There's good news for the Ubuntu camp and others releasing in the September-October time-frame: development work on X.Org Server 1.9 is still going as planned for an August release and its merge window is about to be closed. In the past it's been tough for the X.Org project to release server updates in a timely manner that's on schedule, but continuing from their X.Org Server 1.8 success, 1.9 is shaping up nicely too.
While there is multi-touch support in Qt and also Clutter along with MPX capabilities in GTK+ 3.0, the widely-used xf86-input-evdev driver up to this point has not supported multi-touch. Developers, however, have been working on the said support for evdev, which is the generic Linux input driver.
X.Org Server 1.8.1 was released just one month ago, but Peter Hutterer is now preparing the release of X.Org Server 1.8.2. Due to time constraints, this is also the last planned point release he plans to put out.
The first version of the X protocol for the X Window System emerged in 1984 and just three years later we were at version 11. However, for the past 23 years, we have been stuck with X11 with no signs of the twelfth revision being in sight, even though there is a whole list of X12 plans and hopes on the FreeDesktop.org Wiki. Julien Danjou, an XCB developer, has written a lengthy blog post looking at the situation and the prospects for the X protocol.
Version 1.8 of the X.Org Server was just released at the start of April, but Intel's Keith Packard who's been serving as the release manager called for an even tighter release schedule with X.Org Server 1.9. Keith pushed plans for an August release of X Server 1.9. With that said, to meet that deadline, the merge window for the 1.9 release is closing at the start of June.
The talk at the Ubuntu Developer Summit surrounding the X.Org plans for Ubuntu 10.10 just wrapped up. Compared to the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release, Ubuntu 10.10 should provide a much more recent and up-to-date graphics experience.
X Server 1.8 was released in early April, but the first point release to this major X.Org update has now been pushed out by Peter Hutterer.
The first release candidate for X.Org Server 1.8.1 was only released seven days ago, but since then a good amount of fixes have already worked their way into the X.Org 1.8 series branch for this first point release.
X.Org Server 1.9 is the key interest now among X developers working on the graphics and input stacks with its release coming as soon as August, but Peter Hutterer once again is taking over the role of maintaining the stable X.Org Server branch. With X.Org Server 1.7.7 being nearly out of the way, the first point release for X.Org Server 1.8 is being prepared for release.
Back in March we talked about the possible X.Org projects this year during Google's Summer of Code, for which X.Org is a veteran participant (in the past items like the ATI R300 Gallium3D driver and generic GPU video decoding have been tackled), but the list of accepted projects for this summer have now been announced. Gallium3D H.264 video decoding, an OpenGL 3.2 state tracker, and porting of the DRM code to GNU/Hurd were among the talked about possibilities, but none of those will be addressed as part of GSoC 2010.
While X Server 1.8 has been around for almost one month, Peter Hutterer for now is still maintaining the X.Org Server 1.7 series before turning over to the 1.8 branch in the coming weeks. He's now in the process of preparing to release X.Org Server 1.7.7.
While X Server 1.8 was released last week, Peter Hutterer is still planning to put out a final point release in the X Server 1.7 series before moving on to maintain the stable 1.8 series.
While development efforts within the X.Org community are now ramping up for the release of X Server 1.9 that should arrive in August, there is an ongoing discussion concerning a planned long-term change for the X Server: pulling the drivers back in.
X Server 1.8 was only released a few days ago, but Keith Packard is quickly focusing his attention to X Server 1.9, where it looks like he is interested in being the release manager once again.
X Server 1.8 is here. Being developed under a new process, this new X Server from the X.Org project was given a 31 March release date. It wasn't released on Wednesday as planned, but it's coming today -- just two days later. Based upon the sizable delays in earlier X.Org Server releases, this is not bad at all.
X Server 1.8 may be the first X.Org release in recent times where it's released on time or at least close to being on schedule. Back in October, X Server 1.8 was given a release date of the 31st of March. This is just a little over a week away, but it looks like this next major update to the X Server that brings udev input handling, DRI2 updates, xorg.conf.d support, and other changes.
Over the past several weeks there have been a number of new Linux graphics features introduced by David Airlie, a Red Hat employee and long-time X.Org contributer. Last month David began on a project rampage by bringing hybrid graphics to Linux via code he called "vga_switcheroo" to switch between ATI/NVIDIA/Intel GPUs without rebooting the system (though restarting the X.Org Server is needed at this time) that that code has now made its way into the mainline Linux kernel. Last week another David Airlie project was multi-GPU rendering support for Linux that was written as a proof of concept to show a second GPU could render 3D applications onto the screen of the first GPU, regardless of the hardware vendor. This week we now have the ability to run two X.Org Servers for a multi-head setup off a single graphics card.
Last month at the X@FOSDEM meeting in Belgium, Luc Verhaegen gave a talk on cleaning up the Linux graphics driver stack. This talk was met by some that agreed with his views and, well, others that didn't exactly see eye-to-eye with him. He shared with everyone his views on changes that should be made to the Mesa/X.Org/DRM stack, including some greater modularization, in an effort to make the testing / build process easier, drive greater maintainability of drivers, and unifying components by providing more shared libraries and formalizing different APIs.
Now that David Airlie's vga_switcheroo has went upstream in the Linux 2.6.34 kernel that provides hybrid graphics support and delayed GPU switching, David went on to look for something new to work on in his downtime when not busy with tasks at Red Hat. This new work is on GPU offloading / multi-GPU rendering.
There's a few months left until it's summertime in the northern hemisphere, but Google is already preparing for their annual Summer of Code (SoC) project as are their projects involved. X.Org will once again be part of the Summer of Code program where Google pays various student developers to work on different free software projects. While nothing is yet officially determined for the X.Org SoC work, there are some ideas expressed by the X.Org developers for any interested students.
While X Server 1.8 should be out later this month, enough bug-fixes have come along since X Server 1.7.5 (the last scheduled maintenance release) to warrant a new version. Peter Hutterer pushed out the first release candidate for X Server 1.7.6. With X Server 1.7.6 there will be many bug-fixes atop 1.7.5, including this being the first 1.7.x release where the server's RECORD extension is actually working. There's also about a dozen other fixes to the DIX, xselinux, and other areas of the server stack.
Last month we reported on issues within the X.Org Foundation that were raised by Luc Verhaegen over the lack of transparency and issues within this crucial organization that backs the development of the X.Org Server. One of the problems expressed was over the lack of minutes that have not been readily available for the X.Org Foundation Board of Director meetings nor any IRC logs. Well, that is now being changed with the meeting logs being published and the IRC information also being published for any interested individuals to tune in to the chat.
XGI's Linux driver was written off as dead back in the summer of 2008 when Ian Romanick who had been working on the open-source XGI Linux driver through his work at IBM had left the company to go join Intel where he now works on Mesa and Intel's open-source 3D stack. XGI Technology really hasn't put out new hardware lately and has been flying under the radar, but this past January a long-time XGI employee began working on this code.
Along with announcing the X.Org Foundation board of director results, Bart Massey also issued the 2010 State of the X.Org Foundation report. This lengthy report on the state of the foundation for this year can be read on the mailing list. It really doesn't detail the financial situation well like many are after, but just an overview of the X.Org happenings now and going forward. Below are a few take-aways from the report.
While concerns have been raised about the state of the X.Org Foundation, the 2010 elections have ended and were not extended though it was requested by some X.Org members. The new X.Org Foundation board members include Alex Deucher, Keith Packard, Matthieu Herrb, Matthias Hopf, and Eric Anholt. Alex Deucher had the most votes to be seated and this his first time sitting on the board and now provides some AMD representation where he works on their open-source driver stack and documentation. With Matthias Hopf on the board, Novell GmbH has a say as Egbert Eich of the same Novell X team is no longer serving.
For the past two weeks elections have been going on by X.Org members to elect five people to serve as board of directors for the X.Org Foundation, the formal 501(c)(3) organization that backs the development of the X.Org project. The elections for the board of directors takes place annually replacing four of the eight members each time around, but this year the elections have been particularly interesting. The X.Org Foundation itself isn't in the public spotlight too much and there really isn't much in the way of public communication and involvement outside of this gang of eight. Since the elections started there has been a rather explosive mailing list discussion started by Luc Verhaegen and it has revealed new details about this foundation.
The most heated talk this year during FOSDEM in the X.Org development room was certainly the talk by Luc Verhaegen with his ambitions to clean up the Linux graphics driver stack. Building the entire X.Org stack can be a mess and there is certainly areas to improve upon in the development process and making it easier for end-users and others to test out this latest code. Luc's goal for this is to create unified trees for each driver that contain all of the driver-specific code rather than having various bits scattered all over the place.
Last week we provided an update as to our X@FOSDEM 2010 video status. Well, it's still taken some time to get these recordings out there that were taken earlier this month in Brussels, Belgium. While I am back to my normal working schedule, the uploading has been hampered by the file size of these 720p HD recordings. The videos are too long to be hosted on YouTube, we don't have the bandwidth to allocate for these massive video files for non-Premium users, and most of the other video sites out there don't allow video recordings of an hour in length or file sizes greater than 1GB or have a decent Flash Player.
X Server 1.7 was released back in October with support for X Input 2.0, Multi-Pointer X, and other improvements after having arrived several months late. Since that initial 1.7 release some five months ago there have been new stable updates / point releases made available quite regularly. These updates incorporate bug and security fixes -- some of which work has been back-ported from the current X Server 1.8 code that should be released towards the end of March. X Server 1.7.5, however, was just released and this will likely be the last official X.Org update to the xorg-server 1.7 series.
Keith Packard has just made available the first release candidate of X Server 1.8 and confirms that its release schedule is still on track. Snapshots and the Git code for X Server 1.8 go back to last year, but with a planned release by the end of March, Keith has now started working on release candidates.
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