Improving Xorg

Joseph Garvin k04jg02 at
Sat Jul 1 12:21:15 PDT 2006

Jesse Barnes wrote:
> On Wednesday, June 28, 2006 4:28 pm, conon wrote:
>> So you suggest that Xorg abandon the user who wishes to compile X11
>> themselves ?
> Compiling is trivial, I really don't understand the problem you're 
> having.

Compiling is far from trivial for the average user. I consider myself to
be pretty technically adept, I've used autotools plenty of times before,
and it still took quite a bit of mucking for me to compile Xorg.

First, the average user doesn't know what part of the tree they're
interested in. Maybe they want the newer radeon driver -- but they
probably have just been told their problem is "fixed in CVS." They
figure like with most packages they just get the latest version of
"Xorg." Even if they could just check out the latest radeon module, they
don't know if that also needs the latest kernel DRM or libdrm. So they
look up how to get everything from some distro specific howto from a
sticky topic on a forum.

The first thing that will confuse them is that every guide they find
will be out of date. They all assume the whole tree is in CVS and will
have no instructions on how to fetch the components they need from GIT.
Once they do fetch the components they need from GIT, some of them will
need to be renamed in order to work with Then they probably
don't want to install Xorg over their distro's version, so they'll try
to specify a folder with --prefix. This will bring a huge host of
problems, needing to add to ACLOCAL, PATH, and PKG_CONFIG.

Then, if they try to compile, they will be lucky if they aren't missing
any dependencies. Especially given that most guides list of dependencies
is incomplete because the author's distro comes with some of them or had
them installed from compiling other apps.

I understand it's trivial if you're accustom to esoteric modification of
environment variables, are an autotools master, and understand two
CMS's. That is not most people who want to compile Xorg or a part of it.

>   Do you really want to build all the unrelated packages Xorg 
> used to include in it's monolithic monstrosity?  Why would you ever want 
> to recompile libXt for example?  Aren't you more interested in the 
> server itself?
Because they don't know any better and there's no guide on how to do
that. A kernel menuconfig like system would be a lot better.

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