X Server 1.6 was supposed to be out nearly a month ago, but today we are finally getting closer to nearing this much anticipated release. Intel's Keith Packard has announced the second release candidate for X Server 1.6.0. The RC2 release is arriving almost three weeks after the first release candidate was made available. Fixed in this release is a few RandR and input changes, but a majority of the work deals with Apple's XQuartz in the server.
NVIDIA has already released quite a few Linux drivers this year already that improve their VDPAU support and stabilize their OpenGL 3.0 implementation. Yesterday AMD had then released its first proprietary Linux driver of 2009 that brought OpenGL 3.0 support. While both sides are off to a good start, what else do you want to see from them and their drivers in 2009?
For those that haven't noticed or have forgot, X Server 1.6, which was the update Intel wanted out by the end of 2008, still hasn't been released. The latest schedule for X Server 1.6.0 called for a January 5th release, but that had simply passed by and there wasn't even a release candidate.
It's less than a month away until FOSDEM, the annual Linux European meeting for developers, is held in Brussels, Belgium, but the list of X.Org-related talks is beginning to be finalized.
Peter Hutterer, the mastermind behind Multi-Pointer X, has released the draft specification for the X Input 2.0 protocol.
The outlook turned grim for meeting the X Server 1.6 release schedule when no release candidate was out by Christmas (and we still have yet to see any tagged RC) and then when the final release date passed with no X Server 1.6 in sight. Nothing had been committed to the X Server 1.6 repository since the middle of December, but we are finally seeing some activity this afternoon.
During the last X Developers' Summit that took place at the Edinburgh Zoo, Keith Packard called for X Server 1.6 to be released by the end of 2008. Once the release schedule was set though, the final ship date for X Server 1.6.0 was the 5th of January. Well, today's the day and there is no release.
If you happen to be using a Silicon Motion GPUs, there's good news with its latest open-source driver update. A Mandriva engineer has released xf86-video-siliconmotion 1.7.0, which adds in some significant features. The capabilities of RandR 1.2 (including the rotation mode) are finally supported by this graphics driver along with dual-head support.
While Tungsten's Gallium3D architecture is still a ways out from being used by most open-source graphics drivers and then being picked up by end-users, it continues to pickup new technical features. Corbin Simpson and Stephane Marchesin that work on the Radeon and Nouveau projects, respectively, have been working to building LLVM back-ends for Gallium3D. Corbin is a step closer to getting his LLVM compiler working: it now builds, but it ends with a segmentation fault.
The X Server 1.6 release schedule called for the first release candidate to come about two weeks after the second beta. We ended up getting a third beta but more than two weeks have now passed and there is no X Server 1.6 release candidate available. It should have arrived earlier this week, but there hasn't even been any Git activity to the server-1.6-branch in nine days.
A month ago S3 announced the Chrome 500 GPU along with what we called a magical Linux driver. In the press release for this budget graphics card, S3 Graphics mentioned this product can handle Blu-Ray playback, DirectX 10.1, and OpenGL 3.0 applications on both Windows and Linux. Their previous binary Linux drivers have been less than pleasing and there isn't even an official Blu-Ray player on Linux. NVIDIA has been the only manufacturer to deliver OpenGL 3.0 support on Linux thus far.
In time for the holidays and the forthcoming release of X Server 1.6 next month, a horde of X.Org driver updates were released. David Airlie has announced new versions of xf86-video-trident, xf86-video-apm, xf86-video-ast, xf86-video-chips, xf86-video-glint, xf86-video-neomagic, xf86-video-sis, xf86-video-tseng, xf86-video-tdfx, xf86-video-s3, xf86-video-ark, and xf86-video-s3virge. Peter Hutterer announced a new version of xf86-input-vmmouse.
Late last month RandR 1.3 with panning support arrived and was committed to the forthcoming X Server 1.6 release. Many drivers have picked up the RandR 1.3 support presented thus far, but now the properties support has finally landed for version 1.3 of the Resize and Rotate extension.
With the grunt of the development efforts on the Linux 2.6.28 kernel winding down, soon the merge window for Linux 2.6.29 will open and that's where Intel is prepared to (finally) commit the kernel mode-setting framework and code that supports their hardware to the mainline Linux kernel. With this milestone finally coming, Intel's Jesse Barnes has updated libdrm with the needed files.
For those still living in XFree86 land, version 4.8.0 of this X Window System implementation is now available. This is the first major update to XFree86 in about a year and a half, but with changes that aren't too exciting and have already been available through X.Org.
There seemed to have been little buzz generated by this announcement when it first came about, but Tungsten Graphics has been acquired by VMware. They were acquired in late November for undisclosed terms and their only news mention of this acquisition is below (from their website).
Keith Packard pushed in 22 new commits to the server-1.6-branch of the X Server Git repository last night and then tagged X Server 1.6 Beta 3. This update is mostly made up of RandR 1.3 work along with a few commits related to X Input and DRI2.
Following a slight delay, Keith Packard has now tagged the second beta for X Server 1.6 in its git repository branch. Recent the 1.6 server has received updated documentation (just man pages), an upgraded dependence on dri2proto for the continued DRI2 work, and various X Input and XQuartz improvements. The commits to the server 1.6 branch are available through cgit.
Luc Verhaegen has announced today that the X.Org Foundation will once again have a development room at next year's FOSDEM. The Free Open-Source Developers' European Meeting is taking place on the 7th and 8th of February in Brussels, Belgium.
As part of his work on Multi-Pointer X, Peter Hutterer had developed the Generic Event Extension for X.Org, or commonly referred to as XGE. The X Generic Event Extension makes it possible for clients to reuse a single event opcode, which is needed with MPX since the X Server is currently limited to supporting only 64 opcodes between all X extensions.
RandR 1.3, the first major update to the X.Org Resize and Rotate extension since it picked up support for display hot-plugging and other goodies, has been finalized. RandR 1.3 has been in planning since last year, but over the past few weeks has really come together and is now ready for introduction in X Server 1.6.
X Server 1.6, the update to the X Server for X.Org 7.4 that Intel had called for by year's end, has just experienced a minor setback. The release schedule that came about two weeks ago had put the release branching and initial test release to occur on the 24th of November. However, the beta 1 release has been pushed back by a few days.
Ten days ago we launched our 2008 Graphics Survey to poll Linux users on the graphics hardware they use, which of the drivers they depend upon, and X.Org-related features they are most interested in. This survey data is used not only for us, but for the respective developers as well to get a better understanding of how the Linux community at large is shaping. This is in continuation of our 2007 Linux Graphics Survey with those results being available here.
In addition to being responsible for Multi-Pointer X, Peter Hutterer has also been working a fair bit on the evdev driver as of late. Evdev is the generic X.Org input driver and in the most recent release that occurred yesterday it has picked up a few new key features.
Two days ago we shared the X Server 1.6 release schedule that would place the final release of this quickly-developed X Server release on the 5th of January. Keith Packard originally hoped to ship X Server 1.6 by the end of this year, but that won't happen due to the forthcoming holidays.
Back in September when the X developers raided the Edinburgh Zoo for the 2008 X Developers' Summit, Intel's Keith Packard made the rather dramatic announcement that he intended to ship X Server 1.6 and he would step up as the release manager.
Developers at Intel's Open-Source Technology Center have been busy with a number of projects, and Jesse Barnes in particular has been active with a few kernel mode-setting and Graphics Execution Manager tasks.
X Server 1.5 / X.Org 7.4 was released at the end of September. X Server 1.5.1 was quickly released around the same time and X Server 1.5.2 was released in early October. A month later we now have another bug-fix release for X Server 1.5. Adam Jackson has announced the release of X Server 1.5.3 with about 21 fixes.
Back in July we talked about Compiz support for MPX. MPX, or Multi-Pointer X, is the technology now in the mainline X Server for the X Server 1.6 release that allows multiple pointers to function independently on a single system. Today a set of patches were pushed into a Compiz Fusion git repository that allow all Compiz plug-ins to work nicely with all input devices, fixes for Input Redirection, and Input Redirection support in shift, scale, freewins, shelf, and ring. More on this work can be read in this blog post.
It will be a while before the Linux 2.6.29 kernel merge window opens, considering we are just at the second release candidate for Linux 2.6.28, but Intel's Jesse Barnes is beginning to prepare the patches for kernel-based mode-setting support.
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