X.org 1.14 and RR / 13.04 (un-)plans

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X.org 1.14 and RR / 13.04 (un-)plans

Bryce Harrington-5
Xserver 1.14 was released upstream today.  We are maintaining this new X
stack in a PPA for anyone interested in testing on it:

  https://launchpad.net/~canonical-x/+archive/x-staging

We've decided to hold off on putting this into raring for now.  But we
probably will let the mesa 9.1 update through.


We've been testing the rc candidates of xserver 1.14 up 'til now, and
have found it to be generally pretty solid.  However, it does introduce
an ABI change which necessitates updates of proprietary drivers, and
pointer barriers have changed implementation, which has required changes
to Unity.  For the proprietary drivers, -nvidia now has a compatible
release we can provide, but we're still awaiting updates for -fglrx and
-tegra.  For Unity, we include the fix in the PPA above, but it's not in
the general archive yet.

For these reasons, and in the general interest of avoiding disrupting
folks working on phone/tablet, we're going to hold off on uploading
xserver to the archive for a month or two.  We may end up skipping
1.14.0 entirely and wait for 1.14.1, but we'll see.

Mesa 9.1, on the other hand, doesn't impact things quite so bad, and
brings in EGL improvements that may help phone and mir, as well as a
slew of fixes that we think/hope will solve some of the GPU lockups
people are currently experiencing.  We want to do a bit more
review/testing but we'll likely upload this in the next week or two.
There is no transition needed for this, and it won't cause any
disruption to users (other than maybe the odd minor regression or so).

I don't know if we're officially doing a 13.04 Ubuntu release or not,
but if we do that means we would stick with the current 1.13.x Xserver
series for that, but update to mesa 9.1.  It sounds like 1.13 will
continue being actively supported upstream, so this seems like a sound
option.  Since we ship 1.13.x in both quantal and the 12.04 update
stack, it would make SRUs slightly simpler as well.

I'm hopeful this will enable us to make the current X stacks that much
more stable for everyone.  We're also starting to balance our time
between X and Mir, so if this gives us any extra time then we can
contribute help towards Mir development.

Meanwhile, we're also looking into ways we can improve our deployment of
driver updates for -nvidia and -fglrx to stable Ubuntu releases.  Our
new process for rolling out updates has been working out well for users,
except that it's just too slow.  We're looking into how we can remove
bottlenecks so the updates get out to users faster, and then see if we
can scale up the volume of updates we can do.  This is geared to help
game vendors that want users to have access to the latest drivers, for
example.


Finally, if you do install the x-staging PPA linked above to run the
newer xserver, please feel free to file bug reports normally, and we'll
follow up on the issues.

Bryce

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