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Re: X.org <-----> Xfree

On Thursday 09 December 2004 05:16, Jon Dowland wrote:
> I see a lot of discussion about packaging and which distro it may end up
> in but nothing about why you might want to use X.org instead of XFree :)

In a nutshell, X.org was created because the XFree86 people wouldn't accept 
patches from outside developers in a timely way (if at all).  A group of 
people who were actively patching XFree86 to add new functionality, 
refactor its code, and improve its performance got tired of having their 
work tossed aside, so they forked it into their own new server, X.org.  

Essentially all active XFree86 developers switched to working on X.org since 
they finally had someone willing to evaluate their work and accept it if it 
was good.  There's almost noone left to work on XFree86, except David Dawes 
and a few hangers-on.

Finally, XFree86 changed the terms of their license for XF86 4.4.  Although 
people disagree on whether the changes still allow it to be Free Software, 
it's almost universally agreed that the new license is not GPL-compatible.  
Since XFree86 announced plans to move libraries to the new license in 
future versions, that means that you couldn't link GPL applications to 
XFree86's xlibs.  Ouch.

So, if you're completely happy with the current state of XFree86 to the 
point that you're willing to never upgrade, then stick with it.  However, 
if you're a developer of GPL software, or you want to buy a new graphics 
card that's only supported by X.org (since manufacturers are loudly and 
publically switching to support that distribution), or you want to use a 
system that's still being actively developed, then you're pretty much stuck 
upgrading to X.org.
Kirk Strauser

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