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Xorg 6.9 and 7.0 starting to freeze for release

Alan Coopersmith
Senior Principal Software Engineer

In just a little under 12 hours from when this is posted (at the end of the day on July 4 in Hawaii time) the first phase of code freezes begins for the Xorg 6.9 and 7.0 release cycles. After this, new features will have to either get special permission from the release managers or wait until after the 6.9 and 7.0 releases ship (currently planned for the end of September). Features that add new files or changes to configuration scripts are less likely to be allowed than those that don't, since those changes are going to require more work to synchronize between the two build systems (Imake for 6.9, autoconf/automake for 7.0) and tree layouts (the 6.9 monolith and 7.0 modular). We're also more likely to accept changes that flesh out features already added, such as adding EXA support to more drivers, than those that are completely new.

There's already a good number of changes in the CVS head since the 6.8 release (see either the high level list of changes or the complete ChangeLog), so this is shaping up to be an interesting release, even before considering the modularization changes.

(For those who haven't been following the X.Org development lists, X.Org is planning simultaneous releases of X11R6.9 and X11R7.0, containing the same code, but built and delivered in two very different ways. 6.9 will follow the pattern of previous X11 releases, releasing as one huge monolithic source tree for all the libraries, client programs and servers, configured via Imake with static configuration files for all the supported OS'es. 7.0 will be broken up into separate packages for each library or program, each configured via configure scripts created with the popular GNU autoconf, automake, and libtool tools, with settings for each OS detected at build time.)

As we go into the next phase, we'll be posting soon requests for people to help us prepare for release by building and testing on as many platforms as possible. (We seem to get decent coverage on recent versions of the major Linux & BSD flavors, and on Solaris x86, but drop to a significantly lower number of reports from other OS'es, older releases, and the smaller distros.) We'll probably do this for the 6.9/monolithic tree first, while the autotooling of the 7.0/modular tree gets filled in, and there are changes to the Imake configs which we'll need help verifying on the various platforms. For instance, this release will discourage use of the packages maintained by other people that we've been redistributing in the Xorg source tree - FreeType, FontConfig, etc. As part of this, the default Imake settings have been changed to assume those are already installed on most platforms, and the individual platform config files for certain platforms have been changed to override this when we know those packages aren't typically already installed. But only a few platforms have had this checked and set so far, and there's many left to go. (Of course, you can always override this at compile time, if you know you've already installed one of these packages, and better documenting how to set these is also on the todo list.)

If this has peaked your interest, and you want to learn more on this release, watch the xorg mailing list on freedesktop.org, and check out these links:

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Comments ( 2 )
  • Laurent Tuesday, July 5, 2005
    Thanks for the head up, that's interesting news!

    And, in an area that concernes you more directly, whare is the current plan at Sun with those new versions? Will 6.9 or 7.0 make it in Solaris 10 at some point, or will it wait for Solaris 11?
  • Andrew Watkins Wednesday, July 6, 2005
    I am wondering what Sun will do about X.org on Sparc. I have not played with x86, but I beleive that X.org is better than Xsun and may even solve the memory leaks (500M currently) Any thoughts or is it X.org for x86 and Xsun for Sparc!
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