have to be constantly changed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: great
by nt_jerkface on Sat 15th Jan 2011 16:32 in reply to "RE[6]: great"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

What's possible and actually being done is maintaining stable ABI in the same distro release and for enterprise products this often can span many years. In that respect, it isn't too different from commercial operating systems.


You're talking about freezing the kernel ala RHEL which then introduces a new set of limitations.

The unstable abi is a philosophical decision made by the kernel team and there isn't much to show for it compared to FreeBSD or Solaris.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: great
by smitty on Fri 14th Jan 2011 19:04 in reply to "RE[5]: great"
smitty Member since:
2005-10-13

"The downside of these external, closed, modules is that they need to be updated everytime the kernel changes. AMD's proprietary drivers are always usually one or two Xorg versions behind, because they are slow to add new support.


That is not a downside of the closed modules, it is a downside of the kernel with their moving target ABI.
"
If a stable API is important to you, then feel free to keep using the same version of the kernel for as long as you want. No one is forcing you to update it.

Reply Parent Score: 2