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KDE Plans To Support Wayland In 2012

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-first-name-for-a-baby-too dept.

KDE 413

An anonymous reader writes "During the 2011 Desktop Summit plans were brought up by a KDE developer to support KDE on the Wayland Display Server, which is dubbed the successor to X11. The KDE Wayland support is expected to come in three phases, with the first two phases expected to be completed next year during the KDE SC 4.8 and 4.9 development cycles. Farewell X?"

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Isn't KDE 4.x buggy enough already? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013706)

Why don't the KDE developers first fix the bugs that already exist in KDE 4.x before trashing it with Wayland?

Re:Isn't KDE 4.x buggy enough already? (0)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013716)

What bugs? Do you mean the bugs in KDE 4.0? They were mostly gone by KDE 4.2 and KDE 4.x surpassed KDE 3 when 4.4 was released. KDE 4.6 was pure gold and even 4.7 was recently introduced.

To which bugs are you referring?

Re:Isn't KDE 4.x buggy enough already? (0)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014162)

The bug where KDE still is inferior to GNOME? :P

Obese Fat Overweight Lard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013714)

Fat people eat too much. See you cannot gain weight if what you eat is less than or equal to the calories you burn. That is called eating.

If you eat more than the calories you burn, that is called overeating. Or eating too much. It is how you get fat. This isn't rocket science, folks.

Fatties have a talent for one thing. You don't bloat up to a 300 pound lardass blimp overnight. No, that takes time. You have to work on it bit by bit. Fatasses have the ability to become 10lbs overweight and not notice, then 20, then 50, then 75, and on and on. At no point do they say "hey I wonder if I should do something different, if what I am doing now isn't working so well, if I can figure out ahead of time where this path leads".

Fatties don't say "gee you know insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, so if I don't change my eating and/or exercise habits I will keep getting the same result and the result is putting on more and more excess fat."

This is why it is not just cosmetic. It's not just looks. It's ugly for a lot of very good reasons. Fatass-ness is a mental disease. It's a form of stupid. "Stupid" is when there is no good reason to do something, nobody benefits from it, and you do it anyway. A thief is merely selfish since at least the thief gains something from stealing.

Getting fat is just plain stupid. Not doing something about it is even fucking worse. Making excuses for it and looking for something to blame makes you a childish idiot. Stop doing this. You'll be so much happier when you realize your decisions really do create the reality you experience.

Re:Obese Fat Overweight Lard (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013738)

I'm Korean
Son of a bitch American
American is pig
Do you want a hamburger?
Do you want a pizza?
American is pig disgusting
Barack Hussein Obama is a murderer.
Fucking USA

Re:Obese Fat Overweight Lard (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013810)

Kim Jong Il? Trolling for food again??

Stupid (4, Insightful)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013734)

This is a mistake! X is one of the most flexible and useful systems today. Granted dumb users won't ever realize what they have in front of them, but the utility of X should not be under-estimated. I DO use it on a regular basis. Eliminating X, or even making it a second class citizen, is a huge loss in the philosophy that has allowed UNIX to survive for decades.

What will happen is that X will be "supported" as an X emulation layer on top of the latest display layer. Unfortunately, apps will abandon X because it will no longer be vigorously supported. Then it will be lost.

Here's what X can do today that we will lose: Run applications on one virtual or physical machine and display on another. This is not the same as VNC or terminal services.

I hear all the dumbed down Linux users saying, that this isn't important, but like the people making these decisions, it is the point of view of ignorance. Computers are going in two directions..... Smaller devices and huge systems with many virtual machines. The huge systems with many virtual machines SCREAMS X for application display management. a 1:1 virtual desktop per virtual machine us unmanageable, but a window per app is. Eventually, there will only be a para-virtual manager and para-virtualized machines, each running apps. The VMs can be saved, restored, snap-shotted, backed-up, branched, etc. This will be the nature of how we run apps when we have a huge number of CPUs. X is a better fit now for the future, than any Windows/Mac inspired "improvement."

This is another Ill that is a direct result of people coming to Linux from a Mac or Windows background. They want to bring lesser ideas because they don't understand the capabilities of what they already have.

 

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013740)

I'm not too sure what the actual use-cases driving it are, either. Is there anybody who's really that excited about fancy graphical window effects, except as a curiosity? The article mentions Compiz developers having trouble getting patches merged, which I hope is not the main driver--- the main thing holding back Linux on the desktop is not insufficiently fancy animations when you minimize a window.

I don't get it either, where is the benefit? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013800)

I'm an old fart, but as far as I'm concerned a computer is a tool to accomplish a goal not an end in itself. I use a computer to get work done, or for entertainment. In both activities I couldn't care less about the computer itself, as long as it is efficient and stays out of the way.

Now look at the trends today. Every major window manager seems thoroughly convinced that mo' shiny is mo' better. Transparant everything, all-singing all-dancing window animations. Very clever stuff, but does it help me get my work done faster?

I realize that preferences are very personal, but perhaps I'm not completely wrong when I say that, in general, Gnome 2 is a whole lot better for getting work done than Gnome 3/Shell or Unity. Also, every window manager seems to be targeting tablets and netbooks, but completely ruining the experience on actual real displays where there is plenty of screen real estate. Why?

Now X somehow just has to be replaced by Wayland, perhaps for the same reason PulseAudio just had to replace Alsa. Change for the sake of chance. Ticklist features.

Perhaps there is no glory in delivering a stable, mature platform anymore. Perhaps developers these days want to work on 'teh shiny' only.

As I said, I'm an old fart, but perhaps all these new-fangled thingamajigs should really vacate my lawn...

Re:I don't get it either, where is the benefit? (1)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013908)

Nobody's forcing updates on you, old timer.

Re:I don't get it either, where is the benefit? (5, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014116)

Nobody's forcing updates on you, old timer.

Sure. Except that you do want to get security fixes. And you probably also want to run a few new applications.

Re:I don't get it either, where is the benefit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014178)

Window managers are not the same thing as desktop environments. Gnome 2/3, Unity, and KDE are all desktop environments (the ones with the shiny effects you complain about). Openbox and Fluxbox are two examples of window managers that by default have a very minimal configuration. Last time I checked, nobody was forcing you to switch from X to Wayland or Gnome 2 to 3. You can still use ALSA, you can disable desktop effects, and do pretty much whatever you want. If you are too lazy to change the settings that you're unhappy with then you really shouldn't complain.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013802)

Touch based usage is all about fancy effects. If you don't believe me, take a look at success of Apple lately.

Re:Stupid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013818)

You have four options:

1. Complain about people who want the "fancy animations" and end up losing X11. Let's face it, it's rare for people to complain their way into a mutually beneficial situation. This seems to be the option everyone is going for at the moment...

2. Help X11 by fixing what people perceive to be wrong with it. Maybe then you'll also see how bloated and painful it is to work with X11... (ultimately, that's the REAL reason we're seeing a rise of Wayland). You don't have to agree, you just have to realize that the people who disagree with you are about to overpower your choice. The mantra of "well, if they want it (the fancy animations), they should add it to X11 themselves or shut up" has failed you. Instead, someone has written an increasingly viable alternative which lacks features YOU want. Which leads me to ...

3. If you want these important features of X11 so bad, you should code them into Wayland yourself! (Oh snap! No he didn't!)

4. Sit back and do nothing. This would be the most preferable if you don't really have anything to add. It's like option 1, except you stop wasting your time. :)

Re:Stupid (1)

siride (974284) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013996)

What's bloated and slow about X11? Aside from crappy drivers (for some people), most of the slow issues have been fixed. Bloat is commonly levelled at X11, but it's not really substantiated.

Re:Stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014224)

The code itself is what I was talking about. The reason why no one wants to work with X11 is because it's very difficult to code in. The code is bloated and painful to work with. All it takes is a quick glance at the code to see why Wayland was born. Very few individuals could work with X11's code, and they didn't seem to be interested in keeping it going until there was competition.

Re:Stupid (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014050)

I wish that you had posted this from a logged in account, so that I could friend you.

Re:Stupid (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013856)

It's not only about some specific effects but also about having a generally smooth and intuitive desktop experience. Plus it's nice to have the small flicker here and there eliminated which rids the traditional desktops.

Re:Stupid (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013966)

It's not only about some specific effects but also about having a generally smooth and intuitive desktop experience. Plus it's nice to have the small flicker here and there eliminated which rids the traditional desktops.

But you can get that with X11. Intuition is not built at the basic graphics library layer anyway, and never ever was (it resides at a higher level). Smooth running? That again is a matter of correct programming (e.g., getting the handling of buffers right) as the fact that some X11 apps have been running smoothly for decades will testify. Going to Wayland will not fix these sorts of problems.

OTOH, there are things that it will fix. For example, it's finally just about becoming limiting that window dimensions have to fit in 16 bits. And it will also mean that some legacy nastiness can be dropped. (I so wish I'd never had to understand the mess that is visuals. Complex, confusing and long obsolete.)

Re:Stupid (4, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013888)

I have seen video of Keith Packard's talk which was providing quite a lot of reasons why Wayland or something similar is the way to go forward. The talk was centered on X protocol and architecture and how it works for modern applications. (Executive summary: very poorly.)

One of the main points was that most applications (both KDE and GNOME) do not use X anymore. Largest part of X is related to the 2D graphics and font rendering. Yet, most applications do not use X for that anymore and render everything by themselves, sending to X only the final image to display. X became a simple display driver with a fancy network interface. Why the layer is needed at all?

Another memorable problem is that X is unable to support full-screen games.

So those behind Wayland are not only bubbling windows fanatics - but also people who want to stream-line Linux' graphics stack.

P.S. I would love to have some guarantees that X would survive and I would be able to run a GUI app remotely, but something tells me that the days when I was taking that for granted are counted.

Re:Stupid (2, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014090)

other memorable problem is that X is unable to support full-screen games.

So somebody that has not even heard of the root window is trying to tell us all what X can or can't do and getting it wrong?
BTW, the gnome and kde comments also show a lack of understanding - there's more to X than a widget set and ultimately the important thing is getting the images from whatever to where the user can see it.

Re:Stupid (1)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014176)

other memorable problem is that X is unable to support full-screen games.

So somebody that has not even heard of the root window is trying to tell us all what X can or can't do and getting it wrong?

Fullscreen has never worked satisfactorily for me, personally. There would always be some weirdness which made it practically useless.

[...] and ultimately the important thing is getting the images from whatever to where the user can see it.

... and X11 is an absurdly complex way of doing that. Wayland does exactly this is a much simpler and more efficient way.

Re:Stupid (5, Informative)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014210)

So somebody that has not even heard of the root window is trying to tell us all what X can or can't do and getting it wrong?

I'm pretty sure Keith Packard, as a lead of X.org, has heard of the root window.

Here is the video I was referring to: X and the future of Linux Graphics. [blip.tv]

Re:Stupid (0)

arcctgx (607542) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013916)

Is there anybody who's really that excited about fancy graphical window effects, except as a curiosity?

Open source developers want to experiment, and they implement pseudo-features that most regular users neither want or need. For this reason, the latest versions of major desktop environments (Gnome 3 / KDE 4) are fundamentally broken. Wayland simply follows the same trend.

Re:Stupid (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013744)

Here's what X can do today that we will lose: Run applications on one virtual or physical machine and display on another. This is not the same as VNC or terminal services.

Lately I have it not work for me pretty often. Especially if there's any OpenGL. I can have two machines with GLX on them and yet my application crashes when I try to display it on the remote one... practically ANYTHING using OpenGL asplodes. Any more, that's the only thing I want to display remotely, because any old janky computer has enough power to run apps locally. It's not like when I was having to run Netscape on Linux displayed back to my SLC because it didn't have the power to run it satisfactorily.

Re:Stupid (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013788)

Any more, that's the only thing I want to display remotely, because any old janky computer has enough power to run apps locally.

Sometimes, power doesn't matter. I can't run mythtv-setup locally. Unfortunately, its the only way I know of to configure a mythtv-backend, and its a X11 GUI. My mythtv-backend doesn't even have a graphics card, certainly not the mandatory $500 super 3-d type you'd need, and I'd not want to remove a tuner card to plug in a fancy 3-d card, just for occasional channel lineup changes...

Re:Stupid (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013798)

But that's a retarded failing of MythTV that can be worked around with X11 as a band-aid... I mean, that's clearly not the Unix Way (tm) :)

Do you really need a fancy graphics card just to run MythTV?

Re:Stupid (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013884)

But that's a retarded failing of MythTV that can be worked around with X11 as a band-aid...

And after X11 is gotten rid of, and there is no bandaid... The only benefit the GUI provides over a config file is its semi-adaptive. From memory, you set up the capture card, THEN it shows up as an option in the thingy that links cap card hardware to channel lineups or whatever. The only benefit the GUI provides over a text CLI is during channel icon selection. The only benefit the GUI provides over a web based interface, is you don't need to set up / maintain / security patch a web server and some operations like channel scanning can take minutes to return results, far longer than most browsers/servers will tolerate.

It can probably be worked around with some effort and annoyance. Which is not worth it if the only benefit of the new technology platform is useless trendy eyecandy "now, with see thru xterm backgrounds".

Do you really need a fancy graphics card just to run MythTV?

Isn't the whole point of the Wayland project that you'd require a "fancy graphics card" just to run a xterm / konsole / xfce terminal? Might not be able to make it past the animated 3-D video login screen without a $500 card.

Re:Stupid (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014060)

No, Wayland makes all that stuff possible, but there is absolutely nothing preventing the implementation of a frame buffer interface drawn by the CPU. And by the same token, nothing preventing exporting Wayland to X (or VNC, or...) through a similar mechanism.

Re:Stupid (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013948)

That's pretty crappy apps then - I was running OpenGL stuff from an SGI machine on a linux pentium75 machine with a fairly crappy video card in 2000. I haven't noticed much in the way of trouble since then - what application are you running that is crashing all of the time?
As for never having to run remote apps - bullshit. Do you think those 48 CPU boxes are running on peoples desks?

Not so stupid. (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013770)

If you don't use any window compositing, my understanding is (correct me if I'm wrong) that you won't gain much from Wayland. I understand that Wayland offers a direct interface for window compositing, rather than having the compositing bolted on top of X11. The performance gain should be obvious, so it seems a Good Thing(TM) to me.

I would be the last to deny that X11 has served us loyally and well for decades, but if the user expects a more modern interface, there is little point in attempting to stop the tide.

Re:Not so stupid. (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013792)

I have no problems with a modern interface, as long as this doesn't mean taking essential features away. And yes, I do consider network transparency essential.

Re:Not so stupid. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014094)

X isn't all that network transparent. It performs absolutely horribly on anything with >25ms latency. You can't connect to a remotely running application that's already running. If your connection dies, the application dies. Most of these shortcomings can be squarely blamed on the statefulness of the X protocol.

(Before someone mentions it: VNC runs even worse.)

Even Remote Desktop works better than X. (As I understand it, Wayland should support something like Remote Desktop very easily; probably even at a single-Window level.)

Re:Not so stupid. (2)

makomk (752139) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013854)

You won't gain anything from Wayland, but you'll lose the ability to run any apps that require Wayland without using window compositing anymore, including losing the ability to run on hardware that doesn't support OpenGL, as well as stuff like network transparency...

Re:Not so stupid. (2)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013860)

I would be the last to deny that X11 has served us loyally and well for decades, but if the user expects a more modern interface, there is little point in attempting to stop the tide.

When did you start using Linux? What was your previous computer OS?

There is NOTHING provided in Wayland that can't be done in X. Furthermore, Wayland is temporary. It will not scale to the many para-virtualized environment described. The "desktop" is dying, and this is only one last chance for idiots to make Linux irrelevant. With X, Linux will be ideally suited for the computers to come.

Stop the tide? Well, ignorance sure is corrosive, I'll give you that.

Re:Not so stupid. (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013938)

X is far from perfect (and I say this as someone who's written a compositing WM). There is a huge amount of the X11 protocol that no one actually uses anymore. Font rendering, for example, has to be done on the client or you get different sets of fonts for remote X11 (yuck!). For fast text rendering, you use the XRENDER extension, and store glyphs in the server then composite them. That takes care of text, but what about line drawings? X has basic drawing primitives, but most apps use something like Cairo to give a PostScript / PDF style drawing API, and Cairo doesn't use any of the X drawing primitives. It just draws everything into a pixmap and then sends it to the X server. This means that most of what people are actually using X for is getting a window that they can composite pixmaps into. And X sucks at that. The input model is also pretty horrible (take a look at how click-to-focus is implemented some time, it will make your brain hurt).

The problem with Wayland is that it doesn't seem much better. It's thinner, which is nice, but that's about it. It's also Linux-only (while X.org runs on all *NIX systems, plus Windows), and it is released under a less permissive license than X.org.

Re:Not so stupid. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014190)

X has basic drawing primitives, but most apps use something like Cairo to give a PostScript / PDF style drawing API, and Cairo doesn't use any of the X drawing primitives. It just draws everything into a pixmap and then sends it to the X server.

Ah, that explains a lot about why many of today's X applications are that slow over the network. But that's an argument against Cairo and other such implementations, not an argument against X. Which means that instead of replacing X, one probably should replace Cairo.

Re:Not so stupid. (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014248)

Well, you can move things into the X server, but currently X doesn't support anything like the functionality that cairo needs. There is no X command for drawing a bezier path. There isn't even an X primitive for drawing an antialiased line. That's why people use things like Cairo.

Now, ideally, I'd like something a bit more like Apple's display server, where PDF-like commands are streamed directly to the display server, which can then do the 2D rendering and compositing. One of the first things I'd do if I were implementing X12 is ditch all of the existing X11 drawing commands and add most of the PDF 1.4 operators - in fact, the set that the HTML 5 canvas tag exposes to JavaScript would do very nicely.

Re:Not so stupid. (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014068)

When did you start using Linux?

About 1995.

What was your previous computer OS?

In roughly chronological order, dating from the '70s:
Burroughs MCP-IV -> MCP-XI
Honeywell DPS-x
Sperry/UNIVAC Exec-x
IBM MVS
VMS
VME
PRIMOS
AOS/VS and AOS/VS-2
I suppose I have to fit DOS in there somewhere, and I'm sure I've missed a few, but you get the picture...

Re:Not so stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014052)

I've yet to figure out how Wayland presents a "more modern interface" to the user. To me that sounds like a boat load of hype from the clueless. But then the article is from Phoronix, so I guess it's to be expected. They have a long history of "showing" everything to be a smoking gun that "proves" some bullshit to be true.

Can you please explain what it does to present a "more modern interface" to the user?

Re:Stupid (1)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013778)

You kinda have a point.

Since we are for some reason going back to the mainframe doctrine of computing (with cloud computing), X, which were originally designed with mainframes, and centralised processing in mind, actually makes sense again.

The question is, how about the rest of us who wants something optimized for the desktop?

I personally don't believe (or hope) that we're not going to get rid of the X codebase overnight, certainly it has its place, but there are limitations where you can either choose to fix it, or decide that the application is not suitable for your purposes, and replace it with something that's better. I think for what a lot of people want to do with Linux, Wayland is better than X.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013960)

From what I've read, the problem doesn't seem to be with X's server-client design - it seems to be with the implementation, which is 24 years old and was designed to consider things like running both black-and-white screens and colour screens in the same log-in - stuff that's no longer relevant.

So it begs the question: if we're going to break the graphics stack (which moving to Wayland will do anyway), wouldn't it be better to release a new and refined X12 based around the server-client design and be done with it?

Re:Stupid (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013780)

So... Now that we know what X has that Wayland lacks, we are halfay there. What does Wayland has that X lacks? I personally don't know.

When we'll know that, we'll be able to express an informed opinion.

Anyone care to jump in to enlighten us?

Re:Stupid (5, Interesting)

Theovon (109752) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013848)

It's a myth that Wayland lacks network transparency. It currently doesn't DEFINE it, but it doesn't LACK it. That may sound like a semantic game, but it's the same as saying that X11 lacks policy, which is imposed by the window manager, a separate program. Wayland provides drawing surfaces to applications and then composites them onto the screen. There are many different ways in which the drawing surfaces can get moved from the client to the server for display. Locally, they're the same memory space. With remote applications, you can either move pixels, or you can have the rendering API send commands over the network.

Re:Stupid (2)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013912)

It's a myth that Wayland lacks network transparency. It currently doesn't DEFINE it, but it doesn't LACK it.

OMG, that is the worst twist of logic that I have ever seen. That's like saying my Jeep doesn't lack flight, it just doesn't define or come with wings. NOT HAVING IT AS A DEMONSTRABLE DESIGN GOAL MEANS THAT IT DOESN'T HAVE IT. In other words, Wayland lacks network transparency.

Re:Stupid (1)

siride (974284) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014030)

No, the parent is right. All wayland cares about is that it gets pixmaps for window contents. It doesn't matter where they come from. It's underspecified, and therefore open to be implemented in a wide variety of ways. The same is not true for your jeep.

Re:Stupid (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013958)

Network transparency isn't something you can bolt on after the fact. It's something you have to build in from the beginning, or it will suck. Otherwise you'd not have such crutches like VNC.

Re:Stupid (1)

siride (974284) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014034)

It's already effectively network transparent because it still uses a client-server architecture. The fact that it doesn't specify the details in the core implementation makes it more flexible with network transparency, not less.

Re:Stupid (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014002)

Wayland uses X for "network transparency".

Re:Stupid (1)

celle (906675) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014242)

"Wayland uses X for "network transparency"."

And since X will no longer be maintained so much for that.
Need examples of lack of maintenance: User level display drivers, xfree86, etc.
Everyone of value will jump and X will die a slow death of bitrot.

Re:Stupid (1)

rjha94 (265433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013852)

I agree with the part that X lets you display what is happening on remote machine to your local terminal (virtualization) part. Just sending the bitmaps/buffers back and forth is very primitive (VNC) and does not perform well. And yes, people short circuiting that part just to say that yeah! everything is running on this box only miss that part. on the other hand, X is old and crumbling around and I am not sure about the audio/video etc support for modern devices and hardware. Maybe an X done for today;s world is the answer.

Re:Stupid (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013890)

X is old and crumbling around

Yes, it does need some cleanup, but every mature piece of software does. The number of man-decades of expertise and knowledge embodied in X is staggering. You will not be able to re-create what it does in less than 15 years of vigorous development with a large team.

I am not sure about the audio/video etc support for modern devices and hardware

Standardized extensions are the way to go. Create a group, publish an RFC, create an implementation, hope for adoption. That's the democracy of open source.

"Some cleanup" (0)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014204)

That's the understatement of the year. X11 is a dead end and it's time to face up to that fact.

(Just ask Keith Packard.)

Re:Stupid (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013932)

This is a mistake! X is one of the most flexible and useful systems today.

It's also decades old and full of cruft, does no longer properly model how our hardware works and only held together by an endless number of extensions.

Run applications on one virtual or physical machine and display on another.

Yeah and as soon as you want something more complicated, such as move an application from one display to another while its already running you run into issues. Something simple as changing color depth at runtime, something that Windows could do since at least Win98, if not already Win95, is still impossible in X11. The reason why I can't use the scroll wheel on my keyboard in X11 is because some arcane part of the protocol or implementation or whatever though that 256 keys ought to be enough for everybody. And there are plenty of more issues, be it multitouch, security or whatever.

Now I don't know what Wayland will or will not fix of those issues, but X11 certainly is showing its age.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014164)

only held together by an endless number of extensions.

As opposed to redesigning everything from scratch every time we want to add a new feature?

Re:Stupid (1)

jmknsd (1184359) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013950)

Hi, I am working on making a networking client/server that will enable this remote window functionality in wayland for my Google summer of Code project. Since each Application communicates with the compositor over a socket has it's own framebuffer, doing a RFB like protocol and forwarding this protocol is pretty straightforward, conceptually.

This is my first open source project and I won't have it working by the end of the summer, but I will stick with it until it is done, and I know at least one other professional developer who has his own ideas and will probably run with it should I fail. This is an important feature and it will be implemented.

Re:Stupid (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013976)

As someone who constantly uses Xnest and Xming on a daily bases I say, you tell them mlwmohawk! There is NO other GUI environment that allows applications from several different machines in different locations to run seamlessly on the desktop. I currently have two sessions of Code::Blocks up. One is from my server development machine. The other is on the client development machine. I also have an application running on a third machine that controls VMs (4 attackers and 4 victims) set up to send traffic through the server machine. In that application there are VNC instances for windows machines watching the attacks which I currently have showing on my desktop number 5. This allows me to change attack vectors according to my tests in real time according to the changes I make on my client development machine and see the results and make changes to the server. In other words, all I have to do to make any change or see any effect is to click on the correct rectangle at the top of my screen. NO other GUI environment allows me to do that.

Not so stupid? (1)

jmbeck15 (1674782) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013988)

It sounds like Wayland WILL support this behavior. It's all based on messages passed through sockets; what makes you think you couldn't pass the same messages to another terminal/computer?

Re:Stupid (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014008)

This is a mistake! X is one of the most flexible and useful systems today.

This is another Ill that is a direct result of people coming to Linux from a Mac or Windows background. They want to bring lesser ideas because they don't understand the capabilities of what they already have.

You are right and I agree with you be, shit son, if ever there was a useful piece of software that needed a massive overhaul/refactor it is X11. Don't get me wrong I love what I can do with X11 but it is a world unto itself in terms of understanding it. Configuring X11 is so fucking frustrating and it was one of the things I would dread when re-installing a Linux box and one of the big reasons I switched to Ubuntu, there are some things I just couldn't be bothered doing and I just want it to work and not have to think about it.

Even now in Ubuntu I still find myself editing xorg.conf files and I fucking hate it. Yes X11 is great but it seems to have one of the lowest returns on investing in learning it conpared to returns of getting your screens working. yes ssh, -X -Y, but my cli-fu is so good why would I bother with a gui anyway. I only export a gnome-terminal via ssh when I am using an X11 layer on Win7 so I can have multiple shell sessions going in a single window at work.

So, fuck it, as someone with over 20 years with X11 if canonical are going to take it to the next level of usability then I'm all for it. If the only thing you are worried about is having remote gui session then make that work in wayland and be done with it. I'm happy with C, or ina kernel but X11 makes my head explode with it's friggin sync rates and all the rest of that stuff.

Oh and by the way Canonical stop pissing around with the flashy stuff and fix shit up like copying mp3s to music players in album order. I've moved a few users over to Ubuntu from Windows and you are starting to confuse my users - don't make me look like a jerk, have another Paper Cuts session and fix some of the basics up.

And do it soon.

How about reading Wayland's FAQ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014140)

instead of talking out of your ass?

Re:Stupid (1)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014148)

I am one of the "dumb" users who don't need network transparency for their display servers, but if I remember right X Server does run as a client to Wayland. In this sense I would not call it an emulation layer, but rather an abstraction layer.

The use case you mention is very real and ubiquitous in everyday situations. The computers in my university labs just cannot work without X. I am pretty sure it will not die out.

Re:Stupid (1)

Zhiroc (909773) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014216)

Count me as skeptical as to whether this is a good thing or not. I suppose one key aspect is how easy it will be to develop applications that are compatible with whatever the user is running. One thing I have to point out though, is that X11's greatest strength--virtualization--is also its greatest weakness. I work at home via a VPN connection to my company, and have about a 100ms ping time or so, and I can say that I'll run a remote display only under duress. It's slow to the point of being maddening. I will rather run a VNC desktop because that actually performs tons better. Of course, VNC is built on top of X11, but as long as something like that is possible, it isn't necessary to have a native remote window system.

X11 will be around for quite a while yet (2)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013742)

The "problem" with replacing X is that it's good enough for most uses.

What's wrong with X11? (2)

teaserX (252970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013754)

Serious question. TFA mentions that Wayland has advantages on mobile devices but does that make "Farewell X" a foregone conclusion? Is it really necessary to run the same display server on your phone and your desktop?

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

Beetjebrak (545819) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013804)

It could be nice to run a huge CPU and RAM hog on your PC at home and have just the display on your mobile.. I could see a use case in that.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013832)

It could be nice to run a huge CPU and RAM hog on your PC at home and have just the display on your mobile.. I could see a use case in that.

VNC?

Its not a two way race, but at least a three way race.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014006)

It could be nice to run a huge CPU and RAM hog on your PC at home and have just the display on your mobile.. I could see a use case in that.

VNC?

Its not a two way race, but at least a three way race.

Do you happen to pay for your data transfer?
How much data traffic does a VNC connection cause? How much a well-written X program?

Re:What's wrong with X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014106)

Do you happen to pay for your data transfer?
How much data traffic does a VNC connection cause? How much a well-written X program?

Double standards much?

If the program is well-written you can run it on your mobile.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013868)

X11 uses as much or as little memory and CPU as you will give it. Given that people were using it on 10 MHz desktop workstations with a few megabytes of RAM in the past, it clearly scales down. And even today, it uses a fraction of the resources that OS X uses for similar graphics.

So, I doubt Wayland is going to do any better on mobile devices than X11.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

SRChiP (2421922) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013880)

So, you can have a very powerful mobile phone that is backed by a dedicated server. Yep, it will make very small devices with incredible processing power, in a weird way.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013964)

This makes me cackle, because this was exactly the sort of thing we were doing with DESQview/X back in the early 90s. It was an X server WITH multitasking for DOS, and of course it worked both ways, meaning you could:

- run X11 apps on a UNIX machine and interact with them from a DOS machine, or
- run DOS or even Windows apps on an x86 system and interact with them from a
    UNIX system (the latter by actually serving up separate instances of Windows itself
    as a DOS app)

The company I worked for then used it as an application server, running DOS DB and other software on heavy duty PCs and serving up instances of it to less powerful workstations.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013862)

It funny that now that everyone has a minimum 50 inch HD TV and a 27 inch HD computer screen, it suddenly important to save screen estate everywhere. (Also referring to Gnome3, the latest Firefox changes etc..) so it can be run on a phone as well. Its crazy.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013924)

everyone has a minimum 50 inch HD TV and a 27 inch HD computer screen

Means you can't signal importance / wealth / conspicuous consumption on a big screen. You signal by owning expensive little screens now.

Back when 50 inch TVs cost more than a used car, I couldn't afford one so I didn't care. Now that they give them away with the purchase of a bag of pork rinds at walmart, it would be uncool for me to be seen buying one. There was a momentary sweet spot a couple years ago where they were cheap, but not yet ghetto, but I missed it. So believe it or not, my "daily viewer" is a 80s era magnavox CRT that just won't quit working. If only it was engineered like a modern TV to burn out in a year or two, then I could toss it and buy a giant disposable TV, but it just won't quit working...

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013930)

Not at all. Thanks to advances in saving screen space and window management, I am perfectly happy with a 1280x800 laptop for everyday use, development, etc. For those who insist on mobility it's nice to obsolete the giant monitor.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

starofale (1976650) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013954)

Just because you're willing to spend money on a 27 inch HD computer screen doesn't mean everyone is.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014038)

Everyone? Still on a 15" 1024x768 here. Unaccellerated because the accellerated driver crashes the system, and crashes it hard. Not that it matters because next to xterms the only thing I really use on it is firefox, and that hogs so much cpu the counter goes haywire (>>100%, even >200% usage on a single core CPU). That /. posting about modern coders not having a clue? It's true in spades and you can see it painfully clearly as soon as you're not on the latest hardware. Every project, big ones moreso, ought to run regular Q&A on slower hardware. *Everyone* gets more bang for their hardware bucks that way.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014196)

"Everyone"? You're delusional.

Explain to me, because I'm fascinated by your difficulty in understanding, what would be the point in having a 27" monitor if all the applications you use have huge, crappy, inefficient, cluttered GUIs? The only significant benefit to having a bigger screen to begin with is being able to have multiple applications on the screen at once.

If programs like Firefox kept their inefficient, dated GUI, and instead of inteligently refactoring it into something better designed and less wasteful decided to scale the GUI's clutter and crappiness with the size of your monitor, there'd be no point in having a big monitor.

Anyone with a large screen should be thankful that smaller devices are becoming more popular, because they're making your screens even bigger, relatively-speaking. It was the perfect motivation for developers to actually put intelligent thought into their GUIs for once.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014208)

There's this slashmyth that the desktop is dead (or about to die) and we're heaving them to the trash dumps by the millions. It's part of the Slashdot extremism machine. "There sure are a lot of mobile devices out there" becomes "There are only mobile devices out there." This filters back to some clueless idiots that make things happen [wikipedia.org] . (They make things happen so they should get a lot of credit, never mind weather they make the right things happen. Fan boys are at work; move aside!)

OMG Oh it looks like my pony phone!!! It's SUPER!

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014240)

Unfortunately, both the 50" TV and 27" screen are 1920x1080, both of which only have a hair more resolution than my 20.1" desktop monitor.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013900)

The biggest problem with X11 is that it's licensed under a non-free non-GPL license. For Linux to be a truly free operating system it cannot rely on a display system which fundamentally does not respect users freedom.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (5, Informative)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013922)

The main problem with X11 is the complete lack of frame boundaries. Applications just send a stream of drawing commands with no indication of where one frame stops and the next one begins. Consequently the server has to keep drawing stuff as it comes in, resulting in flicker. Flicker is the first thing a novice X11 programmer complains about and online forums have been filled with pleas for help with this problem for decades. The traditional solution was to render to an offscreen image and send it to the server. This requires a lot of bandwidth, so the next step is to use MIT-SHM extension to avoid this traffic. Then came XComposite extension which automatically handles double buffering. XComposite has the luxury of being able to sync to vretrace, but not knowing where the frame boundaries are it can't do it lest it cut the instruction stream in the wrong place and draw half-a-screen. In the meantime, after two decades of deliberation, the XSync extension still does not implement the ability to detect vretrace.

Wayland solves the above by moving rendering into the client, as in the render-to-image solution above, and then copying the image to the server. This can be done though shared memory as well. The rendered image on the client represents the complete frame.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013942)

Simply put? The Xorg guys. While supporting the latest hardware is fun and all (and would be useful if it actually worked) the support for the older gear has gone down the drain. As in, they're now on what, the third "acceleration architecture" and all that ever does is make the overall thing more complex and sluggish. And then there's the complete lack of documentation. No, lists of available api calls in five different formats (thank you doxygen) without serious explanation of what any of it does nevermind how it fits together, is just not enough. Yet that's all there is, if it's there. Plenty of parts aren't even documented at all. And then there's the newly revamped build system that puts the dependencies arse-backward and causes "pure" C libraries to suddenly depend on python and/or perl, hardware drivers to depend on dbus, and so on, and so forth. In short, the whole mess has become somewhat unwieldy and the best the peeps know how to "fix" that is more of the same only starting over from scratch, and dropping all the useful features while at it. Syeah that'll work. For some purposes it's faster, cleaner, and more performant to revive that sack of dead code named XFree86. That's how well the Xorg guys are doing.

Re:What's wrong with X11? (1)

alantus (882150) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014184)

I would mod you up if I had the points.
I just find it crazy that X requires python!

Re:What's wrong with X11? (2)

jmknsd (1184359) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013980)

There is a pretty good description here: http://wayland.freedesktop.org/architecture.html [freedesktop.org]

Pretty much all of the modern advances in Linux Graphics have been to push the performance sensitive parts of X to the kernel and the client. In current 3D apps, X does little more than the Wayland compositor does, but adds a cumbersome middle man.

I'm sure I am not alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013808)

in asking who is Wayland, or where is it - it sounds like an English name, but I see there are some towns in the US also.

Re:I'm sure I am not alone (1)

ville (29367) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013906)

It's a planet [wikia.com] from Star Wars of course.

// ville

Re:I'm sure I am not alone (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014042)

It's a planet [wikia.com] from Star Wars of course.

// ville

From that page:

Wayland is where Emperor Palpatine's secret toy-box was. All kinds of nasty dark side things on Wayland.

I see. Wayland, the dark side of the (open) source. :-)

Don't bother... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013840)

Obama will beat Wayland in 2012, no contest.

X allows us to use legacy programs (3, Insightful)

Sir_Kurt (92864) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013842)

In our office, we use the ability to run programs remotely on a regular basis. It is particularly useful for running programs that have dependencies that are no longer included in modern linux distributions.

As an example, I am a big fan of Word Perfect. I have used it to write specifications in our architectural office since maybe 1986. As some of you may recall, Word Perfect was available as a native Linux application -not a port or WINE abortion- I love this program, and would reinstall it at each upgrade, moving the required libraries from the old 2.0 kernel as needed.

Starting about Fedora Core 3, It just couldn't be installed in a way that was useful.

I solved this by installing RH9 on an old box, installed the libraries from Kernel 2.0 installed WP and have been happily running WP on this box with the display appearing on whatever computer I happen to be using ever since.

This is just one example, and maybe seems like a cranky one, but we have many other examples, such as pushing intensive computational tasks off to another computer while having the display on the desktop.

We will miss X greatly. Why this push lately to screw up the Linux desktop, anyway?

Kurt

Re:X allows us to use legacy programs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013934)

I suspect this is sponsored by any company with enough patents to torpedo Wayland as soon as it becomes dominant over X11.

Re:X allows us to use legacy programs (1)

Morose (32606) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014010)

So just use something like VirtualBox or KVM with the desktop integration features. You'd probably be able to accomplish the same type of setup but without the need for an extra box.

Re:X allows us to use legacy programs (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014078)

Why this push lately to screw up the Linux desktop, anyway?

Rectangles with rounded edges is my short answer. The PIM interface is the perfect interface for stupid people. Ever since the iPhone came out with its 3d looking buttons (rectangles with rounded edges) that has been the defacto preferred "standard" to chase. The tech industry, being a follow the leader industry, is chasing that preferred look and feel. Really hard stuff like network accessible interfaces are being pushed away because they are not sexy.

Re:X allows us to use legacy programs (2)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014238)

I've noticed a lot of comments like yours, crying about how Linux is being "dumbed down" for the sake of "stupid people."

I am at a loss as to where this contempt for other users, who might want decent graphics for their desktop and mobile systems, comes from. Can you tell me? Why such resistance to change is channeled into hatred for others, instead of into valid arguments that might result in seeing your concerns addressed?

Re:X allows us to use legacy programs (1)

jmknsd (1184359) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014156)

Wayland supports being run inside X, as well as running individual apps, and entire desktops running on top of X within Wayland. And not an X emulator; since wayland basically passes framebuffers around, running real X on top of was one of the first things done. Not only will the functionality of being able to run remote X apps be maintained, X support is being maintained in pretty much every way I can think of.

Misleading! The point is to keep X compatibility. (5, Informative)

dfaure (115987) | more than 3 years ago | (#37013910)

Typical slashdot: the article distorts the truth in order to get reactions.

It was pretty clear during that presentation that the goal was to make it possible to still run X applications -- using a rootless X server -- and that this would also allow X-over-the-network use cases.
X11 is not going away, the idea is to use Wayland -and- X.

Re:Misleading! The point is to keep X compatibilit (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014066)

So Wayland is more like X12, then.

Re:Misleading! The point is to keep X compatibilit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014152)

except without remote capability. It's a huge step backwards. Do you _really_ think toolkits/apps will be compiled to support both wayland and X simulataneously? No, of course not. X11 will be relegated to cygwin or osx-x11 status if the wayland guys get their way.

It's stupid. It's basically throwing away _the_ biggest advantage of the linux desktop, just when home local area networks / wifi are becoming ubiquitous. A properly extended X11 *should* allow guis to just follow me from room to room as appropriate. Will wayland allow that? Will it fuck. Might as well be windoze.

An alternative: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37013998)

Drop KDE

"which is dubbed the successor to X11" - by who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37014170)

I get fed up with these sorry attempts to convince everyone that their opinion is not worth considering by implying that everyone else already disagrees with them.

Crooks, politicians and PR. I hate the lot of 'em.

Development releases a-la v4.0? No, thanks! (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 3 years ago | (#37014222)

I hope that support to X will stay for much longer.

It'd be nice not to repeat the notorious story with KDE v.4.

And, yes, all this bashing with "the old v4.0" is here because our scares done by KDE board still bleed.

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