X Server 1.8.0 Gets A Release Date
X Server 1.7 was released one week ago, but the release schedule for X Server 1.8 has now been decided by its release manager, Keith Packard. According to what was just committed to the X.Org Wiki, X Server 1.8 is planned for release on the 31st of March, 2010. In order to meet this release date, the end of the merge window is 31st of December and the end of the bug-fix window is on the 28th of February.
X Server 1.8 is going to be the first release that follows the new X.Org development process. Last month prior to the X Developers' Conference, Peter Hutterer called for a new development process in which each developer must now develop their code within their own branch and not the X.Org Server master branch, where as -- similar to Linux kernel development -- the release manager must pull in your code. Further following the Linux kernel development process, the X.Org process now has a feature merge, bug-fix, and release freeze stages. Lastly, Peter called for predictable time-based releases on a six month cycle. The agreed upon version of this release process also calls for X.Org drivers to be merged back into the X Server core by the X Server 1.10 release (to come in 2011). This new release process is coming after numerous failed attempts of delivering an X.Org / X Server release on time, but ideally this new process will put them in line for delivering a quality release on schedule.
If this release is made on time, X Server 1.8.0 will also be released on the same day as the planned GNOME 3.0 release; what an exciting day! The Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release schedule has the feature freeze for the Lucid Lynx closing a month before the X Server 1.8 release, but hopefully the development will be on track that a development release gets pulled into Ubuntu 10.04 prior to the end of February. This X Server 1.8 release plan should allow it to land with sufficient time for Fedora 13 and others landing in mid-to-late Q2'2010.
X Server 1.8 should incorporate XKB2, offer improvements to X Input 2, improved EXA performance, and more.
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