Author Topic: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired  (Read 5219 times)

miturbide

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SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« on: 2011.07.22, 19:36:09 »
http://www.os2world.com/content/view/20972/1/
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Posted by Martin Iturbide - Friday, 22 July 2011



SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired. .. .

I consider this positive, even that I don't know the specific details about the acquisition. Many people in the community were complaining about SNAP getting old and Panorama not being fast enough. So, this opens the door for SNAP to be improved to have better SMP support.  Let's remember that SNAP for OS/2 was announced to be stopped developed at Nov 2006, and its technology was for sale at that time.

I will love to have more insight, and know if Mensys has the 100% of the rights of the source code to do whatever they want with it? like open source it, change its license, re-license, etc..What about MGL and SciTech SNAP SDK? is that all included I guess.

Comparing Mensys with Alt Richmond, I prefer Mensys to have control over the source code of the OS/2 version since it is a company that have interest to keep improving eComStation, while Alt Richmond do not have interest in this platform.

But I will love if SNAP one day gets open sourced.....came guys.. you know me....it is right on my signature ;)
Martín Itúrbide
OS2World.com NewsMaster
Open Source Advocate

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melf

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #1 on: 2011.07.22, 20:51:48 »
Wow, this is great news! Congratulations to Mensys! SNAP, Panorama and Dimetrious ongoing work with GL/2 --- this seems to be great fututure opportunities.
/Mikael

osw

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #2 on: 2011.07.22, 22:41:14 »
Not that really exciting at all, if they are about to create another super, hyper, this-time-snap-technology-powered- VESA generic driver - it will still suck in comparision to old accelerated snap modes.
What makes me excited is gl/2 project and 3d acceleration. Will it ever materialize?.
But of course it will make happy all those who need to have any video mode on modern hardware.
But maybe I'm wrong, and mensys is going to add 2d accelerated modes for some new chips?

David McKenna

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #3 on: 2011.07.22, 23:15:13 »
Woohoo! Way to go Roderick and Joachim and everyone at Mensys! I hope you are able to add some new chipsets to the accelerated list. Maybe start with the integrated Intel i-Series (hint,hint - nudge, nudge)?

Thanks for your hard work keeping on this.

aschn

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #4 on: 2011.07.23, 00:35:36 »
IMO the first step is done and users are waiting now for results:
Apparently funds are not the next problem and that item is already
solved. (Mensys wouldn't have made that contract then - IMO.) The
next step is to find a programmer. IMO that step is also done in the
background.

That just means: wait for a result from that project. Hopefully they
hired Michal. :-)

Andi710

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #5 on: 2011.07.23, 19:21:47 »
I hope for Michal Necasek as well. And for Mensys to go the efficient way and focus on one high end desktop and the one or two most common laptop graphics chipsets - and implement the full feature set as good as possible. Just another generic driver with no real hardware acceleration, no multi-screen capabilities and limited video acceleration won't be a big step for me (still using SNAP on ATI X850)

GOOD LUCK!!! Really exciting news!

Pete

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #6 on: 2011.07.25, 02:53:59 »
Hi Andi710

I suspect that the main reason for Mensys acquiring SNAP is to use it as the base for an accelerated driver - they already have a VESA driver (Panorama) so it would not make sense to downgrade SNAP to that level.

I also think that SNAP would be practically useless if Mensys only updated it for 1 desktop and maybe 2 laptop video chipsets - we'd have the problem of a good driver and a lack of hardware available; much the same as the current SNAP situation.

I hope that Mensys go for a big handful of current popular video chipsets (desktop and laptop) allowing eCS users at least a small choice as to what graphics card they build into their new systems - or is supplied with a pre-built system.


Regards

Pete
(currently using ATI X300 with SNAP)

Mike

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #7 on: 2011.08.04, 20:21:31 »
There's no need to downgrade SNAP to VESA level as it already contains a vesa mode fallback driver.  ;)
The excitement will be the list of new supported hardware, there's just a hope that Mensys will not select this hardware on their own needs but also ask the user base. With some luck both of new drivers will support a small family of the selected chipsets in the best case. One important feature to be supported among graphics will be power management of the graphics adapter like ATI's PowerPlay.

Mike

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #8 on: 2011.08.04, 20:36:34 »
now a show stopper  >:(
http://www.os2bbs.com/OS2News/
"Unfortunately, they only involve improvements to the generic (hardware unaccelerated) VESA support"

then more details can be found in the following post:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/eComStation/message/86200

"SNAP is not the holy grail."
Its for sure not as Indy found something like this already  ;)
It will be like this that some OS/2 graphics related base drivers needs some update, panorama features are "merged" into the SNAP Vesa driver. Its some work but a small step for my taste as to rely on a buggy VESA BIOS of the adapter with the risk of screen corruptions is no joy, go figure.



rwklein

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #9 on: 2011.08.04, 21:56:20 »
While information supply is currently a not in order whats going to happen to SNAP, check out http://svn.ecomstation.nl/snap.
It contains the first 10 features and bugfixes (so far). To quote the sentence I have written that "SNAP is not the holy grail" refers to this bug: http://svn.ecomstation.nl/snap/ticket/9
What that means is that SNAP is not a video driver. It partly depends on other components of the OS like screen01.sys.

As for the VESA stuff I keep hearing rumors of buggy VESA BIOS'es. I have not yet seen as system where Panorama does not work on. The Panorama code however has a bug with the shadow buffer, which can cause problems. But this canf fixed.
But in my experience the boot success rate of VESA SNAP is lower in my experience then with Panorama.
See this ticket for details: http://svn.ecomstation.nl/snap/ticket/4

The current supported video cards will remain in there and this ticket might interested you:
http://svn.ecomstation.nl/snap/ticket/10

So the strong effort is on VESA and then we might see further. But people need to get all the facts on the table.
That means that with proper VESA support, a generic wide screen enabler (for none VESA resolutions) and proper set
MTRR and PAT setup we should have pretty decent support.

We will already have enough work with all the features listed in the bugtracker. So native chipsets are not ruled out in the future but are however not a priority currently. Since the things we have to work on.

Roderick Klein
Mensys

Blonde Guy

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #10 on: 2011.08.05, 05:49:46 »
I see some problem if you try to say that Panorama "works". Sure the driver loads and paints the screen. But there are quite a few bugs. I am hoping that either SNAP or Panorama or both can be developed into a robust solution for VESA.

Panorama has quite a number of painting problems with bitmaps, fonts, repaints. SNAP often cannot function on machines that can run Panorama better. Both of them have annoying bugs. I'm looking for small improvements, much like we are seeing with UniAud and USB. The quality of SNAP and Panorama cannot be reduced to "works" or not. The details are important.

It's terrific that SNAP is acquired. I hope a graphics system developer will step forward.

Expert Consulting for OS/2 and eComStation

Mike

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Re: SNAP video for OS/2 and eComStation acquired
« Reply #11 on: 2011.08.06, 18:30:26 »
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What that means is that SNAP is not a video driver. It partly depends on other components of the OS like screen01.sys.
SNAP is not a video driver? huh? SNAP is a GRADD driver like Panorama is so they are in one boat. When it comes to GRADD or low level OS drivers bugs it will target Panorama as well. SNAP contains hardware specific driver modules to make it possible to use the full feature set of the video chipset.  Panorama and the VESA mode driver should be treated as fallback drivers (GenGradd is in the same class). Is there any primary OS on the market today using a VESA driver as the main graphics driver?  The hardware driver will take real advantage of the powerful graphics hardware, even on OS/2 we want decent speed and features - both was given with SNAP at that time.  One of the good things that remains is the current work on Panorama and SNAP.

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The current supported video cards will remain in there and this ticket might interested you:
http://svn.ecomstation.nl/snap/ticket/10
This can be done and was already made by some users however  the hardware is quite different in age to the last driver update of SNAP so this might not work for the last 5 generations of current graphics hardware.
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The quality of SNAP and Panorama cannot be reduced to "works" or not. The details are important.
The term SNAP is not that correct in this case, its the SNAP *VESA* driver only. SNAP comes with hardware drivers that for sure makes a difference on supported hardware.
What we also should not forget here is the GL/2 project, its still being worked on and it would be a nice thing when people will support this project.