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X GUI Software Operating Systems Linux BSD

X.Org 6.8.2 is Out 450

ertz writes "The X.Org Foundation today announced the fourth release of the X Window System since the formation of the Foundation in January of 2004. The new X.Org release, called X Window System Version 11, Release 6.8.2 (X11R6.8.2) builds on the work of X11R6.8.0 and X11R6.8.1 released in 2004. X11R6.8.2 combines the latest developments from many people and companies working with the X Window System and an open X.Org Foundation Release Team. All Official X.Org Releases are available for download from the ftp site and at mirror-sites world-wide."
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X.Org 6.8.2 is Out

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  • So is Xfree86 dead? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by glrotate ( 300695 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:12PM (#11632689) Homepage
    Is it being actively maintained or developed?
    • by Quattro Vezina ( 714892 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:15PM (#11632735) Journal
      I believe it's still being developed, but most distributions are no longer packaging it.
    • Is it being actively maintained or developed?

      Well, if nothing has changed since the fork, the answer is probably: ``Not really.'' Wasn't the glacial pace and control-freak policies of Xfree the reason for the fork in the first place?

      • by nofx_3 ( 40519 )
        Wasn't the glacial pace and control-freak policies of Xfree the reason for the fork in the first place?

        Actually IIRC much of the reason for the fork was due to a license change that many groups/people thought was too restrictive and incompatible with the popular OSS licencies (GPL/BSD/APACHE etc...)

        • by RealAlaskan ( 576404 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @05:05PM (#11634815) Homepage Journal
          Actually IIRC much of the reason for the fork was due to a license change that many groups/people thought was too restrictive and incompatible with the popular OSS licencies (GPL/BSD/APACHE etc...)

          I remember that, and I agree it was the straw that broke the camel's back, but I also recall that there had been long-standing, wide-spread dissatisfaction with the pace of development and the access to the process.

          I was exaggerating when I said that Xfree isn't being developed; it still seems to be lumbering along at about the same old pace. I think that the pace at which is moving will have nearly as much to do with its success as the new, improved (actually, same old?) license.

    • not dead, just forked. xfree86 is still in active development, but is currently under a feature freeze so they can concentrate on cleaning up the code (something xfree very much needs).
    • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:32PM (#11632965) Homepage Journal
      It is being maintained and developed as actively as it ever was, which is to say that there's a first release candidate for the first version after the split ready now. Whether that counts as "active" or not depends on your point of view.
    • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @03:20PM (#11633537) Homepage Journal was largely formed because the people who most actively wanted to contribute to XFree86 weren't allowed to. Honestly, I don't think that there's really any left who could or would want to actively continue XFree86. On the other hand, is being sponsored by HP, Sun, and IBM, and has representatives from SUSE, HP, Sun, and Red Hat on its board of directors.

      No, the real question is whether anyone qualified to continue X development is still sticking with XFree86. From what I can see, the answer is no.

    • by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @03:38PM (#11633769)
      Is it being actively maintained or developed?

      If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it...?
  • Debian? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:12PM (#11632691)
    Anyone in the know know why Debian is sticking to a fork of the old XFree code, and not moving to like other distros?
    • Re:Debian? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:15PM (#11632731)
      Debian is very conservative in upgrades. I understand that it is why Debian is very stable too. They (Debian) wait for the early adopters (Mandrake et al...) to see and iron out the bugs. Why are you anonymous?
      • Re:Debian? (Score:3, Insightful)

        Debian is very conservative in upgrades. I understand that it is why Debian is very stable too.

        But isn't that why we have Stable, Testing and Unstable? "Stable" should be conservative in upgrades, Testing and Unstable are for incorporating new software into the future products?

        Maybe they are just way more convservative then I realized :)
        • Debian/unstable (Score:4, Insightful)

          by phorm ( 591458 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @03:42PM (#11633809) Journal
          Yes, I'm very dissappointed in Debian/unstable for this. Certainly many other packages are available in unstable, up to CVS and bleeding-edge upgrades. But no

          I've had some nasty things happen with package dependencies breaking in unstable, so I'm fairly sure they're not holding off because of that.
          • Re:Debian/unstable (Score:3, Informative)

            by plumpy ( 277 )
            The problem is that right now Debian is preparing for a new 'stable' release (Sarge), so there aren't any huge new upgrades like X allowed to go in.

            Once sarge releases, things will hopefully go back to the craziness we all love.

            You can get a lot of newer packages out of the new(er) 'experimental' repository, but isn't in there.
          • Re:Debian/unstable (Score:4, Informative)

            by Kethinov ( 636034 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @05:54PM (#11635364) Homepage Journal
            You can compile in Debian just fine. I've done it. Not that it really matters. The hardware accelerated features that is developing are still too new and unstable to be usable at any reasonable level. I'm really not going to care one way or another if Debian gets until GNOME and KDE start doing useful things with cario, glitz, damage, and whatnot. Granted, work on this has indeed started, but until it is usable at at least a beta level, Debian need not waste their time rushing to adopt the X fork. They will. Give them time. The rush work that needs to be done is not at the distro level but at the development level. I want to see GNOME and KDE using nifty hardware accelerated effects. Real transparency built into the terminal and an Expose clone. Then distros can start worrying about packaging
    • Re:Debian? (Score:3, Informative)

      by node 3 ( 115640 )
      Anyone in the know know why Debian is sticking to a fork of the old XFree code, and not moving to like other distros?

      Because it's not sticking to a fork of the old XFree86 code, and it is moving to X.Org, like other distros.
      • Re:Debian? (Score:3, Informative)

        Because it's not sticking to a fork of the old XFree86 code, and it is moving to X.Org, like other distros.

        I think many of us are wondering when will be added to Debian unstable. It's nowhere in the package lists for stable, testing or unstable [].

        I can't find any recent news regarding for Debian [] on, or in the FAQ []. I see some discussion and debate about 7 months ago, but many things have changed since then.
    • Re:Debian? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Torham ( 544278 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @03:04PM (#11633368)
    • bian/local/FAQ.xhtml#debianplans

      This explains some of what is going on with debian. Sarge(when released) will not have packages.
    • by gehrehmee ( 16338 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @05:24PM (#11635029) Homepage
      1. Add:
        Package: *
        Pin: release a=hoary
        Pin-Priority: 50

        to /etc/apt/preferences.
      2. Add:
        # Ubuntu Hoary
        deb hoary main restricted universe multiverse

        to /etc/apt/source.list.
      3. Run:
        apt-get update
        apt-get install grep-dctrl
        cat status | grep-dctrl xorg -F Source -s Package | perl -e 'while (<>) { print; print "Pin: release a=hoary\nPin-Priority: 1000\n\n" }' >> /etc/apt/preferences
      4. Move the paragraph from step 1 to the end of the preferences file. (not sure if this is actually neccesary)
      5. Run: apt-get upgrade
      6. Hope it all works well. Did I mention I don't take responsibility for any breakage this causes? :)

      When all is said and done, these steps tell apt where to get ubuntu packages from, then tell it not to install any them, then tells them to make an exception for the Xorg packages, treating them just like they were regular debian packages.

      You'll also have the option of installing any software in ubuntu that's not in debian yet, and all of the potential breakage that implies.

  • Ati Drivers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by espergreen ( 849246 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:12PM (#11632697) Homepage
    I wonder if Ati users will have to wait another 6 months to get 6.8.2 support.
    • Re:Ati Drivers (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MarcQuadra ( 129430 ) *
      I wonder when Linux users will stop buying hardware that doesn't have published interfaces.

      I also wonder when people with ATI card that are actually supported will realize it. My RADEON 9200 and 7500 get full 3D acceleration without the closed drivers.
      • Not full, I had to get a GeForce to replace my RADEON 7000 because the maximum point size was 1 and that made Wings 3D very difficult. Notify me if they ever fix that.
      • Re:Ati Drivers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:52PM (#11633214)
        >> I wonder when Linux users will stop buying hardware that doesn't have published interfaces.>>

        I wonder when some Linux users will stop being so arrogant. Many people come to Linux AFTER they have purchased an ATI card with a desktop or notebook.

        "Switch to Linux it's better."
        "Okay. Reformat hard drive, install, configure. Hey, i can't get my ATI card to work."
        "You are so stupid. Why didn't you buy a card that works with Linux?"
      • Absolutely. Even my IGP mobile athlon works perfectly (w/ accel) in 6.8.1 without screwing with anything or getting special drivers.
      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        I wonder when Linux users will stop buying hardware that doesn't have published interfaces.

        As soon as you tell us what to buy instead. Other than NVIDIA and ATI, neither of which publishes a full register level spec, which video chipsets are available as consumer level video cards sold in Best Buy stores or as part of a notebook computer? Or do you expect us all to buy X11 thin clients instead of video cards?

        • Help is on the way. TechSource [], which makes video cards for air traffic control and medical applications has started work on a desktop/workstation card that will be able to accelerate enough of and OpenGL to be usable. It won't blow your socks off in gaming, but for many users that's not important anyway. More importantly, the specs will be fully open. More information on [].

          Oh and yes, it's been mentioned on Slashdot [] before.

          Join us and help out!

      • Re:Ati Drivers (Score:3, Insightful)

        by xoboots ( 683791 )
        "I wonder when Linux users will stop buying hardware that doesn't have published interfaces.

        Can you suggest an affordable, modern, consumer grade performance video card that meets this criteria? No you can't because there aren't any and you know it.
  • Mostly stability (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:13PM (#11632700)
    It looks like its moslty a stability update than features:
    The X11R6.8.2 release is intended to be a stable bug fix release ("Maintenance update") for the X11R6.8.0 and X11R6.8.1 X11 releases of the Xorg Foundation, containing bug fixes, security updates and a small set of new features, which include the following:

    * ATI R100 video driver
    * ATI "radeon" video driver
    * ATI Rage128 video driver
    * CYGWIN infrastructure update
    * DMX Library updates
    * Intel i810 video driver
    * libXpm security update (CAN-2004-0914)
    * Mesa (OpenGL) update to release 6.2
    * Fixes to the pseudocolor emulation layer (currently only used by the Neomagic driver.)
    * "nv" (Nvidia) video driver
    * Postscript print driver
    * Xprint infrastructure update
    • Re:Mostly stability (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ajs ( 35943 )
      So here's the important question: has the "nv" driver gained access to enough of the modern NVidia cards that I can stop using the binary-only driver to play Neverwinter Nights?
      • Not bloody likely.

        Seriously, the nv drivers suck at 3D largely because nvidia does not open their specs sufficiently. I, along with everyone else, would like them to, but personally, I think that's a ways out. They release a good driver though, and I am happy with it.
        • We need open hardware []
  • Debian (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 )
    I wish they'd release Sarge already so that Xorg will go into unstable.
    • Re:Debian (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Get Ubuntu instead. It's essentially a cleaned up version of Debian Sid and it includes
    • Re:Debian (Score:3, Informative)

      Instead of wishing, go here [] and help it happen by fixing as many of the 93 release-critical bugs as you can. Once that number is low enough, Sarge will be released.
  • Change log? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This announcement means nothing without a changelog
  • version numbers (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 )
    Okay, what's with the crazy version numbers? Can we not have some universal version numbering system... where if more than say 10% of the API is updated then make it a major number change... I mean... how long has it been at version 6? Since 2001???
  • YAY! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zoloto ( 586738 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:13PM (#11632712)
    This is actually a little faster on my 500mhz intel system! And who said code get's slower as it ages?
    • Re:YAY! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not me. Every new version of OSX that has come out has made my old Mac run faster.
  • Torrent? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by darkmeridian ( 119044 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (gnauhc.mailliw)> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:14PM (#11632717) Homepage
    Can someone set up a torrent at It is an open-tracker and well-populated.

    Someone should have done this before we slashdotted their server.
  • NetBSD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Coneasfast ( 690509 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:15PM (#11632738)
    when will netbsd switch to xorg for its official X.

    i know they have no problem with the new XFree86 license, but there are other reasons. Xorg is the new de facto standard. it has more features, cleaner code, and the best xfree86 developers have moved to xorg. xfree86 will soon be obsolete, it's time they switch.

    what's holding them back? they can still keep xfree86 on as an alternative too.

    • Re:NetBSD (Score:4, Informative)

      by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:19PM (#11632799) Homepage
      `cd /usr/pkgsrc/meta-pkgs/xorg; setenv X11_TYPE xorg; make install clean`

      It's been in pkgsrc for a while, and works fine :)
    • NetBSD's big claim to fame is portability.... It takes a while to fully test a large package on that many architectures and implementations (Chances are it takes a really long time to compile on a VAX 11/780, for example).
    • Just for the record, xorg has been in pkgsrc for quite a while. It's easy to use - simply add 'X11_TYPE=xorg' to /etc/mk.conf and then pkg_add or 'make' new applications. You can remove /usr/X11 at your leisure.
  • Mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by TorrentNinja ( 846388 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:16PM (#11632751) Homepage
  • Changelog (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BinLadenMyHero ( 688544 ) <.binladen. .at.> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:17PM (#11632765) Journal
    Dear Taco,

    Please post a link to a summary of changes [] when anouncing the release of a new version of any software.
    • Re:Changelog (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:28PM (#11632918) is getting hammered by /. so here is the summary of changes:

      2. Summary of new features in X11R6.8.2

      This is a sampling of the new features in X11R6.8.2. A more complete list of changes can be found in the ChangeLog file that is part of the X source tree.

      * Freetype was updated to version 2.1.8. But installing freetype from X distributions would often or usually result in the replacement or use of "stale" versions of freetype. On Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris 10, and SCO5, therefore, X11R6.8.2 will by default use the version of freetype2 that is installed on the system. If your system doesn't come with an installed freetype2 and you wish to use the version supplied with this distribution, please add: #define HasFreetype2 NO to config/cf/host.def.
      * The XTT font module and FreeType1 have been retired because FreeType2 subsumes their functionality
      * Retire old PS Type1 font rasterizer (except for CID font usage) since the FreeType2 rasterizer now handles PS Type1 (*.pfa, *.pfb)
      * Render implementation fixes
      * Updated x86emu and resynced with upstream at Scitech
      * Updated SiS driver
      * Updated Nvidia driver (opensource version)
      * Render acceleration for ATI's R100 and R200-series cards
      * Substantial speedups in the software implementation of the render extensions when compiled with gcc 3.4 on the i386 architecture.
      * Infrastructure for rotation support in drivers
      * New Trapezoid specification for the Render extension
      o Respecify Render to include only 'normal' traps
      o Allow backward compatibility but internally covert to new format
      * Software mouse cursor is now based on the Damage extension
      * A new keyboard driver is enabled by default. The old driver is disabled unless explicitly compiled in by defining the macro |USE_DEPRECATED_KEYBOARD_DRIVER|.
      * All extensions (except Xserver-specific extensions "DMX" and "XpExtension") can now be enabled/disabled from the configuration file and from the command line.
      * Mac OS X updates:
      o Support dynamic screen configuration changes in rootless mode
      o Added option to always use Mac command key equivalents
      o Interpret scroll wheel mouse events correctly when shift is held down
      o Added trivial Xinput support
      o Fixed launch of X clients from Finder with a space in their path
      o Fixed some GLX rendering problems on Mac OS X 10.2 and earlier
      * Updated xterm version

      2.1. New X extensions

      X11R6.8.2 includes four new extensions:


      The XFixes extension is a collection of improvements for deficiencies in the core protocol, including

      * Notification when a selection changes
      * Server-side region objects
      * Allow clients to track the cursor image


      The Damage extension allows a client to be notified whenever something is drawn to a window. This feature is useful for VNC servers, for screen magnifiers, and for clients using the Composite extension to update the screen.
      Composite (experimental)

      The Composite extension allows a client to request that all drawing to window is redirected to off-screen buffer. Though the Damage extension the client, called a 'compositing manager', can know which areas of a window is modified and render the windows on screen. By making use of the drawing requests from both the core protocol and the RENDER extension, the compositing manager can create special effects, such as translucennt windows.

      The Composite extension is considered experimental in X11R6.8.2 and is turned off by default.
      XEvIE (X Event Interception Extension) (experimental)

      XEvIE is an extension to intercept core keyboard and pointing device input It allows consumation, modification or synthesis of input events before these are sent to their final destination (i.e., interested clients). This feature is required by the GNOME accessibility project.

      The XEvIE extension is considered experimental
  • is for the nvidia (from nvidia) driver to not lockup under Gentoo. Unfortunately, I guess nobody has found the reason for that happening yet.
    • Re:All I want (Score:3, Informative)

      by arkhan_jg ( 618674 )
      Had a similar problem myself.

      Update to a moderately recent version of portage, (2.0.51 iirc)

      and add
      >=medi a -video/nvidia-glx-1.0.6629

      to your /etc/portage/package.mask file, then "emerge nvidia-kernel nvidia-glx"

      That should drop you down to the 6111 driver, which is far more stable than the piece of crap 6629. Reboot, or kill your window manager, rmmod nvidia, and modprobe the new one and things should be a lot more stable.

      I've gone from locking up X two or thre
    • I have a supermicro (7505 chipset) dual Xeon board that supports both SBA and FW. However, when I try to enable SBA/FW I get lockups. I fixed this by disabling them in the modules config. /etc/modules.d/nvidia options nvidia NVreg_EnableAGPSBA=0 NVreg_EnableAGPFW=0 Then run modules-update and reload the nvidia module. You may have to reboot for it to take effect. One thing to note is the new drivers DIDN'T default to off as the older ones had. So some people are seeing fixes just because they downgrad
  • (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sunspire ( 784352 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:18PM (#11632782)
    Forget about the website, it's worthless. If you want to see what's changed in 6.8.2, turn to the release notes over at [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:19PM (#11632800)
    I bought parts for a new PC which arrived on Monday, and while setting up SuSE 9.2 I discovered a slight ... incompatibility. If you're using a PCI-Express NVidia card on x86-64, things may prove somewhat problematic with 6.8.1. In my case, the graphical installer simply wouldn't run, and after installing via VNC I couldn't get the proprietary NVidia driver to work without serious corruption of the mouse pointer, missing text and so on.

    I had been concerned that I'd have to switch off stuff like dual-head, hardware acceleration etc., but it turns out it's a (now fixed) bug in regarding PIC-Express and 64-bit Linux on AMD processors. I was downloading some semi-official 6.8.2 packages just before seeing this...

    So, if you're having problems with X on a spangly new system, I hope this helps. ;-)

    • ... and, it works! Now I can escape from the login-forgetting w3m...

      Currently I've only got single-head going, but everything's gloriously accelerated, including OpenGL. Even the open nv driver now works for the basics. Hurrah!

      If you want the SuSE 9.2 RPMs for 6.8.2 RC3, read this []. You'll need to manually copy a SaX2-produced XF86Config to xorg.conf unless you upgrade SaX2 as well - I haven't found pre-compiled x86-64 RPMs for that yet, so I think I'm going to have to compile some myself.

      Ah, life on the
      • The free "nv" driver is single head only, but you can choose which head to use by using the CrtcNumber option. To support dual head, the driver should call xf86SetEntitySharable(), which it doesn't do yet, perhaps for a good reason.
  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:21PM (#11632818) Homepage Journal
    Now maybe some of the "Linux fonts are awful" trolls will stop.
    • Now maybe some of the "Linux fonts are awful" trolls will stop.

      No, they will never stop. Even though linux fonts have been totally sweet for some time now, the fudsters will forever gripe about the 1993-era slackware distro that they once saw, as if it were still relevant.

  • Section Linux? (Score:2, Informative)

    by devphaeton ( 695736 )
    I guess the BSDs still don't count on /.
  • by MondoMor ( 262881 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:24PM (#11632869) Homepage Journal
    This applies to a broad range of OSes. It has very little to do with Linux directly.
  • XFree (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:25PM (#11632878) Homepage Journal
    What happened to those guys? David Dawes' crusade finally just peter out? Does anyone else still use XFree?
  • Xgl (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:26PM (#11632895) Homepage Journal
    How about Xgl [], the port of X to OpenGL HW/SW?
  • Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:44PM (#11633118) Homepage Journal
    This should have been put in the BSD section as well, for obvious reasons. I'd add the Unix section, except there isn't one. Come to think of it, wouldn't it make a lot of sense to have a single section for Linux and Unix (including BSD)? The distinction between Linux and Unix is more legal than technical.
  • I've used Windows, MacOSX, various commercial unices, linux and bsd, and have come to a conclusion, that the X server's client-server design compromises the latency of usage.

    I thought this was a driver issue, for example, on the same machine, opening, moving and resizing windows is very snappy on any window system beside X, be it MSWindows (yeah I know crappy, insecure, bloaty etc, but snappy), BeOS or OSX. Even the X11 on Darwin isnt quite as snappy as it should be being a GUI system.

    In the case of BeOS,
    • On the current crop of uni-processor systems, X latency may be an issue. Not a big one, though... Seems worst with OS that is not "HT" aware running on a Xeon.

      But, multi-CPU is the "wave of the future". On such systems, X will render on its own processor, and will seem to perform BETTER than the alternatives. X Windows "sweet spot" has always been either (1) at least 2 CPUs or (2) a dedicated X terminal with high-speed link.

      As to "X-lite", the networking is already bypassed if running on the same box.

    • by DrWhizBang ( 5333 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @04:26PM (#11634350) Homepage Journal
      With all due respect, you don't really seem to know much on this subject. As I understand it, it is not the client-server model, nor the inefficiency of the X protocol that is at issue here. It is rather a the stagnancy of the x toolkit (which could be blamed on the xfree86 organization, if one likes to point fingers) that has caused this.

      As has been stated in another thread, X11R6 was first released in 1994. No significant changes were made to its drawing libraries before the addition or the render extension (with anti-aliased fonts) by Keith Packard in the 2001/2002 timeframe. In 1994, things that we take for granted like true-colour displays. Windows 95 had not been released - Windows 3.1 was mostly seen in 256 colours!

      As more graphical applications (e.g. web browsers, image viewers) became the norm, and 32-bit colour became common, application writers sought solutions that would allow them the functionality they needed. GTK+ and QT became toolkits that supplied the features that X lacked, at the cost or having to perform client side rendering. This pushes more and more pixels with higher bit-depths through the X protocol to the server. Some solutions were devised for special cases like OpenGL (GLX) and video (Xvideo), but X's core display system did without updates.

      Since the clients now had to push lots of bits through the X protocol to the server, 2D graphics displayed the latency that you describe, even on really fast hardware. In a way, the Render extension seems to have pushed this over the edge since software fallbacks required (esp. for text) made rendering crawl.

      The solution that the guys have come up with is this: reduce the reading and writing over the X "pipe". There are a few methods that they are using. First is the XFixes extension. This extension supplies some additional functions that were missing in the core protocol - like the ability to address a region. Once this was in place, the Damage extension could be created, which allows the client and server to pass less information back in forth because they can now identify when a region has been damaged and needs to be redrawn.

      The next piece is Composite and the composite manager. Composite allows the server to draw windows into an offscreen region so that the composite manager can redraw them on the screen. By doing this, the composite manager can use the hardware acceleration in the video card to do smooth opaque moves, and additionaly special effects. Theoretically, a composite manager could be written to use OpenGL, which would be really smooth. I can testify, however, that using Composite and xcompmgr on my PC at home is smooth as glass. 32 bit colour, drop shadows, and all the niceties...

      The next step will be Cairo, Glitz, and XGL. I am anxiously waiting for a release of this stuff, because it is way cool.
    • Client/server is not the problem. In many cases it can be much faster because it encourages batching together hundreds or thousands of requests into a single context switch.

      The problem with X is much simpler, but nobody wants to hear it. The problem is the design of having a seperate process that is the "window manager".

      Anybody who has used X for many years will know that the problems with moving and resizing windows have remained pretty much constant despite the fact that the machines themselves have inc
  • It allows multihead over the network. This might just be the solution I've been looking for to make all the systems in my house display the same instance of an app on the screen at the same on multiple machines. Imagine running am IM app only once, but seeing it on any machine you happen to be working on. Multicast apps! :)
  • i810 driver updates * Dualhead support (i830+) * i915 support * New 3D driver (i830+) * i810 driver is now supported for AMD64 This should fix the current hackish method for using video out.
  • I am waiting on the *next* release, which, as I understand it, will have the GATOS drivers for the various ATI All-in-wonder cards merged in by default.

    What that means is that, out of the box, the ATI Radeon 7500 All-in-wonder will have accelerated 3D, video capture, and TV tuner support.

    The current CVS image has these built in, but as I understood it, they did not want to merge that into this release.

    Of course, for the newer cards (R300 and later) the 3D will still require the ATI FGLRX driver, which do
  • by DunbarTheInept ( 764 ) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @07:39PM (#11636362) Homepage
    What with USB working the way it does, where you can chain off as many devices as you feel like, and computers being fast enough to handle all of them at once, it seems to be like it should be possible to do the following:

    Three Users, user zero, one, and two, are sitting in a conference room using a giant screen projector as the monitor, attached to a laptop someone brought. There are three different keyboards and three different mice attached to the laptop as USB devices. Some might even be IR so they are being used from across the room.

    User zero picks up keyboard 0 and mouse 0, uses mouse zero to click on a terminal window and focus it, then uses keyboard 0 to type into it.

    Meanwhile User one sits at keyboard 1 and mouse 1 to demonstrate something on the web using a browser window.

    Meanwhile User two, using keyboard 2 and mouse 2, is making a diagram in openoffice.

    Essentailly, there are three different "input contexts" each one consisting of one mouse and one keyboard, and each has its own mouse pointer, and it's own keyboard focus, and the X server is interleaving thier input events together and dispatching them to the appropriate applications.

    The place where I would have found such a thing useful was a roleplaying game where I had a lot of visual aids on computer, one of which was a map with little tokens players could move to represent themselves on the map (each token was a layer in Gimp) It would have been handy to have public mice for them and my private mouse for me to use on the private GM screen (the laptop's own screen).

    But, it doesn't seem to be possible without writing it myself.... ....hmmm..... I wonder how one goes about learning the X input system....

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.