Plans for dynamically re-configurable X server

Keith Packard keithp at
Fri Oct 22 14:03:55 PDT 2004

Around 21 o'clock on Oct 22, Egbert Eich wrote:

> Even xrandr shouldn't be there as the Xserver should just sit on
> top of a generic driver layer which has its own configuration sceme
> which doesn't need to be controlled thru the Xserver.

I agree that Xrandr is not sufficient to cover the cases we have today and 
expect to see in the future; we clearly need some mechanism which provides 
control from the video driver up to user space and which doesn't have to 
be interpreted by the X server.

While we could do this by pumping uninterpreted bytes through the X 
protocol, I'd much rather structured interfaces outside of X for this.

Where Xrandr may survive is as a way of selecting among pre-configured (or 
automatically configured) modes. That would provide a minimal mechanism 
which could be executed over the X wire and a more complete mechanism 
which would not have a wire encoding.  I'm not sure I like that, but if 
it's useful, we could consider doing it.

> I don't know how desireable it would be to tune those memory parameters.
> Certainly only the power user would profit from this. I think we would
> ask too much of the average desktop user if we expect him to tune those
> to meet his needs. 

Much as modern Windows drivers end up having dozens of knobs which most 
users are well advised to leave untouched, I see this as something to 
leave up to the individual device driver authors.  As long as whatever 
extension mechanism is entirely contained within their own code, I'd like 
to give them as much flexibility as they want to explore this space.


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