Commit a376e339 authored by Brian Paul's avatar Brian Paul

minor updates

parent 954a9b88
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<center>
<h1>Mesa Frequently Asked Questions</h1>
Last updated: 7 March 2003
Last updated: 30 March 2003
</center>
<br>
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<h2><a name="part1">1.1 What is Mesa?</a></h2>
<p>
<a name="part1">Mesa is an open-source implementation of the OpenGL specification.
OpenGL is a high-level programming library for interactive 3D graphics.
OpenGL is a programming library for writing interactive 3D applications.
See the </a><a href="http://www.opengl.org/">OpenGL website</a> for more
information.
</p>
<p>
Mesa 5.0.x supports the OpenGL 1.4 specification.
Mesa 5.x supports the OpenGL 1.4 specification.
</p>
<h2>1.2 Does Mesa support/use graphics hardware?</h2>
<p>
Yes. Specifically, Mesa serves as the OpenGL core for the XFree86/DRI
OpenGL drivers. See the <a href="http://dri.sf.net/">DRI website</a> for
more information.
Yes. Specifically, Mesa serves as the OpenGL core for the open-source
XFree86/DRI OpenGL drivers. See the <a href="http://dri.sf.net/">DRI
website</a> for more information.
</p>
<p>
There have been other hardware drivers for Mesa over the years (such as
......@@ -53,34 +53,40 @@ the 3Dfx Glide/Voodoo driver, an old S3 driver, etc) but the DRI drivers
are the modern ones.
</p>
<h2>1.3 What purpose does (software) Mesa serve today?</h2>
<h2>1.3 What purpose does Mesa (software-based rendering) serve today?</h2>
<p>
Commercial, hardware-accelerated OpenGL implementations are available for
many operating systems today.
Hardware-accelerated OpenGL implementations are available for most popular
operating systems today.
Still, Mesa serves at least these purposes:
</p>
<ul>
<li>Mesa is used as the core of the XFree86/DRI hardware drivers.
</li><li>Mesa is quite portable and allows OpenGL to be used on systems that have
no other OpenGL solution.
</li><li>Software rendering with Mesa serves as a reference for validating the
<li>Mesa is used as the core of the open-source XFree86/DRI hardware drivers.
</li>
<li>Mesa is quite portable and allows OpenGL to be used on systems
that have no other OpenGL solution.
</li>
<li>Software rendering with Mesa serves as a reference for validating the
hardware drivers.
</li><li>A software implementation of OpenGL is useful for experimentation, such
as testing new rendering techniques.
</li><li>Mesa can render images with deep color channels: 16-bit integer and 32-bit
floating point color channels are supported.
</li>
<li>A software implementation of OpenGL is useful for experimentation,
such as testing new rendering techniques.
</li>
<li>Mesa can render images with deep color channels: 16-bit integer
and 32-bit floating point color channels are supported.
This capability is only now appearing in hardware.
</li><li>Mesa's internal limits (max lights, clip planes, texture size, etc) can be
</li>
<li>Mesa's internal limits (max lights, clip planes, texture size, etc) can be
changed for special needs (hardware limits are hard to overcome).
</li></ul>
</li>
</ul>
<h2>1.4 How do I upgrade my DRI installation to use a new Mesa release?</h2>
<p>
You don't! The Mesa source code lives inside the XFree86/DRI source tree
and gets compiled into the individual DRI driver modules.
You don't! A copy of the Mesa source code lives inside the XFree86/DRI source
tree and gets compiled into the individual DRI driver modules.
If you try to install Mesa over an XFree86/DRI installation, you'll lose
hardware rendering (because Mesa's libGL.so is different than the XFree86
libGL.so).
hardware rendering (because stand-alone Mesa's libGL.so is different than
the XFree86 libGL.so).
</p>
<p>
The DRI developers will incorporate the latest release of Mesa into the
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