Wayland 1.0 was officialy released on October 22. Wayland is a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients as well as a C library implementation of that protocol. The compositor can be a standalone display server running on Linux kernel modesetting and evdev input devices, an X application, or a wayland client itself. The clients can be traditional applications, X servers (rootless or fullscreen) or other display servers.
"This is an introductory overview post for the Linux Graphics Stack, and how it currently all fits together. I initially wrote it for myself after having conversations with people like Owen Taylor, Ray Strode and Adam Jackson about this stack. I had to go back to them every month or so and learn the stuff from the ground up all over again, as I had forgotten every single piece. I asked them for a good high-level overview document so I could stop bothering them. They didn't know of any. I started this one. It has been reviewed by Adam Jackson and David Airlie, both of whom work on this exact stack." Introductory or no, still pretty detailed.
We have some very good news for those of us with a love for the Common Desktop Environment. I'm a huge fan of CDE - I've even dedicated an article to it - so I'm excited about this. CDE has been released as open source under the LGPL, and can be downloaded as of today for Debian and Ubuntu. Motif will follow later.
John Goerzen, Debian/GNU Linux developer, transitions his kids from bash to xmonad: "I'd been debating how to introduce GUIs for a very long time. It has not escaped my attention that children that used Commodores or TRS-80s or DOS knew a lot more about how their computers worked, on average, than those of the same age that use Windows or MacOS. I didn't want our boys to skip an entire phase of learning how their technology works." I decided long ago that my kids - if I ever have them, I'm undecided and way too young - will learn computing the way I learned it: with a CLI. I never realised an xmonad setup would form a good transition phase into GUIs.
"Although current discussion of the Linux desktop tends to focus on the disharmony around Unity and the GNOME shell, the true revolution on the desktop is taking place out of sight of users. The Wayland display server is expected to reach version 1.0 later this year, and is seen by many as the long term replacement for the X Window System, with real potential to improve and transform the performance of the desktop for Linux users."
"This is the first real release of Wayland and Weston. Wayland is the protocol and IPC mechanism while Weston is the reference compositor implementation. The 0.85 branch in both repositories is going to be protocol and interface stable. We have a series of protocol changes on the table before 1.0 but this branch marks a stable point before we jump into that." Change is coming to the Linux world. And yes, I get the irony of using this particular icon, but it's the closest I could find.
"X.Org Server 1.11 was officially released this Friday evening. X.Org Server 1.11 was originally planned for released in mid August, but then the unfortunate passing of Keith Packard's mother (the X.Org release manager) led to a one-week delay. Our condolences go out to Keith Packard and his family. After numerous belated releases from X.Org in the past, a one week delay is nothing to complain about, especially considering the sad circumstance. While this is a new major X.Org Server release, it's mostly about bug-fixing. X Input 2.1 was delayed (with its touch-related features) to the next X.Org Server release (or later), there isn't any RandR extensions (after RandR 1.4 was restarted), and just nothing to get too excited over, besides addressing outstanding issues. Regardless, it's an improvement that incorporates six months of enhancements."
"On Jan. 13, 2010 Xorg version 7.5 has landed to Debian unstable; one of the most notable additions to it was the XInput2 system, which incorporates the MPX efforts. So I hooked up a second USB mouse to my machine and started playing with it."
As a result of the MPX integration in the mainline X.Org Server, the French-based ENAC Interactive Computing Lab produced a new video showing off the new multi-touch capabilities using Fedora 12 with its X Server 1.7 and Linux 2.6.31 kernel.
X.org 7.5 has been released. This version includes DRI2, Multi-Pointer X, Input device properties, X Input Extension 2, RANDR 1.3 (adds support for panning and for Projective Transforms, which can be used to scale the screen up/down as well as perform projector keystone correct or other effects) and video and input driver enhancements. Here are the release notes.
Over the past couple of months, and especially over the past couple of weeks, I've been working very hard to write and complete my thesis. I performed all the work on Windows 7, but now that the thesis is finally done, submitted, and accepted, I installed Ubuntu - and immediately I was reminded of why I do not do any serious work on Linux: the train wreck that is X.org.
"Due to now living in a KMS-enabled world, at least on the Intel and ATI side (the NVIDIA side is still slowly but surely coming via Nouveau), it's rather easy to get the X Server running without any special rights. Intel's Jesse Barnes explains on the X.Org mailing list that only a small patch is needed for the X Server and then a trivial one to the Direct Rendering Manager in the kernel."
The Interactive Computing Lab team in ENAC, Toulouse, has been successful in collaboration with Linux developers in bringing native multi-touch support to Linux. While there is Multi-Pointer X in the mainline X.Org server (to be released with X.Org 7.5/X Server 1.7), we now have multi-touch support to be able to handle gestures and other actions. This multi-touch support requires the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. How this works right now is by reading the input events, translating them into multi-touch events using simple gesture recognition, and then sending D-Bus messages over to Compiz to produce multi-touch effects. Right now the code is deemed just a proof-of-concept, but they are currently working on a better implementation.
FSM has an article about improvements coming our way in X.org. "There's more coming our way than 'mere' graphical goodness: Xorg developers are about to unleash upon us more performance and ease of use than X ever knew before. Not only that, the work being done now will allow older hardware to perform better and new hardware to be supported faster."
Phoronix provides a status update on the Wayland Display Server project. The Wayland Display Server aims to be a mini-display server which makes use of the latest X and kernel technologies such as the Graphics Execution Manager and kernel mode-setting. It also comes with its own built-in compositing manager.
"Over time, many people have complained about the X Window system; the X Window system, or Xorg in its current most popular implementation, is the layer between applications and the graphics adapter. It has some fantastic features (like the ability to run application over the network) and some shortcoming. One thing is sure: it has evolved over the last year or so, immensely, especially as far as 3D and hardware acceleration."
Peter Hutterer, Red Hat Xorg developer has posted the code for the first X Input 2 implementation. Peter is well known for his work on Multi Pointer X (MPX) and has more information on his blog. "XI2 is important for two reasons. One, it's the client-side API that enables applications to make use of MPX. For obvious reasons, I have some interest in getting this done. The other part of XI2 (and why it is called XI2) is that it's a new version of the X Input Extension. One of the goals here is a cleaned up API that is less painful to use than the first, current, version." Phoronix has other details as well.
Kristian Hogsberg, Red Hat Xorg developer started a new project for creating a display manager called Wayland a while back. Now, a Clutter backend has been developed for it. Last month, Wayland got DRI2 support which itself was initiated by the same developer. Direct Rendering Infrastructure improvements are among one of the key Fedora 11 features.
Plymouth is a freedesktop.org project to create a flicker free graphical bootup system designed and developed by Red Hat and included in Fedora 10. Red Hat has been working on Xorg drivers and within the Linux kernel to improve and enhance the kernel mode support needed for Plymouth. Fedora 10 included support for many ATI cards and this is being developed further in Fedora 11 to cover Intel and Nvidia cards as well. Plymouth supports a flexible and powerful plug-in system which can be used to create Plymouth themes. Fedora includes several of them including a simple progress bar and the solar plugin. Now additional work is being done to improve many things and this will land up in Fedora 11 as well.
It's arriving about two months later than originally scheduled (and didn't arrive in 2008 like Intel wanted), but X Server 1.6 has been officially released this afternoon and it wasn't 212 days late like the infamous X Server 1.4.1 release. X Server 1.6 introduces the server bits for Direct Rendering Infrastructure 2 (the 3D bits can already be found in Mesa and the Intel driver), X Input 1.5 with device properties, Predictable Pointer Acceleration, and RandR 1.3. Beyond those key features, there are also a number of bug-fixes, EXA improvements, and various other improvements.