Dual-head config broke with update to 1.4.2

David Gerard dgerard at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 14:32:24 PST 2010

On 16 February 2010 17:30, Alex Deucher <alexdeucher at gmail.com> wrote:

> I guess rather than implementing a modern dynamic window system with
> support for the full capabilities of the hardware we should continue
> bend over backwards to support old dualhead hacks from the mid-1990s.
> As has been stated before, we've attempted to continue to support it,
> but with the support for more than 2 outputs some configurations (like
> yours) break.  xrandr 1.2 support has been available for several years
> now, and we've only gotten a handful of complains about broken zaphod
> configurations.  There are just not enough developers to continue
> supporting this old stuff forever as well as the new features and
> functionality and support for new chips, etc.   If the feature is
> important to you and your configuration is broken, please consider
> sending a patch, this is open source after all.  You also still have
> access to the old driver if you want to continue to use that.

<evidence type=anecdotal>
I do know a few people who got an unpleasant surprise when this
stopped working for them, only to discover Xorg had taken it out a
year or so before but their distro had only just upgraded to that
version. They were rather upset and annoyed. (Though conceding the
point that Xorg is a few developers desperately trying to drag a huge
and mouldering codebase into the twenty-first century, and that the
best refutation is patches.)

The problem is that stuff gets broken and the people who care about it
don't find out until it's way, way too late. This is an example of
this bad thing. They're not wrong for wanting their old stuff to keep
working, and (rightly, I think) regard it breaking as a regression,
one that's quite important to them.

(Hence my personal project to build X from source on as many OSes as I
can and make it real easy for people to build and run git-master, so
they find out about this stuff as early as possible!)

Martin - have you tried building an old Xorg from source yourself and
using that, rather than the distro version? This would solve your
problem and let you use the rest of the modern distro. (Until an app
relies on something in a current X ...)

- d.

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