Phoronix has up an article looking at the release of X Server 1.4.1. This maintenance release for X.Org, which many open-source operating systems depend upon for living in a graphically-rich world, is coming more than 200 days late and it doesn’t even clear the BugZilla release blocker bug. According to Phoronix, there are more problems for X.org than just this one.The next major release of X.Org was scheduled to be released February 2008 – and then May 2008 – and now it’s missing, with no sign of when a release will occur. There’s still more than three dozen outstanding bugs. This forthcoming release (X.Org 7.4) will also ship with a slimmer set of features than what was initially planned.
X.Org 7.4 was originally slated to ship in February, but it didn’t even have a release manager until February when Red Hat’s Adam Jackson had stepped up to the plate. Adam had then rescheduled X.Org 7.4 for a May release, in order to make the cut for Fedora 9. As we are still talking about it, X.Org 7.4 obviously didn’t make it out in May as intended, but an early X Server 1.5 pre-release was included.
On top of that, X.Org 7.4 is shipping with a slimmer set of features than what was planned. X.Org 7.4 was supposed to have Multi-Pointer X (MPX), but that was delayed (though it will be ready for X.Org 7.5). Also sliced out of this release was input hotness, or XKB 2 and Xi 2.
It appears more people are worried about the degrading quality of X.org releases. Out-of-date documentation, blocker bugs lists that are not empty, the complete tree and module set not buildable on one platform, and despite the 200 day delay, X.org 7.4 still has blocker bugs. For such an important piece of software, this is not an ideal situation.
Setup a fund raiser and let people donate money for funding developers or something.
Open source is not free free. It costs developer resources. Someone has to do it.