New X.Org to Arrive, Better Late Than Never

The X Window System is a fundamental part of nearly all Unix-like systems, providing the framework that allows for the myriad of graphical interfaces available to the end user. Being such an essential component, new releases are eagerly anticipated, and the one expected today is no exception, particularly as the eager anticipation has repeatedly been prolonged.

The previous X.Org release — 7.3 — emerged just over a year ago, bringing with it features including input/output hotplugging and PCI domain support, and setting high expectations for its successor. Version 7.4 was originally scheduled to be released in March, but was repeatedly postponed as vital elements of the system failed to come together. Among the delaying factors were leadership changes, delays with the X Server 1.4.1 release, and the eventual 1.5 release, which came just last week. In the process, however, a number of centerpiece features found themselves relabeled for Version 7.05, including Direct Rendering Infrastructure 2 and Multi-Pointer X, which could be delayed as far out as X Server 1.7.

Despite the doom and gloom surrounding the development process, the release does bring new features with it, however. Included in the release are significant updates to PCI, a faster start/shutdown, x11perf compositing tests, a new joystick driver with support for evdev, making them hotpluggable though HAL, and updates to Intel and Nvidia drivers, including support for the GeForce 9 & GTX. Additionally, during the X Developers Summit — held last week at the Edinburgh Zoo — it was announced that X server will attempt the release of Version 1.6 before the end of 2008.

The only question we're left with is: Did they get to see the penguin?

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