UDS – last day.

Photos from the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Mountainview

Tonight, the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Mountainview, California at the Googleplex will
conclude. Some people,
such as the Oxygen guys are already flying out in the course of the day, so attendance
is thinning out.

Today, I’ve attended a couple of BoFs on X in general, since that’s pretty interesting
for the future of
Guidance’s displayconfig. The
good news is that X will
be able to do much more runtime configuration, to the point where the developers think
that the infamous xorg.conf
can be abandoned completely. That’d mean that we’re basically doing all kind of
displayconfiguration at runtime,
no necessity to restart X anymore and less risk of ending up with an X server that’s not
starting after
configuration changes such as switching to dualhead setups. Really nice.

On the driver front, there has been some discussion during the last days. The intention
is to enable
Composite (bling!) by default in the next Ubuntu release. Unfortunately, that includes
shipping and enaling binary
drivers by default in some cases.

More good things Keith Packard told about is that there’s some light at the end of the
tunnel: It seems that ATi
is currently trying to find a way to publish specifications for at least some more of
their chips
(not *if*, but *how*!), that might have been the effect of AMD buying ATi. There’s also
promising work being done
on a new free NVidia driver. Apparently, some time ago there have been patches
obfuscating some code, that is being
taken as a starting point for reverse engineering the “Nouveau”
driver. So at some point in the future, hopefully not too far away, there will be 3d
accelerated X for most of the
graphics hardware around.
Also coming up in Xorg is a new memory management system, that will make Composite at
acceptable framerates possible
for most of the free drivers, and thus more free software users happy.

In the “bulletproof X”, we discussed to make the odds that X doesn’t start as small as
possible. That requires some
changes in GDM, mostly to check if X started, and to take measures if not. As Kubuntu
guy around here, that kind of
fixes also needs to be done in KDM, since Kubuntu is not using GDM. Keeping track of
this is probably a good idea,
although I wonder how much more things like that are being forgotten to also ‘port’ to

Yesterday night, we went out in Mountainview again, visited a bookstore where I got a
copy of
Lawrence Lessig’s Free
. David Vignoni
from the Oxygen team joined us to have a burger (restaurant version, not the fast food
thing, I managed to avoid that
special experience yet) and a couple of beers. Tonight, we’ll conclude this summit going
out to have food with most
of the people attending it, tomorrow I’ll go to San Francisco for four more night,
nothing specific planned yet
(drop me a note if you’re in the Bay area and want to go out for a drink).

The Googleplex is a really nice location, though, and the Googlers are taking care of us
Free Software people just
excellently. Special thanks to Leslie Hawthorn for being around, answering all our
questions and being the nice girl
we can approach with whatever we have. Thanks Leslie!

Posted in KDE