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Old 08-15-06, 04:43 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,026
Default Re: CRT detection and/or DFP ignore doesn't work longer in newer driver versions

Is there a policy behind those changes that make newer drivers reject things that users have set up and worked OK in older drivers?

Over the past couple of versions, we have seen a slide from "the driver does what you ask" to "the driver checks many things and rejects configurations as invalid that worked fine before".
I can understand that sometimes beginning users can be helped a bit with some autodetection and checking so that the most obvious mistakes are avoided, but it starts to eat into the capabilities that more advanced users use.
Granted, there usually are magic flags that you can set to make it skip the new checks, but more than one time I have had to dive into the matter again to get things working that worked before, after an update. And reading documents and browsing the web is kind of difficult, when you have problems with the display.

- the DVI pixel clock limit that makes high resolution modes fail because the clock is above 135 MHz, while the card usually works to 155
- postings by others that indicate that their monitor returns unusual EDID data and the driver goes by that information, rejecting the valid configuration info they provide
- the complicated situation around "ConnectedMonitor" and "UseDisplayDevice" that recently changed again. Now, when I boot the system I have to have all monitors switched on. I can't understand for the **** of it why I should be forced to switch on my VGA monitor (actually my TV) for the driver to believe I have that monitor, when I TELL the driver that I have it.

Maybe it should be considered to add a single "expert mode" flag that makes the driver do what it is told, rather than what it believes is OK or is a common and supported situation? So, in normal situation the driver would go by the info it gets from autodetection and uses the xorg.conf as a hint to make certain selections, and in "expert mode" it just does what xorg.conf tells it, possibly writing warnings about unusual situations.
That would probably help a group of users with configurations that have not been foreseen.

In the past, I always believed that Linux had the advantage over Windows in working that way. It does what you tell it to do, rather than what it believes it should do based on built-in smartness. But this has been changing over time, and now Linux is just as stubborn as Windows :-(
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