From Sept 16th to Sept 18th, the X.org Developer Summit 2010 took place in Toulouse, a nice city situated in southern France.
Having started working on Nouveau/pscnv (I’ll talk about this a bit later) in June, I couldn’t dream of a better place for the XDS to happen. Indeed, It took me around 8 hours by train to get there, I also have close friends there (so I have been able to attend the conference by day and have fun with my close friends by night). My parents also happen to live just a bit southern, so I already knew Toulouse.
The attendees list is available on XDS2010 Attendees wiki page.
All of them were not from the XServer core team, some of them were from Cairo/Pixman(Andrea Canciani), Intel(James Ketrenos), Nokia(Tapani Paelli, Denis Dzyubenko, etc…), Canonical(sorry, I can’t remember the names) or the ENAC(“École Nationale de l’Aviation Civile” <=> “National School of Civil Aviation”).
Also, about 1/5 of us were new comers (like me!).
What really stroke me with all the attendees what the bright smile they were all having. We sure had a wonderful time!
XDS 2010’s goals
This XDS focused a lot on Input Management. The ENAC did a wonderful work last year in bringing experimental patches for multi-touch support but now, both Qt and Canonical are working on getting multi-touch/gestures/multi-seat mainstream. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Another long-awaited feature is the ability to run X as a non-root user. This will lower the security risks, the XServer is a big beast worth a million lines of source code.
Now that KMS is the default modeseting method on the FLOSS graphic drivers, the userspace doesn’t need to be privileged anymore to send commands to the graphic card.
The problem comes from input management (again?), how can the kernel know what application should receive input from the user? If X isn’t root anymore, input management should be moved to the kernel space. But how the hell the kernel could know to what app should the input information should be sent?
As an intermediate solution, Kristian Høgsberg proposed using Wayland as the default graphic and input management server which will then dispatch input to the right X server (which doesn’t need to be run as root anymore!). Using Wayland is a good idea as it is a tiny(yet powerful) graphic/input management server that is only worth 3000 lines of code!
See the google group page on wayland if you want more details on Wayland.
Visit the ENAC facilities and discover their work
Well, I won’t be able to explain what they showed us, but I can assure you it looked like future to us! The ENAC team is really talented and I wish them long life.
Keep the good work up ;)
Others and videos?
See the XDS2010 Program wiki page.
I wanted to provide you with pictures but my camera has been stolen while hanging out at night with some friends in Toulouse.
The XDS2010 have been an incredible value to me as I’ve been able to meet physically and talk to the radeon devs I had been poking hard to get my RV740 working (Alex Deucher and Jerome Glisse), the Wayland developer Kristian Høgsberg, Michael from Phoronix and some people I barely knew but wished I had.
This also gave me the opportunity to meet some people from Nokia, Intel and Qt (Yes, I know, Qt has been bought by Nokia a while ago). All of them are really open-source friendly and I truly hope to work for them when I’m done with my studies.