Re: [forum] How about running X on top of something else?

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On Thu, Mar 27, 2003 at 11:28:45AM +0100, Jos Hulzink wrote:
> Once upon a time, Sven Luther wrote:
> >On Thu, Mar 27, 2003 at 12:21:58AM +0100, Christoph Egger wrote:
> >> > > Bah.  We don't relocate resources unless we need to.  So that ball's as
> >> > > much in your court as it is in ours.
> >> > 
> >> > Any X reassignment of PCI resources is unsafe in Linux 2.4, and going to
> >> > get more so. The DGA comemnt applies here the other way around - you 
> don't
> >> > currently have a way to get the kernel to do the work for you. We need to
> >> > address that. X doesn't know enough hw issues or locking
> >> 
> >> That's the point where KGI comes into the place. Most of you, I guess,
> >> remember
> >> on the heating discussion on the linux kernel ml in 1997/1998.
> >> 
> >> In the meantime, it has been redesigned and rewritten from scratch. So, all
> >> what you (still) believe to know about KGI is very likely out of date.
> >> 
> >> KGI is splitted in two parts. The kernel driver knows all stuff to access
> >
> >I still don't understand why you simply did not use the fbdev framework
> >for this ? This is i believe one of the reasons GGI failed, because it
> >tried to redesign everything, without taking into account any of the
> >stuff that pre-existed at that time.
> First of all: you should see GGI and KGI seperately now. If you are going to 
> use GGI, you'll be able to run X on anything you like, even on KGI, the 
> driver system we're talking about. But, if you adopt GGI, KGI is no must at 
> all.

Yes, you could see fbdev as the kernel level of KGI, right ?

> To answer your question:
> Fbdev was never ment to do accelleration in the first place. Fbdev drivers are 
> not portable. When you really think about using the fbdev drivers as bottom 
> layer of X, you'll get a X server that has very OS and driver specific 
> features, for the fbdev driver is only available at Linux, and hacked into 
> FreeBSD. As long as there is no cross platform driver, you will be unable to 
> say: Just use this driver, and you'll have a full featured X system.

Solaris also has some kind of fbdev. And you could address the same
critic at the whole DRI/drm thingy.

> KGI was designed for portability. At the moment we're just talking linux and 
> *BSD, but there is more. Just an example: The Matrox KGI driver set up a 
> stable video mode in Windows 2000 once, with basic 2D accelleration. The 
> needed code was written in two days. Unfortunately, that code is propriety, 
> and KGI is not allowed to use it.
> KGI has a simple thought in mind that we only see back at the X drivers and 
> some commercial stuff: A driver must be able to run on any platform, with 
> only a recompile.

Nice goal, but i guess you have many plateform dependant stuff in KGI
also, also it never went anywhere, and maybe this is due to your lack of
cooperation with other graphic system players at that time.

> Besides, fbdev was yet to be invented when GGI was started. Linus just didn't 

I think this is wrong, as you can see at :

Linux/m68 has used fbdevs since 1994, and it officially entered the
kernel with version 2.1.107, which would be Jun 25 1998, accordying to
the dates of the linux kernel archive. I first heard of GGI in 1997 or
early 1998, so altough it was before fbdevs entered the official linux
kernel, many ports had been using it since (m68k, powerpc, sparc, to
name just a few) and it was widely known and used in patches even on
i386 before this.

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