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X.Org Releases First Modular Source Roll-Up

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-to-be-confused-with-the-fruit-variety dept.

176

NewsForge is reporting that X.Org has released their first modular roll-up release. From the article: "All X11R7.0 derivative ("modularized") releases divide the source code into logically distinct modules, separately developed, built, and maintained by the community of X.Org developers. This concentrates and accelerates development time, supporting continuous modification, testing, and publication of each module.The new modular format offers focused development, and rapid and independent updates and distribution of tested modular components as they are ready, freed from the biennial maintenance release timetable."

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176 comments

Still doesn't fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384588)

the inherent insecurity of the X driver model.

Re:Still doesn't fix (2, Informative)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384618)

Whether or not that's true, I can't say. But it should be easier to revamp the X driver model without impacting the rest of the code now that it's all been properly modularized.

Re:Still doesn't fix (3, Informative)

siride (974284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384643)

You don't understand what modular means in this case. It only means that the various components of X are now in separate autotooled packages. There hasn't been any change in the existing modules, only now they are available separately rather than as part of a single monolithic tarball with a monolithic build system.

Re:Still doesn't fix (2, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384690)

That'll still help. Not having to download the entire source tarball to fix one package lowers the cost of entry for people interested in making changes.

Re:Still doesn't fix (2, Funny)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384759)

LOL... yeh... because bandwidth is what is preventing people from hack X. Its not the insanity of Scheiffler's design, or the arcana of Gettys' et.al implementation.

yeh, its the bnandwidth thats stopping people from just sitting down and whacking X...

Re:Still doesn't fix (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384844)

No, it's not a problem of bandwidth, you dumbass.

Modularized code is easier to inspect, study and debug.

Re:Still doesn't fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385057)

This has not been modularised, it's been packaged separately. It's not much of a revamp.

Re:Still doesn't fix (2, Insightful)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384879)

Um It's not the bandwidth, but the pile.

Which is easier to repair and inspect. A modern skyscraper or a 1000 small homes in a suburb?

given the same number of people in each team which do you think would done first and with a higher quality?

Which is easier for the less trained to be brought up to speed on?

Re:Still doesn't fix (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384959)

Which is easier to repair and inspect. A modern skyscraper or a 1000 small homes in a suburb?

I don't want to shit on your OpenSores-parade, but the skyscraper is.

Re:Still doesn't fix (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385249)

I can see why you think that the skyscraper is, but there is more to a skyscraper than a house. Think of it this way, inspecting a single module like say a kernel module is much easier than inspecting the entire linux kernel. Why? Rules that apply in modules and functions available for that type of module from a logic perspective are easier to train someone on. They don't need to be experts on every aspect of the system. Likewise, someone could study twm and not care how the radeon driver works. In the skyscraper analogy, someone would need to know commerical building codes and understand how a skyscraper's foundation might have trouble supporting the weight whereas a single house doesn't need as good of foundation or electrical wiring or whatever.

Modules are the reason we have Object Oriented languages. Sure, C++ and other languages can be a pain in the ass at times, but it makes it easy to write code once and reuse it in a shitload of places. It also simplifies unit testing which is very important for mission critical applications. I think xorg is a very important piece to any modern linux/UNIX distribution for desktops, embedded devices and occiasionally servers. Long term, the direction xorg is going will work out nicely. If you've followed the xorg progress since it forked off the xfree86 code, you'll know they've had some annoying bugs between versions. The seperation might allow them to either avoid the bugs or at least repair them sooner.

Re:Still doesn't fix (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385425)

Build a skyscraper & 1000 houses, populate them.

Come back in 5 years and see which you prefer to sort out.

MOD PARENT FUNNY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384863)

This guy is hilarious!

Re:Still doesn't fix (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384968)

Not having to download the entire source tarball to fix one package lowers the cost of entry for people interested in making changes.

Or more likely, being able to build a distribution without twm, xedit, xeyes, xman, xvfb, and the billions of other useless utilities that clog up and XWin installation could make for smaller, more focused builds that assist projects that are focused only on producing an end product. (Damn Small Linux is a good candidate in my mind.)

Previously, the X build system was so monolithic in nature that you couldn't not build all these stupid little widgets. Now that things are more modularized, you can build only what you need and throw away the rest.

2p! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384595)

2nd post!!!!

Re:2p! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384602)

Great second post. Kudos.

-- Moomin

Re:2p! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384608)

That's odd, I thought Linux developers liked all things monolithic?

Re:2p! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384614)

Only your mom.

I wonder (1, Flamebait)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384606)

if this will do anything to get 7.0 to a usable state sooner?

Way-kewl feature list, but about like driving in the Bradshaws: more rock than road.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384697)

I donno.

Hasn't Ubuntu, Suse, and Fedora been using Modular Xorg for some time now. I know I am using it in Debian unstable.

Re:I wonder (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384848)

7.0 release candidates have been working great for me for months now. Of course that is with stock drivers; no proprietary nvidia driver or anything.

May 22:Prostitute Schedule @ MBOT in San Francisco (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384971)

Like Las Vegas, San Francisco offers prostitution as a tourist attraction. If you want to buy some prostitution services (i.e., hand job, blow job, or full sexual intercourse), you need to merely walk through the doors of the Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theater (MBOT), located at 895 O'Farrell Street, San Francisco, California.

Check out the prostitute schedule for May 22, 2006 at the MBOT [fuckedcompany.com] .

The prostitute schedule is updated daily.

Unlike Las Vegas, San Francisco does not regulate prostitution. So, the MBOT heartily welcomes everyone -- including HIV-positive customers.

If you are repulsed by the idea of receiving sex services from a prostitute (at the MBOT) who services roughly 1000 guys per year, then consider the following 2 genuine stripclubs, which prohibit prostitution.

Crazy Horse
-----------
980 Market Street
San Francisco, California

Gold Club
---------
650 Howard Street
San Francisco, California

I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (3, Interesting)

branteaton (224018) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384607)

I could not be happier. Modular design clarifies architecture and simplifies targeted enhancements. Better X, faster. What's not to like?

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (1)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384628)

Modular design clarifies architecture and simplifies targeted enhancements. Better X, faster.

Modular design is definitely easier to maintain, but will not necessarily speed up X and reduce latency

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384654)

Modular design is definitely easier to maintain, but will not necessarily speed up X and reduce latency

First, I don't think that is necessary for normal use. Second, of course it will speed X up in the long run, because considerable effort that had to be spend on other things before can now go into experiments and optimisations. Really quite obvious. UNless you are one of these pople that are not satisfied with 90% of the optimum. Then you of course have to have hand optimised, thightly interweaved, assembler code, that unfortunately will take decades to get right.

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (0)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384782)

er... it aint the drivers for X that are slow... its the protocol.

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384986)

Actually, it ain't the protocol, it's the toolkits.

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385030)

Yes, if every program would only use Athena widgets, X11 would be just fine for modern computing.

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (2, Insightful)

siride (974284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385063)

That's not the issue. The issue is that the toolkits are inefficient in their usage of the X protocol. This is partially if not totally because of the crapfest that is xlib. Xlib is so terribly inefficient and poorly designed that even the best-written toolkit will have some performance problems if it uses xlib. With XCB now getting ready to go primetime, performance with X might finally start to improve.

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385170)

Well, you do have to lay some (I'd argue most) of the blame on the toolkit or application authors. For example, forget the docs, just look at the prototype for XRenderCompositeString8 [freedesktop.org] . Does that prototype suggest to you that you should draw an entire page full of text a single letter at a time using that function? 'cause that's what at least one text editor does.

Re:I, For One, Welcome Our Modular Overlairds.... (1)

metternich (888601) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384750)

What the original poster meant was that X would get better at a faster rate, (because development would be easier,) not that it would speed up necessarily.

Of course Modular is Better - MicroKernals!!! (0, Redundant)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384988)

Thats what MicroKernals are all about - modularisation!!!! So they must be better!!!

(Puts on asbestos suit and ducks for cover)

Gentoo (3, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384616)

This should make it a whole lot easier on the Gentoo user machines - we will no longer have to recompile the entire X.Org source on every update.

I heard rumours of KDE going a similar route in the future.

Re:Gentoo (2, Informative)

rmsmith (930507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384620)

KDE is already modularised. See the KDE split ebuilds in portage, for example.

Re:Gentoo (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384627)

Aren't those just the few big ones (ie. kde-base, kde-graphics, kde-games, etc)?

I meant that KDE could go into thousands of small modules instead (eg., each game being a separate module).

Re:Gentoo (1)

DemonThing (745994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384645)

They already are. Portage has the kde-meta package which can install the roughly-300 separate components individually.

Re:Gentoo (1)

rmsmith (930507) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384647)

Nah. Every KDE individual component is installable as of Jan 2005. The 'kde-base' and 'kde-graphics' ebuilds are the old monolithic ebuilds. More info here. [gentoo.org]

Re:Gentoo (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384760)

There's two types of KDE ebuilds for it at the moment: the old huge ones and new separate ones. They don't help all that much though, since every time there's a new official release they change the version number for everything so you end up compiling them all one at a time anyway. The split X.Org packages are more useful though, since you can install it without the evil, evil bitmap sans-serif fonts.

ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU MISERABLE GENTOO BITCHES LIKE? (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384630)

n/t

Re:Gentoo (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384642)

Have you seen the number of packages [gentoo.org] you need to add to packages.keywords to switch to X.Org 7.0 in Gentoo? There's no way any sane person will do that until they move it all to the stable branch. echo "=x11-base/xorg-x11-6.9.0-r1" >> /etc/portage/package.unmask is the way to go.

Re:Gentoo (1)

DrLZRDMN (728996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384683)

I guess they could use a meta-package for that.
It would also be nice if they made a way so that you could have it fairly simple and not install all the stuff you don't need.

Re:Gentoo (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384737)

I'm pretty sure there is a meta-package. The problem is, even if you put the meta-package in package.keywords, it'll still complain about all its dependencies being masked. If I found a good way to import that entire file into package.keywords (Why oh why didn't they provide a version with ~x86 appended to each line? I'm way too lazy to do it in vim.), a simple "emerge xorg-x11" would work.

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384846)

You're telling me you Gentooers can't just hack up a little shell script to handle this?

Don't you use Gentoo to learn about your system or something like that?

Or was it for sweet custom systems you can build? Wait, what was that whining about wanting a meta-package so you didn't have to pick and choose?

Sheesh.

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385125)

You are a faggot. A bona fide, rim-jobbing, butt-fucking, schlong-slobbering queer.

Re:Gentoo (1)

ampathee (682788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385001)

for $p in `cat list.txt` do; echo "$p ~x86" >> done.txt; done
Or something. The syntax may need fixing - I'm a bit hazy on bash, and I don't have a bash prompt to test it on at work.

But that's approximately how I solved the problem when I installed it the other week.

Re:Gentoo (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385366)

(Why oh why didn't they provide a version with ~x86 appended to each line? I'm way too lazy to do it in vim.)

Because you don't have to add the ~x86, it's implicit (just like ~amd64 would be for amd64). Just copy and paste that file into package.keywords. Alternatively, open that file and try this in vim:

^[ggqfA ~x86^[jq294@f
, where ^[ is, of course, the Esc key.

Re:Gentoo (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384693)

This sane Gentoo user is just waiting for 7.0 to go stable. It might be fun to play with, but I've got less time than I need, right now.

But the big question...
Is OpenGL hardware for S3 Savage in 7.0?
My mom's machine has a KM133, (integrated Savage) and every now and then I'd like to have OpenGL on it, since Grandma's house is the place for Nostalgia Games. (Like Quake1 or Doom-era) But I'm clearly not putting anything but Stable on her machine, since most maintenance is from 600 miles away.

Re:Gentoo (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385066)

The real question is, is an S3 Savage fast enough that you'd even notice whether it was hardware-accelerated or not?! ; )

But seriously, instead of spending your valuable time (say, $20/hour at the minimum) worrying about drivers, you'd be better off paying $100 on a faster CPU and mobo. You could easily waste 5 hours screwing around with X...

Re:Gentoo (2, Interesting)

Godji (957148) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385084)

Is OpenGL hardware for S3 Savage in 7.0?

Yes! A friend of mine with a laptop with one of these cards said that with XOrg 7 came the first time he had hardware-accelerated OpenGL in Linux.

Please allow me to critisize you for a moment: I've been running 7.0 since it came out (before it was in ~x86 even). I'm perfectly sane. Somebody has to test new software if it is ever to become stable. Also, everyone will have to do the transition sooner it later, so I might as well do it now. The modularized system has been incredibly stable and error free; you (and I, and everyone) should be very thankful to Gentoo's wonderful XOrg team for figuring it all out and delivering evrrything so smoothly. Please don't call me, or them, or anyone insane just for playing around with something new. It's how Linux happened, after all.

Re:Gentoo (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384714)

Not for a while now:

$ cat package.keywords
~sys-devel/gcc-4.0.2 -*
~sys-libs/glibc-2.3.6 -*
dev-util/motor ~x86

$ equery list -p xorg
[ Searching for package 'xorg' in all categories among: ]
  * installed packages
[I--] [ ~] app-doc/xorg-docs-1.1 (0)
[I--] [ ~] x11-base/xorg-server-1.0.2-r4 (0)
[I--] [ ~] x11-base/xorg-x11-7.0-r1 (0)
[I--] [ ~] x11-misc/xorg-cf-files-1.0.1-r3 (0)
  * Portage tree (/usr/portage)
[-P-] [M ] app-doc/xorg-sgml-doctools-1.0.1 (0)
[-P-] [M~] x11-base/xorg-server-1.0.99.903 (0)
[-P-] [ ] x11-base/xorg-x11-6.8.2-r7 (0)
[-P-] [M~] x11-base/xorg-x11-6.9.0-r1 (0)
[-P-] [M~] x11-base/xorg-x11-7.1_rc2 (0)

Re:Gentoo (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384724)

Wait, if you don't even have xorg-x11 in your package.keywords file, wouldn't you get 6.8.2 installed? How'd you manage without that?

Re:Gentoo (1)

niskel (805204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384754)

It's called running ~arch. It's the only way to fly. ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="amd64 ~amd64" in make.conf in my case. Lots of goodies available without having to fiddle with package.keywords including xorg 7.0 for a while now.

Re:Gentoo (2, Informative)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384770)


Wait, if you don't even have xorg-x11 in your package.keywords file, wouldn't you get 6.8.2 installed? How'd you manage without that?


All three of my machines have "~amd64" or "~x86" in their make.confs.

Re:Gentoo (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384787)

Ah. Well, yea, naturally that solves the problem of specifically adding ~x86 or ~amd64 to each subpackage of X.org 7.0. I guess I should have known when I saw how bare your package.keywords was; mine has at least 15 entries. Un-keyword-masking is a bit too much "new" for my taste, but it's a legitimate strategy.

Re:Gentoo (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384816)


Ah. Well, yea, naturally that solves the problem of specifically adding ~x86 or ~amd64 to each subpackage of X.org 7.0.


It solves the problem of adding keywords for all "~arch" packages. Sure you run into gotchas every now and then but if nobody tests new software then how can it ever become stable?

Re:Gentoo (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385396)

if nobody tests new software then how can it ever become stable?

You're right, of course; I just don't feel that that person has to be me. ;-)

Re:Gentoo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384815)

I think you meant to say echo ...>sys/X116.9 -> packages.mask. Gentoo rocks. One of the many reasons other than a seriously informed community (More to the point their is a community sorry SuSE). But man is X11 greater than 6.8 a bugy HAL's broken. The the NV stuff is broken. hot and cold plug are broken etc. etc. etc. etc. Soon as we can get something other than X11 to do the widget stuff I'll say: Good ridance! Mabie porting Quartz to the BSD and Linux kernel would be a good idea. Other than fidgeting with compiz I honestly don't know what super duper great things X11 7 provides.

Re:Gentoo (1)

mkosmo (768069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384670)

Yes, but how long will it take for this new revision to be put in portage? Portage takes a while to take a architecture hard-mask off something, so I doubt it will be used by most Gentoo users for a long while. Firefox 1.5 is still hard-masked for x86 I believe...

Re:Gentoo (3, Informative)

rdwald (831442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384715)

There's a difference between hard-masking and keyword masking. Essentially, Gentoo has three levels of packages: "stable," "masked," and "hard-masked." Masking involves just putting a tilde in front of your architecture to get the software. You can use the /etc/portage/package.keywords file to specify packages you always want the masked version of; I've done this with Firefox, for example. There's another level of masking, which is called hard-masking. To remove a hard-mask, you've got to put the package in /etc/portage/package.unmask, and you need to list a specific version of the software you want to unmask. In general, it seems reasonable to have a few masked things installed on your system, but these aren't the same as hard-masked packages.

Re:Gentoo (1)

EzInKy (115248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384982)

...so I doubt it will be used by most Gentoo users for a long while.


The fewer users who test new software the longer it takes for new software to become stable. It's hard to find bugs if nobody is looking.

Re:Gentoo (1)

tehlinux (896034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384678)

I'm a Gentoo user myself, so I know what you're talking about, but I think they are going modular to make things easier for new developers.

Re:Gentoo (5, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384718)

That would be really cool. In the meantime though I would like to suggest a system where most common large "packages" of software were compiled and posted some place on the net that Gentoo users could download them. That way everytime there was a point release they wouldn't have to spend ages recompiling. Sure there may be a slight hit to performance but given the inherrent redundancy of compiling the same packages thousands of times on every users computers to just a few times for major architecture it makes sense to me. /runs for cover.

Re:Gentoo (1)

buysse (5473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384767)

So.... you mean that you want to run Ubuntu (or straight Debian, or Fedora, or Mandrake^H^H^H^Hiva, or...)?

I'm not trying to be insulting, but if you don't want to deal with rebuilding, why do you run Gentoo? I personally don't have the kind of free time that Gentoo seems to requires, so most of the boxes I deal with are Solaris or RHEL.

Re:Gentoo (5, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384824)

       (J) <--- The joke
       ...
       ( )
      __|__     <--- You
        |
       / \

Re:Gentoo (1, Informative)

buysse (5473) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384877)

Sorry. After work, where people do seem to be that .. unobservant, it's entirely believable. It does make it hard to spot a joke.

Re:Gentoo (1, Insightful)

miro f (944325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385178)

honestly... am I the only one who's sick of seeing this same damn ascii art over and over again?

it was funny the first time, I think we need to start modding it overrated now

(yes, I am aware this is slashdot, no I'm not new here, before you ask)

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384974)

While updating Gentoo does take a fair amount of CPU time and memory, it doesn't take much user time.
All one has to do is start the update then go do something else. This "something else" can include using the applications that are being updated. Unlike windows, an update will not fail if a program is being run.

As a related mater, from my experience, it takes much less user time to get a working Gentoo installation then it does a Debian system. While, with no GUI installer, Gentoo takes 3 hours to install and configure (using a stage3+GRP, followed by 3 days to recompile everything). Do note that the system is perfectly usable after those 3 hours. For Debian, it will probably take 30 minutes with the GUI, then the rest of a day to configure; that is to say much longer.

(That said, etc-update is a bitch and needs a good GUI replacement and better auto-replace detection logic)

Re:Gentoo (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384980)

In the meantime though I would like to suggest a system where most common large "packages" of software were compiled and posted some place on the net that Gentoo users could download them.

You're right, that's a great idea. It's called the Gentoo Linux Installer LiveCD [gentoo.org] .

Re:Gentoo (1)

a.d.trick (894813) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384997)

I know your joking, but it already exists. Firefox, OpenOffice, and a couple other of the large and popular software have binary packages in portage. It's just that they're not teribbly popular and harder to maintain.

Same with OpenBSD, building -stable via release(8) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384833)

Same with OpenBSD, building -stable X via release(8). Hopefully they can more easily patch X this way too.

Re:Gentoo (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384862)

I'd be happy if I could just get ATI's drivers to work with Hardened Gentoo.

What is the point of running a hardened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385031)

system if yer gonna slap proprietary binary-only drivers on it?

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384915)

I heard rumours of KDE going a similar route in the future.

I hope not. Modularity is a good thing but if taken to extremes the build process may become very complicated; even if the code is autotooled.

The old imake system was wierd when compared to most other builds (which is bad) but in it's most simplified form it usually just comes down to one configuration file (the hard part is splitting it up afterwards). The new modular system, however, consists of ~200 different tarballs IIRC. Now, what would you prefer: make 200 packages and sort out the dependencies or would you prefer duking it out with imake and split up the results into say, 6 packages? You tell me.

In some ways the difference between the old monolithic X and the new modular one is similar to the buildsystems of Gnome (modular) and KDE (monolithic, though very modular on some levels). The problem Gnome suffers from is that because it consists of so many different parts there may be inconsistencies between them. KDE's semi-monolithic system on the other hand is tested and built more as "a whole", resulting in what seems to be much better consistency.

I'm not saying one desktop is better than the other (completely beside the point) but I have built both manually and let me tell you - Gnome is hell to maintain packages for and there is often a lot of patching involved. A nasty side-effect is that some parts of Gnome are getting old while others are too bleeding edge (even to the point where you might have to check out code from CVS just to get the build to work).

I believe the sweet spot is somewhere in between monolithic and modular. The core API and libraries should probably be maintained "as a whole" while the X servers, applications, drivers etc. would probably be best off split into smaller parts. Personally, I'll stick with the old monolithic X for now. I just hope they organized the system extremely well, because if they didn't, adoption will be very slow.

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385058)

Modular X has been in the unstable branch for ~3 months now, and was in the masked branch probably ~2 months before that on 64bit Gentoo. It works rather well for the most part. The only flaw was a change in the ABI of xorg-server that buggers up the proprietary drivers from ATI and Nvidia.

Oh and contrary to popular belief, since Modular X has come out of mask, it no longer needs a huge list added to package.unmask.

Good thing! (4, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384638)

A monolithic system with poor or unstable interfaces is a maintenance nightmare. Maybe this explains why in the end XFree86 was so slow in supporting new hardware drivers. I still remember having had to patch the sources manually for my ATI Radeon 9600XT card, just because the PCI ID of that card was still not in the release quite some time after the card was on the market. Really bad.

With a modular built, they can now change one part, like the drivers, with little fear of introducing problems in other parts. High time this happened. I am looking forward to the things to come.

Re:Good thing! (5, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384710)

The major drivers that most users have issues with are with the proprietary video drivers, though. We can only hope that this will help us get driver updates as fast as Windows users, but we have no idea if ATI and nVidia are actually going to help the end-users any more than they currently do.

I think the main thing that this will allow us to do is have more features added/modified, rather than more/newer drivers.

-1, Wrong (0)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385051)

The PCI identifier is not something that comes with the release, that is a number assigned to the card based on its position on your motherboard.

The kernel should go the same way! (3, Funny)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384681)

Its like a fasionable thing to do nowdays.

Re:The kernel should go the same way! (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385059)

The kernel is modular.

Say What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384705)

Join with me in tagging this story "technobabble."

X11R7.0 was already modular. (5, Informative)

Morty (32057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384711)

X.org has been modular for a while -- X11R7.0 was already modular in December 2005. The real news here is that X.org released X11R7.1, not that they've gone modular.

One thing I'd like to see is an ordered list of dependencies. I still do manual builds on one system, to stay in practice. Building X11R7.0 was so painful, I stuck with X11R6.9. When using a distro that does the heavy lifting, X11R7.0 is great, but sorting out the dependencies in dozens of modules is a PITA if you're trying to build it manually. I bet the distro maintainers are cursing the X.org people.

Re:X11R7.0 was already modular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384874)

True. It's so much easier to compile using a customized host.def, like you could do until 6.9. Now you're lost.

Re:X11R7.0 was already modular. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384987)

I bet the distro maintainers are cursing the X.org people.

Well, I did put a voodoo curse on them if that counts?

(Note to self: next time use real chickens - not KFC)

But..!? (5, Funny)

hey (83763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384713)

So they broke it up into pieces and a we are now celebrating the
release of the pieces rollde together into a monolithic whole!?

Re:But..!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384941)

Well, they are finally converted. But we allready have not only functional microwindows system, but even nano-one [microwindows.org] , all best working on top properly modularised kernel [minix.org] .

Andrew.

fruit roll-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384739)

what exactly is a roll-up in software engineering terms?

Re:fruit roll-up (4, Funny)

krmt (91422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384954)

Go play the game Katamari Damacy. Then imagine that each random thing you add to your proto-star is one little piece of the Xorg whole. You can imagine that the server is a cow if you like.

Accelerated Indirect GLX! Woowoo. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384743)

Accelerated indirect GLX has been a until recently been a unattainable holy grain for a long time now in regards to X.

What this will allow you to do would be allow users to gain some benifits from having hardware acceleration for 3d and multimedia application even when running applications remotely over a network.

Another way to put it is that applications gain their acceleration not from the hardware directly, but from the Xserver they are running on, which then itself then uses the hardware acceleration.

It's not going to be as fast or efficient as direct rendering, but it's much more flexible and usefull in a wider context.

It is another stepping stone to having a fully realised opengl-based X server.

This is probably very much due to Redhat's AIGLX specificly and xgl development in general.

Re:Accelerated Indirect GLX! Woowoo. (5, Funny)

RedNovember (887384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384930)

Accelerated indirect GLX has been a until recently been a unattainable holy grain

I'll say. I've been waiting for accelerated indirect GLX beer for a while now. Booze Informer says it could unseat Old Janx Spirit as the choice smasher for Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters.

Woo woo, indeed.

Re:Accelerated Indirect GLX! Woowoo. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385168)

I love that this was modded +1 informative.

Re:Accelerated Indirect GLX! Woowoo. (1)

ShortBeard (740119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385022)

Maybe I'm experiencing something funny.

I have the nvidia drivers installed but as they are rw_rw_rw upon booting when I startx they get a kick which renders (pun meant!) them thus; rw_rw_ _ _ _. WTF?

Well Blag is FC3 and Redhat has a incompatable scsi lib that means I can barely burn a disk so I probably have a goofy install.

For now I must su and issue chmod 666 /dev/nvidia*. Then when I re-startx everything is fine. But here's the funny bit. I could not quit X and chmod the files. I could just open a terminal and chmod them. The result?

X runs without Acceleration but gltron runs great!

This is wonderful, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15384765)

...when is Apple going to update the their version of X11 to reflect this, or are we stuck with XFree86?

Re:This is wonderful, but... (1)

EugeneK (50783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384783)

Is there any good tips for compiling X.org on Mac? Would love to know..tried once and it failed halfway through on some obscure undefined variable or something.

no subject (1)

insane_machine (952012) | more than 8 years ago | (#15384933)

Looks like they got sick of all us bitching os /. about it. Hmm, I wonder.

I am so sick of windows, I wish that it would be more stable.

Why not scrap X (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15385002)

The X server stuff is really annoying. The raster graphics are horrible. I realize that redesigning the rendering system will be arduous and time consuming. But I think it wold be nice if the *nix rendering system would advance past the 70's.

No Need To Scrap X (3, Informative)

krmt (91422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385035)

The raster graphics are horrible. I realize that redesigning the rendering system will be arduous and time consuming. But I think it wold be nice if the *nix rendering system would advance past the 70's.
Done [freedesktop.org] .

Re:Why not scrap X (4, Interesting)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385047)

I realize that redesigning the rendering system will be arduous and time consuming. But I think it wold be nice if the *nix rendering system would advance past the 70's.
How about explaining exactly what is wrong with the X rendering system, rather than just complaining about it? Are you talking about Xlib? There are certainly better APIs already available, such as Cairo.

X seems to work OK for me, and doesn't seem substantially less functional than the Windows or Mac OS models.

Re:Why not scrap X (2, Informative)

siride (974284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385093)

Let's just let Keith Packard do the talking: http://keithp.com/~keithp/talks/usenix2000/render. html [keithp.com]

Re:Why not scrap X (2, Insightful)

Eric Smith (4379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385349)

But X can now do all the things he was talking about in that article, so nothing in that article is evidence that there's a problem with today's X.

If you just want a strawman argument that X as it existed in 2000 is not very good today, I don't think you'll get much disagreement.

In other words.. (2, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385165)

...freed from the biennial maintenance release timetable.

This is just a fancy way of saying packages will be breaking on a weekly basis.

In other news ... (2, Informative)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 8 years ago | (#15385341)

XFree86 4.6.0 [xfree86.org] has been released. I thought that project was dead but appearently it isn't completely (yet).

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