Jim Gettys jg at
Wed Apr 18 11:17:46 EDT 2007

On Wed, 2007-04-18 at 00:58 -0400, Mike C. Fletcher wrote:

> > You really.  Really.  Really.  Do not want to run anything resembling
> > OpenGL on this hardware.  It will be painfully slow and it'll murder
> > your battery life.
> >   
> Maybe I'm missing something, but *why* would OpenGL (the library) be 
> particularly likely to perform horribly?  OpenGL is a fairly efficient 
> mechanism for describing certain types of smooth, elegantly coded 
> transformations AFAICS.  The processor has 3DNow and SSE extensions, 
> which can be compiled in to help accelerate MESA's matrix transformation 
> operations if I understand correctly.  I'm not saying we would try to 
> write a latest-and-greatest first-person-shooter, but the library itself 
> is reasonably efficient at what it does.

One of the major issues is that Mesa has always been used with hardware
assist to implement a free OpenGL solution: but the basic software
fallback paths in Mesa have never been optimized (e.g. shaded triangles,
which it has always presumed it will have hardware assist for).  We
certainly do not have the engineering resources right now to throw at
that problem: if the problem interests you, I'm sure the Mesa project
would like to hear from you, and it would be good to see work done in
that area.  Having a free OpenGL or OpenGL ES implementation that is
usable would be goodness; note that with our size screen, we have *a
lot* of pixels to shovel around.

So first show that your application works well with just the software
Mesa rendering (no hardware assist being used); then you'll have some
idea if it is even conceivable to run the application successfully on
our hardware.  There are likely some application for which this may be

Right now, it's not likely to work well enough for enough applications
for us to want it in the base system, given its footprint.  If your
application does run ok given such an implementation, then having it as
part of your activity is appropriate.
                                           Best Regards,
                                                     - Jim Gettys

Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child

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