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Re: X.org plans for the lenny cycle

Marc 'HE' Brockschmidt enquired:
> The release team is currently working on a schedule for the lenny
> release cycle. For that, we want to gather some data from the bigger
> software packaging teams in Debian first.
> We would like to know which major upstream versions of X.org are
> expected to be released in the next 24 months and how much time you
> expect them to need to get stable enough for a Debian stable release.
> Our current, very rough plans would mean a release in 18 months, which
> would be in October 2008. We expect to shuffle this a bit around to fit
> everyone's needs, so please tell us if this date works for you.

As I see it, there are three major developments going on in X.org at
the moment.

1) active probing of video cards to allow a more dynamic setting and
resetting of video modes used.  This work is mostly complete already
(available in experimental xserver-xorg-video-intel, soon to appear in

2) Support for input-hotplug. As with the dynamic modesetting in 1),
this allows for dynamic plugging in of X-related devices. Currently
being developed on the master X.org branch, should be ready in X11R7.3
by June or July.

3) More generally, making /etc/X11/xorg.conf completely redundant.  I
believe this will not be achieved under 2), but is a longer term goal.

As you can see, X.org's broad aims at the moment are to improve
usability by enabling the Xserver to be configured automatically
without user intervention.  X.org is striving to keep to a relatively
strict six month release cycle, I would imagine six months is
sufficient time for us to stabilise X for the release of Lenny.  So
with a goal of Oct 2008 we would expect to include X11R7.4, which
should have been released around Feb or Mar 2008.  This would include
the new input-hotplug features.

A long-standing bug which should be thought about is the GL licensing
problem [1].  SGI kindly contributed code for GL support in X, but their
licence is not DSFG.  Upstream is not comfortable with the situation
either and there have been intentions to approach colleagues at SGI to
see about rationalising the licence, to the common X11 licence or
otherwise.  However these correspondences proceed at a glacial
corporate rate - not high on corporate SGI's TODO list, you might say. 
We've conveniently been ignoring the problem for Debian stable, do we
continue doing so, or are we capable of prodding SGI to accelerate the
discussions?  Or do we ditch OpenGL support from Debian... ?


[1] bugs #368560, #368559, #211765 (I think this one is redundant, the
original bug mitosed into the others) and #368564

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