X.Org 7.4 Includes New Functions

Sep 10, 2008

With a development time of at least a year, X.Org will be released today, delayed by almost six months. Developers want to free themselves from dependencies in future versions.

X.Org developers have not only fixed security leaks and bugs, but the new release promises higher speeds through its EXA-based architecture. X-maintainer Daniel Stone reports in the release notes of its new functionality and drivers. The Intel and Nvidia graphic drivers were reworked, Radeon-HD devices are supported, and the developers promise that RandR 1.2 now supports all chipsets. Ben Byer and Jeremy Huddleston worked on updates for the Mac OS, James Cloos drove enhancements for libX11 1.1.5, and Ian Romanick replaced the PCI bus scanning code with the libpciaccess libraries.

Even the xorg-server profited from revisions, among them a faster startup and shutdown process, secure RPC authentication, a smarter autoconfiguration, easier GL code programming and other code fixes. The planned MPX support was deferred to the next release. The full list of enhancements is on the X.Org Foundation project page.

The original release was planned for March 2008, but was pushed out to May and eventually to June. The first pre-release in March included more than 100 changes and fixes, but lacked improved functionality. It turned out that the Mesa open source library was critical for Xserver 1.5. Delays with Mesa 7.1 thus impacted the X-Server and, in turn, the X.Org release. By June the situation proved to be just as frail. The developers thus want to make up for the time loss in the next version: Xserver 1.6 should appear before year's end and version 7.5 is already in the plans. At the top of Daniel Stone's list is the suggestion that the "Xserver build no longer needs to symlink to Mesa sources."

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