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X.org 7.4 released

X.org 7.4 is out. Changes include the addition of support for ATI Radeon r[567]00 chipsets, lots of performance improvements, better automatic configuration. the XACE security framework, and a lot more. Some details can be found in the release notes.
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X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 15:50 UTC (Wed) by tjc (guest, #137) [Link]

Does anyone know what happened to KDrive? Was it merged, maintained seperately, or fallen by the wayside?

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 16:26 UTC (Wed) by jabby (guest, #2648) [Link]

Last I knew, it was merged as a set of build options and was simply tagged as "tiny"... but that was years ago. Still, see if your distribution offers an X.org "tiny" package. If it does, that's KDrive.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 18:49 UTC (Wed) by dbnichol (subscriber, #39622) [Link]

It's there. If you build with --enable-kdrive, then you'll probably get Xfbdev, Xvesa and Xephyr (depending on some other external headers/libraries). I think eventually the plan is to make Xorg work well enough on embedded devices that kdrive isn't needed anymore.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 18:57 UTC (Wed) by daniels (subscriber, #16193) [Link]

It's been merged for quite some time (Xephyr is KDrive-based), and builds and works pretty much fine, but has fallen into pretty serious disrepair. We firmly believe we can make Xorg smaller than KDrive was when we started (though KDrive may be smaller now), which means no-one would have much of a reason to use KDrive.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Jan 26, 2009 14:47 UTC (Mon) by marcscherer (guest, #56324) [Link]

How can xorg be configured, so that it uses less than 5 MB of RAM?

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 17:09 UTC (Wed) by cbcbcb (guest, #10350) [Link]

So does this fix the random screen corruption and lock up with the Intel driver?

Why is it that video cards work fine with X for a couple of years, then the drivers degrade until they are unusable? X.org made my r200 unusable (worked fine with Xfree86), same seems to have happened to the intel driver :(

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 17:20 UTC (Wed) by einstein (subscriber, #2052) [Link]

Where were you when they were asking for beta testers?

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 17:32 UTC (Wed) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767) [Link]

Thanks for providing the standard, expected, and completely useless FOSS response to such issues. Essentially, "blame the user".

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 18:13 UTC (Wed) by tialaramex (subscriber, #21167) [Link]

"Thanks" for providing the standard, expected and completely useless sbergman27 response. Essentially "act like an obnoxious jerk".

Users persist in complaining about "unfixed" problems that are actually unreported problems. They've been doing this for decades, and they'll be doing it decades from now. They do this regardless of whether they're running Free software written by a cast of hundreds, a Flash game some guy uploaded to the Internet or a $5000 per seat CAD package.

Users aren't actually as incapable as they often make themselves out to be. It turns out that if they want to they can actually write useful bug reports and send them to the maintainers (not post them to a discussion forum or read them aloud at dinner parties). It turns out that they can often test potential fixes or workarounds and report the results. It turns out that they'd mostly rather whine.

It's also true that people in general are lousy at generalising. Coincidence just isn't given its due. This particular user has seen two bugs. And from this they've extrapolated an elaborate pattern. They might as well be photographing cloud formations that resemble faces. So, dismissing this whining is at least as legitimate as the whining itself.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 19:45 UTC (Wed) by sbergman27 (guest, #10767) [Link]

"""
Users aren't actually as incapable as they often make themselves out to be. It turns out that if they want to they can actually write useful bug reports and send them to the maintainers (not post them to a discussion forum or read them aloud at dinner parties). It turns out that they can often test potential fixes or workarounds and report the results. It turns out that they'd mostly rather whine.
"""

This quote encapsulates the attitude which ensures that Linux desktop users will likely continue to represent less than than 1% of total users for the foreseeable future:

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=10

You can call people who point this out "obnoxious jerks" all you want. You can even call me other names if you want. But it won't do any good. It will not change reality. To increase usage, you have to give users what they want, and not just tell them that it's their own fault that they don't have it.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 21:06 UTC (Wed) by johnkarp (guest, #39285) [Link]

How are developers supposed to do what the users want if the users refuse to tell them?

I suspect its learned helplessness... dealing with Apple or Microsoft, you quickly learn that sharing comments, criticisms, or even major security reports gets you not even a WONTFIX.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 7:55 UTC (Thu) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

Ok, this is a rant.

For Apple & MS it must be said that most users do not need to send a bug report in the first place. My experience has been that things generally work on Win32 land. Although I haven't got any hands-on experience with OS X personally, the users over there at least are pretty vocal about the "things just work" part. If true, it might explain why many previously Linux-using hackers are switching to OS X as well.

Here is the radical suggestion: maybe we should stop changing stuff around so much and instead try to make a decent software ecosystem with development at the tip of the free software tree, and for instance keep both free and proprietary stuff working together in harmony?

I have my own cow in the ditch here as I'm on an ATI X1250 system whose 3D driver is again broken for last 3 months because of some technically brilliant but almost certainly equally unnecessary change in where some server private data is stored on Xorg 1.5.

Here's the problem: they knew it wouldn't work with fglrx but they released that incompatible change anyway, which was equally certainly packaged in a distribution and pushed to users. Just great, and reminds me of a very similar story with Pulseaudio. This attitude of accelerating development by treating users as a pool of people for which it doesn't matter if their shit breaks is part of the problem, and its essential consequence is lack of users and thus lack of world domination.

Lesson is: if nobody is testing it, then nobody is wanting it. Developer can only sell his new stuff by making it BETTER than the old stuff. It's not complicated equation, but as users seem to have no intrinsic value in this ecosystem (apart from being unwilling beta testers), their concerns are consequently irrelevant.

I think it drives the few users that do stick along away. After experiencing the crown jewels of the open source world over a multi-year period, the users treated this way will happily embrace closed systems like OS X or Win32 because the companies making these things actually need to keep their users reasonably happy.

I think this seriously impedes Linux's march towards world domination. To win the game of numbers, Linux needs _especially_ the users that aren't contributors, simply because there are so many of them. It's time open source developers looked at users and spent time thinking what is important for them. (And if this drives the developers away who don't care about users, I'd be happy about it.)

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 10:04 UTC (Thu) by modernjazz (guest, #4185) [Link]

In a sense I agree with you, in that I have learned to approach system
upgrades with a fair amount of trepidation---bugs/inconveniences that
I've learned to mostly work around might be fixed, but there are usually
new problems that I have to learn to cope with. For someone who's trying
to get work done (rather than mostly have fun with the computer), that
does become a bit tiresome. I do report bugs, and it's delightful to see
just how often they get fixed (the system does work!), but I also can
agree that in an even better world I wouldn't have to report bugs because
there wouldn't be any to report :-).

I haven't seriously used the proprietary systems in ages, but I have the
impression that they are not free from such problems, either. It seems
that Apple must have it easier because of the limited range of hardware
(presumably they really can test an upgrade on every recent system),
whereas Windows and Linux have a much more diverse set of hardware to
cope with.

However, by and large I've basically resigned myself to this state of
affairs. In free software land, there are too many truly important things
to do (and cleaning up X must rank near the very top) for my minor
inconveniences to become an argument to slow down development. After all,
I develop a free application myself (nothing at the "core" of our systems
like the kernel or X), and I'm aware of the ways in which freedom to
tinker will bring long-term benefits to the users.

My view/hope is that the "worst" of this turmoil will be somewhat
transient: the truly fundamental changes in X will probably continue for
another several years (even though some of the biggest, baddest seem like
they will be fixed sooner than that), but several other key domains
(e.g., wireless, suspend/resume, and maybe even sound) seem like they
could "settle down" in the relatively near future.

It's not to say that there will come a point at which development could
stop (far from it), but it does seem that developers are taking the
opportunity to tackle a lot of really important problems right now. More
power to them. And I'll just keep crossing my fingers when I upgrade my
system.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 19:42 UTC (Thu) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

Believe it or not, I also tend to assume that the problems are essentially transient. For instance, I suppose I can appreciate the fact that we only need to get Pulseaudio working once; after it flushes the bugs out of the audio system we should all benefit from having an audio stack which is smoke tested by its unusually complicated requirements.

It's just hard to keep that in mind each time that the audio stutters now during CPU contention (on a dual core system, no less!) and in the new world order flash works maybe 10 % of the time (installing libflashsupport makes the browser freeze), so every youtube video takes 10 reloads to display if I'm lucky. I suppose I can live without flash for now, but it makes me truly long for an OS where things just work.

(And sometimes pulse and all pulse clients jam, presumably because of some hitherto unsolved ALSA bug, and the only solution is to kill everything, including Pulse, and start anew. An audio server should be programmed like a tank, but I guess it's vulnerable to hardware driver bugs like everything else. The fact it's unable to recover without kill & restart must count against it somehow, though.)

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 29, 2008 15:03 UTC (Mon) by whitemice (guest, #3748) [Link]

>and in the new world order flash works maybe 10 % of the time

Man, I hear this allot. But my flash always works and has always worked for years now. You-Tube never causes any problems. I must have already arrived in the "new world".

Does openSUSE just rock that much?

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 29, 2008 15:06 UTC (Mon) by whitemice (guest, #3748) [Link]

>My view/hope is that the "worst" of this turmoil will be somewhat
>transient: the truly fundamental changes in X will probably continue for
>another several years (even though some of the biggest, baddest seem like
>they will be fixed sooner than that), but several other key domains

Agree. The LINUX desktop has made huge, yet quite, gains in the past couple of years. Usability is way ahead of there it was. The great majority of things do "just work".

>(e.g., wireless, suspend/resume, and maybe even sound) seem like they
>could "settle down" in the relatively near future.

Agree, the wireless is improved, but needs to go a bit further. Suspend/Resume is still pretty rough - but that is tough as every vendor or even model nuances the configuration. Sound works great for me after a few updates from the openSUSE repository, it has stuttered or crashed in over a month now.

Things just work

Posted Sep 25, 2008 13:35 UTC (Thu) by Thalience (subscriber, #4217) [Link]

"Things just work in Win32 land"

This is largely true when you buy a pre-configured system from Dell or other integrator. It stops being true as soon as you change the system in any way. Even just re-installing the system from the integrator's install media can be a challenge for the non-technical user.

Apple does a much better job on this than MS, but the experience is still far from perfect. Just like any other system, some upgrades introduce regressions. Especially when third-party software and hardware is involved.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 14:23 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

I have my own cow in the ditch here as I'm on an ATI X1250 system whose 3D driver is again broken for last 3 months
Whose *binary-only* 3D driver is broken.

Why anyone uses fglrx voluntarily is completely beyond me. Even when it's working it seems to specialize in display corruption and lockups.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 19:08 UTC (Thu) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

I like compiz's screen zoom feature. It is nice way to rest eyes when you are dealing with text in only small screen area.

Also I have in mind to develope something that creates OpenGL texture through CPU, and it will require the texture-from-pixmap extension to work acceptably fast. (So that there is no copy/format translation when the texture leaves CPU and enters the GPU.)

In other words, I need/want some 3D features. The open source radeonhd driver does not currently provide them. On top of that, the 2D is also pretty slow -- maybe completely unaccelerated -- as it looks like X spends a lot of time blitting screen areas.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 21:17 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

Ah, right. As a longtime fvwm user I've become resigned to never ever
getting any of these nifty new transparency-et-al features, so I tend to
forget that for other people they're a fact of life :)

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 14:43 UTC (Thu) by zlynx (subscriber, #2285) [Link]

"For Apple & MS it must be said that most users do not need to send a bug report in the first place"

It should be said that's its nearly impossible to send a bug report to either of these companies if you're an ordinary user.

For example, since Vista was released I've reported six bugs to MS. Well, 3 were probably feature requests.

I didn't want to use a forum or MS Connect or call MS. I wanted something simple so I dug around Vista's menus and help system. All I could find was a general "feedback" form and I used that.

I only know about MS Connect because I had done some beta stuff. I have no idea how regular MS users find out about it.

And the only way I know to request features / bug fixes from Apple is to use IM to tell a friend who happens to work there about it. :)

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 19:41 UTC (Thu) by man_ls (guest, #15091) [Link]

And the only way I know to request features / bug fixes from Apple is to use IM to tell a friend who happens to work there about it. :)
It is easy: just join ADC, get free betas and pay for the privilege of reporting bugs to Apple.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 20:16 UTC (Thu) by foom (subscriber, #14868) [Link]

Anybody can register for a free ADC account, which then allows you to report bugs to apple. Doing so can be a bit depressing: it feels like communicating with a black hole...you likely won't get any status information whatsoever, even a "bug confirmed, we're working on it" type of notification, until the bug fix has actually been released into a new version of the software.

But it does actually work: engineers working on the software do see your bug reports, and will act on them.

Now, the only way to get status information on bugs you care about is indeed to IM a friend who works there. :)

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 25, 2008 17:55 UTC (Thu) by ummmwhat (guest, #54087) [Link]

This isn't necessarily true... I have reported a bug or more specifically a feature omission with the new Intel drivers that is preventing a full adoption of Linux. TV out was supported for my chipset in the i860(?) driver but that driver has been retired for whatever reason and they hae not implemented it in the Intell driver. The response I got was they were too busy with new hardware to have time (right now/ever?) to fix my issue. Except that by the look for the forums plenty of people want this to work.

Yes, I agree developers need beta testers - but I also feel they need to ensure they have a good cross section of testers for major changes. Perhaps merging/improving all the linux hardware databases out there would allow developers to know a) what hardware is still in active use (thus don't abandon common perfectly good hardware and b) where they can find testers for hardware they don't have represented in their test pool.

Hell... I would gladly contribute towards a fix if there was an easy way get all i8xx users on board. (Perhaps there is, I've heard of bounties in some places, and wonder if there are micro-contribution bounties... make it attractive for people stuck in the 'free-as-beer' mode to accelerate fixes)

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 29, 2008 13:47 UTC (Mon) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

The user expectations of software are very steep indeed. We want all the features, and yet we also want all the compatibility. One thing that may be changing is that Linux is gradually getting more nontechnical users, who bring with them a larger set of hardware and other problems, but are not developers themselves.

Open Source Software has long been sold as the miracle cure to software development problem, but I think that the manpower problem is getting worse. Developers, in the end, tend to fix the hardware they actually have got. Beta testing is good idea, but even if we had a decent beta testing program, the cycle for getting a thing fixed is several orders of magnitudes longer and more tiresome, when it is ping-pong between user and developer in spirit of apply-patch-compile-test-send-email-if-it-works-else-tell-me-how-it-is-broken. (And of course, the users scream that they should not be expected to do any of that highly technical work, all they want is for their gadget to work!)

Fact of life today is, if you want to be relatively sure that something works, you may have to be prepared to debug it, and then write the code for it yourself. (And even then, it's not certain that the developer agrees with your fix, so you might have to maintain it yourself forever.) If the situation fragments further with more distributions and more supportable hardware and more untechnical users, then the problem only gets worse with time.

To change this, maybe we have to abandon the idea that open source is truly free. Maybe your hardware doesn't work, so you pay someone to make it work. Maybe you should have some kind of stable driver API (like, you load a Windows driver because that is a stable API and just emulate it for Linux). Maybe you should follow Shuttleworth's idea to force everyone to ship just one set of core bits so that those bits get worldwide testing and feedback.

These approaches all attack some essential sense of free: money you pay to get useful software, the freedom of software itself, and the developer's/distributor's ability to choose which software to run.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Oct 2, 2008 17:36 UTC (Thu) by daenzer (✭ supporter ✭, #7050) [Link]

Or maybe there just need to be intermediate levels of triagers/assistants to bridge the gap between developers and users. FWIW, I think we could use more people like that in the X.org bugzilla.

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 19:00 UTC (Wed) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

My r200 broke with XFree86 6.9. I reported it and, guess what, it's fixed.
Works fine now...

X.org 7.4 released

Posted Sep 24, 2008 19:06 UTC (Wed) by dbnichol (subscriber, #39622) [Link]

The main reason being that development and refactoring can introduce regressions. Nobody wants that, but it happens.

With an r200, I would definitely ask on the Xorg list or open a bug at freedesktop.org. Alex Deucher is very responsive to radeon bugs. That card should definitely work.

Same with intel. Intel employs more than a few people to keep the driver working. They have a good web page describing how to file a useful bug:

http://www.intellinuxgraphics.org/how_to_report_bug.html


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