companies contributing to X [was: Re: Respository vandalism by root at ...fd.o]

Alan Cox alan at
Thu Nov 25 13:23:38 PST 2010

> but simply being more enthusiastic about accepting contributions doesn't 
> seem like a great plan (compare the code quality of nouveau, intel and 
> radeon to that of some of the out of tree drivers, for instance)

I think that is a little naïve. There is a difference between vendors
attempting to use Xorg as a "dump and run" for crap code, and being a bit
more relaxed about obscure drivers that are otherwise unmaintained.

The latter makes a good ground for people to learn the craft, as indeed
can staring at some of the finest vendor Vogon poetry and turning it into
something resembling C to help get it upstream.

X is a bit "odd" in other ways - it's history has been rather closed at
times which hasn't helped as it means there isn't a long standing large
developer base.

It consists (for much of the relevant stuff) of a very small number of
very large and very complex drivers for insanely complex bits of
hardware. That doesn't have the same scaling for newbies the kernel does
where there are hundreds of random USB widgets you never knew you needed
that make good starting points.

Maintaining the old Voodoo2 driver was a bit like minor kernel hacking. I
can't even imagine how KeithP fits everything he needs to know for the
intel drivers into his head.


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