Home > X11 > Next X.Org Foundation release plan Next X.Org Foundation release plan Submitted by Josh 2004-07-09 X11 43 Comments Discussions for the future of XOrg are up at Freedesktop.org. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 43 Comments 2004-07-09 10:12 pm Composite… wow… i’m waiting for it since a long time… 2004-07-09 10:21 pm Unshackled from the politics that dragged down new development with XFree86, it looks like XOrg is shaping up with it’s own character. Whilst this release probably won’t be much different, expect to see the features in the old XServer codebase improved and integrated in the next few releases. There’s a lot of big merges in here that probably won’t make any difference to the end user but form the basis of an evolution in this X11 implementation that will put XOrg in a position to battle with MacOS X and Longhorn in terms of both features and performance. 2004-07-09 10:29 pm Actually, they’re trying to get XFixes, Composite and Damage into the next release – proper alpha-blending and performance-improved VNC implementations (Damage) are certainly going to result in noticable differences for end-users. 2004-07-09 10:34 pm If I understand correct this has nothing to do with kdrive, it’s the ‘orinary’ x11 x.org server? Kdrive is a sort of experemental branche for x.org, right? I’d really like to see a sort of interview with e.g. Keith Packard, maybe it’s an idea for osnews? For a newbie like me it would be great to see a clear feature & release scheme / future plan for the x.org server. I really wonder when I can use something like kdrive in my fresh installed mandrakebox though . 2004-07-09 10:35 pm From what I have heard Damage can also speed up the dragging windows since the xserver can be a lot smarter about what it redraws. 2004-07-09 10:37 pm If they make it so I don’t have to hack XF86Config anymore to add wheel mouse support if the distro doesn’t auto-detect it, and make it a little easier to set up fonts in a distro-neutral enviroment. If they could just do that, then I say piss on the transparency and all the eye candy – the things I just mentioned would be enough for me. 2004-07-09 10:37 pm Damage and Composite extensions in a X.org release by August 25th? I’m impressed. I’ve been using the Freedesktop kdrive experimental X server with these extension and they’re great. They give the whole desktop a very solid feel, no more redrawing glitches or artefacts when moving windows over each other and so on. Also the new X.org is supposed to use the regular autotools, which is nice. The world again has one less crappy buildsystem. Next up on the chopping block is the whole /usr/X11R6 hierarchy crap, and about time. 2004-07-09 10:41 pm This all sounds great … if only I understood what on earth it was all about! Could someone point me to a decent article explaining the whole range of display server technologies in a way that a mortal can understand? I’ve literally yet to come across one. I mean gawd, I’ve been working with computers for 12 years but this stuff goes way over my head; I try to read so many articles about Xorg, Fresco, OpenGL etc, and I’m always left fascinated but deeply puzzled…. 2004-07-09 10:42 pm It sounds rather mundane, but I’m also excited for the Bitmap font to Truetype font converter that Keithp said is being worked on. 2004-07-09 10:55 pm >I’d really like to see a sort of interview with e.g. >Keith Packard, maybe it’s an idea for osnews? For a >newbie like me it would be great to see a clear feature & >release scheme / future plan for the x.org server. Yeah, I second that! 2004-07-09 10:58 pm Does that mean that damage & composite would work with existing video drivers, like the nvidia one? 2004-07-09 10:59 pm Yup. 2004-07-09 11:09 pm I mean gawd, I’ve been working with computers for 12 years but this stuff goes way over my head; I try to read so many articles about Xorg, Fresco, OpenGL etc, and I’m always left fascinated but deeply puzzled…. I don’t know about OpenGL, but when it comes to understand the nuts and bolts of X, I don’t think such an article exists. From what I can gather, it’s kind of like assembly, where God intended only certain peple to be able to understand it fully. 2004-07-09 11:11 pm It sounds rather mundane You mean potentially opengl accelerated compositing a la OS X sounds mundane? Check here for the kinds of things composite will allow: http://freedesktop.org/~keithp/screenshots/ Does anyone know if a hardware accelerated (via GPU) composite manager is also planned for inclusion? Or will composite still be using a standard software blitter? 2004-07-09 11:29 pm Such interview already exists – http://osnews.com/story.php?news_id=5215 2004-07-10 12:01 am I don’t have time to dig at the moment, but there is program in CVS called “Glitz”. It is an openGL renderer, but it can also be plugged into the Render extension. So basically that’ll mean GPU accelerated goodness 2004-07-10 12:02 am August 25th? that sure was fast… I’m glad that the work keithp did on kdrive and it’s sweet extensios being implemented on what was the Xfree86 code. Good days for the OSS world, indeed. 2004-07-10 12:05 am >> Does anyone know if a hardware accelerated (via GPU) >> composite manager is also planned for inclusion? Or will >> composite still be using a standard software blitter? Afaik that will be possible using Cairo/Glitz (OpenGL). 2004-07-10 12:08 am They talk about finish adding ATI code for R400 and something about code related to TCL for R7000 and M6, which I guess includes the support for IGP 320/340. Not a bleeding-edge 3d chip (not even when it was release ), but widely used in notebooks. AFAIK, necessary kernel code is already in place in 2.6.7 (DRM), so if I’m not mistaken, all needed is Mesa 6.0 and to enable DRI. PD: I know all code is in CVS, but I tried couple of times to d/l and compile it, but all I got is that my machine lock-freeze whenever I tried to use glxgears. 2004-07-10 12:19 am Now, from what I once read (at some kdrive mailing list iirc) the composite manager requires about twice as much memory for each xwindow(not to be confused by a visual Window you see on screen). Anybody care to comment on how much more resources these new features will require ? I’d hate things to get bloated, a fresh started up gnome or kde desktop already take alot of resources. 2004-07-10 1:15 am “….where God intended only certain peple to be able to understand it fully.” What has God got to do with it? I don’t think He cares about X-(whatever). 😉 It’s a great project thou – hats down to those involved and competing with MS and the like. … Not to mention People involved in other OOS-Projects such as KDE, Gnome, Gimp, Linux, ….. who are doing a fantastic job improving their S/W at a pace never seen before. 2004-07-10 1:23 am Actually, I meant the truetype-ization of bitmapped fonts sounds mundane, but I’m excited for it. 2004-07-10 1:42 am Hmm. Didn’t see glitz mentioned in the release plan. Hopefully they are just lumping it in with the Composite extension. Even if we don’t see it this release, with composite and damage being released, it will be following soon. Coolness. 2004-07-10 2:20 am It will be truely awesome to see this come out so quickly. I really wasn’t expecting to see this for another 6 months at least. I’ve seen these extensions in action in vesa mode, and that was impressive enough. To have these with OpenGL support is just going to really be awesome. I’d still really like to see improved hardware support for the fdo Xserver (the other one, not Xorg). Its so small (15megs) its nearly 1/10th the size of Xorg, and it would really be a good thing to take advantage of for installers, live cds, and things of that nature. 2004-07-10 2:47 am Regarding the size of the new server, keep in mind that isn’t counting the size of the xlibraries and fonts and stuff. It still should be smaller altogether though. 2004-07-10 5:34 am How about a summary on a news site and not just dumping a link to a mailing list archive for which you don’t even know to which message this news refers to? 2004-07-10 6:21 am I second that. Digging through some of those posts to find the usefull stuff wasnt very pleasant. 2004-07-10 8:19 am They should fix all the critical issues before releasing a new Xorg version. Lockup of the System when switching from X <-> Console, When switching to Console the X process eats 100% of the CPU, Remove the requirement of having Motif as dependency before being able to compile Xorg and the general mess and breaks they have caused (which was one of the reasons for XFree86 to change license and throwing them out). My informations are based upon ATI drivers, Xorg from CVS and the 2.6.x Kernel. When looking back to XFree86, their CVS and the years I’ve been using it then I must say that I was more pleased by XFree86 than Xorg because XFree86 was always stable, no matter what changes they made to CVS (which also was plenty) but there was no time in the years I’ve using it that caused such fatal damages to my system as those I’ve been experiencing with Xorg. I am sure that XFree86 requires changes but I am not so sure whether the Xorg people have the skills to handle all this. Keith Packard and Jim Gettys seem to work on KDrive rather than Xorg so those two seem to be not responsible for Xorg. 2004-07-10 8:43 am > Also the new X.org is supposed to use the regular autotools, > which is nice. The world again has one less crappy > buildsystem. Next up on the chopping block is the whole > /usr/X11R6 hierarchy crap, and about time. To BlackCat and the others. There exists a few different versions of XFree86 a) XFree86 itself, b) Xouvert as branch of XFree86, c) Xorg as fork from XFree86 before the license change, d) KDrive as something depending on XFree86 but an entirely different approach. Xorg does NOT have any auto* tools, you are probably mixing KDrive with Xorg here. KDrive does have auto* tools support but the auto* stuff is quite limited and broken in CVS. 2004-07-10 12:31 pm to Palerider… Yes their is an autotools Xorg, it’s called debrix and it’s a modularised version of Xorg, the work is being done by Daniel Stone (and someone else whose name i can’t remember atm), who happens to be the Debian Xfree86 maintainer… So yes, their is an autotools version, but it won’t be apart of the next Xorg release… 2004-07-10 12:56 pm Well, I must say I’d really like to see the translucency in action. I also find it useful, not eye candy. Have you never wanted to browse the web while being able to watch the chatroom? Especially useful on small monitors, and for those who do not know how to properly arrange their windows, and to the latter I belong 2004-07-10 2:22 pm Well, it seems that you haven’t quite follewed the xorg. The persons which hack on xorg have gone from xfree86 to xorg. ( Mostly of them, xfree86 have been left alone ) The errors you are having are something about your hardware, check your logs and go ask on the irc channel. xorg is a fresh breath which have been needed for ages and have set linux too much back. Xfree86 developer model was too slow. Killing developers motivation, the next year we will see a huge development to xorg. When Xextensions get common, then everyone can write good extensions to xorg. And before you say the developers don’t have enough skills.. Check Keith Packard, Daniel Stone and Anholt (Can’t remember last name) cv’s. They are all masterminds of their kind and have worked with the X server in many years. 2004-07-10 3:32 pm I need transparent windows like I need a hole in my head. Er, a hole in my xterm. Why is LESS READABLE text good??? My X server leaks memory. Lots of Mozilla and xli windows on a simple GNOME desktop leads to my X server eating up hundreds of megabytes of RAM. About once a month, I have to shut down the X server to recover this memory. Better control over bad apps would be great. If you change xterm to use Motif menus, you’ll lock up the X server! (it has something to do with a server grab) I’ve had my screensaver fail to grab the mouse. Security would be great. I have no way to let an untrusted app safely connect to my X server. If I just use xhost+ to open my DISPLAY to the world, people can screw with me. Integration with the NSA SE Linux project would be good. The ability to tell a real dialog box from an image of one would be helpful, perhaps by greying out all but the active window and its border. 2004-07-10 6:02 pm > The errors you are having are something about your hardware, > check your logs and go ask on the irc channel. So, you say that having Xorg depend on Motif is related to my errorous hardware ? Get some clue. I have the tendency to say that having Xorg lock up my entire Desktop when switching from Console back to X is more a Xorg related issue of having broken some junk rather than my broken and errorous hardware. Setting Xorg up is no much different than setting up XFree. They even share the same freaking configuration. Only thing changed here is the name of the XServer. Keith Packard works on KDrive and not on Xorg at least that’s what I was able to figure out when reading the Changelog of Xorg. Needed changes – of course that’s no problems but changes shouldn’t mean that you break other stuff. If Daniel Stone is such a skilled person, then why did he seriously blown up XFree86 some months ago and got his pants shitten by the XFree86 maintainer ? 2004-07-10 6:22 pm “They even share the same freaking configuration. Only thing changed here is the name of the XServer. ” buddy. xorg is just a rc of xfree86 before the license change. no wonder it behaves the same. besides cvs stuff is bound to do nasty thing. if you are going to evaluate xorg independantly from xfree86 wait for atleast a couple of releases. right now there is NO major difference 2004-07-10 8:42 pm That’s a holy grail of a link. Thanks! 2004-07-10 9:13 pm “That’s a holy grail of a link. Thanks!” it doesnt cover new stuff like debrix, the tree which covers auto tooled xorg but its very good otherwise 2004-07-10 9:46 pm Thnx for posting this link! Although a little bit outdated, it’s really interessting. Yet I believe that my statements still stands: I hope that there’ll be a new interview or at least a summary that normal human beings understand (no offence). BTW: I really appreciate the hard work of Keith Packard. Is that man working full time on his application… Man… he’s fast 2004-07-10 10:06 pm “BTW: I really appreciate the hard work of Keith Packard. Is that man working full time on his application… Man… he’s fast ” yes. he is sponspored by hp and contributes time to debian. works on kdrive and xorg primarily 2004-07-11 11:17 am CVS is not meant to be stable in any moment, CVS is a way to introduce innovation in a project. Stable CVS between two release is a CVS without a sufficient amount of new things. It’s normal to have problems with CVS, if you want to use it prepare to see bugs and FILL bug reports instead of trolling here. 2004-07-11 8:41 pm Security would be great. I have no way to let an untrusted app safely connect to my X server. Actually, there is, check out the docs on the Magic Cookies. (no really). However, a much easier way is to port (encapsulate?) X over ssh. You need to enable X forwarding on ssh on the machine you are connecting to by setting the following in your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file; X11Forwarding yes X11DisplayOffset 10 Depending on your setup and usernames, you can then use ssh -X username@machine ssh -X machine Any programs you on the connected machine will then automagically appear on your display, with some real 768-bit encryption security goodness. If you implement passwordless logins, you can use the syntax ssh -X machine program, and ‘transperantly’ have remote programs run on your machine from a normal menu item. 2004-07-12 7:50 am >And before you say the developers don’t have enough skills.>. Check Keith Packard, Daniel Stone and Anholt (Can’t >remember last name) cv’s. They are all masterminds of their >kind and have worked with the X server in many years. I’m afraid you are mistaken about Anholt and Stone (there’s no evidence that they are have skills outside building code). Neither is likely to be able to answer any questions about the server that I couldn’t by grep. 2004-07-12 10:23 pm i’ve heard about the `composite, damage’ extensions that allow you to do true/realtime translucent windows and better drawing, ok yay! that sounds cool but im not intersted in those right now. im interested in the new build method that i think is going to use the autotools programs, i don’t like the `make World’ bloat that ends with a lot of crap in /usr/X11R6, i want to do ./configure –prefix=/usr –disable-all-the-crap-that-i-dont-want –enable-good-stuff. im interested in the modularization and split of `librarys, programs, xservers’ which is a good thing and i suspect that is the debrix project for. if linux is going to be a real desktop solution i think we need a decent x11 implementation first, new feautures new innovations and not just bug fixes all the time.