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Re: clearing the screen -> framebuffer insanity

On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 11:38:09PM -0500, Mark L. Kahnt wrote:
> On Fri, 2002-12-06 at 20:31, Nathan E Norman wrote:
> > On Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 11:54:52AM -0500, Jason Wojciechowski wrote:
> > > Nathan E Norman (nnorman@incanus.net) wrote:
> > > 
> > > > Note that some people (like Linus) say that anyone who runs a
> > > > framebuffer console is insane.
> > > 
> > > Why?
> > 
> > Beats me ... STFW for the answer.
> > 
> > I run a framebuffer; Sparc sucks without one.
> > 
> > -- 
> > Nathan Norman - Incanus Networking mailto:nnorman@incanus.net
> >   If you don't know what your program is supposed to do, you'd
> >   better not start writing it.
> >           -- Edsger Dijkstra
> Linus (from a quote and various other observations I've seen) considers
> framebuffer on i386, umm, "less than ideal" (my words) as a general
> configuration choice as, from my understanding of the words I've seen
> and how it exists in the kernel, it is an incomplete and inconsistent
> implementation on i386 - some graphics cards are not so well supported
> as others, and simple SVGA functions are capable of the significant
> range of framebuffer functions with vastly less overhead than running
> the console strictly in graphics mode.
> Framebuffer is needed on some systems that don't have text modes
> comparable to the PC-style systems, but unless you *need* framebuffer
> functions on an i386-style PC, you are not necessarily doing things the
> most efficient way if you are doing most of your work on the console
> strictly with text and no modified fonts, and as various graphics cards
> only have *experimental* code implementing framebuffer, you are playing
> with potential buggy code in the kernel for not necessarily any
> performance benefit over a currently more reliable user-mode solution.

Given this, it is unfortunate that the appearance of framebuffer mode
is quoted as the reason for SVGATextMode development freezing in 1999.
This means that if you want something non-standard (eg. 100x37 @ 85Hz)
and have a graphics card whose chipset is not compatible with
something that was out in 1999 (eg. SiS6326), you either have to use
framebuffer mode or get the data sheet for your graphics chipset and
do some interesting C programming. Being an obstinate bastard, I did
the latter.


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