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Linux Graphics and Games

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  • Marek Has Been Taking To AMDGPU LLVM Optimizations

    Well known AMD open-source driver developer Marek Olšák has ruthlessly been optimizing the Radeon Mesa driver stack for years. With RadeonSI getting fine-tuned and already largely outperforming the AMDGPU-PRO OpenGL driver and most of the big ticket improvements complete, it appears his latest focus is on further optimizing the AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end.

    This AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end is what's used by RadeonSI but is also leveraged by the RADV Vulkan driver, among other potential use-cases. Lately Marek has been filing patches for optimizing the instructions generated during the shader compilation process.

  • FFmpeg Expands Its NVDEC CUDA-Accelerated Video Decoding

    A few days back I wrote about FFmpeg picking up NVDEC-accelerated H.264 video decoding and since then more FFmpeg improvements have landed.

    As mentioned in the earlier article, NVDEC is the newer NVIDIA video decoding interface that is succeeding their Linux-specific VDPAU in favor of the cross-platform, CUDA-based NVIDIA Video Codec SDK. There's also NVENC on the video encode side, while the recent FFmpeg work has been focused on the NVDEC GPU-based video decoding.

  • Intel Batch Buffer Logger Updated For Mesa

    Intel's Kevin Rogovin has been working on a "BatchBuffer Logger" for the Intel graphics driver that offers some useful possibilities for assisting in debugging/analyzing problems or performance penalties facing game/application developers.

    The BatchBuffer Logger is designed to allow correlating API calls to data that in turn is added to a batch buffer for execution by the Intel graphics processor. The logger additionally keeps precise track of the GPU state and can report various metrics associated with each API call.

  • Feral Interactive continues to contribute to Mesa as one of its developers gets commit privileges

    Alex Smith of Feral has been granted the right to push code into Mesa, a continuing sign of the commitment of Feral to Mesa and Vulkan.

    In this recent exchange Feral dev and active Mesa contributor, Alex Smith, has asked and gotten permission to create an account to directly access the Mesa driver’s git. His stated purpose is to provide fixes for Vulkan drivers, so we can take that as a sign that Feral is pretty serious at not only contributing to the open source Mesa project but also at using the Vulkan API in their current and future ports.

  • I played a bit of Die Totenmaske and it was a very strange experience
  • Valve has added 11 new currencies to the Steam Store

    Recent changes to the Steam Store have seen the addition of more local currencies for customers in different regions. Expect to get more bang for your Peso or Dinar.

    Originally tweeted by the excellent SteamDB, it would seem that customers in different regions will be able to buy from the Steam Store using their local currency. This usually means lower prices and no fiddling about with conversion rates for currency and prices are also adjusted for regional standards. The changes went live earlier and users in the affected countries have gotten emails telling them about the new changes to the Steam Store.

  • Trüberbrook, a beautiful adventure game with Linux support, is on Kickstarter

    This story-driven adventure game set in 1960s Germany places you in the role of a young scientist who finds himself having to save the world.

  • Intra-System: Trust Issues fiendishly encourages betrayal, my thoughts on the experience

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FOSS, standard essential patents and FRAND in the European Union

As part of the research project on “The Interaction between Open Source Software and FRAND licensing in Standardisation”, a workshop was organised by the European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with Directorate General Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CONNECT) to present and discuss the intermediate results to date. The workshop took place in Brussels on September 18, 2018. I presented a set of observations from the research on the case studies performed as part of the project that are outlined below. Other speakers where Catharina Maracke on the issue of legal compliance between Open Source and FRAND licenses, Bruce Perens on “Community Dynamics in Open Source”, and Andy Updegrove on “Dynamics in Standardisation”. You may ask what the relevance of this debate is for the wider Free and Open Source Software community. The obvious answer is that to distribute software “without restriction”, the user needs all the usage rights associated with the program. While most FOSS contributors assume that this is naturally the central motivation for anybody to contribute in the first place, there is a long history of attempts to maintain some sort of exclusive control over a piece of FOSS code, possibly using other rights than copyright. Read more

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