Posted Aug 26, 2006 23:16 UTC (Sat) by ajaxx
Parent article: X.org, distributors, and proprietary modules
So, as the current Fedora X maintainer, I'd like to clarify a few points.
The Fedora advisory board met to discuss the issue; the resulting decision was that Fedora Core 5 would not be updated to X.org 7.1.
No, that decision was made before the board's meeting. The X team basically decided that a complete 7.1 backport was a high-risk move with not a lot of end-user benefit, particularly since we already had the important bits of 7.1 rebuilt in the AIGLX repository (which, despite the link given in this article, never went offline to my knowledge, though it did move a bit). Given that, the time requirements for stabilisation for FC6, and the promise of even easier external repository integration in FC6 and following, the 7.1 backport just wasn't a win.
Think about it. If you're just going to backport everything from rawhide to the release update stream, then why bother having releases at all? Putting it in a separate repo makes it opt-in, which we don't really have a better mechanism for yet (sadly).
The board's meeting and subsequent announcement were to make sure that everyone was clear that 7.1 wouldn't be backported wholesale, and to clarify the motivation for doing so particularly with regards to the Fedora mission and policies. From the announcement itself:
[...] it's a major change with only modest benefit, and a better
solution is coming soon. That's an argument that resonates with me, and
that has nothing to do with proprietary software, and everything to do
with stability for users.
The "better solution", of course, being essentially a continuation of the AIGLX repo idea, but for the whole X stack, and for more than one previous release of the OS. And let's be clear here, the changes in 7.1 affect the open drivers too, and bugs have been found that were introduced between 7.0 and 7.1.
Fedora users who are not up for the (sometimes hair-raising) experience of running from the development repository will have to wait for Fedora Core 6 to get X.org 7.1.
This is unfair, the upgrade path from the FC5 AIGLX repository to FC6 is completely supported due to the way we're versioning the packages.
These vendors should not have veto power over the release plans of free software distributions.
And they don't. Full stop. I'm a complete open source bigot and I think the IHVs are doing their customers a disservice by keeping their drivers closed. I've said as much to their face.
I also have a responsibility to keep a working X working. Sometimes there are more important things than running the absolute latest release. This is one of those times. That said, rawhide had 7.1 packaged within days of its upstream release, and before any other distro. So at least we're still head of the class.
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