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.