It's long been a topic of what parts of X.Org should be killed with fire. There's plenty of dated and obscure X.Org and Mesa drivers around for hardware that hasn't even been manufactured in years and are rarely used. At XDS Toulose and on other occasions it's been decided not to do a massive purge of all these legacy graphics drivers for Linux. Old hardware support by the X Server has once again been brought up, but this time it's about monitors.
The X.Org Server 1.10 merge window closes tomorrow for for its release schedule so that it can ideally be released on time in mid-February (hopefully we will finally see X.Org 7.6 before then too). This next X.Org Server release isn't particularly interesting but is more along the lines of a big maintenance update with some new fun on the input side.
We have been tipped off that a few VA-API patches have hit the upstream libva tree for furthering along Google's Android support for this video acceleration API. VA-API is arguably the second best video playback acceleration API available to Linux users, after the NVIDIA-created VDPAU.
Being brought up from the discussion surrounding the RadeonHD driver being vandalized, which wound up just being a prank by two X.Org developers to torment one of the former RadeonHD developers, was a discussion why more companies don't contribute back to X.Org. Do companies think the X.Org code is too hard? That it's not worth the time? Is it all politics?
Somebody with root access to the FreeDesktop.org server decided to vandalize the RadeonHD graphics driver in this Git commit. The make files were deleted and replaced with "It's dead, Jim" and a Git commit message line of "PERHAPS BONGHITS WILL FIX MY MAKEFILE." The supplied email address was "email@example.com."
It was less than one month ago that Pixman 0.20 was released with faster image scaling, faster affine transformations, ARM NEON improvements, and SSE2 back-end optimizations, among other new features. The first development release towards Pixman 0.22 has now been released and it too brings more performance optimizations.
Canonical's Chase Douglas has corralled Daniel Stone's X Input 2.1 Multi-Touch patches and have readied them for integration into the X.Org Server and related software components.
Alan Coopersmith has announced the first release candidate of X.Org 7.6. Originally the X.Org 7.6 release was supposed to come in October, but that didn't happen and now into November we are finally seeing the first test katamari.
Two days ago there were some ATI R300 GLSL compiler optimizations made to the open-source Radeon driver stack by Tom Stellar as part of his Google Summer of Code project as a student developer to improve the R300 GLSL compiler support. This code is still living in a branch outside of Mesa, but some progress has been made. Though the R300 GLSL compiler optimization work was just one of five projects that were part of the 2010 Google Summer of Code for X.Org. Here's a few words on the other student projects.
A few weeks ago we reported that notebook hybrid graphics switching on Linux still sucks. For these newer laptops that boast dual GPUs -- an integrated low-power IGP and a more performance-oriented discrete GPU for demanding environments with switching between the two being done "seamlessly" in real-time based upon usage or via a hot-key -- the support under Linux is still virtually nonexistent. There is a crude form of Linux GPU switching, but for the most part it's not nearly up to par for what's available in Microsoft Windows 7 or Apple Mac OS X. The situation remains that way, but some small progress has been made.
While NVIDIA may not be focusing upon supporting the Wayland Display Server at this time, they are continuing to focus upon improving the experience of their driver with the X.Org Server. Three months after putting out their most recent X Sync object patches, they are now out with a revised set.
Haitao Feng, a software engineer at Intel China believed to be working on MeeGo, has come forward seeking clarification on the future of Xephyr and KDrive. Intel is still interested in Xephyr and Haitao is willing to maintain it, especially after doing work to add OpenGL acceleration to this KDrive-based X Server that targets a host on another X Server as it's frame-buffer.
Just over a week ago we reported on Pixmain gaining improved gradients and is rendering much faster in the project's latest development release. Now this free software project that provides pixel manipulation capabilities for the X Server and Cairo, has reached its version 0.20.0 stable milestone.
Apple's Jeremy Huddleston released X.Org Server 1.9.1 this past weekend, and now he has laid out plans for the next point release in the xorg-server 1.9 series. This release will carry the same type and quality of fixes as presented in X.Org Server 1.9.1 and should be released in December.
Mario Kleiner has published patches over the weekend that introduce precise vblank time-stamping support within the Linux kernel's DRM core and has implemented this support already within the Radeon and Intel kernel drivers too. The precise vblank timestamps and counting is needed by the DRI2 sync and swap extensions and in particular to conform with the OML_sync_control extension.
X.Org Server 1.9.1 was released yesterday, which led us to wonder about the status of the X.Org 7.6 katamari that was supposed to come at around the same time as this first stable point release. We hadn't heard anything about the X.Org 7.6 release schedule in weeks and before that the target to ship this grouped collection of X packages was mid-October, which has clearly passed.
As we mentioned earlier, Apple's Jeremy Huddleston took over release management of the X.Org Server 1.9 series now that it's stable and will only receive bug-fixes from this point on. Meanwhile, Keith Packard and the gang of X.Org developers are focusing on X.Org Server 1.10 to have that ready by early next year. Jeremy Huddleston on this Saturday night has just made his first point release, X.Org Server 1.9.1.
While Cairo is frequently mentioned on Phoronix, mentioned less but used by Cairo (as well as the X.Org Server) for pixel manipulation is the Pixman library. Soeren Sandmann announced a new release candidate of Pixman 0.19.6 this afternoon and it has a few interesting changes worth noting.
Takashi Iwai of Novell/SuSE has just published a series of 18 patches for the X.Org Synaptics input driver that primarily provides multi-touch support. There's also some fixes and other changes to this Synaptics driver for X, but the primary feature is the addition of multi-touch support under Linux (and other X.Org-using operating systems) for supported hardware.
Under the release management of Apple's Jeremy Huddleston, the first release candidate for the first point release in the X.Org Server 1.9 series is now available. X.Org Server 1.9.1 will be the first update to X.Org Server 1.9, which was released in August, and should make it out around the same time as the X.Org 7.6 katamari release later in October.
Besides talking about the X.Org Server development process and the X.Org Server 1.10 plans, Keith Packard also talked about not running the X.Org Server as root (also sometimes referred to as a "root-less X Server") during XDS Toulouse.
The 2010 X.Org Developers' Summit in Toulouse has been over for a week, but the disappointing weather in Munich today Oktoberfest finally made it sound more enticing to take care of the remaining XDS 2010 coverage rather than drinking Augustiner in a wet pair of lederhosens. With that said, below are the video recordings of when Keith Packard and Peter Hutterer were talking about the X.Org Server development process changes that have resulted in surprisingly on-time releases.
As a reminder to those interested in participating in our annual Linux Graphics Survey, there's now less than a week before this survey officially is over at month's end. This survey is meant to provides some quantitative data about what the Linux community is most interested in when it comes to graphics driver features and the hardware and drivers currently being most utilized, etc.
A few days back I reported on the first operating system where you may see the Wayland Display Server used rather than an X.Org Server after talking with Kristian Høgsberg while in Toulouse. At the X.Org Developer Summit' he talked to everyone about EGL in Mesa, which also plays an important role with Wayland.
The last talk of the 2010 X.Org Developers' Summit was regarding X.Org Server 1.10. The good news is that nearly every X.Org graphics driver will not be merged back into the xorg-server repository.
The X.Org Developers' Summit in Toulouse, France just ended and it's time in the morning to head to Oktoberfest to meet with many Phoronix readers at this annual outing. XDS 2010 turned out to be a wonderful event and more organized than some X.Org events in the past. Thanks to the wonderful organization by Matthieu Herrb, the venue itself was nice, the social event last night was terrific, the Internet and power at the event was plenty, etc. Stay tuned for Phoronix notes and some audio/video recordings to be published in the coming days, beyond what has already been reported. At XDS 2010 it was also brought up where to host XDS 2011.
While X Server 1.10 is not being discussed at length until tomorrow (the final day of XDS Toulouse), besides today's notes, Luc Verhaegen who formerly was with Novell working on the RadeonHD driver and has also worked on the open-source VIA Unichrome driver and a few other X related projects, is preparing for another heated battle.
More details will come later along with the audio/video recordings that ended out the X.Org Developers' Summit in Toulouse, but here are a few random bits from so far today:
Originally at the X.Org Developers' Summit here in Toulouse this week there was going to be a talk entitled "Kill It With Fire" where Corbin Simpson (mostly known for his work on the ATI R300 Gallium3D driver) was going to be speaking about what drivers or parts of X.Org should be eliminated from the stack. This talk though is no longer occurring, in part as Corbin is no longer in attendance; he washed his US passport in the laundry.
Scheduling issues had plagued X.Org Server development for the past few years: to the point that even delivering a point release had come more than a year late and major X Server releases were never delivered on time. This though has fortunately changed.
806 X.Org news articles published on Phoronix.