Year 2010 has ended so its nice to check the couple of interesting OSS Graphics components have evolved during 2010. With the interesting ones meaning Mesa, XServer and the one that everyone is discussing about, Wayland. Surely along these components there has been a lot of activity on the Kernel side from graphics point of view by moving the logic to the Kernel side (DRI drivers, the kernel side GEM scheduler and kernel mode setting) plus there has also been a lot of activity around the toolkits but as said now sticking with these three.
So what has happened,
With Mesa we have:
157 people committing
and those people pushing in 12816 commits (of different sizes)
(where as in 2009 the figures were, 118 people pushing in 9719 commits)
With XServer we have:
99 people committing
and those people pushing in 1305 commits (of different sizes)
(where as in 2009 the figures were, 109 people pushing in 2057 commits)
With Wayland the figures are especially interesting as it has received a _lot_ of publicity lately (Unity, Fedora). Now during the year 2010 there were already close to 20 contributors for the project where as a year ago there were only two.
So a lot of things happening in the head of mainline. If we check these commits on daily basis - Mesa having average of 35 commits happening every single day and XServer having 3.5 commits on daily basis. And not to even mention the Kernel which has over 100 commits per day.
Starting to deviate from this with an custom build behind the closed doors will mean an big maintenance and development effort for the instances deciding to do so. On the other hand this is sometimes mandatory. When discussing about an commercial company which is still aiming at to make profit you are bound to keep something behind the closed doors.
So balancing between Open Sourcing code and potentially exposing the bits and pieces from the latest and greatest can get tricky and really needs to be thought carefully.
PS. with MeeGo the problem is tackled by doing the XServer development with the git head - see.