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  • Proposed Process Changes For X Server 1.8

    Phoronix: Proposed Process Changes For X Server 1.8

    While the X.Org developers are responsible for a lot of critical code and much of it is quite old and massive, they are often challenged by hitting a release on time and often face multiple release schedules before coming close to delivering a new X Server / X.Org release. Just take a look at X.Org 7.4 Finally Released, X.Org 7.5 Released...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzU2Mw

  • #2
    These sound like excellent proposals to me. It's just a stupid thing to keep delaying a release because one of the many new features isn't ready but it is being developed in the git master.

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    • #3
      Kudos to Mr. Hutterer for grabbing this massive, raging bull by the horns.

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      • #4
        I'm shocked something like this wasn't proposed sooner. Those look like rather obvious things.

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        • #5
          This way Xorg, KDE , GNOME would have the same 6 month release cycle... If only those would be synced to happen at the same time ... Would be so nice...

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          • #6
            Yeah and if only all features took as long to be written and if only all coders wrote code as fast and... Oh, wait, it's impossible in practice?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by loonyphoenix View Post
              I'm shocked something like this wasn't proposed sooner. Those look like rather obvious things.
              yes, maybe. But the problem wasn't figuring out that there are problems with the releases. The problem was that nobody stepped up to feel responsible for the releases, to grab the related work and do it.

              Peter does exactly that, and that's a good thing.

              Originally posted by val-gaav View Post
              This way Xorg, KDE , GNOME would have the same 6 month release cycle... If only those would be synced to happen at the same time ... Would be so nice...
              Having everyone release at the same time sounds good at first, but instantly upgrading every piece of software in a system rarely goes well, because nobody had a chance to test their release against everyone else's release beforehand. Imagine all those projects releasing today, and ubuntu just puts the new version on an iso and releases, too!

              There has to be a sliding schedule, with the bottom of the stack releasing first, then the one next up. After an xorg release, the KDE/GNOME devs want some time to test their code against the new xorg before releasing. After the KDE/GNOME-Releases, the distros want some testing before shipping. etc


              but all that is only important if you care about half-yearly time-based distro releases. I personally don't (gentoo), but many do.

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              • #8
                I love this proposal. I think it adapts terribly well to the nature of free software building; both for the effects on the project itself and for the effects on the rest of the projects that depend on it.

                So, I think this idea should be not only implemented at X.org but also copied by other free software projects.

                I think chaos can be tamed on the free software ecosystem thanks to this techniques. And if we achieve that, a resonance effect will emerge producing a wave of freedom that will smash window panes all across Microsoft offices. FUCK YES!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                  Yeah and if only all features took as long to be written and if only all coders wrote code as fast and... Oh, wait, it's impossible in practice?
                  If a feature isn't ready in time, it isn't merged in during that window. Each release of X.Org will have the features that become stable during its development period. This works for every other FOSS project with time-based releases.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rohcQaH View Post
                    Having everyone release at the same time sounds good at first, but instantly upgrading every piece of software in a system rarely goes well, because nobody had a chance to test their release against everyone else's release beforehand. Imagine all those projects releasing today, and ubuntu just puts the new version on an iso and releases, too!

                    There has to be a sliding schedule, with the bottom of the stack releasing first, then the one next up. After an xorg release, the KDE/GNOME devs want some time to test their code against the new xorg before releasing. After the KDE/GNOME-Releases, the distros want some testing before shipping. etc


                    but all that is only important if you care about half-yearly time-based distro releases. I personally don't (gentoo), but many do.
                    I share your observations but not the conclusion. I think there is an optimal solution: To share release frequency, but offsetting stack levels by the alpha stage. So each team starts to develop over closed APIs.

                    This means that for (e.g.) Ubuntu 10.10 development to be started by May, apps should be in beta by May. And for apps development to be started by February, its components should be in beta by February. And so on.

                    Well, probably real life is more complex than that, but I think that if it makes sense conceptually, we should be able to manage ourselves to make it happen.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                      Yeah and if only all features took as long to be written and if only all coders wrote code as fast and... Oh, wait, it's impossible in practice?
                      No, it isn't impossible in practice. The fglrx drivers of AMDT/ATI for the Radeon cards have released like this for about two years now, with monthly releases.

                      Yes, we can read frustrated chief editors claiming "nothing exiting this month" etc. But, so what. They release. And they release smaller and gradual improvements more often, and, larger and more involving changes as well, but less often. Like it is expected to be.

                      So, I think this step is in the correct direction.

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                      • #12
                        For years I've been waiting for a clipboard that remembers clips after I close an app. Finally, possibly there is hope.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sabriah View Post
                          No, it isn't impossible in practice. The fglrx drivers of AMDT/ATI for the Radeon cards have released like this for about two years now, with monthly releases.
                          You mean with these bug-free and well-tested monthly releases that no one ever complains about?
                          Seriously though, we all know that's a moronic example. People have to resort to betas of future versions because monthly releases just don't suffice. Sure, if everyone used X.org as git snapshots too, we wouldn't have all this hassle with versions. But as it is, you seem to be more forgiving on AMD/ATi developers for not delivering features in time for releases than X.org. Why's that?
                          Last edited by nanonyme; 09-27-2009, 06:27 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
                            [...] you seem to be more forgiving on AMD/ATi developers for not delivering features in time for releases than X.org. Why's that?
                            Because I have worked as a developer and I know hard it can be to deliver...

                            Guess why I don't work as one any longer.

                            I do still code, but not for someone else.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sabriah View Post
                              Yes, we can read frustrated chief editors claiming "nothing exiting this month" etc. But, so what. They release. And they release smaller and gradual improvements more often, and, larger and more involving changes as well, but less often. Like it is expected to be.
                              This makes NO sense. Sorry, but X.org, whether you take only the X-Server or X.org, is at a point where the main thing people complain about is missing features/unstable performance.

                              Let's try this from another viewpoint: What is your reason for upgrading to X-Server 1.7? Stability? Really? What got people excited was the possibilities of Multi-Pointer-X, and even that didn't make it completely.

                              I don't really get upgrading for upgradings sake. Bug-fix-releases are still happening, as 1.7.x. There is NO need to bump version-numbers and Apis without having anything interesting to show for.

                              Seeing how the X-Server has been growing for a few years, there's always a lot of old code involved when something like XInput or pciaccess gets reworked, so I personally would love it if they would wait with their releases till all the infrastructure gets reworked to deal with the changes completely, instead of bothering with releases that do just enough of the transition to not break this to badly(for example XInput 1.5 vs 2.0)

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