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Independent Developers Contribute A Lot To Mesa, X.Org

Michael Larabel

Published on 10 September 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 6 Comments

Next Tuesday at XDC2011 Chicago I am hosting a Q&A panel about contributing to X.Org and open-source projects, where the panel participants are largely comprised of well known X.Org and Mesa developers that began contributing while at university. In hopes of sparking new contributors to these key open-source projects, computer science students from the major Chicago universities have been invited to attend this panel discussion and anyone else wishing to learn more about open-source development. In preparation for this panel, I have been collecting some new development statistics on Mesa and X.Org.

Back in 2008 I provided some statistics on contributors to the X Server and the people behind Mesa 3D, but here's an up-to-date look as of 7 September. This time around, I used Gitstats for analyzing the Mesa and X.Org server repositories.

First up is the Mesa repository, which has data going back nearly 14 years. The Mesa code-base is over 1.4 million lines of code (1,403,419) and since its conception there have been more than 46,247 commits from around 400 different authors.

As can be seen from this Gitstats graph, Mesa development has certainly picked up going back to 2007. What's the reason for this? Well, largely the merging of Gallium3D to master and its continued work on Gallium3D drivers and state trackers. Also playing a large part is AMD's open-source strategy launched in late 2007. The Nouveau driver development also leads to many commits.

Top contributors (as measured by commit count) to Mesa include Brian Paul, Eric Anholt, Jose Fonseca, Keith Whitwell, Ian Romanick, Vinson Lee, David Airlie, and Marek Olsek. Most of these top contributors are VMware employees formerly from Tungsten Graphics, which was the consulting company built behind Mesa and Brian Paul being the founder of this project. VMware continues to be a very active contributor working on their "vmwgfx" driver for their virtualization platform and on advancing the Gallium3D driver architecture itself. Intel developers are also prominent contributors to Mesa due to their work not only on their DRI driver but also on the GLSL and OpenGL support and other core areas of Mesa.

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