Intel's Eric Anholt just finished speaking at the 2008 X Developers' Summit about video memory management. Specifically, Eric was talking about GEM, or the Graphics Execution Manager, that came about as a result of concerns that arose about Tungsten's TTM. GEM is now the kernel memory manager they are focusing their open-source development work on for the xf86-video-intel driver and is what they hope will become the de facto standard for memory management.
This morning Tungsten Graphics was speaking at XDS 2008 about the status of Gallium3D. However, the rest of the day is filled with a variety of other OpenGL and graphics related talks. Intel's Gordon Jin had talked about Intel's community testing process, Jerome Glisse had talked about a few aspects of the open-source Radeon drivers, and Ian Romanick just gave a talk on GLSL (GL Shading Language).
Adam Jackson has just announced the release of the much anticipated X Server 1.5.0. This is the key component that will make up X.Org 7.4, which we expect to see released (hopefully) this week during the X Developer Summit. The X Server 1.5.0 release announcement can be read on the mailing list, while we'll have a full run-down on X.Org 7.4 as soon as it's released.
The 2008 X Developer Summit has started this morning. However, as there is no Internet connection here other than a single 3G cell connection for 30 people, the audio recordings and Phoronix content will not be uploaded until later today.
There's just about thirteen hours until the 2008 X Developers' Summit gets underway at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. While attendance is low and the program was just getting thrown together at the last minute, it looks like everything will work out.
Along with VIA releasing a new open-source X.Org video driver, there is work underway on improving the status of another open-source graphics driver. Silicon Motion is perhaps more obscure than VIA Technologies when it comes to integrated graphics, but they primarily specialize in low-power graphics chips for tablet PCs.
XDS 2008 is happening next week in Edinburgh, Scotland as the X.Org Foundation's second conference for the year. Since last week when last mentioning XDS 2008, there have been a few more attendee confirmations but it still looks like this event will be slightly underpopulated. The good news though is that the program is still getting more talks towards the last minute.
Back in May when X.Org developers were voicing concerns about Tungsten's TTM as being the kernel memory manager used for graphics drivers, Keith Packard had unveiled the work Intel had been doing for an alternate kernel memory manager. This memory manager they call GEM, or the Graphics Execution Manager, is a competing solution but it has some advantages such as being simpler to develop drivers around (A Technical Explanation of Intel's GEM). Intel then continued in throwing out their TTM code and merging GEM to master.
As a reminder, there's about a week and a half now until XDS 2008. The 2008 X Developers' Summit is taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland from the 3rd to 5th of September. This is the first X.Org conference since XDC 2008 back in April. Unfortunately though, as of today the attendance count is still a bit low and there are few planned talks.
X.Org 7.4 / X Server 1.5 has experienced an incredibly long delay in getting out the door. It was originally supposed to ship in February, then May, and now its stagnate until Mesa 7.1 ships. It looks like it will be a late August or early September release, which is almost a year after X.Org 7.3 had shipped.
Taking place this week in Los Angeles, California is SIGGRAPH 2008, which is one of the best and most well known graphics conferences. We aren't attending this conference, but the biggest news to have come out of it so far this week has been the OpenGL 3.0 (and GLSL 1.30) release. There is quite a bit of negative feedback surrounding OpenGL 3.0 as it's failed to deliver on what was previously promised by the Khronos Group and those involved with the OpenGL design process. However, plenty of other events have taken place at SIGGRAPH too.
It's six months late and X.Org 7.4 still hasn't shipped as its being held up on the release of Mesa 7.1. Hopefully though we'll see the release of Mesa 7.1, X.Org 7.4, and the X Server 1.5 in the very near future. However, there has been some last minute bloodshed before this first major X Server release in nearly a year. It appears that DRI2, which was first proposed back at 2007 X Developers' Summit, will be dropped from the X Server 1.5 series.
Last week from OSCON 2008 we reported that the 2008 X Developers' Summit (XDS) would be taking place from the 3rd to 5th of September, not the 10th to 12th as was shared at XDC. Now this week Daniel Stone has shared more details on XDS2008, which now is only about a month away.
X.Org 7.4 / X Server 1.5 is running months behind schedule, but now holding up its release is Mesa 7.1 or there the lack of. However, Adam Jackson has pushed out a new X Server 1.5 development release with a few more changes while waiting for this updated Mesa release.
Later this week at OSCON 2008, Intel's Keith Packard will be talking about the Linux desktop when it comes to X.Org, Mesa, and related areas. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the talk will be that technical (unless of course you haven't been staying up to date on our graphics articles), but today he has provided an in-depth blog posting. In this post, Keith provided his take on the current status of X when it comes to output technologies.
Sparking a heated Sunday afternoon debate, NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner had commited a trivial change to the X Server that resulted in several key open-source X developers becoming disgruntled. Ultimately, this NVIDIA-spawned patch ended up being recalled just hours later.
In May we shared that Multi-Pointer X (or MPX for short) was entering the mainline X server. While it was merged to master that month, X Server 1.5 was already branched out and therefore it won't appear in X.Org 7.4, but it will appear in X Server 1.6 (X.Org 7.5) until next year.
One of Google's Summer of Code projects this year is to bring hardware-based video acceleration to Linux with Gallium3D. The advantage of this design is that the implementation is designed to be universal to any driver using Gallium3D, which for now is largely just the Nouveau driver and an experimental Intel version.
As we mentioned yesterday when X Server 1.5 RC4 was released (only to be outdone by 1.5 RC 5 that same day), this new version of the X Server (and therefore X.Org 7.4) requires building against the latest Mesa code that ultimately will become known as Mesa 7.1. In addition to needing the latest-and-greatest from Mesa, a new version requirement for libdrm is also in place. The Direct Rendering Manager library is now at version 2.3.1 and that or a newer version (to come) will be needed for X Server 1.5 / X.Org 7.4. David Airlie's change-log for libdrm 2.3.1 just says "Stuff changed - you need this for Mesa 7.1, and Xorg 1.5 Deal with it." No GEM or TTM code is present in this DRM point-release. However, Intel will be rolling the Graphics Execution Manager into libdrm 2.4 very shortly.
The much-delayed X Server 1.5 RC4 (v188.8.131.524) release made it out today, but it's already being replaced by a newer version. No, there wasn't a big development marathon today or anything spectacular, but X Server 184.108.40.2064 got pushed out with a show-stopping bug. The XInput ABI (for the non-programmers, the Application Binary Interface) number went with version 3.1, when it was supposed to be 2.1. Keith Packard had also squeezed in a change for wrapping AddTraps in EXA and Damage.
The development cycle for X.Org 7.4 has stretched on for months longer than anticipated, and earlier this month it sounded like X.Org 7.4 would end with a quick release, but still it's being dragged out longer. This morning the release manager for X.Org 7.4, Adam Jackson, had announced the release of X Server 220.127.116.114. This is another development release -- equivalent to a Release Candidate 4 -- before X Server 1.5.0 is ready for X11R74.
The last day and a half has been filled with X.Org articles at Phoronix... Yesterday was X Server 1.4.1, today was X Server 1.4.2, and in just a few days we will now see X Server 1.5.0. X Server 1.5.0 and X.Org 7.4 were expected to be released in tandem earlier this year, but its February then May release date had slipped with no official word of when a release would be out. There were a total of four development releases planned prior to X Server 1.5.0, and we've only had two of them so far. However, Adam Jackson has made it known on the X.Org mailing list that X.Org 7.4 will soon be released.
It took more than 200 days for X Server 1.4.1 to be released, but X Server 1.4.2 is coming just about 24 hours after yesterday's release 1.4.1. This release is coming along quickly as Matthieu Herrb had shared multiple vulnerabilities in the X Server extensions. Three of these CVEs have to do with the RENDER extension while the other two fixed in X Server 1.4.2 are for memory corruption with the RECORD and Security extensions and an MIT-SHM arbitrary memory read. The X Server 1.4.2 release announcement can be read on the xorg mailing list.
Earlier this month we reported at Phoronix that Multi-Pointer X was going mainline with the planned merge to master date being the last week of May. Peter Hutterer has remained on track with this goal and as of last night, Multi-Pointer X (or MPX for short) can now be found in the X Server master branch. However, as Daniel Stone was busy with the Debian-OpenSSL fiasco (and maybe working on X Server 1.4.1), the new version of XKB has yet to reach master.
Amid the on going discussion right now surrounding the TTM memory manager, Intel's Keith Packard has announced another new project that picks up another acronym. The Graphics Execution Manager, or gem for short, that as Keith explains, "It takes the lessons we've learned from TTM and constructs just the API we need to implement the dri_bufmgr interface." That may not sound interesting to an end-user, but through the use of this Intel Graphics Execution Manager, the Intel i915 Linux performance has been improved by 50% in OpenArena and glxgears is running 60% faster. However, this Intel gem doesn't take advantage of features found in newer Intel IGPs (GMA 3000 / i965 series) quite yet. In Keith's mailing list announcement he goes on to explain the technical workings of the Graphics Execution Manager as well as its API.
If you're interested in the internal workings of X.Org and Linux graphics drivers, you may want to read the latest discussion going on the DRI mailing list that concerns the TTM memory manager. Thomas Hellstrom of Tungsten Graphics had asked what is stopping TTM from going in the mainline kernel, which led David Airlie to chime in on its current lack of open-source drivers utilizing this memory management system (really just the Intel driver at this point) and thoughts from other developers. Some feel TTM is too oriented towards its usage on Windows and they have other technical hard-feelings towards this Tungsten Graphics creation. Read the thread on dri-devel.
The 2008 X Developers' Conference wrapped up today at the Googleplex in California. With it being the last day of the conference, there isn't much information to share judging by the XDC Notes, compared to the first two days. There is, however, tentative information regarding this year's X Developers' Summit. XDS 2007 was in Cambridge (UK), but XDS 2008 will be taking place at the conference facilities found inside the Edinburgh Zoo. This X.Org conference is tentatively scheduled from the 10th to 12th of September. Fitting well with Linux developers, this Scottish zoo does have both King and Gentoo Penguins.
The second day of XDC 2008 was filled with quite a bit of technical information (as you can see from the Wiki notes page) ranging from the DRI2 infrastructure and talking about its event ring buffer and simpler DDX driver requirements to discussing video playback APIs. However, there are a few bits of information that are relevant to the community at large.
As was mentioned yesterday, the X Developers' Conference (XDC) is taking place this week at the Googleplex. There's only around 50 developers in attendance, but for everyone else there still is a flow of information to gather. A few Google employees had recorded each of the talks from the first day, however, they aren't yet available on You Tube or Google Video. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Google will be recording the X videos for the second and third days of this conference. Red Hat's Adam Jackson, however, has been summarizing the highlights of each talk in near real-time and has been uploading it to the X.Org Wiki.
The 2008 X Developers' Conference (XDC) is kicking off this morning at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. The XDC (not to be confused with XDS, the X Developers' Summit) is made up of a variety of presentations and lightning talks surrounding X.Org and upcoming work done by this important free software project.
808 X.Org news articles published on Phoronix.