Gnash - GNU Flash Player / John Gilmore

Alex Hudson home at
Sun Jan 8 13:09:59 UTC 2006

On Sun, 2006-01-08 at 10:43 +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> Thanks for the explanations. So, if I understand correctly, Cairo
> is in a similar space to Display PostScript and Display PDF, but
> uses GL to draw and use the graphics processor as much as possible.

Yeah, you're basically spot-on, although Cairo tends to be used with
software renderers at the moment (the GL stuff is newer, and where
people want to go with it). 

> > > [...] Are there similar sites to for
> > > other manufacturers, or any overview site?
> > 
> > No, not really, it's a mess. [...]
> Are others willing to help create one? I think I could program
> it fairly quickly. 

I think others have tried; but I guess previous efforts have tried to be
a general db on all hardware. A specific graphics hw site could work, I
don't think it's really been tried. 

The large issue is the model name -> hardware mapping; it's basically a
many-to-many relation (a given model could have a number of different
chips inside; and vice-versa - it's basically a silicon yield thing).
E.g., the Radeon naming system: - check out the X series in
particular (as chips as more expensive to produce, and yield goes down,
there is a tendency to use high-performance devices in cheap hardware
when the device has to be clocked down/is partially faulty in some way,
if you see what I mean). Different chips in the same model are not
always operable by the same driver.

The other issue is the non-brand boards; you buy a board with ATi/NV
chips or whatever, but it's made by some Taiwanese manufacturer or
something. Though the chips are the same, they are sometimes wired up in
different ways - doesn't usually affect the 3D support per se, but can
mean that you can't run the card in certain configurations (eg., dual
head, TV out, DVI support or other hardware-y features) with standard
free software drivers. Sometimes you just need to fix the PCI ID db,
sometimes it's more work are requires a patch to the driver (as my
Radeon 9200 SE needed to get DVI support).

It probably isn't worth trying to capture all those permutations though;
probably worth concentrating on capturing the basic 3D support and (what
would be good would be) a performance metric. I'm sure plenty of people
out there would be willing to help, me included.



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