X.Org Server: Merging Drivers Back In, Avoiding Regressions
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 15 September 2011 at 08:19 AM EDT. Add A Comment
Ending XDC2011 Chicago on Wednesday afternoon was a discussion led by Apple's Jeremy Huddleston, Intel's Keith Packard, and Oracle's Alan Coopersmith. The discussion was about X.Org Server release schedules. The two main points brought up is merging the drivers back into the X.Org Server tree as well as aiming for a regression-free X.Org Server by reverting any commits to the server Git tree that are regressions that aren't fixed within one week's time.

Any regression without a credible fix within one week's time is now going to be reverted by Keith Packard. The user simply needs to bring it to his attention and if there isn't any fix within a week (or signs of an imminent fix), the commit will be dropped until it can be reworked. This will hopefully lead to a less-buggy X11 Server and also make it easier to stick to the xorg-server release schedules.

The other big item is that the X.Org drivers are likely to be merged back into the X.Org Server. This has been a hot discussion item now for two years at the X.Org conferences and on the mailing list, and there is still some opposition. However, this time it looks like merging the drivers back in has the majority support now that the servers are being released routinely on-time and other concerns addressed. Luc Verhaegen and enterprise distribution vendors largely remain the ones in stiff opposition.

A final discussion will likely take place on the mailing list with possible voting to finalize the decision. Maintainers of video and input drivers not wishing to push the driver into the xorg-server tree can still let them live externally, but they'll be responsible for handling X.Org Server API/ABI breaks.

The developers want to merge the drivers back in so that they can clean up the API and it also makes it easier to bisect regressions when the drivers are being built at the same time as the xorg-server and should always be compliant with the server in question.

That's the short-end of the story for what was brought up during the release schedules discussion.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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