Luc Verhaegen (libv) wrote,
Luc Verhaegen

  • Music:

Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name.

A lot of effort is being made to re-market AtomBIOS.

For instance, AtomBIOS function tables are being actively and consistently referred to as "scripts".

Wikipedia tells us that: "... [scripting languages] are distinct from the core code of the application, which is usually written in a different language, and by being accessible to the end user they enable the behavior of the application to be adapted to the user's needs."

At no point do AtomBIOS functions come close to fitting the definition of script, at least not as we get them. It might start life as "scripts", but what we get is the bytecode, stuck into the ROM of our graphics cards or our mainboard.

The tools to generate this bytecode can now of course be written, but such tools are currently not available, nor is anybody planning on writing them. There are also no tools to replace functions in our existing vga BIOS images, or tools to generate brand new images. But none of this matters as ATI doesn't want us to flash our graphics cards ROMs in the first place.

Then there is the warped use of "legacy", another sign of advanced marketing. In the radeon driver, all the code that directly programs the modesetting of r1xx-r3xx (and rs4xx) radeons has now been moved to files starting with "legacy".

Once again, wikipedia provides some clarity: "A legacy system is an old computer system or application program that continues to be used because the user (typically an organisation) does not want to replace or redesign it."

So C code, that sets up hardware directly, and that can be evolved as driver frameworks and modesetting models evolve, is being labelled "legacy". Yet it is exactly this C code that recently got completely restructured to support RandR1.2.

And then AtomBIOS... Bytecode that cannot be replaced, with a seemingly fixed (but surreptitiously moving) API, which enforces a given way of working to the driver developer... That stuff is not legacy... Right?

So MIT licensed C code is "legacy", and untouchable bytecode is "scripts".

I'm sure that if this is repeated enough, people might actually start believing it.
Tags: ati, x

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