X.Org Server Development Hits A Nearly Two Decade Low
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 4 January 2020 at 01:49 AM EST. 92 Comments
X.ORG --
With Red Hat shifting their support to Wayland and expecting the X.Org Server to go into a hard maintenance mode quickly, in 2019 indeed it did.

Without any other companies investing significantly into the X.Org Server itself with engineering resources, the X.Org Server is seeing little work these days beyond work to XWayland for running X11 applications on top of Wayland and also work to GLAMOR as the 2D acceleration code over OpenGL. It's rare seeing activity elsewhere sans the occasional commits to the xf86-video-modesetting DDX driver.

Red Hat has been the most significant contributor over the years to the X.Org Server.

The X.Org Server 1.21 release is long overdue with various XWayland and GLAMOR changes. X.Org Server 1.20 is approaching two years of age, putting 1.21 well off the past xorg-server release cadence of every six months or so.

When looking at the X.Org Server Git statistics for 2019, it points to development hitting a nearly two decade low point for the X.Org Server or since back during the XFree86 days.

In 2019 were just 316 commits to the X.Org Server... Down from the high point in 2008 at 2,114 commits. Or even in 2018 there were 525 commits to the X.Org Server. Those 316 commits last year brought just 8,333 lines of new code and 4,648 lines removed... On a line count basis, that's a low point since 2002. Or if going by the commit count, there hasn't been that few commits since 2003 when having 125 commits prior to hitting 590 in 2004. So on both a commit and lines of code basis, the X.Org Server in 2019 slowed to a point not seen since the early 2000s prior to the modern X.Org Foundation.

Work these days is going into Wayland itself and various Wayland compositors along with the likes of Mesa, libinput, and other areas.

While Red Hat views the X.Org Server as going into maintenance mode, their developers continue topping the list: Adam Jackson of Red Hat was responsible for 66 of the commits while the other lead developers (mostly Red Hat folks) included Olivier Fourdan, Jon Turney, Michel Dänzer, Hans de Goede and Eric Anholt.

The X.Org Server source tree is currently at 710k lines, which has been roughly flat for the past decade since the spinning off of drivers from the source tree and removal of other old code.

So to not much surprise, X.Org Server development has virtually halted with Wayland continuing to be the principal focus of upstream Linux desktop developers. Though we do hold out hope of seeing X.Org Server 1.21 sooner rather than later for shipping the various GLAMOR and XWayland improvements. The end-of-year 2019 xorg-server development statistics can be found here.
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