Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
X GUI

X.Org Foundation Releases X11R6.7 X Window System 443

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the this-will-get-sticky dept.
Several folks submitted the press release announcing the formation of the X.Org Foundation and the release of X11R6.7 of the X Window System. The XOrg Foundation is the successor to the X Consortium, formed by many of the most notworthy participants in the XFree86 Project. This code release is a tree forked from the last XFree86 release not troubled by that pesky license change. Since Mandrake, Gentoo, OpenBSD, and Debian have already rejected the new XFree86 license, this new code tree will likely become the default X11 for most Linux users. I've attached the press release that explains more details about the code release, as well as the X.Org foundation itself.
XOrg Foundation writes "X.Org Foundation Announces Formation and First Release

The new X.Org Foundation will help drive the X Window System to support
state-of-the-art desktop technologies

San Francisco, CA., April 6, 2004 - X.Org Foundation today announces their first release of the X Window System since the formation of the Foundation in January of this year. The new X.Org release, called X Window System Version 11 Release 6.7 (X11R6.7), builds on the work of the X.Org X11R6.6 and XFree86TM Project Inc. V4.4RC2 releases to combine many of the latest developments from a large number of the participants and companies working with the X Window community. The X Window System X11R6.7 release can be found at http://www.x.org/.

We have made great progress in creating a framework upon which further development of the X Window System can be based, agreed the Interim Board of the Foundation. We expect to provide the desktop community with at least two more releases of the X Window System before the end of this year to encompass all of the new technologies and ideas that we are developing.

This release marks the return to community development of the X Window System under governance open to all contributors for the first time since the founding of the X Consortium in 1988, said Jim Gettys, co-founder of the X Window System, Interim X.Org Foundation board member and member of the research staff of HP Labs.

We welcome the formation of the X.Org Foundation and are looking forward to support this group to bring the work on the X Window System to a new technological level, said Egbert Eich, X Window System developer at Novell's SUSE LINUX business unit.

Matthias Ettrich, Director of Software Development at Trolltech, said As a multi-platform GUI toolkit vendor, we appreciate the value of a powerful underlying windowing system, and as such, we are excited about the direction X.Org is heading. We are very much looking forward to supporting new technologies around X, and we will do our share to make the advances of the platform accessible to software developers.

Being an underlying technology to the most popular desktops on all GNU Systems, in particular GNOME and KDE, the X Window System is indeed an essential part of most Free Software operating systems, said Georg C.F. Greve, president of the FSF Europe. It helps many users to access and enjoy the freedom of Free Software. We are glad that X.Org will from now on watch over this enabling technology.

Red Hat is pleased to be working with the new X.Org Foundation to build a vibrant open source community around X Window System innovation. Look for X11R6.7 in the upcoming Fedora Core 2 and future Red Hat Enterprise Linux products, said Havoc Pennington, desktop development manager at Red Hat.

As one of the largest GNU/Linux distribution projects in the world, the Debian Project is delighted to see that freedom and diversity are alive and well in the X technology sector. We're also delighted that the X.Org Foundation is dedicated to retaining the licensing model that has made the X Window System an enduring success, said Branden Robinson of the Debian GNU/Linux Project. Like us, the X.Org Foundation is a member-driven organization devoted to Free Software. We cannot help but be enthusiastic about them and the work they're doing for the X Window System and Free Software communities alike.

An open source project works best with a large community of active contributors. OSI welcomes the return of X to open source development by the entire community. I'm looking forward to contributing myself, said Russell Nelson, Vice-President of the Open Source Initiative.

Cygwin/X is benefiting heavily from the community-building spirit of the X.Org Foundation and their open development environment. We are pleased to be basing our releases on the good work of the X.Org Foundation, said Harold L Hunt II of the Cygwin/X project.

The XonX Project is very pleased that the X.Org Foundation has been eager to support Darwin and Mac OS X. X11R6.7 adds new features that will be appreciated by many Mac OS X users, said Torrey Lyons, XonX Project Founder.

Membership of the X.Org Foundation is free to all participants. Applications for membership are now being accepted, and active participants in the further development of the X Window System are invited to visit: http://www.x.org/XOrg_Foundation_Membership.html to complete a membership application. Participation in the Foundations Sponsor Group is also available to those who wish to financially support the activities The X.Org Foundation. Current Sponsors include Hewlett Packard, IBM, and SUN Microsystems.

About The Foundation Release
X11R6.7 is the first official X.Org Foundation release. It is the successor release to X11R6.6 from X.Org. To assure consistency with industry and community requirements and practices, it was developed from the X.Org X11R6.6 code base and the XFree86 V4.4RC2 code base, with the addition of bug fixes and enhancements. These enhancements include: new IPv6 functionality, Freetype V2.1.7, fontconfig V2.2.2, Xft V2.1.6, Xcursor V1.1.2, and Xrender V0.8.4, with corresponding changes in documentation and notices. Additional source and binary releases are anticipated during 2004.

About The X Window System
The X Window System provides the only common networked windowing environment bridging the heterogeneous platforms in today's computing. The X Window System is one of the most successful open-source, collaborative technologies developed to date and is the standard graphical window system for the Linux and UNIX operating systems. The inherent independence of the X Window System from the operating system, the network and the hardware, as well as its successful interoperability, have made it widely available and deployed with more than 30 million users worldwide. All major hardware vendors support the X Window System and many third parties provide technologies for integrating X Window System applications into the networked computer or personal computer environments including Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Linux and Mac OS X. Further, thousands of software developers provide X Window System applications, and with the continued growth of Linux and the emergence of Mac OS X, the number of users is growing rapidly.

About X.Org Foundation
X.Org Foundation L.L.C. is a recently formed Delaware company organized to operate as a scientific charity under IRS code 501(c)(3), chartered to develop and execute effective strategies that provide worldwide stewardship of the X Window System technology and standards. The group is currently managed by an Interim Board of Directors that includes: Stuart Anderson (Free Standards Group), Egbert Eich (SUSE), Jim Gettys (HP), Georg Greve (Free Software Foundation Europe), Stuart Kreitman (SUN Microsystems), Kevin Martin (Red Hat), Jim McQuillan (Linux Terminal Server Project), Leon Shiman (Shiman Associates) and Jeremy White (Code Weavers). The website for the X.Org Foundation can be found at http://www.x.org/.

Note to editors: UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the US and other countries. LINUX is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. XFree86 is a trademark of The XFree86 Project, Inc. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Mac OS is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other company names are trademarks of the registered owners.
$"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

X.Org Foundation Releases X11R6.7 X Window System

Comments Filter:
  • by checkitout (546879) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:12AM (#8791718)
    formed by many of the most notworthy participants

    Surely they must be worthy of something...
  • great! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dummkopf (538393) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:12AM (#8791724) Homepage
    when i read about X11 and their licensing issues i was scared: i had noticed that redhat dropped several (for me important) packages due to the fact that they are not GPL (such as pine... no flames, please, i like it more than any other mail client cause all you need is an xterm). i was wondering what would happen with x11. now i know. and (i think) i am releived...
    • mutt? (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Jason Straight (58248)
      Have you tried mutt?
    • by Gleef (86) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:25AM (#8792500) Homepage
      It's not that pine is not GPL, it's that pine is altogether Not Free Software [asty.org]. Specifically, the University of Washington will not allow anyone to distribute modified versions, they've even threatened to sue people who do this with older versions of Pine. This makes it hard to work the software into a distribution like Red Hat, and even harder to want to.

      Personally, I use Mutt [mutt.org], and I love it. Other people seem equally pleased with elm [instinct.org]. With both of these clients, "all you need is an xterm".

      If you really prefer Pine, there are two projects to create an Free replacement for it: Hydrant [gnu.org] and OSERP [berlios.de]. I don't know how far along and usable either project is. If you just miss Pico, there's an excellent Free clone called Nano [gnu.org], which is very usable and included in most Linux distros already.
      • by Noksagt (69097) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @11:35AM (#8793381) Homepage
        Pine has a superior IMAP implementation than any of these alternatives. The source is available for free. You can release patches to Pine. It is also easy to write scripts for it. Red Hat had done this at one time.

        What modifications are needed to it in the first place? The stock-binary is well-maintained. And it is easy enough to apply a patch to the source code & recompile.

        OSERP is under active development, but is still very alpha. I thought Hydrant had died, but some of the CVS files have been updated within the past year.

        Why take RMS's opinion on free/nonfree as scripture? It is funny to see gratis software that ships with source being bashed for not being libre more than progams which don't ship with source.

        I don't have a problem with Debian's commitment to libre software & their choice not to ship pine. But other distros don't seem to have a consistent stance on how free apps have to be before they're included.
        • by thumperward (553422) <thumperward@hotmail.com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @12:53PM (#8794321) Homepage
          It is funny to see gratis software that ships with source being bashed for not being libre more than progams which don't ship with source.


          Is it also funny being sued for releasing patched versions?

          - Chris
        • by rsidd (6328) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @12:57PM (#8794400)
          Pine has a superior IMAP implementation than any of these alternatives.

          I was using imap with mutt back in 1999. I haven't needed to use imap since 2000, but I don't imagine the support has gone away.

          What modifications are needed to it in the first place? The stock-binary is well-maintained. And it is easy enough to apply a patch to the source code & recompile.

          So apply the patch and compile it. But Red Hat won't do it for you because they can't distribute a binary based on modified source.

          Why take RMS's opinion on free/nonfree as scripture? It is funny to see gratis software that ships with source being bashed for not being libre more than progams which don't ship with source.

          Not "more than", but "as much as". If Red Hat can't patch pine even to fix bugs, why should they distribute it? If you need it you can always compile it yourself.

        • What modifications are needed to it in the first place?

          That's the argument I hear from DJB fans, too. The modifications can be as simple as telling it to look for config files in the place that a particular OS keeps them, rather than where the application thinks they should go. Now, IANAPineExpert, but imagine that it wants link against something in /usr/lib, but on a particular OS, that library is in /usr/local/lib. Patching the system to look in the latter directory may be enough to violate the terms

    • Re:great! (Score:3, Informative)

      by pyros (61399)
      The Fedora Core development stream is already switched over to the x.org release. The test2 release of Fedora Core 2 uses it. So Fedora Core two will have kernel 2.6, X.org, Gnome 2.6, KDE 3.2.1, and SELinux (which totally sucks ass integration wise right now, and will hopefully be disabled by default when Fedora Core 2 is actually release, or I'll probably switch to Debian until SELinux actually works as shipped).
  • Ugh (Score:4, Funny)

    by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:14AM (#8791742) Homepage Journal
    I just really hope no distro's of mine get overzelous and change /usr/X11R6 to /usr/X11R6.7
    • Re:Ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GigsVT (208848) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:17AM (#8791762) Journal
      Why? Did you think they'd never come out with a new version of X?

      It's stilly to rely on a directory named for a version of a program unless you want to update your software every time a new version comes out.
      • Re:Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bn557 (183935) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:31AM (#8791879) Homepage Journal
        or unless you want to have multiple versions of such a program installed.... think gcc 2.9 vs gcc 3.3. Then you always just keep a symlink from somewhere in the path to the one you want.

        so have a /etc/X11 link to /etc/X11R6.7 and an /etc/X11R6 folder laying around for fun.
    • Re:Ugh (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ralmeida (106461)
      Not that, but... from the release notes:

      > The name of the X server is Xorg, rather than XFree86.
  • Ah.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Rhesus Piece (764852) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:14AM (#8791744)
    Ah, I love the smell of forks in the morning. Hurrah for vitality.
  • by Pivot (4465) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:16AM (#8791754)
    -after all this [mail-archive.com]...
  • As soon as Gentoo gets an ebuild, I might revive my desktop cum Linux server back to a desktop to give it a shot.

    While they tout all kinds of new features that OS X users would be interested in via XonX, they certainly don't mention what those features would be. I guess I'll have to go check the changelog. Damn.
    • Gentoo e-build (Score:5, Informative)

      by akulbe (625876) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @11:31AM (#8793327)
      I just installed the e-build that's already in the tree. And told etc-update to automatically update all 200+ config files. >:) (crazy I know, but it works) make sure you read the info on the release notes page, and see what portage tells you at the end of the emerge. There is some useful info there.

      The only thing I've seen so far, that I don't like, is a little bit of degradation of quality in the AA of fonts. I'm sure this is just a configuration issue, that I haven't found the answer to yet. But it's definitely usable right now. You will have to unmerge xfree and xft, as they are blocked by "xorg-x11" which is the name of the new e-build.

      Cheers, and please share any useful info you might come up with.
  • Licenses. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by imbaczek (690596)
    Why so many people think that GPL incompatible == not free? How is current XFree86 license non-free? Yeah, I know it's not about free-as-in-beer, but how isn't XFree free-as-in-speech?
    • Re:Licenses. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:30AM (#8791862)
      Why so many people think that GPL incompatible == not free? How is current XFree86 license non-free? Yeah, I know it's not about free-as-in-beer, but how isn't XFree free-as-in-speech?

      This was discussed ad nauseum in the previous Slashdot articles about this, such as the one linked to in the story, above.

      But to spoonfeed you the gist of it, since you're not going to get off your duff and read the previous discussion: it's not that it's not a free license. It's the practical ramifications of being incompatible with the GPL that are the issue. It's the opinion of some lawyers and legal-types that the GPL incompatibility means trouble for software that's built upon the XF86 framework and therefore must be consistent with the terms of the XF86 license. To build GNOME, KDE, etc. against XF86, and then release them under the GPL, would violate the terms of the XF86 license, since the GPL permits things that the XF86 license does not.

      For more, see the previous stories.

      • Re:Licenses. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dinivin (444905) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:36AM (#8791918)

        Except that the XFree86 libraries, you know those things that actually links to GNOME and KDE, aren't under a new license.

        Dinivin
      • ... the GPL permits things that the XF86 license does not.

        That's true but you're hiding the reason. The crux of the matter is the new XF86 license imposes a new advertising clause that *imposes restrictions beyond* the scope of the GPL. The GPL forbids additional restrictions (sec 6) and, in 50 words or less, that's why the licenses are considered incompatible.
    • Re:Licenses. (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lussarn (105276)
      The problem isn't that the license isn't free enough. The problem is only that it isn't compatible with GPL. This is bad because GPL apps can't link with it (Yes I'm aware that xlibs still is old license, but who knows in the future). The GPL is as much to blame as this new license. The easy part about the GPL is that it is one license (You cannot add or remove from it and call it GPL), it also makes it impossible to add advertising clauses.

      Maybe the GPL is not flexible enough but as it is now thats the wa
      • Re:Licenses. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dinivin (444905) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:49AM (#8792051)
        (Yes I'm aware that xlibs still is old license, but who knows in the future).

        And who knows that the X.Org libraries won't be made GPL incompatible in the future? At least with the XFree86 libraries, we know David Dawes is willing to compromise for the sake of the communitty.

        Dinivin
        • Re:Licenses. (Score:4, Informative)

          by be-fan (61476) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:07AM (#8792268)
          The X.org folks have taken explicit steps to make sure that X remains DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines) free. David Dawes has taken steps to make parts of XFree86 DFSG-nonfree.
        • Re:Licenses. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rawshark (603493)

          And who knows that the X.Org libraries won't be made GPL incompatible in the future? At least with the XFree86 libraries, we know David Dawes is willing to compromise for the sake of the communitty

          This is FUD. If X.org's license can be changed to be GPL-Incompatible, so can any other project, so your argument can be applied to any X Server, or any Open Source Project.

          And when and if that happens, we'll just do what we did here, take the code from before the license change, and run with it.

  • Damn... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dargaud (518470) <[ten.duagradg] [ta] [2todhsals]> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:20AM (#8791781) Homepage
    I had been happily downloading my cygwin updates when this news came out on /. I looked at where the installer was: xorg-x11-6.7.0.0-1.tar.bz2 !!! It's announced today and it's already up for download in the distros ! Maybe that's why this 16Mb download is taking forever...
  • by zz99 (742545) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:20AM (#8791782)
    I for one greet our new windowing system overlords!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:22AM (#8791792)
    Did they just essentially commit suicide? Is anyone still sticking with them?
  • alphablending etc. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CoolMoDee (683437) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:23AM (#8791796) Homepage Journal
    now that the xfree86 server is effectively forked, is there a chance of getting true alphablending and shadows?
    • by be-fan (61476) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:04AM (#8792229)
      That's in the works in the freedesktop.org X server, which is currently in development (but features like alpha-blending and shadows already work if you're interested in checking the source out of CVS). The X.org server is the 'stable' continuation of the XFree86 codebase.
  • NVidia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheAcousticMotrbiker (313701) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:25AM (#8791820)
    The crucial thing (for me at least) is wether or not the NVidia binary drivers will work with this new version.

    Judging form the fact that's forked of XF4.4rc2 it should , but I'd like to get confirmation .
    • Re:NVidia (Score:3, Informative)

      by vossman77 (300689)
      see NVIDIA Proprietary Driver [freedesktop.org]

      From the X.org FAQ:

      The Nvidia driver is *not * open-source, although the company has allowed an open-source driver to be developed. AFAIK The open-source driver (NV) was created by Mark Vojkovich and he maintains it himself. *This page is not for that driver. * The new proprietary driver from Nvidia is easier to install than prior versions as Nvidia has shifted to a single file for installation. They have attempted to make the setup as simple as possible with the installation

    • Re:NVidia (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lispy (136512) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:45AM (#8792790) Homepage
      Rest assured, they do. I run the X.org server already, since its part of Dropline Gnome 2.6 testing [dropline.net]. I only had to rerun the installer. No difference recognized so far...

      I wish they would join wih the freedesktop.org X-server folks and bring true alpha to the desktop before redmond does... ;-)

      cu,
      Lispy
      • Re:NVidia (Score:4, Informative)

        by po8 (187055) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @01:53PM (#8795164)

        I wish they [X.org] would join wih the freedesktop.org X-server folks and bring true alpha to the desktop...

        They already have, and they are. One of the big accomplishments of X.org so far is to split the system into multiple isolated modules: you can now easily package, compile, and run the Kdrive server as an alternative to the X.org server on platforms supported by Kdrive, without affecting the rest of the X tree. Work is underway on several freedesktop.org/X.org projects to bring the Kdrive alpha compositing into the X.org server infrastructure.

  • XFree86 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SirNAOF (142265) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:27AM (#8791828)
    I just read over the XFree86 license versions 1.0 and 1.1. I see the difference, but why is this seemingly minor change causing such a huge commotion with the major distributions?

    Of course, some of us care more about the fact that it is still free (as in beer and in speech) than the exact wording of the license.
  • by karmaflux (148909) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:29AM (#8791858)
    Does anyone know if the line
    Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
    is included by fucking default in xorg.conf yet?
    • by madcow_ucsb (222054) <slashdot2@sank[ ]et ['s.n' in gap]> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @11:38AM (#8793407)
      Or, better yet, have it *see* what kind of mouse you have and whether it has a wheel or not and get rid of the silly section altogether.

      It's one of those stupid things that's a pain in the ass for newbies who wonder why they can't scroll mozilla. And a non-functioning wheel out of the box leaves a *really* negative impression on people I've helped switch to Linux. I even had to manually do that on my Mandrake 9.2 box sitting behind me now.

      I shit you not, when I've told people I think Linux is better, one of my friends in particular always chimes in, "Hey - at least I didn't have to fuck with a config file to get my wheel working in Windows"...

      That said, I still think linux is easier in general :)
    • by FooBarWidget (556006) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @11:55AM (#8793594)
      On modern distributions, scrollwheel mice are autodetected. I installed Fedora not too long ago and my mouse wheel works out-of-the-box.
  • David Dawes? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Featureless (599963) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:39AM (#8791950) Journal
    Would someone in the know please, for the benefit of the crowd, enlighten us as to whether this entire exercise was, as much as anything else, to rid the mainstream "free software X" development of David Dawes?

    From reading the coverage on slashdot so far and following the source material (including specific comments by major players that name his name), that's kind of the sense I get.

    Of course, the process created more openness - you can say the openness is the primary reason, but again, from following the list archives, I got the sense he was a big part of why it wasn't so open in the first place...
    • Re:David Dawes? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bfree (113420) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:16AM (#8792364)
      I have also read extensively about this problem for quite a while (the problems with XFree86 have been around quite a while, look back at Cygwin's problems and the similar problems that afflicted ati, basically patches were rotting). Whether or not David Dawes was a part of why it wasn't so open is hard to say, you have to remember he is the voice of the XFree86 board, and as such he speaks for them, not himself. XFree86 was the de facto default and remained in that position for a long time even while it was clear that it's development model no longer fitted in with everything else. The fact that they weren't dropped until they then decided to change some licenses to give themselves more credit is a sign of the reluctance to fork, but I presonally believe (and said from the outset) a fork was the right thing here unless XFree86 backed down, the key is just making sure you have enough bodies along with you (I'd have liked to see Branden from Debian on the interim board, this is a time when licenses are important and there's a man who knows them and X very well, I'd have liked to see more non-commercial people full stop actually). The question now is when and if the two trees will be incompatible vis-a-vis binary drivers, and then which versions Nvidia and Ati will support?
      • Re:David Dawes? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by RedWizzard (192002) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:12PM (#8796051)
        Whether or not David Dawes was a part of why it wasn't so open is hard to say, you have to remember he is the voice of the XFree86 board, and as such he speaks for them, not himself.
        He speaks for the board in a particularly abrasive, arrogant, and uncompromising voice. That has been a cause of a number of problems IMHO, and it comes from him, not the board.
  • freedesktop? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    so where does the freedesktop.org xserver fit in with Xorg? i noticed that Xorg has a page on freedesktop.org
  • Con job? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Queuetue (156269) <scott AT pantastik DOT com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:50AM (#8792065) Homepage
    I'm not saying *I* feel this way, but I was wondering what people think about David Dawes' statement to the effect that the big Linux Vendors were already planning to jump to X.org, because the collection of vendors can push it in directions that make the companies happier. He hints that they used the license issue as an excuse to wag the dog, and we users have been duped.

    • Re:Con job? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Queuetue (156269) <scott AT pantastik DOT com> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @09:55AM (#8792124) Homepage
      Here's the actual quote from The Inquirer [theinquirer.net]:

      "But David Dawes seems a little suspicious: "I have heard privately that some vendors were planning to move to an X.Org release even before this licence issue came up. That probably makes business sense for the vendors given that X.Org is a vendor-oriented organization sponsored by hardware and software companies, while XFree86 is an independent group of volunteer developers. I suspect that the licence issue may have affected the timing, but not the end result", he concluded. "
    • Re:Con job? (Score:5, Funny)

      by BJH (11355) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:03AM (#8792224)
      Yeah, that's obviously the reason why Debian was so quick to jump to X.org - cause they want to make their corporate masters happy.

      </sarcasm>
      • Re:Con job? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FauxPasIII (75900)
        > Yeah, that's obviously the reason why Debian was so quick to jump to X.org

        Debian hasn't moved to X.org so far as I'm aware. They've just decided to avoid XFree 4.4.
    • Re:Con job? (Score:4, Informative)

      by bfree (113420) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @10:27AM (#8792524)

      I don't think anyone has been duped at all. I do think that people have been considering for quite a while how to escape XFree86. It's development structure had become a farce, cygwin had stopped submitting patches because it was too much work trying to figure out when and if they were ever applied, ati it seems were annoyed that their patches spent months sitting in XFree86 with no reply, and then out came a new major update with no sign of them! Because even XFree86 could see this coming, they made a few changes but they didn't address the issues. Finally they decided they wanted more credit and everyone shouted back that this was too much, they continued and now there's a fork.

      Having said all that, I will be very interested to see what complaints will arrise about X.org over the next few months, if they really are a commercial orientated body making decisions for the companies then perhaps another fork won't be too far away! Having a FSF member of the interim board suggests though that the people coming in here have learnt from mistakes of the past and simply want to provide some financial backing to make sure this new co-operative gets of and running smoothly.

    • Spin job! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by steveha (103154)
      I think it was a masterful bit of spin on David Dawes's part. I don't think it succeeds, but it's impressive anyway.

      I think the big Linux vendors were already planning to jump to X.org, and the license change was just the steel girder that broke the camel's back. XFree86, as an organization, has had increasing bad publicity: patches languishing, weird political in-fighting, organizational chaos. The license change got a whole bunch of people, all at once, to stop muttering in annoyance and actually fork
  • by MicroBerto (91055) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @02:55PM (#8795867)
    I'm very glad that the major distributions took charge and dropped XFree86. While it might not have been *completely* necessary, it sent quite a message. XFree86 is about to die. Don't mess with the GPL or you're gone next.

    This just gave the GPL a lot more strength, and all non-conforming licenses a lot less. You can bet that nobody else is going to test Redhat/Debian/Mandrake/etc, or else your project is done for.

  • It's about time... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Roadkills-R-Us (122219) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @03:49PM (#8796609) Homepage
    ... that we again had a "vibrant open source community around X Window System innovation".

    We've had some innovation, but it was definitely slowing down. But vibrant community? More of a dysfunctional family. (Not that everyone was dysfunctional, by a long shot, but the leadership mix clearly wasn't working.) Having the sole focus be the PC community always worried me, too. (Yeah, I know it's the largets by orders of magnitude, but the cross-platform expertise and disciplines have a lot to offer.)

    In the early days, anyone who wanted to contribute did, and it all worked rather well. X was one of the first *major* open source projects to really take off. I, for one, am glad to see it back in a form that has a chance to really start kicking some proprietary booty again.
  • by steveha (103154) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @04:25PM (#8797146) Homepage
    Up until version 4.0, the XFree86 guys were getting multi-platform development for free: Debian took care of it. Debian cares a great deal about supporting multiple platforms, and Debian builds everything on a bunch of platforms and contributes back bug fixes. They were doing that for XFree86.

    Now Debian is simply going to walk away from XFree86. The XFree86 project will either have to suddenly do a whole bunch of work to keep the multi-platform nature of XFree86, or else the "86" part is going to mean something again.

    I find it amazing that the XFree86 guys ever thought that this license change was a good idea, and that they aren't falling all over themselves to reverse it now that the consequences are becoming clear.

    steveha

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

Working...