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Linux Graphics and Games

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming
  • 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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Containers and 'Clouds'

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    One of the characteristics of the most successful deployments of OpenShift are the CI/CD pipelines that enable application integrations. This week we dove into a question from a listener – “Can you talk more about best practices for integrating CI/CD systems into Kubernetes?“ Brian and Tyler talk about the latest news from the Kubernetes community, the difference between CI and CD, and various considerations for integrating CI/CD environments with Kubernetes.
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    Docker Inc. owns one of the most prominent names in the cloud container ecosystem. But a recent report from Cowen and Company named a handful of established cloud players as potential acquirers of Docker Inc. Those included Microsoft, Red Hat, and VMware, with the first two deemed most likely to take the plunge. “Despite its strong name recognition and customer momentum, Docker’s long-term financial success – at least as an independent company – is hardly a fait accompli,” the Cowen and Company report stated. “We do believe that Docker will have to work hard in order to overcome its smaller footprint with enterprise companies.”
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    The savings in cloud computing comes at the expense of a loss of control over your systems, which is summed up best in the popular nerd sticker that says, "The Cloud is Just Other People's Computers."

Mozilla: Motion, Contributors, Testday, ActivityMonitor, San Francisco Oxidation

  • Firefox has a motion team?! Yes we do!
    Motion may sometimes feel like an afterthought or worse yet “polish”. For the release of Firefox Quantum (one of our most significant releases to date), we wanted to ensure that motion was not a second class citizen and that it would play an important role in how users perceived performance in the browser. We (Amy & Eric) make up the UX side of the “motion team” for Firefox. We say this in air quotes because the motion team was essentially formed based on our shared belief that motion design is important in Firefox. With a major release planned, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a team working on motion.
  • Firefox 61 new contributors
    With the upcoming release of Firefox 61, we are pleased to welcome the 59 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 53 of whom were brand new volunteers!
  • QMO: Firefox 61 Beta 14 Testday Results
    As you may already know, last Friday – June 15th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 61 Beta 14. Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place!
  • IOActivityMonitor in Gecko
    This is a first blog post of a series on Gecko, since I am doing a lot of C++ work in Firefox these days. My current focus is on adding tools in Firefox to try to detect what's going on when something goes rogue in the browser and starts to drain your battery life. We have many ideas on how to do this at the developer/user level, but in order to do it properly, we need to have accurate ways to measure what's going on when the browser runs. One thing is I/O activity. For instance, a WebExtension worker that performs a lot of disk writes is something we want to find out about, and we had nothing to track all I/O activities in Firefox, without running the profiler. When Firefox OS was developed, a small feature was added in the Gecko network lib, called NetworkActivityMonitor.
  • San Francisco Oxidation meeting notes
    At last week’s Mozilla All Hands meeting in San Francisco we had an Oxidation meeting about the use of Rust in Firefox. It was low-key, being mostly about status and progress. The notes are here for those who are interested.