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Bug#220493: So why is Debian's XFree86 old?....

The short answer is "porting". The XFree86 project has little or no support for most of Debian's architectures, and making sure that a new version works on non-i386 machines takes quite a while.

The second answer is "integration". The number of packaging issues which come up in packaging such a big project are very large, and it can take quite a while to resolve them all.

The more specific-to-right-now answer is that even adapting all of the preexisting Debian patches (against 4.2.1) to patch 4.3.0 seems to be taking quite a while. I believe that the way they are being updated is intended to make this process easier in the future, although any member of the X Strike Force may correct me. :-)

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