Under forward bias bipolar 4H- and 6H-SiC devices are known to degrade rapidly through stacking fault formation and expansion in the basal plane. It is believed that the ob- served rapid stacking fault growth is due to a recombination-enhanced dislocation glide (REDG) mechanism at the bordering partial dislocations. This degradation phenomenon has generated considerable interest in the involved dislocations — in particular in their atomic and electronic structure, but also in the mechanisms of their glide motion. Fortunately, nowadays advances in computing power and in theoretical methodology allow the ab initio based modelling of some aspects of the problem. This paper therefore gives a brief review of recent activities in this field, and further discusses some general problems of ab initio based modelling of dislocations in compound semiconductors.