Please help get the word out! (about this WM2003 Second Edition video driver issue...

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by 01000101, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. 01000101

    01000101 New Member

    Jul 8, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I found this post on a Pocket PC website I read, you can find the link to this post at

    It was posted by the team that does PocketTV, a well known video player for Windows Mobile devices.

    We are trying to get the word to all Pocket PC and Smartphone manufacturers (OEMs) that they *must* implement the driver escape code GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER in their new devices that will be running Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition (WM2003-SE).

    No GAPI (Game API) for video in WM2003-SE: Basically video games and video applications (like PocketMVP and PocketTV) will not be able to use GAPI in WM2003-SE, because MSFT managed to completely break it (i.e. make it impossible to use). MSFT is aware of this limitation and does not intend continue supporting GAPI in future versions of Windows Mobile.

    Fortunately there is way around this issue is through a new video driver escape code defined by MSFT called GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER, that provides direct access to the display frame buffer (similar to what GAPI does). Unfortunately most Pocket PC and Smartphone manufacturers have not heard of the new escape code, because MSFT did not do a good commucation job, and there is no test in the Microsoft platform SDK that checks that GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER is implemented. So there is no guarantee that it will be implemented in the video drivers!

    It is critically important that GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER be implemented in both hi-res (VGA) *AND* lo-res WM2003-SE devices. MSFT does not make this point clear, as they suggest that GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER is only necessary in hi-res devices.

    The situation is serious: If we do nothing to inform OEM's, probably more that half of the new Pocket PCs and Smartphones will not have GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER, and since GAPI is seriously broken on WM2003-SE, this means that video games and video players will either have awful performances, or just not work on those devices. And you (the user or the game developer) will get pissed. And the manufacturers will get pissed because of bad reviews and customer returns. When the new devices will be released, it will be too late to fix the problem!

    I hope Pocket PC thoughts can help making sure this comes to the hears of all the OEM's.

    There is some information on GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER on the Microsoft website:

    Note that the data returned by GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER should always assume that the frame buffer is oriented in the native Portrait orientation, regardless of the orientation of the UI. This in not clear in the MSFT documentation. To add some confusion, there is a bug in the implementation of GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER in the emulators.

    In order to test video drivers on WM2003-SE devices, we have created a BETA version of PocketTV that tests if GETRAWFRAMEBUFFER is correctly implemented on WM2003-SE devices and displays a message when it is not the case.

    Please don't delete this post.


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