X11 Archive

X Marks the Spot: Looking back at X11 Developments of Past Year

For the past year, there has been a slow and steady stream of news events regarding XFree86, X11, or new X server implementations. To those not paying close attention (and even those who are), the meaning of some of these events may not be clear. In this brief article, I attempt to share my impression on what the changes mean for users of free software on the desktop. It appears that XFree86 is in some turmoil, and it may leave some to infer that free desktop systems will suffer.

XFree86 Changes License; Fear of Being GPL-Incompatible

The XFree86 Project modified their license (fully effective as of the upcoming 4.4.0 release). The updated license change applies to the base XFree86 license, and to source files that explicitly carry a copyright notice in the name of The XFree86 Project, Inc. Copyrights and licenses in the names of others will not be affected by this change, however some fear that these changes might be GPL-incompatible.

freedesktop.org xlibs 1.0 Released

Daniel Stone writes over at Slashdot: "A short time ago, freedesktop.org xlibs 1.0 was released. Simply put, this is the collection of libX11, libXext, and other little-used libraries that kind of power your whole desktop. The xlibs team at fd.o are now maintaining all these libraries, and more, and we're going to be making releases as part of the fd.o platform, which is far more wide-ranging, but it still forms an important part of the platform. Share and enjoy!"

X.org and XFree86 Reform as a Single Group

In a press conference held today at LinuxWorld 2004 in New York, members of the old X consortium, some members of the disbanded XFree86 core developer group, and Havoc Pennington of freedesktop.org announced that X.org and XFree86 have essentially merged, and that the reformed group is working together to bring "not just more eye candy but new functionality" to the X server for Linux and Unix. Our Take: We wonder what this means for Keith Packard's X implementation hosted at fd.o. Update: Apparently the above is not accurate, only a few (one?) developers joined X.org.

XFree86 Core Team Disbands

The XFree86 core team has announced that it is disbanding. What does this mean for the pending XFree86 4.4.0 release which was going to be out in January? (currently the latest version is 4.4-RC2). We hope that someone puts a release together to give something new to users before freedesktop.org's XWin server comes out at the end of 2004 or early 2005.

Open Source Desktop Technology Road Map

"This document attempts to give a sketch of the names and relationships of these technologies and projects, and a glimpse into their status and development. Some technologies have never proved themselves, and/or have been rendered obsolete by later development and are available primarily for legacy code. This document attempts to clarify much of this natural evolution and market selection." Read the X roadmap from Jim Gettys and await a long and interesting interview with freedesktop.org members on Monday, here, at OSNews.

How KDE & GNOME Fought their War and Got Things All Backwards

What if FreeDesktop.org started to become the "free software desktop project" and GNOME and KDE slowly became "flavours aimed at different audiences", Seth Nickell wonders in his blog. Seth is having some good ideas about how the future of X11 DEs should feel like, while down that page there is an extra explanation of Storage, the technology we reported last week that Seth is developing.

XFree86 forked into Xouvert

Xouvert is the open, innovative X server that brings tomorrow's technology to your desktop today It looks like they intend to keep everything public and out in the open. They will also be using some advanced development software as well. See the web site to learn more.