Subject: Re: Any plans for wscons/rcons graphics library?
To: Kevin P. Neal <>
From: Andrew Gillham <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 11/17/2000 00:26:40
Kevin P. Neal writes:
> The problems that were pointed out to me include:
> 1) Doing a system call every time you want to draw a line or set a 
>    pixel or whatever would be very very slow. 

True, but slow is faster than doesn't work. :)

Actually I guess I would think more along the lines of a dumb frame buffer as
Takemura-san mentioned, with sysctl interface to ask for bitblits, which
could be accelerated or not by the kernel driver.  Also the frame buffer
might be virtual (double-buffered type?) or directly map to a real device.

> 2) It would be very hard to come up with an API that is general enough to
>    not require special casing in applications but at the same time would
>    allow for the use of special features of some video cards.

True, I was thinking of fancy features being implemented via a sysctl
interface, with perhaps a "command buffer" or something.  So that userland
could just memcpy something and make a call.  I don't really know much
about this stuff though.

> Ok, what you propose isn't quite so ambitious, but you would still have
> to deal with the above issues.

Yup, I have a friend who is a professional coder, so he might help with

> I'd like to see wscons support the same base features on every system.
> Do we have virtual consoles in wscons yet for graphics consoles?
> Do we have the ability to do 132x43 text displays yet on those VGA
> cards that support it? I don't think we can have text virtual
> consoles if the hardware doesn't support it (hercules ISA cards).

Hmm, yeah, this is a minor annoyance for me.  We dumped PCVT but lost
some features along the way.  Still, wscons is nicer in general so it
is worth it.

> It would be nifty, I admit.

Well I would like a basic GUI, MP3 player  and maybe a browser (ViewML?)
that runs totally from flash on my I-Opener. (e.g. not diskless boot)
Also, the same thing on a HPCMIPS box would be sweet.

I would like to see NetBSD have the same "embedded" GUI features that
Linux has, e.g. MicroWindows, Qt/Embedded, on more platforms. :-)