[ubuntu-x] packages needing updates and other stuff

Bryce Harrington bryce at canonical.com
Sun Mar 30 22:03:34 BST 2008

On Sun, Mar 30, 2008 at 08:52:36PM +0500, shirish wrote:
> Hi bryce,
>         First of all its been a great ride for people like me who are
> not power users to be able to use the tool via Preferences > Screen
> Resolution.
> I do have few questions however ?
> 1. Why are there 65 packages which need to be updated in packaging as
> shown in http://people.ubuntu.com/~bryce/Xorg/status_current.html?

This is normal for how Ubuntu develops, and one of the major
distinguishing points between us and Debian.  Debian has kind of a
rolling update cycle, where they work to keep all the packages pretty
much up to date with upstream all the time.  Ubuntu, on the other hand,
follows a cyclical update cycle.  In the first part of the cycle, we
have scripts sync from Debian automatically; our involvement is merely
to fix up places where the syncs failed for some reason.  In the next
part of the cycle, the autosyncs are turned off, and we begin focusing
on the "snapshot" of what we've taken; in this part syncs can still be
done but must be requested by a human (anyone can do it, including
users) on a case-by-case basis.  In this phase, for Xorg we typically
will requests syncs for everything except stuff that is known broken or
extremely risky.  Then comes feature freeze, and we pretty much hold off
on all syncs except really important packages (notably drivers, and
packages which have severe bugs we know are fixed in the new version).
Then in the final phase of the cycle (which is where we're at right
now), any syncs require special approval from the release manager, so we
typically don't do syncs and instead focus on porting individual bug
fixes.  We do make exceptions (for instance, Timo has just put in a new
wacom driver sync this weekend) but they're rare and need to be things
that bring overwhelming benefit to compensate for the risk.

Anyway, the particular story with the 65 packages is that over the past
week and a half or so, Xorg upstream went through all their packages and
did new releases of a whole bunch of stuff.  Usually they put out
package releases one by one as appropriate, but every several months
they go through and flush everything that had changes in the git repos.
By and large, most of these packages have received only minor things -
fixing typos in man pages, adjusting how changelogs are generated,
tweaks to autoconf files, etc.  Nothing earth shattering.

Unfortunately, the way Xorg's release schedule is timed with Ubuntu,
these flushes come pretty late in our release cycle - typically too late
for us to pull stuff in, esp. for an LTS.  But we do try to browse
through the packages and look for especially important ones.  I would
also encourage you to look through and see if there are any really
important fixes that we should look at.

> 2. Using Screen Resolution while I'm able to change the resolution I'm
> not able to change the refresh-rate, why is that ?

There can be a few reasons for that, but it's usually a function of your
monitor, not your video card.  LCD's, for instance, really only work at
60 Hz.  (I've seen some that advertise several rates "around" 60.)  Same
is true for laptop panels.

One thing you can do is run either 'sudo ddcprobe' or 'sudo
get-edid|parse-edid', which displays what your monitor reports.  You can
use this to see exactly what refresh rates *should* be supported.  This
info is also present in your Xorg.0.log, and sometimes it gives clues
why the X server might ignore some of the available options (maybe they
don't fit with the graphic card's capabilities, or with other settings
in xorg.conf, etc.)

> This is the stuff I have
> shirish at Mugglewille:~$ lspci
> 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE/PE
> DRAM Controller/Host-Hub Interface (rev 03)
> 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation
> 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 03)
> shirish at Mugglewille:~$ aptitude show xserver-xorg-video-intel |grep Version
> Version: 2:2.2.1-1ubuntu6
> Lastly, it would be nice if you would blog more often at
> http://bryceharrington.org/drupal/blog/1 ;)

Thanks, nice to know someone's reading!!  :-)

I'll try to blog more frequently.  Often I don't know what to say!


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