Senior project ideas

Adam Jackson ajax at
Wed Sep 3 12:48:37 PDT 2008

On Wed, 2008-09-03 at 09:24 +0100, Colin Guthrie wrote:
> William Tracy wrote:
> > I should mention that my development machine right now is a Dell
> > laptop with Intel integrated graphics.
> A project that would definitely win you beer and chicks would be to get 
> DRI working for virtual desktops > 2048x2048 on Intel i945GM chipsets. 
> Perhaps this is what you have in your lappy?
> I don't know the ins and outs of what's required but there are *lots* of 
> people with these chips happily using compiz and other compositing 
> system only to be depressed when they find out they cannot have funky 
> dual head setups :(
> I'm not sure how much work is involved in this tho' so don't know if 
> it's a sufficiently large task for a senior project... Perhaps Keith 
> Packard or some other Intel gurus can advise?

"A lot".

The prerequisite for being able to do this is being able to use more
than one pixmap to back the root window.  This turns out to be a
non-trivial exercise, since you have to basically restart rendering just
above the acceleration layer, once for each backing pixmap.

If you've heard me muttering about shatter, this is what it is, and why
we need it.

Once you've got that going - and wired up to randr so each of those
backing pixmaps is bound to a crtc - making it usable for plain direct
rendering is a matter of telling the client-side driver about the
various backing pixmaps, and having it be smart enough to dispatch
display lists as many times as necessary, clipped against each screen.

Then to make it usable for compiz, you have to teach compiz how to
source textures from pixmaps that are bigger than the hardware texture
size limits, which is a whole other ball of wax.

Not a two month project.  I've been poking at the X server side of this
on and off for about the last nine months, and it's still not there yet.
The comments on about redoing the Picture struct and
detaching rendering from the ScreenRec are prereqs just to get the
server side working.

If I'm very lucky this is what I'll be focusing on after Fedora 10.  I
wouldn't hold my breath though.

- ajax

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