X.Org Foundation Architecture Working Group

The X.Org Foundation previously had an Architecture Working Group to serve as a forum to discuss the technical direction of the X Window System.

The Architecture Working Group has been defunct for many years now, and most of the information on these pages is now obsolete.

The Architecture Working Group intends to represent a variety of interests in X Window System technologies, including traditional Xserver and protocol library developers, toolkit developers, application developers, as well as end-users. As a result, this working group hopes to serve as a forum for a wide variety of discussions related to the X Window System, including (but not limited to) architectural discussions, general technical directions, as well as development processes and procedures.

The goal of the Architecture Working Group is to facilitate discussion and provide a forum to help build consensus in the areas mentioned above. To further this goal, membership is open to all interested participants. In this way, the Architecture Working Group can chart the technical direction of the X Window System, as well as advance its use, maintainability, and improve the scalability of the X.Org Foundation's development efforts.

For those areas that have a more focused scope in influence and/or duration, as well as a critical mass of interested participants, a sub-working group may be created. The Release Wranglers, the Testing Working Group, and the Modularization Working Group are examples of existing sub-working groups.

As already noted, membership is open to all interested participants. In an effort to encourage participation from as many of the growing list of X.Org contributors as possible, a new mailing list has been created for this working group. To subscribe, please visit:

Current Projects:

The X Developer's Meeting held in Cambridge in February, 2005, concluded with a discussion of topics of current interest to the X.Org community. In addition, some issues were raised that people felt were good developer-oriented issues for the Architecture Working Group to address via the creation of processes and guidelines to facilitate developers. Some of those areas include:

Development and release

  • Create processes that explain how new code/features get to HEAD
  • Draft guidelines for committing changes
    • Understand possible ABI changes and implicit dependencies
    • Reference bugzilla ID in the commit message
    • More information in the comments and commit message is better
    • More atomic commits - don't check 15-20 different things in at one time
  • Need for an on-going code czar - someone who's authority to remove controversial code (until further discussion) is unquestioned
  • Which licenses are acceptable for contributions to X.Org projects

Creation of a documentation project (or even a sub-working group)

  • Convert existing documents to DocBook
  • Get APIs and specifications in one, easy-to-find place
  • Can vendors contribute internally-generated documentation that has general information
  • Translate documentation to other languages?

Other related pages

Sub-working groups

  • Processes/guidelines describing what is needed to create a sub-working group If you have ideas for other projects in any of these categories, or if you know of other projects not already listed here, please add them.


A list of some possible questions and answers you may have about the Architecture Working Group can be found at: