Simon's accelerated X development thread


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by charliedurrant » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:31 pm
Simon,

I've heard back from the team that maintain and develop TK/TCL and in summary they feel that processing power will catch up to make TK perform fast enough.

I understand what they are saying as on (I expect) everything bar the PI it performs just fine and with any change there is risk and TK is widely used. I think the change is relatively easy but I'm very inexperienced so the ramifications could be much wider. I think forking is always bad so in essense I would suggest switching to GEANY as it uses the gnome toolkit and renders much more sensibly.

Your thoughts?

Charlie
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by teh_orph » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:14 pm
liz wrote:Well, we *have* - but Simon seems to be making much faster progress.
Simon: please apologise to your girlfriend on our behalf. :oops:

Cheers Liz, although she'll still be like "explain again what you're doing?"

I've just got a brand new image of Raspbian and tested that the driver works with just the minimum of set-up. I now need more testers, so will soon stick some binaries on as a post here on the forum.

I also need some help with damage control as I'm worried that people's expectations are too high!

There are a number of major changes I need to make to the driver, but I do need people to find the bugs with this one first. I also need people to identify the code paths that are most commonly used, so I can tune them. At the moment I'm just guessing the usage patterns.

Whilst that's going on I can make these changes that ought to unlock a fair amount of performance (basically there are lots of redundant copies back and forth at the moment).
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by torsti76 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:25 pm
Simon,

since you're talking about sticking some binaries to the thread, I'm urged to ask: Do you intend to go open source in the long run?
I mainly ask because I'm a great fan of Gentoo (and of open source in general)... :-)

And since this project seems to be rather complex, maybe some additional pairs of eyes on the code would be helpful, too.

Best,
Torsten
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by teh_orph » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:29 pm
Yep yep, the code has been available for people to browse etc for quite some time.
There are only a few patches (that are necessary, not optional) to Xorg itself but I'm unsure of where to put them!

The DMA system
The blitting code
The driver

However It's just a PITA to build the driver and X manually. Hopefully someone who is more savvy than me regarding patching deb source packages can give me a hand ;-)
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by torsti76 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:17 pm
Simon,

thanks, I wonder how I couldn't see the references to your github repo in this thread. :oops:

As for the patches: I do not yet have a very good solution either. But why not, in the interim, create a subdirectory "patches" on the same level as "src" in the driver source. That way, the patches are accessible for package maintainers - and it's clear where they belong to.
And maybe, when the project gets more stable and well-tested, upstream will accept your patches into the main tree.

Best,
Torsten

PS: And thank you for all the effort you already put into this project!
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by portets » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:18 am
I'm definitely willing to be a tester, and have some experience. :D
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by Hexxeh » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:30 am
Just been testing these out, and they improve the browsing experience in Iceweasel considerably (since it uses XRender).
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by bleep42 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:17 am
Hi Simon,
Have been keeping an eye on your progress for several months now and would be happy to try to help out with testing where I can. I'm not a great low level driver developer like yourself, but I have years of development experience with C writing aircraft full flight simulator code. Let us know when you think you are ready. :-)
Thanks for all your hard work.
Regards, Kevin.
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by Andybp » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:31 am
This is one of those developments where I suspect many are eagerly awaiting the final output. Now, I think that there should be some mechanism, within the pi store, to allow a tip jar to be made. These guys have spent months developing this, it will offer benefits to millions of pi users, and yet bizarrely there's no way to tip them. I know it's open source, but I would gladly buy simon and others a pint. Liz, can something be done here?
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by jamesh » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:40 am
Andybp wrote:This is one of those developments where I suspect many are eagerly awaiting the final output. Now, I think that there should be some mechanism, within the pi store, to allow a tip jar to be made. These guys have spent months developing this, it will offer benefits to millions of pi users, and yet bizarrely there's no way to tip them. I know it's open source, but I would gladly buy simon and others a pint. Liz, can something be done here?


One way to do it would be for Simon to add a trivial app there, and you could tip him for that...(Tip jar is already on PiStore I believe, just need connecting to Simon!)
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by Andybp » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:39 pm
I think that's a cracking idea!
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by teh_orph » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:44 pm
I'm definitely game for beer - preferably with some of the faces on here who I'd like to say hi to!

I'm busy writing documentation at the moment (not done yet: http://elinux.org/RPi_Xorg_rpi_Driver ) and testing the various different options of the driver at the moment. Also as this is a testing build, not something for the average user I'm trying to decide what metrics to gather and what info to display in order for testers to help me.

Finally: hosting. Can I just stick zip files up on Github for people to download? Will they (Github) mind?
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by dom » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:51 pm
teh_orph wrote:Finally: hosting. Can I just stick zip files up on Github for people to download? Will they (Github) mind?

These sites all contain Pi related binary files:
https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-firmware
https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware
https://github.com/raspberrypi/tools
and I'm sure they generate a fair bit of traffic. I think you'll be okay, especially if the github repo contains source code as well.

Not sure if you can wget individual files from github, but you can "git clone" to get them, or download a zip of complete repo (which you can organise to just be the files required).
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by Hexxeh » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:52 pm
GitHub shouldn't care. Alternatively I'm happy to host whatever you need on my servers.
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by torsti76 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:50 pm
dom wrote:Not sure if you can wget individual files from github, but you can "git clone" to get them, or download a zip of complete repo (which you can organise to just be the files required).


You can wget the 'raw' URL of the file, e.g. https://raw.github.com/raspberrypi/firm ... YING.linux

It works quite well. Unfortunately though, github seems to have cancelled the 'download' section that used to be attached to each repo. Thus, to get files up there you have to commit/push them. That, however, carries the additional benefit of version control. ;-)
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by rymate1234 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:33 pm
Can't wait to try it out :D

Already done the pre installation instructions, so my Pi is ready (hopefully)
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by Beheadedstraw » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:05 pm
I'm very interested in this as well, having X acceleration would be amazing.
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by piotr-e » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:45 pm
Simon,
Do you make the driver available for testing before Christmas :?:
Raspberry Pi, model B, revision 2, 256MB RAM; Raspbian; Huawei E3131 modem (it works :-) ); EasyCap 4CH USB DVR (it works, but very slow)

I'm sorry for my English.
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by teh_orph » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:08 pm
Merry xmas and such :)
I had a bit of a pre-xmas delay as a result of an initial wave of testing. Let me see what happens from the next wave of testing.

Anyway, improvements made over the xmas hols:
- now works on 512 MB models
- one of the major overheads has been removed, although I'm not too sure of what the side-effects are!
- VPU composition performance is up 20% through pipelining
- VPU code now includes 40-50 asm composition functions (up from the four from the last release)

Basically this means less DMA work is necessary because of the overhead reduction, and the VPU can take care of more blending functions. The VPU code is generally ~12x faster than the equivalent CPU version.

Anyway this increasingly highlights how slow the applications themselves are, and any applications which use client-side rendering (of which there are many).
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by rothomp3 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:49 pm
Did I miss where I could go to download this? Or is it still not ready for wide-scale prepackaged testing?
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by teh_orph » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:29 am
I'm still waiting for feedback from some existing testers from yesterday's build, then should be good for a mass testing give-out. No sense in releasing a new build just to find I missed out some files!

Either way what does go out will still be for people to properly test, not just download and use like normal.
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by teh_orph » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:19 pm
Hi there,
does anyone know what license I need to release my code under? I'm terrible at these things! There is no license information in the source code I'm building (in a readme or otherwise), and searching on the x.org wiki for 'license' gives nothing. However wikipedia says that Xorg itself is licensed under the "X11 license". This takes me to "MIT license" which tells of the ambiguities between these different licenses.

I have made some modifications to Xorg itself, and used the fbdev driver as a base. There's not much left of that driver in there though...

What do I do?
EDIT: I'm being blind, I've found the existing license files. So - do I have to use the same license?
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by rymate1234 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:36 pm
teh_orph wrote:Hi there,
does anyone know what license I need to release my code under? I'm terrible at these things! There is no license information in the source code I'm building (in a readme or otherwise), and searching on the x.org wiki for 'license' gives nothing. However wikipedia says that Xorg itself is licensed under the "X11 license". This takes me to "MIT license" which tells of the ambiguities between these different licenses.

I have made some modifications to Xorg itself, and used the fbdev driver as a base. There's not much left of that driver in there though...

What do I do?
EDIT: I'm being blind, I've found the existing license files. So - do I have to use the same license?


I think that you use the same license as the project you modified. Not entirely sure though.
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by yaggi » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:52 pm
For the record, Simon is not only a saint, but he is in fact a wizard.
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by teh_orph » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:02 pm
yaggi wrote:For the record, Simon is not only a saint, but he is in fact a wizard.

We have a winner! Thanks again for your help and cheers for losing some sleep time for this :)
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