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Re: Future of X packages in Debian

Around 9 o'clock on Jun 18, Fabio Massimo Di Nitto wrote:

> * What kinds of X packages would you like to see in the future?

Mostly I'd like to see reasonably small packages which are updated and
maintained separately so that we don't continue to have an over-arching 'X 
version' and instead have several distinct X server packages and a single 
library package for each (group of) libraries and headers.

The current monolithic release mechanism isn't helping anyone out.

I'd also like to see the fonts moved to arch any, I got side tracked
attempting to switch from .pcf.gz to .ttf format, but there's no reason we
can't simply compile to .pcf.gz on i386 and ship them from there -- every
arch can load that format and the overhead is minimal (bitswapping on
big-endian boxes).  When upstream moves to .ttf, we will be ready.

> * Should we regard X.Org or FreeDesktop.Org as our upstream source?

I'd like to consider X.Org as upstream for libraries and headers; however,
I'd also like to wait until X.Org has managed to switch to a modular build
system so that the monolithic release problem can be solved easily.

For X servers, I think we should have a virtual package so that we can 
(eventually) allow people to package many different X servers.  The XSF 
should support only a single X server using the "standard" DDX for now.
With a virtual package, someone could package up kdrive X servers and let 
people use them on smaller systems.

> * Should we go our own way starting from the "sanitized" XFree86 CVS
>   snapshot we've prepared?

No, this way madness lies.  However, I think we should make sure we 
understand where license issues exist in the upstream source; if that 
source is distributed in small pieces, we can correctly mark pieces 
incompatible with the GPL and get them fixed.

> * Should we ensure that multiple implementations of the X Window System
>   are packaged, or standardize on just one?

For libraries and clients, we need to have just one implementation. For X 
servers, we should permit but not provide multiple implementations.

> * If we standardize on just one, which one should it be?

Each package should come from the canonical upstream source, not some 
repackaged distribution.

For libraries and clients which have multiple 'upstream sources', we need 
to pick one; I am going to push X.Org to provide reasonable modular 
upstream packages for the core protocol libaries and headers, and separate 
packages for the basic X clients which aren't maintained outside.

The work at in the xserver and xlibs projects at freedesktop.org can be 
considered a prototype for how a modular X project might work; I'm hoping 
to get all of that sorted out this summer with X.Org.


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