1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

X.Org Server 1.16 ABI Breakage Causes Concern

X.Org

Published on 29 April 2014 12:59 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
24 Comments

A late breakage to the X.Org Server 1.16 ABI is resulting in (arguably rightful) concern by the proprietary driver developers at NVIDIA.

On Monday a change was submitted to bump the ABI version number (to 18) for the X.Org video drivers as a result of some cursor changes. This quickly raised concerns by NVIIDA's Aaron Plattner since this breaks the ABI against xorg-server-1.15.99.902, which happened now that the X.Org Server 1.16 merge window closed and the code is into a bug-fixing state and thus should have a frozen API/ABI. The ABI breakage could be trivially fixed, but it wasn't.

The ABI break was attributed to a "temporary mistake of changing the function return type as a bug" so that existing drivers retail API compatibility with the new X.Org Server version, with the most important driver to Keith Packard as the X.Org Server maintainer being that of his employer -- the xf86-video-intel driver. NVIDIA has already been working on X.Org Server 1.16 support for their proprietary driver but this event has thrown an issue into their handling of their new support.

NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner ended his X.Org mailing list statement with, "This last-minute bumping of the ABI in what is supposed to be a code freeze happens rather frequently. Since this seems to be the preferred method of doing things, do you want to go back to the way it used to be, where the ABI is only really officially frozen once the .0 release comes out? I can certainly hold off adding official support for new ABIs until then, but please note that that will delay adoption of the new X server by distributions significantly due to the reasons I listed above."

Keith Packard of Intel responded with "1.16 is scheduled to be released at mid-year, we've still got two months to go. The freeze process for the X server takes half of the development cycle, and we're now one month into that. I'm not willing to ship 1.16 with the API that was released at the feature freeze; it has a bug where existing drivers would build and mostly run, except that cursors would fail in mysterious ways. That's clearly not acceptable for the 1.16 release. We either need an API change that breaks compilation (so that users are forced to fix them), or a cross-version compatible API. A cross-version compatible API is obviously preferred as that will allow people to separately migrate driver packages to the new API as they please."

At the time of writing this article on Monday evening there's no solid answer what will be done for X.Org Server 1.16, but we should see soon enough.

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 .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Scythe Mugen MAX
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E On Linux
  3. Intel 80GB 530 Series M.2 SSD On Linux
  4. With A New Motherboard, The Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Lights Up
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 7-Way Linux Desktop Gaming Comparison On Ubuntu 14.10
  2. Intel P-State vs. CPUFreq Benchmarks On The i7-5960X
  3. RadeonSI GLAMOR Benchmarks With X.Org Server 1.16
  4. RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst At 4K UHD On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Mesa Gets Closer To Having OpenGL 4.0 Tessellation Support
  2. Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd
  3. F2FS Tools Gain FSCK Support
  4. FreeBSD 10.1 Has The New VT Driver, Hardware Improvements
  5. AntiMicro 2.6 Yields Greater Compatibility For Gamepads On Linux
  6. OpenGL 3.3 / GLSL 3.30 Lands For Intel Sandy Bridge On Mesa
  7. AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Sees Some Improvements
  8. Mesa 10.3 Released With The Latest Open-Source GPU Driver Improvements
  9. GNOME 3.13.92 Officially Released
  10. Wine 1.7.27 Is Still Working Towards Direct2D Support
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. New stress testing utility for GPU's
  2. Stop grabbing my keyboard :(
  3. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  4. X.Org Women Outreach Program Only Turns Up Two Applicants So Far
  5. SSD seems slow
  6. R. Tyler restarts work on FreeBSD launchd port, openlaunchd
  7. Can Linux kill a motherboard?
  8. Glamor now enabled in Debian radeonsi