A call for openness within the XFree86 project

published: 12 Jan 2003 | tags:

Mike Harris a developer at RedHat is trying to get the XFree86 team to open up. Poor Mike has a bunch of patches for the Radeon that depend on other patchs the XFree86 team has been sitting on for months.

XFree86 is a critical part of the linux infrastructure, and right now the XFree86 team is not acting in the "Nobody owns it, Everybody can use it, and Everybody can improve it" manner it which you need for good software infrastructure. What led to this problem is that in the past an offical XFree86 developer had access to NDA'ed docs that had been released to the XFree86 team. This isn't happening anymore, as card makers are only doing NDA's with single developers more (if at all). So there are diminishing reason for a closed policy.

XFree86 needs a public bugtracker, and to open up their CVS access. I've noticed they've moved to their mailing list to Mailman which should work a little better than how they used to do it (one time I asked to be remove from the xfree86-devel mailing list and an email back asking why. I explained I was moving to a new email address and they still didn't take me off).

It will be intresting to see how this plays out.