Monday, August 22, 2016

Well, Its been a while....

As ever hacking on AROS has proving to take up much of my time, too much to even think about posting on my blog. But here goes ..

Since the last update ive been hacking away on a number of things, mainly my Gfx subsystem update. So far I have most drivers adapted but need to finish implementing the software cursor support before they can all be used properly.

The changes themselves comprise of a number of things -:

# Separating the gfx.hidd into a hardware driver and display parts. This is to allow one gfx device to expose multiple displays to AROS, and has involved a number of changes to how the gfx subsystem works internally. Hopefully sometime in the near future I can make a more detailed post about the changes.

# Making the gfx hardware drivers real "AROS" hardware drivers - that way they can be enumerated using the hardware subsystem and exposed in apps such as sysexplorer.

# Adjusting all the gfx components and stuff which touches the affected interfaces to work again.

# Adjust the intelgma driver to use the base software compositor - its actually faster and has more features than the one that is embedded in the driver (and is very out of synch with the main code)

There where also a few bugs encountered in the gfx susbsytem that after fixing make some of the planar display modes work better (especially on hi-color displays).

I'm happy with the changes so far, and hope to get the remaining stuff done and pushed to the AROS repo as soon as possible.

The next thing I've been playing with is updating mesa. So far I have the IntelGMA driver and software rasterizer built using the newest mesa code (as well as the core mesa components), but until the nouveau code is updated cant push the changes to SVN.  Testing with IntelGMA and the Gfx subsystem updates yields roughly a 20% improvement in performance on Intel atom based systems which isn't too shabby.

Ive also done some massive work to the build system over the past 2 years so that we can finally now build working binaries with the latest GNU toolchains. Another part of these changes is to prepare the build system to use other toolchains (LLVM), however there is still some work on the toolchains themselves before this can be taken advantage of.

My final project though, has been an interesting ride. I've been working on getting the FinalWriter 6 codebase to build with gcc, aswell as fixing it to run on AROS/64bit.  It was surprisingly easy to get the actual code compiled but took a few weeks to dig through some of the issues caused by using a different toolchain than it was originally written for, and finding the issues stopping it from running on 64bit. Evenetualy we managed to bring it up though, and while it ran there where still some problems and visible gfx issues.

Over the past week or 2 I have been working on adapting the GUI code to use localization via the locale.library, and have been quite productive with it (about 80% done, including the german translation!). So at the weekend I decided to tackle a few of those Gfx niggles. It was an interesting experience, and after some soul searching and head scratching I managed to get to the bottom of them!

A bit of code fixing later and the rendering is now correct. There was a bug needing fixed in AROS's vsprite/bob handling, which resulted in the pop up menus displaying incorrectly, and also  the base finalwriter shell class used hard coded GUI elements which required a bit of reworking (as in adapted to be a subclass of sysiclass) but finally the results spoke for themselves! it now has AROS's checkbox, radio and (themed) window scroller arrow gadgets, making it fit in much better with the rest of the system.