x.org is Hacker Trash

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Thu Mar 29 12:11:42 PDT 2007

On Thursday 29 March 2007, Alex Deucher wrote:
>On 3/29/07, Joseph Parmelee <jparmele at wildbear.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, 29 Mar 2007, xorg sucks wrote:
>> > I had spent so much of my life on this TRAIN WRECK of
>> > a project that it was virtually painless to make an
>> > account specifically for this email.
>> Follows a rant, more than a bit rude, but let's not use that as an
>> excuse to avoid noticing the many valid points.
>> > (1) Make an easily navigable site with consistent
>> > build instructions.
>> >
>> > (2) Concentrate on one method of distribution.
>> >
>> > (3) Only offer individual tarballs for those who know
>> > what they're doing.
>> >
>> > (4) Setup (easily findable) branches in your
>> > repository; don't even allow changes to the unstable
>> > repository unless the whole thing compiles.
>> >
>> > (5) Make it easy. Good Lord! I can compile a frickin'
>> > OS Kernel without a sweat. What the hell is X Windows?
>> The linux kernel project, arguably the gold standard of open source
>> projects, puts up release candidates for testing which can be quite
>> easily built by persons with only a modicum of experience.  Why is
>> that important? Because it permits widescale testing of all the
>> various different hardware out there.
>> There's more to a display system than just a video chip.  No one
>> person or group, regardless of their size and degree of diligence, can
>> possibly test their code on the vast number of different hardware
>> combinations out there without help, particularly when the problem is
>> complicated by ill-documented and possibly buggy chips, monitors,
>> adapter cards, mother boards, and BIOS'es.  It is essential that the
>> release candidates get the widest possible distribution for exactly
>> this reason.  Not only will the X project be benefitted, but so will
>> the hardware manufacturers as their bugs/features will more quickly be
>> discovered and documented.
>> I have been maintaining a private distribution for the past five
>> years, using literally hundreds of different upstream build systems
>> and code repositories.  I have to say that Xorg has the absolute worst
>> of all open source projects with which I am acquainted, by a clear
>> margin.  It makes mozilla look positively enlightened.  At least they
>> have a tarball and a build script (even if they insist on
>> mis-documenting its configure options).
>> I'm not arguing with the value of modularization from a developers'
>> standpoint, but PLEASE devote the appropriate resources to putting
>> together usable releases with a master script that allows the unwashed
>> to build this mess.  There is a vast sea of highly experienced
>> developers out there who don't happen to be X experts.  They are
>> exactly the people who could most help you, but they don't have time
>> to play adventure; they have their own projects to tend.  If they
>> don't build your release candidate because they can't spare the time
>> to figure it out, you lose the significant benefit of tests they could
>> run on their hardware, and the help they could give you in finding and
>> patching the bugs.
>I want to build the latest redhat from scratch, but downloading all
>the src rpm packages is a PITA.  Why isn't there just a big redhat
>package I can download and to build the whole distro?  Talk about
>non-user friendly...
>Seriously, X isn't that hard to build.  When we had the monolith
>people complained because they had to rebuild the whole thing just to
>build the latest radeon driver.  Now the opposite is true.  We can't
>win ;)
>There are several pages on the wiki that describe the building
>process, and if you have questions, fell free to ask; that's why we
>have this list.   And if you figure out a way of building everything
>that works for you, add it to the wiki rather than expecting some
>developer to add it; it's a wiki after all!

Ok Alex, how about a link to this greatest of all wiki's please?

>> > Do it better.
>> Wikis, README's, and build instruction pages are all very nice and
>> useful things, assuming they are being maintained, but a tarball with
>> a working configure is what is most needed.
>> Joseph Parmelee
>xorg mailing list
>xorg at lists.freedesktop.org

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
I used to work in a fire hydrant factory.  You couldn't park anywhere near
the place.
		-- Steven Wright

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