Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fuck the Foundries

I'm guessing a lot of people have seen this already, but I just love this rant and can read it over and over again: Fuck the Foundries. Indeed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Eagle EGL loader

I happen to have a small side project over here that's a non-conformant, itty-bitty EGL loader for the DRI drivers. Eagle started as a test case for the dri driver interface changes I was doing for DRI2. Before the interface changes, the driver interface was GLX specific and I wanted to remove all X/GLX dependencies from the driver and make it easy to load the dri driver in an EGL framework. So eagle started as a simple loader for the driver to verify the interface changes. At some point I realized that it was pretty close to working and finished up the remaining pieces. It's still lacking a proper EGLConfig picker, but it's fairly capable and sufficient for Wayland.

Now, there's also a mesa EGL loader. The mesa code is very generic and supports EGL on GLX, EGL on gallium, EGL on swrast, whereas Eagle is strictly written to just support the new DRI driver interface. That means Eagle is very minimal, while mesa egl has some overhead (more indirection, more .so's to dlopen). The mesa EGL code doesn't have support for the new (DRI2) dri driver interface, so it only works for gallium capable drivers, specifically, it won't work for the Intel DRI driver.

Merging the Eagle code into the mesa EGL code, has a good number of benefits: the mesa code will learn how to load DRI2 drivers, I won't have to write an fbconfig chooser, and there'll be only one EGL for mesa. So there's a lot of appeal there. The downside, and the main reason I'm still keeping Eagle a separate project is that I want to experiment with the glue code API between EGL and GEM/DRM. The way you create an EGLDisplay or an EGLSurface you have to first somehow create an instance of an EGLNativeDisplayType or EGLNativeWindowType, EGLNativePixmapType and then pass that to an EGL constructor such as eglCreateWindowSurface(). I'm not a diplomat, so let me just say it as it is: that's fricking braindead! See, if you have to go outside the generic EGL API to create an EGLNativePixmapType, why can't we just skip the middle man and create the EGLSurface straight from the implementation specific code. That way we wouldn't have to pollute the EGL API with strange, useless "native" types and we wouldn't need and window and a pixmap constructor for EGL surfaces.

Anyway, the native type fiasco is just a wart in the API that I like obsessing over. There's nothing that prevents an EGL implementation, such as Eagle, from implementing it's own non-standard entry points to create an EGLSurface straight from a GEM buffer handle, for example. Or non-standard API to get at the GEM handle for the back buffer so that we can use the KMS page flipping API. Which is what Eagle does and it's the main reason that it still exists. Eagle is currently a playground where I can try out different types of constructors and extensions for integrating EGL with GEM and KMS. Once we get the KMS page flipping ioctl worked out, I'm planning to write a Eagle+KMS backend for clutter, so clutter apps can run straight on the KMS framebuffer. Next step from there would be a clutter based Wayland compositor... oh wait, isn't that what Moblin should be?