Detecting connected monitors is fine, but one thing we haven’t really solved is what to do when you have more than one connected when the server starts. My initial code would pick one ‘primary’ monitor, light that up at its preferred size and then pick modes for the other monitors which were as close as possible to the primary monitor size without being larger. Obviously, I liked that as it meant my laptop always came up looking correct on the LVDS and my external VGA would show most of the screen.
However, this was reported to confuse a lot of users. I can imagine that starting the X server with one of the outputs connected but not turned on would make for some ‘interesting’ support calls. So, now the X server picks a mode which all outputs can support and uses that everywhere. Sadly, this means that my laptop panel gets some random scaled mode (usually 1024x768) which looks quite awful.
I think we need something better than either of these choices, but I’m not quite sure how it should work.