State of X.Org Report

Bart Massey bart at
Fri Feb 22 11:14:56 PST 2013

The issue of X.Org cross-module compatibility is important, and will
not go away. There are X tinderbox builds (,
and of course the various distro vendors put together their own builds
of all of X. The latter is really the primary motivation for getting
away from the katamari. Not only most users, but even many developers
get most of their X from a distro these days anyhow, and the distro
vendors have largely been ignoring the katamaris in favor of their own
build infrastructures. From what I have heard, we can safely rely on
distro vendors for most of our incompatibility reports at this point.

As far as X.Org licensing goes, no, it hasn't been a big Board focus
lately. If the situation with regard to licenses of new driver code is
as you describe, we need to get it sorted soon. We will look into it.
Another licensing issue that we have been dealing with a bit is the
large number of slight textual variants in the MIT license itself in
the X codebase: we (led by Alan Coopersmith) are making an effort to
get all of our code under one MIT license rather than many.

The canonical location for the The X New Developer Guide right now is
bart at .  This should
probably fixed; can't decide whether to put it on Github or somewhere
permanent on X.Org's infrastructure. The Guide still needs some
editing and completion, but there's an epub version checked into the
repo that is good enough to give an idea of what it will look like. If
somebody wanted to pick it up and finish it, that would be great;
otherwise I'll get to it sometime soon.


On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 7:20 AM, Jeremy C. Reed <reed at> wrote:
> On Fri, 22 Feb 2013, Bart Massey wrote:
>>     In keeping with the X.Org goal of about one release per
>>     year, Release 7.7 of the X Window System occurred 6 June
>>     2012. Release 7.6 was about 1.5 years earlier, in
>>     December 2010. However, there is some feeling among the
>>     developer community that the "katamari" point releases
>>     of all of X are no longer terribly useful, yet are a big
>>     consumer of developer resources. Thus, it is likely that
>>     these releases will be farther apart in the future, or
>>     will cease altogether--not because development pace is
>>     decreasing, but because point releases of individual
>>     components are a better mechanism in the "new" world of
>>     modularized X development.
> Does have an automated build and test farm that will prove that
> the important individual components continue to build and work together?
> A common problem I see as a package maintainer is mismatch of components
> due to upgrading one component but not some other (missing
> features, missing headers, etc.).  pkg-config dependency checking may
> not reflect accurately the versions required. I have also seen that some
> new version is required even though that new version is not publicly
> released yet (it is in git, but no tarball release).
> Maybe the large yearly all of X release is useful as a manual
> confirmation until an automated confirmation is available.
>>     Sprint, in March, was a "virtual" online event that
>>     produced an "X.Org New Developer Guide" that has not
> Where is this? A google search and wiki search doesn't find it for me.
> (I do see ModularDevelopersGuide.) Is it in the wiki or in git?
> Thank you very much for your report. Was there any board discussion
> about licensing? In particular, the concern I see is with various driver
> support changed from MIT-licensed code to using code provided in
> the Linux kernel tree (such as under drivers/gpu/drm). Much of that
> newer Linux code is MIT-licensed, but many files are missing licenses,
> some are marked with GPL2 or GPL2-or-later, and some are MIT-licensed
> but tagged with EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL.
>   Jeremy C. Reed
> echo 'EhZ[h ^jjf0%%h[[Zc[Z_W$d[j%Xeeai%ZW[ced#]dk#f[d]k_d%' | \
>   tr            '#-~'            '\-.-{'
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