X.org server 1.5: An ABI Too Far?

Andrew Farris lordmorgul at gmail.com
Mon Mar 17 05:48:31 UTC 2008

Rodd Clarkson wrote:
> On the other hand, how much of this is true: 
> http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=103059&highlight=xorg+1.5
> Is it the case that "The Rawhide packages, despite having 1.4.x version
> numbers, are actually built from the development branch that will
> eventually become xserver 1.5, and are not endorsed or supported by the
> X.org Foundation."?

The response there is pretty accurate, the F9 packages are the upstream xserver 
release codebase, tentatively scheduled to be released in May, although the 
release date page is still totally blank on the wiki there.

I would not expect an officially 'supported' driver to be available yet.  I do 
expect them to be working on it and I would expect the officially supported 
driver to be available when the X version is officially released.  There is no 
reasonable excuse for not getting it done on time when the release cycle is this 
long.  I would really appreciate a beta program to have a partially working 
driver available earlier than that.

> Has the ABI been locked down?  Or is rawhide using an 'volatile' ABI?

No, but also no.  Until 'released' its considered 'not stable' which is somewhat 
less than 'volatile' and is definitely not 'locked down'.. which apparently 
scares nVidia into not taking (any public) action on it yet.  But somehow Adam 
Jackson, et. al. working on X both downstream and upstream, have quite a few 
drivers including 3d for intel chipsets working pretty nicely.. with that 
'volatile' codebase.

I'm pretty sure that fear over support backlash is the real issue with nVidia 
getting a driver out the door, not the ability to work with the volatile code... 
of course thats nothing but speculation.  You can see from the official response 
in that very thread you linked that 'support' is a key term, and its the same 
for every response I've seen on unreleased X builds over the last 5 years.  They 
have had a beta windows driver program for a long time but still have not taken 
steps to get one going on the linux side... where they would need to have even 
less support response because the community helps itself. </rant>

> If the later is true, should xorg-1.5 be dropped given the near BETA
> status of f9?  When does Fedora development require a stable ABI for
> inclusion?

I think Kevin Kofler answered this one spot on; I'm pretty certain the X version 
in F9 won't be changing to accommodate slow response of proprietary driver 
developers (to be fair, its probably slow response of their management).

[1] http://www.x.org/wiki/Releases/7.4

Andrew Farris <lordmorgul at gmail.com> www.lordmorgul.net
  gpg 0xC99B1DF3 fingerprint CDEC 6FAD BA27 40DF 707E A2E0 F0F6 E622 C99B 1DF3
No one now has, and no one will ever again get, the big picture. - Daniel Geer
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