Linked by David Adams on Mon 21st Mar 2011 20:21 UTC, submitted by Michael
3D News, GL, DirectX The community-created Nouveau driver that's open-source and is written by clean-room reverse-engineering the NVIDIA binary display driver, has reached a serious milestone. For low-end NVIDIA GPUs, the Nouveau driver based upon the Mesa Gallium3D architecture is now as fast, or even faster, than NVIDIA's official proprietary driver.
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RE: Good news, but
by GatoLoko on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:02 UTC in reply to "Good news, but"
GatoLoko
Member since:
2005-11-13

There's a few things that I wonder about: will Nouveau ever get CUDA support or is there something barring that, and since OpenGL 2.1 is seriously outdated what is needed for newer versions to be supported?


I'm not sure about CUDA, but OpenCL is a possibility, someday, in the future, maybe. Adding support for a new Gallium state tracker is "relatively easy", and there is some work going on to make an OpenCL state tracker, so if it reaches an usable state, nouveau may be able to support it.
There is another driver forked from nouveau, that aims to support GPGPU: pscnv
https://github.com/pathscale/pscnv/wiki/
Their objectives are very different than those of nouveau, but they seem to be collaborating with each other.

As for OpenGL there is a bigger problem, patents. Some parts of newer OpenGL are patented, and can't be distributed freely, as is the case for S3TC (S3 Texture Compression). There is a discussion in the Mesa mailing list about adding support for patented stuff, and disabling it by default, so whoever wants to use it, has to compile and enable them specifically, but even if that's the case, most linux distributions would leave them disable due to possible legal issues.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Good news, but
by WereCatf on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:20 in reply to "RE: Good news, but"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

As for OpenGL there is a bigger problem, patents. Some parts of newer OpenGL are patented, and can't be distributed freely, as is the case for S3TC (S3 Texture Compression). There is a discussion in the Mesa mailing list about adding support for patented stuff, and disabling it by default, so whoever wants to use it, has to compile and enable them specifically, but even if that's the case, most linux distributions would leave them disable due to possible legal issues.


Thanks for the explanation, I wasn't aware of patent issues. I always thought OpenGL was implementable by everyone without having to worry about such.

So basically this means that Linux will never be suitable for gaming unless you're using binary blobs. With more and more games simply requiring features OpenGL 2.1 doesn't support Linux will be left completely behind. Sucks.

PS. I really, really wish software patents would die.

Edited 2011-03-22 00:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Good news, but
by Thomas2005 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 16:18 in reply to "RE: Good news, but"
Thomas2005 Member since:
2005-11-07

As for OpenGL there is a bigger problem, patents. Some parts of newer OpenGL are patented, and can't be distributed freely, as is the case for S3TC (S3 Texture Compression). There is a discussion in the Mesa mailing list about adding support for patented stuff, and disabling it by default, so whoever wants to use it, has to compile and enable them specifically, but even if that's the case, most linux distributions would leave them disable due to possible legal issues.

Is there a web site that lists what is patented and what is not in the different OpenGL versions? Something simple like how OS X lists what is supported and what is not would be nice.

I do not do graphics programming but if more and more things are patented then OpenGL will have to be changed to ClosedGL.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Good news, but
by moondevil on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 19:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Good news, but"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I do not do graphics programming but if more and more things are patented then OpenGL will have to be changed to ClosedGL.


Why so? Open means there is an open standard everyone can access, implement and test against a reference implementation.

It does not mean it is free.

Reply Parent Score: 2