Sunday, 12 September 2010

Standards, agreenments and fragmentation

The graphics area can be seen through your OpenSource "standards" and industry _standards_. Even when discussion only about Linux and not even going to the Microsoft land the field is starting to be a quite messy.

The fragmentation in open source side is in many areas caused by the fact that the communities are competing with each other. They want to ensure that they can bring out as good as possible SW as soon as possibly - naturally. What this causes is that instead of making an effort and developing something together we fragment. Good examples of this is your TTM vs. GEM, classic Mesa vs. Mesa Gallium state tracker or EXA/XAA/UXA.

Then we have our industry standards by Khronos. What Khronos defines is an open standard mainly for Graphics and Media. We have the defacto OpenGL/ES and the counterparts GLX and EGL and then we have something else. We have things like OpenWF (display and Composition) which in OSS world is know as KMS (with limited composition support), OpenKODE with the OSS counterpart being SDL and OpenMAX which in OSS world is tackled with VAAPI or XvMC or VDPAU. Well you get the point.

So why should we care about this? What this all means is that the set of selection when developing an Linux based system - following the industry standards or selection one of the Open Source paths. Often the proprietary drivers do follow the industry standards but they have not adopted any of the OSS ways of providing the functionality and why would they as the OSS "standards" are often vendor specific. This will mean that reasonable way to build our platform would be the industry standards but then you would loose the possibility to try out the new nice things which are not executable in these platforms. Difficult choice and ideally a choice that we wouldn't need to do.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

UI done right

I have always been a fan of what the guys at TAT are doing. These guys have really understood the whole thing of making great looking UI's in away that it is respecting the underlaying HW and taking every last bit out of it.

Their latest creation Velvet is just that - innovative, simple, great looking UI. Nice job!

PS. Would be nice to understand how these guys are working. You have your UI designer, framework developer and lower level graphics guy all working seamlessly together...