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Re: Tools

On Thu, Jan 06, 2000 at 06:55:52PM +0000, Pierre Phaneuf wrote:

> Chris Purnell wrote:
> > The linux console rocks.

> > However most of the driver writing effort is directed towards X.
> > Also the console driver writing effort is split over svgalib,
> > fbcon and kgi.  The result of this it the the hardware support
> > for the console sucks.

> The problem with the console isn't much with the hardware support, but
> with the console itself. Even if I use the command line a lot, I use it
> from within an xterm, beside Netscape and XEmacs. Switching to another
> login on a console to run my game sucks, I know, the first Quadra
> release supported only Svgalib and I develop in X with XEmacs.

> I have a Quake3 icon on my Window Maker dock. Whenever I feel like it, I
> double click into Quake and blast a few rockets. *That* rocks.

> And the newbie users will not think that it rocks, they think of this as
> ORDINARY. Having to Ctrl-Alt-F1 out of X Window (because they use an X
> login, of course) and having to log in *again*, just to run a game, it
> rings "SUCKS" to them, however cool you might find that.

At home I don't, as a rule, run X.  So to play Quake3 I have to first
start X.  That SUCKS.  Also with the svgalib 1.4.* you can launch an
svgalib application from X.  It will allocated itself the next
avaliable virtual terminal.  The code where the in earlier versions
but non functional until I submitted a one line fix.

> Direct rendering applied to 2D would yield the exact same performance
> and capabilities as the console, with all of the driver effort going
> into XFree86 at your fingertips.

> Again, what I think is that the retargetable capabilities of game SDK is
> a very important feature, so that if you *want* to play on the console,
> you *can*. And I also maintain that the "reasonable default minimum"
> should be to work in X.

Just so long as people don't only provide binaries that have been
statically liked to a version of the SDK with only X support.
Also these SDKs need to stop breaking binary compatability and
bumping their sonames.

> > The overhyped XF86 V4 might just hold the key be the answer.
> > XF86 V4 has it's graphics drivers as loadable modules.  The
> > idea that I and others have had is to use those drivers to
> > produce a console mode api such as svgalib.

> > What I'm going to do is wait until the release of XF86 V4
> > and then I'm going to look at how the driver interface
> > works to see if the scheme is doable.

> I wish you good luck, that would be a very cool thing to happen!
> Be sure to take a look at the snapshots of XFree86!

XFree86 is big and I don't want to download it just to do
a feasibility appraisal.  I'd rather wait until there is 
a version that I'd be happy to replace my current X with.

I'm also in no hurry.  Making an svgalib that use the X drivers
would just be the first half of the project.  The second half,
the bit I'm really intereted in, would be to extend it with
a Mesa 3D driver that uses the X hardware 3D drivers.

The reason I'm in no hurry is that I'm already able to do
console mode 3D with my 3dfx Voodoo 2.  However as some
point I will be wanting to buy a newer card.  And then I'll
be wanting a new way to do console mode 3D.

Christopher John Purnell  | I thought I'd found a reason to live
http://www.lost.org.uk/   | Just like before when I was a child
--------------------------| Only to find that dreams made of sand
What gods do you pray to? | Would just fall apart and slip through my hands