X11 Archive

X.Org Server 1.11 Released

"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."

X.org 7.5 Released

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.

Editorial: X Could Learn a Lot from Vista, Windows 7

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.

Linux Gets Native Multitouch Support

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.

The X Window Innovation

"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."

A Working X Input 2 Implementation

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.

Red Hat’s Plymouth Sees New Work

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.

X Server 1.6.0 Released

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.

Improving Linux GPU Power Management

Red Hat's Matthew Garrett has actively been working on improving power management with graphics processors via the various open-source X.Org drivers. There is quite a lot of work involved, but at the FOSDEM x.org meeting he shared an update on his progress. In particular, Matthew is trying to conserve power with the GPU, memory, outputs, and displays. Read on to understand Red Hat's work on power management.

MaXX Interactive Desktop Brings a Little SGI to Linux

Most of you will be familiar with Silicon Graphics, Inc., once the proud leader in the graphics workstations market with their high-end MIPS workstations, running the UNIX System V based IRIX operating system. The company has been in steady decline for a long time now, and two years ago it put an end to its MIPS product line, favouring processors from Intel. Back to IRIX - it has many assets and good features (XFS, for instance), and the IRIX Interactive Desktop was certainly one of them. Sadly, it never properly made its way out of IRIX, but this is now being worked on, with the full support from SGI.