To No Surprise, X.Org Server Progress Is Slowing

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 4 July 2012 at 08:15 AM EDT. 7 Comments
Last week I shared some statistics that showed the rate of Mesa / Gallium3D development is slowing down this year compared to year's prior. Today here's a set of stats looking at the X.Org Server development. This should come as less of a surprise, but the xorg-server development has also seen a large reduction in commits and overall activity.

The GitStats for the X.Org Server Git is as of this morning. The xserver Git goes back to 19th of November 1999, thus a span of 4,611 days of which 2,544 were active in terms of commits. The X.Org Server Git code-base is up to 1,709 files, which amounts to 742,531 lines of code. While right now the X.Org Server code-base is at three quarters of a million lines of code, in this over decade of Git commits there has been 2,373,223 lines added and 1,630,692 lines removed. There's been 11,807 commits from 377 developers.

The X.Org Server developers don't like to work on Saturdays, but don't mind Sunday too much. Or rather in the past few years with Keith Packard acting as the release manager / "gate keeper" with the responsibility of making all pulls/commits to the code-base, he doesn't like pulling on Saturdays.

April and October are the most busy months for X.Org Server Git commits. This makes some sense as in the past few years where the developers have tried their best to stick to a six-month release schedule and become organized, new releases have generally occurred around February/March and September, so April and October are towards the beginning of the next release's merge window.

When looking at the commits by year/month are the first indications that the X.Org Server development is slowing down. The high-point for the server's development was back in 2008 when DRI2 was being brought up and other features.

In 2008 there were 2090 commits, 1813 commits in 2009, 1345 commits in 2010, 1258 commits in 2011, and year-to-date in 2012 there is just 339 commits. We're more than half-way through 2012 so even if the commit count were to double, that's still less than 700 commits. The xserver commit count hasn't been that low since 2004. The size of the commits is also lower when it comes to adding lines. While the commit rate is slowing, at least the X.Org Server is losing some weight. So far this year there's been a reduction of 286,719 lines of code -- not that much code has been deleted from the code-base since 2008.

The number one contributor to the X.Org Server is Peter Hutterer. This is significant since Peter has just been committing to the X.Org Server since 2006 but he represents 17% of all commits made to this critical piece of the Linux/Unix desktop. In fact, he has almost twice the number of commits as Adam Jackson, a fellow employee of his at Red Hat who is in second place for the number of xserver commits. In the six years that Peter has been involved, he's overhauled the X.Org input support through Multi-Pointer X (MPX), X Input 2.0 (Xi2), and other work. Very nice job, Peter! Following Peter and Adam is Keith Packard, Jeremy Huddleston, and Daniel Stone.

This graph shows just how much of a prolific contributor that Peter has become for the X.Org Server.

The file and line count hasn't changed dramatically since 2008.

In the end though it's not surprising that the X.Org Server activity is slowing with many of the developers now focusing upon bringing up Wayland and Weston.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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