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The Mesa 3D Release Process Is Changing

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  • #16
    Mesa versioning is quite simple actually. There are feature releases and stable releases.
    • Feature releases happen after a set amount of time (previously 6 months, now we're aiming for 3 months).

      For example, 8.0 -> 9.0 or 9.0 -> 9.1. These are based on the latest development code (the 'master' branch in git). These include all the latest development work, including new features, performance improvements, and new hardware support.

      Normally, features are implemented as OpenGL extensions. Applications can immediately detect and use these once we support them. From time to time, Khronos releases a new version of OpenGL (i.e. 4.1). These are essentially a collection of extensions that are guaranteed to exist, which means applications can simply check for 4.1 rather than checking for an older version plus a list of extensions that provide the functionality they want.

      When core Mesa and at least one driver adds enough features to support a new OpenGL version, we bump the major version number. For example, 8.0 -> 9.0 happened when the i965 driver supported OpenGL 3.1. Other drivers like r600g weren't quite ready for 3.1 yet, but it gained support in the next release - 9.1.

      We don't bump the major version number on new OpenGL ES releases for some reason.
    • Stable/point releases happen every couple of weeks or when enough bug fixes accumulate to warrant one.

      For example, 9.1.3 and 9.1.4. These are based off of the stable branch (i.e. "9.1"), with bug fixes backported from master. These fix problems - for example, 9.1.4 makes Portal render correctly - but generally don't improve performance. They don't add any new OpenGL features whatsoever. We sometimes backport new hardware enablement, as that won't break anyone's system (since no one has one yet).

    You really don't want features or performance work in point releases - those tend to be destabilizing. Keeping the point releases as bug-fixes-only with a bit of platform enabling mixed in is essential for distros to be able to trust upstream and take new releases.

    The change being proposed here is to shorten the cycle on minor releases, which do add new features/performance, to get those into the hands of users more quickly. Our previous 6-month cycle also meant that if we didn't quite line up with your distro's 6-month release schedule (i.e. Fedora/Ubuntu/...), then you could be nearly a year behind schedule. With a 3-month cycle, this is less likely to occur. Plus, for rolling release distros, you'll get the latest and greatest much more quickly.
    Free Software Developer .:. Mesa and Xorg
    Opinions expressed in these forum posts are my own.


    • #17
      look good

      look like amd and nvidia pro... drivers final driver, every 3 months they give a new driver.its good for gammers

      for exemple unstabell mesa 9.2 have a lote of improvents on valve games