Wiki like documentation Was: Re: Wrapping up 7.4 (finally)

Mohan Parthasarathy suruti94 at
Thu Jun 12 12:19:20 PDT 2008

Sorry for the garbled mail. I am having hard time with gmail :-(( I pressed
tabs and the mail got sent ??

Perhaps, i am asking for too much. But some of the things that can improve
the current situation.
This is from a newbie perspective. So, please feel free to discard it :-)

- An up to date X architecture document that can be maintained on an ongoing
- Some description of the source tree as to how the code is organised. I
understand that this is a huge task. But there is so much code that
sometimes it is hard to locate the functionality.
-A minimal design and implementation document describing the changes, new
feature, obsoleted features


On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 12:10 PM, Mohan Parthasarathy <suruti94 at>

> I am also struggling with trying to understand the current functionality.
> The problem with searching the web (and this is what i am doing now) is that
> there is lots of information and some of the documents are obsolete because
> they are old. I am slowly getting there by searching through the code and
> several things can improve this situation.
>  would be able to contribute once i get an understanding of the
> architecture better. Also, is there a document that describes what changes
> are coming forth in the new release ? A document describing the motivation
> and the implementation details would be helpful. And there should be a easy
> way to find out what features/code is getting obsoleted.
> Anyways, thanks for all the responses so far. I am making progress.
> Just my 2 cents
> mohan
> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 3:42 AM, Jordi Polo <mumismo at> wrote:
>> We are mixing at least 3 threads on the Wrapping up 7.4 thread. I fear
>> that the Wiki discussion will be lost so I start this thread.
>> I'd also tried to understand current X as I was interested in the new MPX
>> functionality.  I found that currently the documentation is scarce, bad
>> and/or outdated. I think most of us will agree on that.
>> Also most of us will agree on not being rocket science, X is not by any
>> means a trivial piece of software.
>> I personally also think that it may not have the best performance in this
>> world but X gets the work done so not much need arises to collaborate or fix
>> anything.
>> I think that most of the people and I mean developers out there have not a
>> clear idea about X architecture (no further than it uses a protocol and can
>> be used over the net with local input devices). What are the *proto
>> thingies? what's each  X* library? How mesa gallium3d dri X mix together? I
>> don't think the average KDE (for instance) developer can make a better
>> diagram of how X works than how the Linux kernel works.
>> So I think that we need documentation and tutorials _really badly_  if new
>> developers are to be found.
>> And for maximum visibility, the wiki is the best place.
>> First, about the wiki engine, Daniel asked for a Moin replacement. What
>> about Trac? ( ) it is basically the same syntax
>> than Moin moin, it integrates a bug tracking system (what I don't know if it
>> is a good idea)  and a lot of plugins ( It is
>> moin moin so horrible to be replaced? Then is not mediawiki the most
>> beatiful wiki engine out there?
>> Second, about the wiki contents. I think we can establish a wiki team,
>> Reece Dunn seemed interested and I am also interested in helping here.
>> The wiki team will unify the wikis and with the help of the mailing list
>> decide the general structure of the documentation on the wiki.
>> They (or we) will work on filling the contents and keep a thumb on the
>> developers' ribs when the need for more specific information is needed.
>> Also and as a side note, I would say that a good way to attract developers
>> is breaking things. How difficult would it be to include beta versions on
>> the current release process? There are developers that will not try nightly
>> builds but will try beta versions if it works reasonablely even if it breaks
>> on a lot of common cases and those developers are the same that start with
>> some patches to make it work, continue with some more patches to make it
>> work better ...
>> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 5:14 PM, Daniel Stone <daniel at>
>> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 10:49:57AM +0300, Timo Jyrinki wrote:
>>> > 2008/6/12 Jeremy Huddleston <jeremyhu at>:
>>> > > Good, centralized developer documentation is greatly appreciated.
>>> >
>>> > Speaking of which, if you have any ideas how to better interlink and
>>> combine:
>>> > -
>>> > -
>>> > -
>>> >
>>> > ...please don't hesitate updating the wikis. Both DRI and X.Org wikis
>>> > would benefit if someone would have time to rethink the front page
>>> > organization by grouping links under different titles and learning
>>> > moinmoin tables / colouring to bring some more clarity there. Both
>>> > wikis currently look like the typical wikis, ie. just braindump of
>>> > links with no thinking about the structure. And yes, I can do
>>> > something about those myself one day, but anyway there's lots of stuff
>>> > around to make more beautiful and therefore more accessible.
>>> I don't understand why DRI and Mesa have separate lists and websites,
>>> tbh, especially given the level of crosstalk.  For the wikis, it should
>>> be possible to link between them, and I'll try to sort out how to make
>>> that happen.
>>> If someone has further wiki improvement suggestions on the admin side
>>> that don't involve MediaWiki (and have a migration path from Moin at
>>> least as clear as the migration from one Moin release to the next; the
>>> bar here isn't quite as high as you'd think, though), please let me
>>> know.
>>> I did start trying to reorganise the xorg wiki at some point, but
>>> unfortunately only got a small part of the way through before existential
>>> despair set in.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Daniel
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>> --
>> Jordi Polo Carres
>> NLP laboratory - NAIST
>> _______________________________________________
>> xorg mailing list
>> xorg at
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