Earlier this month we had shared the progress of X.Org 7.4 with the features slated to be included in this next X release, what features have been postponed, and the repeated delays that always seem to plague the X.Org development community. Since then there still has yet to be any official update on its status, but the Wiki continues to claim a May 2008 release. Fortunately, yesterday Adam Jackson stepped up again and released a number of X package updates, which places us a bit closer to reaching this much-delayed release.
If you recall, it wasn't until February of this year when Adam Jackson had stepped up to the plate as the X.Org 7.4 release manager due to Red Hat's interest in shipping this software within Fedora 9. Fedora 9 "Sulphur" has since shipped with an X Server 1.5 pre-release and the other latest packages, thereby placing X.Org 7.4 final into Fedora 10. On a positive note, Fedora is the first distribution shipping with preliminary kernel-based mode-setting support for Intel graphics.
Among the packages checked in yesterday by Adam Jackson were new versions of libpciaccess, xfs, xdpyinfo, xdm, xinit, xf86-input-elo2300, xf86-input-elographics, xf86-input-evdev, xf86-input-keyboard, xf86-video-cirrus, xf86-video-neomagic, xf86-video-s3virge, and xf86-video-savage. While none of these 13 packages are similar in magnitude to seeing X Server 1.5.0 checked in, this is indeed a step forward. Among the noteworthy changes from these newly-minted packages are libpciaccess 0.10.2 bringing pciaccess support to OpenBSD and DragonFly BSD, xf86-input-evdev adding back XKB support as well as new support for the DIX motion history API, and various bug fixes can be found in all of the packages.
In regards to X Server 1.5, the last development release was v188.8.131.521, which happened back in March. At the time of writing this article, however, X Server 184.108.40.2062 has been tagged in git within the server-1.5-branch, but no official release announcement has yet appeared. The release plan for X.Org 7.4 has three development releases planned (220.127.116.112, 18.104.22.1683, and 22.214.171.1241) before going gold. X Server 126.96.36.1992 was scheduled to be released on March 14 or March 21 of this year, and with this release just coming now, it effectively places X.Org 7.4 two months behind schedule. On the plus side, X Server 188.8.131.522 does contain a fair amount of work from DRI2 to EXA alterations to obscure bug fixes. In total, between X Server 184.108.40.2061 and 220.127.116.112 were 94 commits. On a similar note, X Server 1.4.1 was intended to be a bug-fix release for X.Org 7.3, but it still hasn't been released. X Server 1.4.1 was originally slated for release last November, or seven months ago.
To reiterate some of the X.Org 7.4 features from our previous article, this release will ship with more of the drivers using libpciaccess for PCI communication, updates for X.Org on Mac OS X, compositing tests for x11perf, improved X startup/shutdown, and DRI2 integration. Sadly though, it looks like X.Org 7.4 -- which was once scheduled for release in February 2008 -- will not ship until the July timeframe. On the X.Org 7.4 bug tracker (BugZilla entry) there are still over three dozen open bugs. As the X.Org 7.4 cycle drags out, it looks like X.Org 7.5 will turn into a H1'2009 release. X.Org 7.5 will ship with Multi-Pointer X (MPX), X Generic Events, input hotness, and more than likely will be RandR 1.3.