Tuesday Apr 06, 2004

X11R6.7.0 is released

[Originally posted to my blog inside the Sun firewall and migrated later to blogs.sun.com]

Keith Packard just announced the release of X11R6.7.0, the first release from the new X.Org Foundation (the latest in a long line of groups maintaining X since MIT formed the original X Consortium). This release brings together X11R6.6 with everything in XFree86 4.4 that's not covered by the new XFree86 license (more about that in a bit).

I'm excited by this both because of my personal involvement (I wrote the IPv6 support and was part of the release team, fixing bugs and getting the tree ready for release) and because of the completely different way this release was built compared to the previous releases.

The big change is that it is the first release developed in a truly open manner - where CVS and bug database access are open to the public, instead of restricted to the paid members of the industry consortium, and indeed a growing number of community members and volunteers are participating from outside the tradtional Unix vendor companies who previously made up X.Org.

It also comes on the heels of great dissent in the XFree86 community, starting with the ejection of Keith Packard (author of the Render extension, Xft, fontconfig and other popular X projects) from the XFree86 Core Team and spreading even wider with the recent adoption of the new XFree86 1.1 License which many Linux & BSD distributions object to (some claim it's incompatible with the GPL, others that the requirement for giving credit anywhere you credit anyone else is to onerous to comply with). Because of this, many of the distros are planning to switch to the X.Org software for their future releases - RedHat has already switched Fedora, and SuSE is looking at switching.

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Engineer working on Oracle Solaris and with the X.Org open source community.

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The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle, the X.Org Foundation, or anyone else.

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