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Ubuntu Dumps X For Unity On Wayland

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the no-longer-marks-the-spot dept.

X 640

An anonymous reader writes "Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu will move away from the traditional X.org display environment to Wayland — a more modern alternative. The move means there is now little reason for GNOME developers to recommend Ubuntu as an operating system. Shuttleworth said, 'We're confident we’ll be able to retain the ability to run X applications in a compatibility mode, so this is not a transition that needs to reset the world of desktop free software. Nor is it a transition everyone needs to make at the same time: for the same reason we'll keep investing in the 2D experience on Ubuntu despite also believing that Unity, with all its GL dependencies, is the best interface for the desktop. We'll help GNOME and KDE with the transition, there's no reason for them not to be there on day one either.'"

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No standards at all (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135468)

WTF

> The move means there is now little reason for GNOME developers to recommend Ubuntu as an operating system.

I'm getting sick of this crap "journalism". if you want to make a comment, add a comment. Don't add your opinion to the summary. Just report the facts. If you really have to, blog about your opinion and add a link to that blog, stating that it's your opinion.

Re:No standards at all (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135536)

What else would a summary be except someone's opinion? Seriously. How exactly do you shrink something down to fewer words without distorting the original meaning through interpretation? And if every summary was just a cut and paste job from the original article, why not just link to the original article and leave it be?

Re:No standards at all (3, Insightful)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135814)

A summary should be as factual as possible. A cut and paste job from the article, aka, an excerpt, is just fine. It's just like the 'breaks' that many blogs use, and just like the 'Continued on page A3' that newspapers have used for decades- you give a summary of the story up front, and if the reader feels like they would benefit from reading the rest, they do so.

This is opposed to what you describe, which is in my opinion bad journalism. Taken to the extreme it's like seeing a summary in a newspaper that reads 'FREE BOOBIES, continued on A4' and then turning to find an article totally unrelated.

Re:No standards at all (5, Informative)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135968)

From the article: "There’s now little reason for these GNOME developers to recommend Ubuntu as an operating system."

So... slashdot did a good job?

Re:No standards at all (5, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135560)

Since when is /. journalism??!

Re:No standards at all (4, Interesting)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135630)

This article reads less like a news story than an emotional, personal rant by someone who's puckering with contempt because he got his feelings hurt.

Tech companies make crappy decisions all the time. Ubuntu probably thought it would have more time to become the king of the desktop before realizing that soon the desktop would be irrelevant and that *nix alternatives had already beaten it to the punch for being the kings of mobile.

At this point, he should probably start thinking further down the road to gesture and voice computing. My kinect tells me that it's almost time to stop touching devices at all, and I believe it.

Re:No standards at all (5, Informative)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135782)

I'm getting sick of this crap "journalism". if you want to make a comment, add a comment. Don't add your opinion to the summary. Just report the facts. If you really have to, blog about your opinion and add a link to that blog, stating that it's your opinion.

You must be new here. The summary of an article is nearly always the *opinion* of whoever submitted it. The "news" part is in the original source to which the link(s) in the summary point (assuming the original source isn't itself just an opinion or troll). The summary IS the "blog" part, and it acts as the root of the entire discussion thread. That's the way it has always worked on this site, and it's not very hard to figure out.

Re:No standards at all (0, Redundant)

bsolar (1176767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135856)

In this case it's not even true. The offending part lacks the quotation marks but actually comes from the original article.

Re:No standards at all (4, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135832)

Dude. Have you been alive for the past 10 years? Sneaking a biased opinion into an otherwise factual story is a technique that's gotten a TON of use. Not much incentive to be a journalist otherwise, fact-based reporting is what those hick writers in flyover country do and it certainly won't win you any industry awards.

Re:No standards at all (4, Informative)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135874)

That opinion WAS in TFA... if you had read it...

Re:No standards at all (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135926)

I think the comment is entirely appropriate. After all, as someone who contributes to Slashdot comments, I have no reason to recommend any other website to anyone. Why would I? Clearly, if it's not Slashdot, nobody could benefit from it. For the same reason, a GNOME developer would never have any reason to recommend any other desktop environment to GNOME to anyone.

Re:No standards at all (5, Informative)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135956)

Although I generally agree with this feeling, if you read TFA, you would find this quote:

There’s now little reason for these GNOME developers to recommend Ubuntu as an operating system.

So as you can see, it's not something the summary writter made up, he just pasted something that was already in TFA, with just one word changed by a short phrace to better fit the short summary context: "There's" with "The move means there is"

If you want to insult the article itself, go for it, but at least in this one case, your insult of the summary is horrendously out of place.

the coward comes first! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135492)

first!

Ok great for beginners (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135496)

...but I still know a LOT of people who forward X over SSH, and there are still a lot of professors who are advising their students (at least in the engineering schools I have seen) to do the same. I guess this is one of those times that just saying, "I use Linux!" will not convey what people think.

Re:Ok great for beginners (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135610)

"I use Linux!"

Slackware? Debian?

RedHat? Mandrake? SuSE?

Fedora? Gentoo?

Windowmaker? Blackbox? Enlightenment? KDE? Gnome? Bluecurve (lol)?

What? What?

"I use Linux!" has never conveyed what people think it means.

Re:Ok great for beginners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135802)

It's always conveyed, "I use some strange computer program that the listener understands nothing about. I hear lately, though, that it sort of runs Windows." Anyone who actually uses Linux understands that almost nobody's Linux boxes are the same.

Re:Ok great for beginners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135898)

Tons of people use Linux. They watch their new HD TV.

Re:Ok great for beginners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135612)

I use a Mac, and I can still forward X over ssh. It only takes a simple app to handle the client side to make it work.

Re:Ok great for beginners (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135618)

I still know a LOT of people who forward X over SSH

I don't think that's relevant. They'll still be able to use encrypted VNC, or some other solution of their choice.

Re:Ok great for beginners (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135794)

I still know a LOT of people who forward X over SSH

I don't think that's relevant. They'll still be able to use encrypted VNC, or some other solution of their choice.

Forwarding an X session (ie running Firefox on the remote machine and having it display on your local X daemon appearing as a local program) is far different from running VNC (using a full desktop environment on the remote machine), even though both can be run via ssh tunnels.

Re:Ok great for beginners (4, Interesting)

sd.fhasldff (833645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135638)

Wayland is a display server, like X. Why wouldn't it be possible to forward Wayland over SSH?

Re:Ok great for beginners (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135690)

Because not all the applications people want to forward are written for Wayland; one that comes to mind is a VLSI tool from Cadence, which is proprietary software that is often encountered in EE curricula (for VLSI courses and whatnot), which I doubt will be updated to Wayland any time soon. People have come to rely on an X server, specifically, being available to them.

Wayland can host X (5, Informative)

sd.fhasldff (833645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135894)

Then it's a good thing Wayland can host X. It would require some (reportedly) minor adjustments to X, but it would be transparent to individual applications.

Re:Ok great for beginners (5, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135964)

You mean like the fact that I need to use the same Cadence you're talking about as part of my day job, as well as a whole host of other X-based VLSI CAD applications. Every now and then I need to work from home, and X lets me do that. To be sure, sometimes I use VNC, but sometimes I run the X tools native on my home system, too. Different tasks call for different approaches.

Leaving work out of it, sometimes I just like to run some GUI tools on my server, with the display exported back to my desktop. My server doesn't even have an X server installed.

I strongly suspect that the people who pooh-pooh the networking capabilities of X never got used to using them.

Re:Ok great for beginners (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136010)

People have come to rely on an X server, specifically, being available to them.

I had the same thought, but after looking at the Wayland architecture I'm less concerned. Here's a relevant quote from the Wayland architecture pages:

Wayland is a complete window system in itself, but even so, if we're migrating away from X, it makes sense to have a good backwards compatibility story. With a few changes, the Xorg server can be modified to use wayland input devices for input and forward either the root window or individual top-level windows as wayland surfaces. The server still runs the same 2D driver with the same acceleration code as it does when it runs natively, the main difference is that wayland handles presentation of the windows instead of KMS.

So it sounds like application developers will have a choice of using the Wayland window system directly, or using the X protocol to talk to an X server which uses Wayland to display its output. In practice, of course, no one will do either. Application developers use toolkits like Qt, GTK, wx, etc., so what will probably happen is that the toolkits will choose either the X or the Wayland protocol, perhaps dynamically based on the available options.

I was pretty sure when I went to look at the Wayland stuff that this is a bad idea. After reading about it a bit, though, I'm not so sure. Wayland is designed around the notion of compositor-based display, which is clearly where everything is now or is going soon, while the compositor is a somewhat-klunky add-on to an X server. If Wayland can retain X's network transparency, streamline and simplify the graphics architecture, provide a cleaner and less...bizarre... protocol, and also allow native X apps to continue running without issue and to be gradually ported from the X protocol to the Wayland protocol as it becomes convenient... I think it may be a very good idea indeed.

Re:Ok great for beginners (4, Interesting)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135906)

Wayland is a very minimal display server. It requires clients to access the graphics card hardware themselves using the DRM kernel API in order to actually render anything, and you can't do that over a network. Basically, Wayland only works when the display server and its clients are running on the same machine, and that's a deliberate design decision that can't be changed easily.

Re:Ok great for beginners (3, Insightful)

AaxelB (1034884) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135666)

Fortunately, X is not Linux, and Linux is not X, which might help clear up some of your confusion. When someone says "I use Linux!", it means exactly that, and you can't really assume a priori what else they've got. Of course, most Ubuntu users will say "I use Ubuntu!", which should make things easier.

Personally, I rarely do anything that really depends on X being X, so my reaction is essentially "huh, I wonder how that'll work out."

Re:Ok great for beginners (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135700)

Linux is Unix, and X is a part of any proper Unix.

Although I am more concerned with performance going to sh*t because some idiot thought it would make sense to break with the past and all of the driver development that's already been done.

Shuttleworth is really pretty irrelevant here.

Re:Ok great for beginners (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135746)

1. Linux is not Unix

2. X is neither part of Unix nor required for it.

Anything else you'd like to add to this discussion?

Re:Ok great for beginners (0, Troll)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135988)

Nice troll! You managed to choose a topic that is probably as complex and volatile as Kirk vs. Picard, but yet is not as familiar.

Re:Ok great for beginners (2, Informative)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135862)

Linux is NOT Unix. That's been pretty important since day 1. And Unix doesn't need X, since OSX is Unix (real Unix, not Linux) and only runs X under it's main (non-X) window manager as needed (just as Shuttleworth is talking about doing with Wayland). As a matter of a fact, you can have a Unix or Linux box without any windowing system on it at all! It's amazing, I know, but totally possible.

Re:Ok great for beginners (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135974)

OSX isn't Unix. "UNIX certified" is not UNIX. z/OS and OS/400 are not UNIX for the same reason.
 
  To the best of my knowledge, the only UNIX that is still on the market is Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and SCO OpenServer/UnixWare.

Re:Ok great for beginners (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135878)

Linux is Unix

GNU Linux is GNU is not Unix Linux

X is a part of any proper Unix

Always? I was under the impression that having X on some servers is a waste of resources.

Re:Ok great for beginners (5, Insightful)

computational super (740265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135932)

X is a part of any proper Unix.

Proper Unix doesn't have any graphical display capabilities at all.

Now get off my lawn.

Re:Ok great for beginners (1)

rpopescu (1563191) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135946)

You have no idea what you're talking about, do you?

Re:Ok great for beginners (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135732)

Fortunately, X is not Linux, and Linux is not X

Yes, I know that, but for a lot of people, "I use Linux!" implies the availability of an X server.

Personally, I rarely do anything that really depends on X being X, so my reaction is essentially "huh, I wonder how that'll work out."

Speaking for yourself; I see plenty of people who depend on X being X, and plenty of people who are being advised to depend on X being X. A move to Wayland will create all kind of confusion for those people, who implicitly assume that any Linux distro which has a graphical environment is using X.

Re:Ok great for beginners (1)

Digicrat (973598) | more than 3 years ago | (#34136008)

Not true. There are plenty of people that view certain (ie:headless servers, embedded machines, etc) Linux/Unix systems as a pure shell with no GUI.

OSX, Windows 95, Vista, Windows 7 (4, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135912)

apple, Microsoft and Sun all have radically changed their widowing systems on many occasions while maintaining continuity for their developers. It did not mean no work, it just meant that recompiles could produce a functional product in most cases, albeit one that might look like poo and not have any of the new capabilities of the windowing system.

I find it somewhat hard to believe that the original design of X was so perfectly extendible that after decades of use it is not straining its seems.

So a change may be good.

However, i do see a downside. The nice thing about X unlike Windows and Macs main display interface is that it is more easily separated from the desktop. If you want to use a mac or windows system remotely you have to use something like VNC or a remote desktop app. In both cases you are getting the whole desktop not a display window. You can't run multiple instances of it. That's the main thing I like about X.

Re:Ok great for beginners (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135928)

Forwarding X isn't really an ideal way to do things anymore.

VNC/RDP and other protocalls are MUCH faster then using X. The professors would still have students do their code with punch cards if they had their way.

most X applications have gotten so graphically robust that their design isn't optimal anymore. Back in the old days where it was just vector graphics where CPU were fast compared to bandwidth meant a some simple box drawings made a robust X app. Now almost every element today has some sort of bitmapped graphic tied to it. And making it slow for remote use.

It is not saying the X doesn't have any advantages over others... It does however if you weigh the tradeoffs you will find that people are suffering more then they are being helped.

A bit big for their britches? (2, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135508)

I'm wondering if the Ubuntu crowd isn't letting their success go to their heads just a tad. Just because they're the most popular distribution doesn't mean that they can start changing everything around and have everyone else follow their lead. It's one thing to make some incremental changes that you think are best for the distribution or for Linux as an operating system. But to be making statements like this:

We'll help GNOME and KDE with the transition, there's no reason for them not to be there on day one either.

says to me that Ubuntu wants to make substantive changes to the free desktop environment and have everyone follow their lead. As a long-time Ubuntu user, I wish them well. But with the attitude with which they seem to be approaching things, I suspect that we will start to see Ubuntu's share of the desktop start to decline in future years as some other distribution steps up to the plate.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135596)

>>>doesn't mean everyone else follow their lead

Precisely. I gave Gnome, KDE, and other variants of Ubuntu a try in 2008 and again in 2010, but I think I'm done now. I hate change when the change happens for no good reason (look at my name, or my TV with a VCR still attached to it). Anybody want to buy a shiny Lubuntu 10.0 CD? Hmmm. Maybe I'll put it on ebay.....

Re:A bit big for their britches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135742)

So 'improvement' is not a good reason for change? You honestly think that changing from VCRs to DVDs wasn't for a good reason?

I would really hate to see what your ideal world would look like.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135620)

Or maybe they were referring to the transition of the Ubuntu distributions that include GNOME and KDE? In other words, changes will need to be made so that all of the technologies could still be used and useful and they will help the GNOME and KDE teams so that things aren't a broken mess on Ubuntu, Kubuntu, etc.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135652)

I remember a discussion a year or two ago here on Slashdot how X was badly in need of replacing. Sounds to me like Canonical have the right idea, and the impetus to make it happen.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135724)

Was about to say the exact same thing. Everyone knows X is shit and needs to die, and the primary thing stopping that is momentum. And now someone actually tries to create that momentum and is immediately attacked.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135792)

It's not so much that X is garbage, it just isn't nearly as useful on a thicker client with lots of resources.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135798)

I'm not attacking them. It's just that coming on the heels of their announcement to move away from Gnome, it seems like Ubuntu is using their large install base to try to steer the free desktop market in their direction. I'm not even necessarily commenting on whether or not this is good or bad...just that I'm not certain that they're doing it with the right attitude to be successful.

I've been an Ubuntu user for years and have a great deal of respect for what they've done for the Linux desktop. I just don't want to see them overreach and fail.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (4, Insightful)

computational super (740265) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135952)

I'm a little shocked at all the negativity. Have you people used X? If Ubuntu can drive a replacement, let them drive a replacement!

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

Hozza (1073224) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135682)

I'm not sure about Gnome, but KDE already works on non-X11 platforms (e.g. KDE 4.4 is available for Mac), and there's already an ongoing port of Qt to Wayland, so it shouldn't require a big effort from the KDE developers to support this move.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135688)

Ubuntu has repeatedly tried to be as bleeding edge as possible, which is why I don't recommend it to people who want a stable system that just works, and why I never recommend it in the enterprise.

Why are people shocked that Ubuntu is trying to push for change here?

My only concern is that last time I looked Wayland wasn't ready for primetime, and the intent with Wayland wasn't to be a full replacement for X for most users.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

cronco (1435465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135744)

Now they haven't. Fedora is the "bleeding-edge" distro, which regularly ships with beta software bundled. The only time I remember Ubuntu doing the same was with FF 3 beta, which was included in 8.10 if I'm not mistaken.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (5, Insightful)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135910)

My only concern is that last time I looked Wayland wasn't ready for primetime, and the intent with Wayland wasn't to be a full replacement for X for most users.

If Mark Shuttleworth was proposing Wayland for prime-time inclusion in Ubuntu 11.04 or even 11.10, I'd be concerned. But if you actually follow this news story to the original source at http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/551 [markshuttleworth.com] you would find this:

Timeframes are difficult. I’m sure we could deliver *something* in six months, but I think a year is more realistic for the first images that will be widely useful in our community. I’d love to be proven conservative on that :-) but I suspect it’s more likely to err the other way. It might take four or more years to really move the ecosystem. Progress on Wayland itself is sufficient for me to be confident that no other initiative could outrun it, especially if we deliver things like Unity and uTouch with it. And also if we make an early public statement in support of the project. Which this is!

So the first likely viewing of this would 11.10 and real integration into the entire stack is more likely in the 14.10/15.04 time frame.

So this is a classic storm in a teacup right now. The reality is "promising project will be supported by major Linux player for future inclusion".

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:A bit big for their britches? (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135786)

But you are missing the point. X is a protocol layed out long, long ago. And there are long standing issues with it that become glaring as we move forward. Long known issues such as 3D support.

Are the advantages of the new server enough to outweigh the costs?

Besides, when did Slashdot become a crowd that believes that there should only be one right way? Forks are GOOD for software evolution - it's how new ideas get tried out!

Go Ubuntu for being brave enough to try to tackle the problems of X!

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

jhigh (657789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135960)

As I pointed out in a separate comment, I'm not criticizing Ubuntu for what they're doing. Rather, I'm being critical of their approach and frankly for the attitude that they appear to have about it. I'm an avid Ubuntu user and have been for years. However, in terms of Linux development, they're one of the relatively new kids on the block and have achieved success largely on the back of Fedora. To now be trying to steer the entire free desktop market in their direction as they make major changes seems to me a bit presumptive.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (0, Troll)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135808)

I'm wondering if the Ubuntu crowd isn't letting their success go to their heads just a tad. Just because they're the most popular distribution doesn't mean that they can start changing everything around and have everyone else follow their lead.

If you're right, it's creepy how much it parallels Obama's and the Democratic party's ambitions over the past two years.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135810)

Actually, I respect this a lot. X11 is an old, OLD and outdated protocol that people have been trying to move past for years. Until now though, people either lacked the resources or the balls to move forward and actually do it though.

Ubuntu has been consistently making great strides because they WILL do stuff like this. I don't necessarily always agree with them (for example, taskbar buttons on the right), but I admire their dedication.

In a lot of ways I see Shuttleworth as a mirror version of Steve Jobs. They both seem to be willing to throw out any ideas on conventional wisdom and what a system "has" to have or do, and do things their own way. Shuttleworth just seems to be using his powers for good. :)

Will I like this? Not sure. Maybe, maybe not. I think though that if they can really get the community to follow them down this road, we'll all benefit.

Re:A bit big for their britches? (1)

I_R_Che (598681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135816)

But isn't this a good thing? Whether they succeed and advance the state of Linux on the desktop or they fail and other distributions, focusing on other things, retake their current lead because of those 'other things', the Linux desktop will benefit.

gnome developers what? (5, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135510)

The move means there is now little reason for GNOME developers to recommend Ubuntu as an operating system.

I don't know a single person, not one, who makes his OS choice based on what "gnome developers" recommend. Why was this bit even added to the summary?

woohoo! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135516)

about damn time somebody had the balls to drop X. Oh, but i can't run x over ssh over a 300 baud modem!!!!111!!!!eleven!! Well, you can't drive a ferrari through the outback either, but it get more pussy than a jeep.

Re:woohoo! (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135684)

You couldn't drive today's Jeeps in the outback either.

Re:woohoo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135914)

I beg to differ. I'm not near the outback, but I have damn sure gone places that I had no business going. I got all sorts of looks from "hell yea" to "crazy bastard". If you think the new Jeeps are pussified, then you are only judging the exterior. Under the beauty, it is definitely a Jeep. /me has a 2010 Unlimited untouched (for now). :)

we'll be able to retain the ability to run X apps (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135526)

He may be "confident" we'll be able to retain the ability to run X applications in a compatibility mode, but I'm not. MY PS3 doesn't run a whole host of PS1 or PS2 games even though Sony claimed it would. (So I bought a space PS2 instead.) Windows Vista and Seven doesn't run old 3.1 or 95/98 apps. Mac OS X doesn't do well with classic PPC or 68000 apps.

Nope. Not confident at all.

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135616)

So run an older version of X in a Linux VM? All the current kernels run pretty well on all the hypervisors, so just download whatever current distro you like, put it in a VM, and store it for "legacy programs".

Likewise DOS, early Windows and Win9x all run in VMs fine.

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135838)

..........and what's the big draw with ubuntu and this wayland thing then? It's ability to run Unity and a virtual machine where you have to have a real linux distribution where you can do your actual work? *Snort*

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135662)

No kidding. That was a big 'use a different distro' to me. How many devs are going to bother tweaking for 1 distro? Esp for something they wrote say 5 years ago and they have lost interest in? Oh thats right very few. Newer applications you may get people to bother to go fix it. Older ones? Not so much.

I read that as 'hey we would like to kill ubuntu pretty quick and we found a way to do it'.

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135668)

But will it run xeyes?

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135710)

Actually I don't see why this would be an issue.
You can run X on OS/X and WIndows so running X on top of Unity is probably going to be okay as well.
The reality is that very few programs use X directly. Most everything goes through GTK or QT. There is a version of GTK that runs on just the framebuffer already for embedded development.

In theory you could pick GTK, QT, or some other frame work to replace X and then run X on that. You could also have QT for GTK if you really wanted too.
Just to be clear I am not sure that GTK or QT have all the feature you want in a moder graphics system.
A lot of people still have issues with X as display tech. A big one I hear about all the time is that it doesn't unify video display with printing.
It may be time to let X go. At least someone is going to try. Who know it may be the best thing to happen to Linux in a long time.

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135796)

X isn't a completely different machine code architecture, so it's not nearly as bad as PS2 / PS3 compatibility or PPC / x86.
And Windows has poor compatibility because of either stupid things the old Windows did or because of stupid things the programs did that newer Windows can't support (glitch exploits)

It's just a windowing protocol, I'm sure the X compatibility mode for Wayland will be fine.

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135806)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but most of your examples pertain to an hardware architectural change, for which a compatibility mode is (at least theoretically) much harder to solve than a software change.

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135882)

Not too bright are you? X11 is just a display protocol. While all those things you list might be true, I think it's SPECIFICALLY telling that both Windows (choose your version) AND Mac OS X BOTH run X11 applications just fine using compatibility layers.

Setting up a compatbility layer for people to be able to use X11 apps on a non-X11 display is utterly trivial. I was doing it with Hummingbird eXceed on Windows over 10 years ago (and I'm sure people have been doing it a lot longer than that).

Re:we'll be able to retain the ability to run X ap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135904)

You will be able to run X application on Wayland in a similar fashion that you run them on OSX. See "X as a Wayland Client" in http://wayland.freedesktop.org/architecture.html

Wayland... (5, Informative)

DaPhil (811162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135550)

For anyone else wondering what Wayland is: "Wayland is a lightweight display server for the GNU/Linux desktop. Started by Kristian Høgsberg [...] the software's stated goal is "every frame is perfect, by which I mean that applications will be able to control the rendering enough that we'll never see tearing, lag, redrawing or flicker"" (Wikipedia)

Here is the website [freedesktop.org] and the wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] .

Summary's BOGUS... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135562)

Uh... Guys... Wayland doesn't preclude X11. Think of X11 as a two part system. One's the rendering and compositing layer and the other is the network transport layer that makes it network transparent. Wayland's the driver backend guts. They've shown MULTIPLE X11 desktops being ran on top of Wayland.

This isn't the thing that many make it out to be. SERIOUSLY.

Re:Summary's BOGUS... (5, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135942)

That's good to hear. All I care about is one thing: does "ssh -X" work correctly and transparently out of the box with all included apps. If so, no problem. If not, I'll switch distros.

Re:Summary's BOGUS... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135970)

But then people wouldn't be angry or afraid.

A bit sensationalist... (5, Informative)

Scyth3 (988321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135566)

They're slowing transitioning away from X to Wayland. They're not straight up "dumping" X. It'll be there for quite a few releases. http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2010/11/linux-beyond-x-shuttleworth-contemplates-wayland.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:A bit sensationalist... (3, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135714)

We don't allow sensible comments here. You need to change your post to "Shuttleworth kicks Gnome developers square in the nuts".

Re:A bit sensationalist... (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135918)

Dude, "kick in the nuts" is SOOO 2009. You need to change it to "Shuttleworth kicks Gnome developers in the face".

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2010/10/25/dirty-political-ad-du-jour-mayor-kicks-kids-in-the-face/

Oh no (1)

Artem Tashkinov (764309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135600)

Let me be the first to say that the current X.org drivers for DAAMIT, NVIDIA and Intel are all incomplete and buggy and what Mark offers will hit him and all Ubuntu users very hard.

And I'm quite sure ATI and NVIDIA won't bother releasing their binary drivers for this thingy in the foreseeable future (or maybe who cares where there are no AAA native games for Linux). With thousands of unresolved bugs in KDE/Gnome/X.org server itself, with many devices still unsupported or barely supported, I don't think it's the best endeavour in the immature Linux world.

Re:Oh no (1)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135762)

There weren't a lot of touch screen phone options either before the iPhone. Sometimes you have to lead.

Re:Oh no (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135834)

Since it looks like it is aimed more squarely at the embedded device market, as a way to provide a full desktop on your phone, I think they are a little less worried about the ATI/Nvidia/Intel binary drivers. I suspect they are more concerned about companies like PowerVR and everyone who uses their designs.

Re:Oh no (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135980)

I'm cool with this being intended as a strategic direction for mobile devices.

For the desktop, it's just plain retarded.

They seem to be fixating on the usual lame trolling directed at X rather than thinking about what this will actually mean once it is imposed on the users.

Breathe Deep... (5, Informative)

gti_guy (875684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135640)

Calm down people. This isn't any different than Mac OS X using Cocoa for the desktop display and still having X11 available to run as another app. And yes (if you've never tried it), X tunneled through ssh works just fine on Mac OS X. It will be the same thing with the next release of Ubuntu. The sky is NOT falling.

Re:Breathe Deep... (4, Insightful)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135716)

Calm down people. This isn't any different than Mac OS X using Cocoa for the desktop display and still having X11 available to run as another app. And yes (if you've never tried it), X tunneled through ssh works just fine on Mac OS X. It will be the same thing with the next release of Ubuntu. The sky is NOT falling.

That's exactly why people are so worried, though. Like on Mac OS X, all the major applications will be non-X11 and will not be able to be tunneled over SSH. We're talking all applications that use GTK+ or KDE for a start, followed by other applications as soon as the manpower is available to port them. Currently on Mac OS X you need to use some horrid remote-desktop hack like VNC that essentially forwards the entire desktop over the network very, very slowly and it looks like Ubuntu is going to end up in the same situation.

Re:Breathe Deep... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135750)

No. X11 being on the Mac is like X11 being on Windows.

It is something that was bolted onto an already functioning system with all of the relevant bits including DEVICE DRIVERS.

At last. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135656)

X11 needs to die.

Good On Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135670)

I think a big player should do something innovative like improve the user experience. If you don't like it then fork their distro or choose another one this is what linux is all about. So stop your bitchin until you give it a go.

Will it be faster and more responsive? (1)

anandrajan (86137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135696)

Now this is interesting. Currently, on my work PC, linux/X11 seems to be a bit slower (KDE 4 especially, GNOME a bit less and definitely not Enlightenment) than Windows XP. Will this move bring the response *feel* of the linux desktop (in Unity on Ubuntu) to be on par with XP? While there are many anecdotal complaints [fixunix.com] all over the web regarding the intrinsic slowness of X, this seems to be disproven by my Enlightenment 0.16 experience.

X11 (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135722)

People griped about moving from X11 to X.org, they will whine and moan about this too. It's only taken X.org 6 years to go from "that thin fast X11 replacement" to "too bloated for new computers", that is slightly impressive.

</sarcasm> It will be a good thing to have a separate thin X server for netbooks and phone-like devices. Leave all the super fancy graphics available on the bigger graphics cards, and pare down what is overkill on palm sized screens with tighter power requirements.

Re:X11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135892)

I'm not quite sure what your point was, but mine is this: X is a POS.

It never was very good, and as graphical displays have moved forward X has remained stuck in the past. It can't be fixed and it's time to start over. A lot of smart people have poured their lives into it, and it's still the same dog it was twenty years ago.

That's an EXTREMELY bold move... (3, Interesting)

starseeker (141897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135726)

There have been other projects over the years that have tried to improve on X (Fresco/Berlin and picogui readily come to mind) but I don't believe any of them have demonstrated results that seriously threatened the revitalized Xorg project.

I hadn't heard of Wayland, but I must admit since Xorg got going I haven't kept a close eye on that level of the graphics stack. Mark's blog post makes it sound like they're willing to ditch network transparency for better graphics effects, which makes me a little leery. Undoubtedly for most users that's the "right" approach, but if they do lose network transparency it's going to make Ubuntu an impossible choice in a lot of business environments where running apps from a server is part of day-to-day business.

Also, the amount of work to port all the requisite software/toolkits to a non-X platform is going to be... impressive. Haiku faces this problem, as do a fair number of older applications when looking at running native on Windows and OSX - it ain't easy. Plus, we're talking an entirely new backend in Wayland, one that's going to require (from the sound of things) rock solid OpenGL support.

Ubuntu has shown they can deliver in the past, and perhaps they can do it now, but I can't help but wonder if they realize the magnitude of what they're undertaking here.

Correction (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135764)

Ubuntu will still ship X. Unity will run on X. No definitive decisions have been made. Shuttleworth is considering a transition to Wayland, which he estimates will be 4 years down the road. He assumes at that time that KDE and Gnome apps should be able to run natively on Wayland at that time, but you can run a rootless X server alongside Wayland either way.

But it really is more fun to make non-sensical statements, such as suggesting that Gnome and X are intrinsically tied, and that wanting to replace X four years in the future is some massive insult to Gnome.

Pulseaudio again. (2, Interesting)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135784)

I have a feeling this is going to be the same SNAFU.
And why does Ubuntu NOT support alsa environment (panel volume applet, system sound theme config etc.)?
This is fucking stupid.
I'm going back to Slackware. Or Gentoo.

And thus the curse of Open Source manifests itself (1, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135836)

And thus the curse of Open Source manifests itself - Develop something to to the virge of usability and robustness...then BAM! "Fuggit" let's start again in a new direction and it will be "better" and spend more years in development wilderness.

The Ubuntu distro is showing great maturity and evolving nicely....then "Fuggit!" let's go a different way and start the integration again!

The n900 Nokia computer, no it's a phone, no it's a computer (ad nauseum). The OS (Maemo) reached good stability and then BAM! Nokia said "Fuggit! We can do this better - let's start an OS called Meego(still not running properly)"

KDE 3 to 4, Gnome 2.x to 3....

"Welcome to the world of Linux and Open Source where everything is in a perpetual state of development and a finished release is just a pipe-dream"

Like Mac OS X (3, Informative)

Balthisar (649688) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135868)

So, it'll be kind of like running X on my Mac OS X machines. A modern display server, with the ability to run a non-root X on top of it.

Straight out of the M$ playbook.... (-1, Troll)

Hasai (131313) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135886)

Embrace.... ....extend.... ....extinguish. Back to Baskin-Robbins mode, I guess.

binary video drivers and wine (1)

atfrase (879806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135896)

Can anybody more knowledgeable than I comment on how this will affect binary (nVidia/AMD) video driver performance or compatibility, and thus Wine gaming?

Typical Ubuntu (0, Troll)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135916)

Lets change what works and make it harder and more awkward to use.

Guess I'll keep on Loving Gentoo.

Drivers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34135966)

Has wayland re-implemented all the user-space portions of the graphics drivers? What about nvidia binary drivers? Unless wayland has some kind of compatibility layer for loading X drivers I don't see this transition happening anytime soon. And if it did have a compatibility layer for X drivers underneath in addition to the X protocol compatibility on top, then how much is really different than X?

Very skeptical. (1, Troll)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 3 years ago | (#34135984)

I looked at the description of the Wayland project [phoronix.com] . Granted, it's a couple years old, but it looks like it only works on a limited set of hardware.

They talk about using nouveau for NVIDIA cards... well that is really not an option for some people.

Ubuntu should NOT limit their hardware choices.

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