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Mozilla: RIP Youghourta Benali and WebGPU Update

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Moz/FF
Web
Obits
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n Report: April 2020 Edition

    Before we get into the report, we must share that Youghourta Benali, one of the Arabic l10n community’s managers, has passed away due to prior health issues. He was a passionate activist for the open Web and Arabic’s presence on the Web, localizing Mozilla projects for over 7 years. We’ll all miss him and wish his family and friends peace at this time. The surviving Arabic managers are currently writing a guest post that we’ll post here when ready.

  • WebGPU Support Begins Coming Together In Firefox Nightly Builds

    The latest Firefox Nightly builds have the experimental WebGPU support working in early form. WebGPU is the W3C-backed web standard for modern graphics and compute that is based upon concepts from the likes of Vulkan and Direct3D 12.

  • A Taste of WebGPU in Firefox

    The group has mostly resolved the major architecture issues of the API. Recently we agreed on the WebGPU Shading Language direction based on the Tint prototype. We still need to solve a lot of design riddles before we make it available to end users to write shaders in.

    One of the unresolved issues is the API for data transfers between CPU and GPU. Working with memory directly is where the web platform differs greatly from native platforms. We’ve discussed a dozen different proposals but have not yet found a design solution that fulfills our principles.

    Overall, the spec is still heavily a work in progress. It’s available for early hackers but not recommended for any use in production yet. We are hoping to get a minimum-viable-product version of the spec and implementations by the end of 2020. The current state of implementations can be checked on webgpu.io.

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Regressions in GNU/Linux Evolution

  • When "progress" is backwards

    Lately I see many developments in the linux FOSS world that sell themselves as progress, but are actually hugely annoying and counter-productive. Counter-productive to a point where they actually cause major regressions, costs, and as in the case of GTK+3 ruin user experience and the possibility that we'll ever enjoy "The year of the Linux desktop". [...] We live in an era where in the FOSS world one constantly has to relearn things, switch to new, supposedly "better", but more bloated solutions, and is generally left with the impression that someone is pulling the rug from below one's feet. Many of the key changes in this area have been rammed through by a small set of decision makers, often closely related to Red Hat/Gnome/freedesktop.org. We're buying this "progress" at a high cost, and one can't avoid asking oneself whether there's more to the story than meets the eye. Never forget, Red Hat and Microsoft (TM) are partners and might even have the same shareholders.

  • When "progress" is backwards

Graphics: Vulkan, Intel and AMD

  • NVIDIA Ships Vulkan Driver Beta With Fragment Shading Rate Control - Phoronix

    This week's Vulkan 1.2.158 spec release brought the fragment shading rate extension to control the rate at which fragments are shaded on a per-draw, per-primitive, or per-region basis. This can be useful similar to OpenGL and Direct3D support for helping to allow different, less important areas of the screen be shaded less than areas requiring greater detail/focus. NVIDIA on Tuesday released the 455.26.02 Linux driver (and 457.00 version for Windows) that adds this fragment shading rate extension.

  • Intel Begins Adding Alder Lake Graphics Support To Their Linux Driver - Phoronix

    Intel has begun adding support for Alderlake-S to their open-source Linux kernel graphics driver. An initial set of 18 patches amounting to just around 300 lines of new kernel code was sent out today for beginning the hardware enablement work on Alderlake-S from the graphics side. Yes, it's only a few hundred lines of new driver code due to Alder Lake leveraging the existing Gen12/Tigerlake support. The Alder Lake driver patches similarly re-use some of the same workarounds and changes as set for the 14nm Rocket Lake processors with Gen12 graphics coming out in Q1.

  • AMD Linux Driver Preparing For A Navi "Blockchain" Graphics Card - Phoronix

    While all eyes are on the AMD Radeon RX 6000 "Big Navi" graphics cards set to be announced next week, it also looks like AMD is preparing for a Navi 1x "Blockchain" graphics card offering given the latest work in their open-source Linux driver. Patches posted today provide support for a new Navi graphics card referred to as the "navi10 blockchain SKU." The Navi 10 part has a device ID of 0x731E. From the AMDGPU Linux kernel driver perspective, the only difference from the existing Navi 10 GPU support is these patches disable the Display Core Next (DCN) and Video Core Next (VCN) support with this new SKU not having any display support.