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LinuxPlanet: .comment: 86ing XFree?

Dec 13, 2000, 13:53 (56 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

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"Can we agree that XFree86 has become a mess?"

"If you don't, download the current CVS tree and try to make some sense of it. Or, if your connection is such that you really can't spare a couple of days to get it, download the source for XFree86-4.01 and take a look. For an extra-special good time, try building it with direct rendering (DRI) support and a kernel module for your 3-D video card. See what I mean?

"XFree can be built. I've done it several times. Because it relies on the hoary old imake, it requires skills otherwise long dormant, or acquisition of new skills that are unlikely to be of use anywhere else. The compilation produces -- or comes to a halt because it cannot produce -- all sorts of stuff that it is guaranteed you do not need. The resulting binaries can conflict with whatever is already on your machine such that it can lock solid -- I've encountered this with dueling GL libraries -- and sorting it all out is mind-bogglingly difficult."

"What's more, the current XFree86 configuration tools are just awful. There is no longer an XF86Setup. The old, console-based standby, xf86config, fails to recognize a lot of modern hardware: We now have video cards with lots of memory, and we have monitors manufactured in the last few years that are -- surprise! -- different from the ones built earlier. There is a new configuration tool that I have yet to see produce a useful XF86Config file on any machine anywhere."

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