"Linux has made many leaps and bounds in the past year. One of
the flaws that made Linux a poor alternative to traditional UNIX
workstations is the lack of mature (fast, stable, and compatible)
OpenGL libraries. The Mesa group has done a wonderful job with
their OpenGL clone, but it doesn't stack up against SGI
workstations; after all, it is only software rendering, and what
hardware rendering existed was buggy, a pain to get working, and
generally a mess. All this is about to change."
"To be fair, it was not any one person's fault for the problems
of the OpenGL implementations. Most of the problems with speed were
encountered because X does not let applications write directly to
the screen, and what protocols did exist for 3d rendering were so
complex that it took ages to write and debug a driver. The
complexity of X and the protocols used for rendering caused bugs to
be both numerous and hard to find."
"But in the past year, the foundation has been laid for full
hardware OpenGL support in Linux. Precision Insight Inc.
introduced a new infrastructure for 3D rendering called DRI, which
allows faster rendering with less overhead, NVIDIA announced full
Linux support for its current and upcoming graphics cards, and 3Dfx
has released the source code for a Voodoo3 DRI implementation.
These being drastic improvements and all, many of you are probably
asking why this is important."
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