While X Server 1.5.0 was finally released this week without X.Org 7.4, Keith Packard is calling for the release of X Server 1.6 this year. Due to Intel's customers needing some of the newest X features, Keith Packard has stepped up to be the release manager for X Server 1.6 and he will be running this release cycle on a strictly time-based schedule. X Server 1.6 will ship with the revised DRI2 infrastructure, RandR 1.3, and X Input 2 (if it's ready in time) or X Input 1.5 with device properties...
Very nice. Keith Packard has done a lot of work on X over the years, so I'm confident X Server 1.6 will be a good release.
Just today I was thinking: I want my netbook to be intel-based, and one of the biggest reasons is intel graphics. They might not have the raw power, but they have more and more features these days, and I know I won't be left out in the cold.
I know, this is an old question. But I'm getting to think free software isn't going to stay free for long. Yeah, of course, there are the free licenses which prevent "the bad guys" to take the good developer's work away without even saying "thank you but we don't need you anymore".
But now, the independent developers who work at the kernel are no more than 15% altogether. And while QT/KDE is running quite fast fueled by Nokia's gold, GTK/Gnome is going down supported by nobody.
And looking pragmatically by an user's point of view, X.org spent these years fixing and refixing old VESA from 1993, making some unsuccessful reverse engineering on newer stuff, and almost nothing else. Things are getting better (we hope) now that Intel's getting the lead... but what if Intel will change their mind, turn back to their old "our IP is extremely sacre, we won't share a single line of code or spec to you any more, the other guys want to pay for them why on earth we should give them to you for free?" Will X.org get on for the years to come with the last freelicensed code and specs, de-facto unable to support newer hardware, and make the Linux desktop look the poor choice again?
Moving up the release date will be a huge boon for the Linux community, if the the devs can manage to keep the quality up.
I expect if they want to do this, they will have to work really hard for the next couple of months. However, once this is done, it means there will be little impediment to move forward to a fully modern graphics architecture.
One question about the new Xserver. I've heard that there's refactoring going on about vsyncing. What does that involve? I will be really happy when I don't have ugly tearing on Xv anymore.
And while QT/KDE is running quite fast fueled by Nokia's gold, GTK/Gnome is going down supported by nobody.
Things aren't so rosy for KDE: whole subsystems like printing were left unmaintained and had to be removed from KDE 4. When the original author lost interest, no one bothered to port it despite the general consensus that the code was clean and powerful. Qt is building their printing infrastructure from scratch because they don't accept any code (be it BSD, LGPL or GPL) from community members.
This process has lead to a bunch of duplication between Qt and KDE, and thus wasted memory. Another great example being KHTML vs QtWebKit. Not to mention that OS-integration (ie. NetworkManager, HAL, Package Managers, Accessibility tools) suck or are nonexistent in KDE, simply because volunteer coders don't find that work fun enough.
GTK/Gnome has actually had more corporate guidance throughout its development (just look at who hires the contributors) and is therefore now less geek-oriented and more grandma-friendly than KDE.