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X.Org XDC2013 Recap Of New Features Presented

X.Org

Published on 28 September 2013 11:09 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
3 Comments

The X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC) 2013 conference took place at the start of the week in Portland, Oregon. As usual, there's a number of Phoronix articles to go over in detail the many interesting presentations that took place this week concerning the X.Org Server, Mesa / Gallium3D graphics drivers, Mir, Wayland, and related Linux graphics initiatives.

While Phoronix in the past has provided live coverage (including audio/video recordings) of X.Org Developer Conferences/Summits going back several years, sadly this year there wasn't live coverage. The XDC2013 dates were changed after I had already booked the annual Phoronix @ Oktoberfest pilgrimage, which sadly caused a date conflict.

Even without being able to be there physically, due to many of the PDF slides being uploaded from the presentations, most of the video recordings, and other information from IRC and sources, I was able to make up most of the difference. Thus Phoronix has again served as the primary source for the X.Org news of the week in near real-time (which is also somewhat of a surprise given that the X.Org Foundation had provided travel funding to LWN but they don't even have any XDC articles yet...) and in focusing upon the interesting content relevant to our open-source Linux enthusiast / gamer readership.

Highlights of XDC2013 Portland included:

- The week kicked off with NVIDIA announcing that they would begin publishing open-source GPU documentation and trying to help Nouveau developers in their open-source NVIDIA driver. This is very much was a surprise given they haven't been too active in open-source desktop GPU support and have taken a neutral stance with Nouveau in the past. We'll see how the relationship pans out in the months ahead.

- Martin Peres covered how he and the Nouveau project are working to improve NVIDIA power management, albeit it's a long and complicated process. Martin also gave a status update on the Nouveau driver project.

- There's still a pursuit by David Herrmann on others to kill the Linux kernel's CONFIG_VT and to improve the overall DRM security.

- X.Org Server 1.15 was delayed to the end of the year. The delay comes as the xorg-server 1.15 release was scheduled to happen this month but hasn't really incorporated any new features. There's hope now with the delayed release XWayland, DRI3, the GLX Rewrite, and other new code will land.

- Brian Paul, the history of the Mesa project, recapped the past 20 years of Mesa from how he started this open-source OpenGL library implementation to where it's at today.

- Given the X.Org Foundation's accounting troubles, their temporary loss of 501(c)(3) non-profit status, and overall disorganization, X.Org will consider merging with SPI.

- There was a brief Mir presentation about possible code sharing.

- NVIDIA talked about new EGL possibilities.

- A status update was given by AMD's Tom Stellard on Gallium3D OpenCL compute support -- some is working now, but many features are still to be implemented.

- Mesa 10.0 with OpenGL 3.3 is being planned as the next Mesa release and it will likely be out in November.

- The X.Org Sever's GLX code is being rewritten and will result in the xorg-server losing some (lines of code) weight.

- Eric Anholt at Intel is still working on the concept of Mesa Mega Drivers to bundle all the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers into a single .so file.

- Keith Packard's work on X.Org DRI3 support is almost complete. DRI3/DRI3000 was first proposed at least year's X.Org Developers' Conference.

- NVIDIA and Red Hat partnered up to work on process address support for GPUs/drivers.

- The new Linux OpenGL ABI that improves how the OpenGL drivers are present on Linux-based systems is almost becoming a real possibility. NVIDIA continues to invest and back this project.

- Matthias Hopf covered how Gallium3D's LLVMpipe can be useful in his university teachings for students.

- There was a Wayland status update, but no PDF slides are available right now, there is no YouTube video uploaded (Update: The video is now uploaded.), and the X.Org-hosted MP4 video file doesn't seem to work.

- Rob Clark covered the state of open-source ARM GPU drivers including Etnaviv, GRATE, Lima, and Freedreno.

Other details on XDC2013 can be found via the X.Org Wiki.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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