This release is the second modular release of the X Window System. It marks the transition to an accelerated development process based on lightweight releases of individual modules, with integrated roll-up releases every six months. This model has worked well for other major open source projects like Gnome and the Linux kernel, and empowers the user community by delivering new features and bug fixes as they happen. The next official release will be X11R7.2 and is expected in late 2006.
For historical background on the modularization effort see the Modularization Proposal. For help with how to build and develop in the new modular tree see Modular Developer's Guide.
We encourage you to submit bug fixes and enhancements to freedesktop.org's bug tracking system using the xorg product, and to discuss them on firstname.lastname@example.org .
The release numbering is based on the original MIT X numbering system. X11 refers to the version of the network protocol that the X Window system is based on: Version 11 was first released in 1988 and has been stable for 18 years, with only upward compatible additions to the core X protocol, a record of stability envied in computing. Formal releases of X started with X version 9 from MIT; the first commercial X products were based on X version 10. The MIT X Consortium and its successors, the X Consortium, the Open Group X Project Team, and the X.Org Group released versions X11R3 through X11R6.6. Since the founding of the X.Org Foundation in early 2004, five further major releases have been issued, from 6.7 to the current 7.1.
The next section describes what is new in the latest version (7.1) compared with the previous full release (7.0).