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Old 08-07-2012, 01:27 PM
Jeroen Roovers
Default x11-drivers/xf86-video-openchrome needs a new maintainer

Hello developers,

for the last few years I have been maintaining
x11-drivers/xf86-video-openchrome as best as I could. I was basing most
of that work on my extensive use (in a workstation of sorts) of a single
VIA EPIA M-10000 mainboard for a period of more than seven years, but it
proved increasingly difficult to hang on to it. A bad case of capacitor
plague[1] meant that peripheral I/O functions (sound, USB, probably
more subsystems I wasn't even trying to use anymore) were becoming
increasingly unstable. Lately even booting the system was hit and miss,
and its dismal performance paired with having a 1600x1200 screen
resolution supported by a /very/ slow frame buffer had me looking for
a spiffy alternative. When that opportunity presented itself, I stuffed
the single storage device into the new system and ran with it.

I haven't looked back and I don't think I want to fire up the EPIA
again, so I can no longer maintain the graphics driver for it. Most of
the work on the VIA graphics drivers used to take place at a separate
website [2], but recently most of the work has shifted to
freedesktop.org[3]. The OLPC[4] project has a vested interest in
getting the open source driver to work, too, which is where former
Gentoo developer Daniel Drake[5] does more than his share of the work.
The last year or so has seen a lot of work put into getting DRM working
properly, and that holds at least some promise for the future of both
the hardware and its usability in Linux based systems.

In the last few years there have been a few occasions where the
unstable branch of openchrome ebuilds in the tree wouldn't work at all,
and there have even been cases where the stable branch had severe
problems that weren't noticed or fixed until I happened to stumble upon
them myself. VIA graphics found some use in the middle of the last
decade, but I guess most owners gratefully used their spare AGP or PCI
slots instead of the built-in graphics, or I would have seen more bug
reports, testing and support. The X11 team is now the principal
maintainer of these low maintenance ebuilds.

So, if you have and use the graphics hardware that this driver
supports, give it some care.

Happy hacking,

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague
[2] http://www.openchrome.org/
[3] http://cgit.freedesktop.org/openchrome/
[4] http://one.laptop.org/
[5] http://www.reactivated.net/weblog/

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