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Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the rolling-it-out dept.

Graphics 354

An anonymous reader writes "On the Ubuntu Wiki is now the Mir specification, which is a next-generation display server not based on X11/X.Org or Wayland. Canonical is rolling their own display server for future releases of Ubuntu for form factors from mobile phones to the desktop. Mir is still in development but is said to support Android graphics drivers, open-source Linux graphics drivers, and they're pressuring hardware vendors with commercial closed-source drivers to support it too. They also said X11 apps will be compatible along with GTK3 and Qt/QML programs. Canonical isn't using X11 or Wayland with their future Unity desktop as they see many shortcomings from these existing and commonly used components."

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354 comments

What about GTK2 (-1, Offtopic)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year ago | (#43072751)

The default GTK+ 3 look and feel is just horrible so I'm sticking to GTK+ 2 at the moment.

Re:What about GTK2 (0, Offtopic)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year ago | (#43073619)

GTK3 is lovely. You are a twat.

Unsupported opinion is argument.

Some of these statements are true.

wayland's flopping, lets try again! (2, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43072755)

Seriously? Can't leave it well enough alone? Can't even focus your energy on one replacement, you want to work on another too?

Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (5, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about a year ago | (#43073217)

A lot of times in software someone starts some grand plan project which takes forever to get anywhere. Then some lone programmer comes along with something small, well focused and just plain well thought out, which causes the grand project to be abandoned. There are so many examples of this one can't count. The Linux kernel itself compared to Hurd is just one example. Let Canonical have a shot at this. They've got some good ideas, if they can pull it off, the result will stand on its own merits.

Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073325)

I think you had it the other way around. Wayland was started by a lone programmer in his spare time. Mir, on the other hand, is the grand plan project in this case.

Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (5, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43073591)

Problem is quite simple - Wayland started very small and simple, but of course were held back by legacy support requests (and then there's those closed binary video drivers) and Ubuntu planned to do next LTS with it. However, Canonical suddenly changed their direction 2 years ago, and tried to push into mobile market. Wayland (and Xorg too) can be used for mobile platform, it just needs more work. Problem is Canonical's time is running out. They can't wait. They also don't want to be in same position as others. They want to be first. They don't want to waste all their money only be beaten by some guy who will put GNOME 3 with GNOME Shell together, make it sexy and make all phone/tablet wannabies run for their money. So they retreat more and more in NIH land.

I don't mean them ill. But it's serious fragmentation and trying to destroying de facto Linux desktop ecosystem - to become ultimate winner instead. I'm not sure I can support that in any way anymore.

Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (3, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43073639)

In case you havent figured it out yet, the future is going to be very fragmented. Start learning to glue stuff together or get left behind.

Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073915)

Err, what the hell are you talking about?!?

The past and present is fragmented. We have Windows, OSX, X, Android, iOS window managers. If somebody is designing portable apps, or creating Linux distros, then they *already* know how to glue stuff together. If they don't know how to glue things together (or write portable code, etc) by now, then they don't need to in future either.

Re:wayland's flopping, lets try again! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073829)

You are a dinosaur, sir.

It is not good enough to "leave it well enough alone". That results in stagnation and obsolescence and toleration of mediocrity. This is the reason why consumer PCs were saddled with a piece of shit operating system that did not even have full 32-bit protected memory, for the better part of 2 decades after the i386 was released. This is the reason why most of the big RISC and UNIX vendors have stagnated and fallen.

New things should continually be explored and improved, new ideas tested, and old ideas retested.

You can sit there bitching and whining about how it was in your day, etc etc. Meanwhile, nobody who *actually* gets anything done will pay the slightest bit of attention.

ROOOORAAAAGGGH! BRROOOOOOORRRAAAAAWWRRRRR! MOOOOOOOOO! OH FUCK, A METEOR!!!

No, not again (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072779)

Seems like Unity lesson didn't teach Canonical anything. This will end badly too.

Re:No, not again (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year ago | (#43072897)

I'm guessing that they're running an elaborate experiment to see just what one has to do to ruin a distro thoroughly and completely. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

Re:No, not again (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#43073173)

I'm guessing that they're running an elaborate experiment to see just what one has to do to ruin a distro thoroughly and completely. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

Microsoft is trying to be a copycat of Apple, Ubuntu is trying to be a copycat of Google. Google scrapped everything but the kernel and wrote all new code - you can tell by the Apache 2.0 license, no GPL userspace code, Ubuntu is now trying to do the same wanting to go head to head with Android not realizing a house cat can't hunt the same way and the same pray a lion does. But then they're used to being a 1% company in a 99% Win/Mac world, maybe they'll manage being a 1% company in an Android/iOS world too. In any case if they head off to chase mobiles/tablets there's not really much to lose since the GPL presence there is ~0% (outside the kernel in Android) so why not? If they succeed great, if not... well the OSS community is not really worse off than before.

Re:No, not again (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about a year ago | (#43073617)

[...] not realizing a house cat can't hunt the same way and the same pray a lion does.

A hunter cat. [gunandgame.com] Your argument is invalid[U+2e2e]

Re:No, not again (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43073817)

It doesn't pray though, Cats are sceptical of deities. Well unless those deities are them, obviously. But you don't pray to yourself.

Well unless you're Larry Ellison.

Re:No, not again (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year ago | (#43073861)

Scaring deers doesn't count, I have seen deers get scared of bunnies (then again I have seen bunnies mean enough to attack cats).

Re:No, not again (4, Interesting)

Ami Ganguli (921) | about a year ago | (#43073225)

I think Shuttleworth has just decided (probably correctly) that he can't make any money on the desktop, but mobile is still a possibility. The Unity interface and now this are an attempt to compete with Android.

I abandoned Ubuntu for my desktop when Unity came, but I think I might actually like it on a tablet or phone. Anyway, I'll try to keep an open mind when the devices actually come out. I hope one of non-Android Linux phone efforts finds a niche, whether it's Ubuntu, Jolla, Tizen, or Firefox OS. If Shuttleworth can pull it off, then more power to him.

Re:No, not again (3, Interesting)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#43073999)

I think Shuttleworth has just decided (probably correctly) that he can't make any money on the desktop, but mobile is still a possibility.

It is highly doubtful that he can make any money in the mobile sphere, that is pretty well decided now, too. He probably stood a better chance with the desktop, particularly after Windows 8.

The Unity interface and now this are an attempt to compete with Android.

If the goal was to compete with android, they should have gone KDE. KDE active is a much more attractive development environment and much further along than Ubuntu's mobile offerings, which don't even use the standard Unity interface.

I abandoned Ubuntu for my desktop when Unity came, but I think I might actually like it on a tablet or phone. Anyway, I'll try to keep an open mind when the devices actually come out. I hope one of non-Android Linux phone efforts finds a niche, whether it's Ubuntu, Jolla, Tizen, or Firefox OS. If Shuttleworth can pull it off, then more power to him.

Study after study shows that Unity does not work well on a tablet/touch device. It only looks like it should work, but all of the apps are mouse centric. The problem for Canonical going mobile is that most of the apps in their repositories, which is a large selling point (even if free), won't work on mobile. So from the very start, they will be competing with Apple and Android who have a huge head start and even Microsoft who while a very distant third is lightyears ahead of Canonical.

As I said earlier, they should have gone Plasma Active. If all of the resources that they dumped into Unity and now their mobile offerings had been used to further that project, they would have been to market earlier and had apps ready to deploy. Instead they chose to go their own way, which is their right, but not necessarily the wisest business decision as even Microsoft is late to the game.

Re:No, not again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073349)

Actually it makes quite a bit of sense -- if you're not making a Linux distro.

This appears to be the fundamental fact that Shuttleworth and Canonical have seemed to forgotten -- or rather, they want you to forget. Canonical is trying to position itself not just as a Linux distribution, but as a platform ala Android, where the only role Linux serves is to get around the licensing costs of using something like QNX instead...the work's already done, the community -are- the testers. They get an OS for embedded products (note: Canonical does not give a flying fuck about your PC or your server any longer), on the cheap, without the multibillion dollar R&D that it'd normally cost. They get to develop everything that goes on top of it -- they also get to say how it's used. For all the panning that Unity has gotten on just about every site I've read, the one criticism they strangely seem to ignore is that Unity is licensed so that Canonical is assigned the copyright for any potential contributions. Just like you, Canonical enjoys being given things for free.

What Canonical is doing doesn't make sense to a seasoned Linux veteran or even a beginner starting with some other distribution, true. It makes quite a bit of sense if one is trying to jump into the walled-garden world of tablets though, and that's where Canonical is moving. The grand "community promise" has been thrown out the window and now Canonical wants _Ubuntu_, not Linux in general, to be the only viable alternative.

Re:No, not again (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073533)

I'm guessing they've figured the future is mobile. Ubuntu made great inroads on the desktop market, and it wasn't enough. We didn't get Year of Desktop Linux while it mattered, and that battlefield isn't the future anymore.

As much as /I'd/ like a continual refinement of 10.04 era Ubuntu, that's a niche that'll never be more than a niche now. Canonical is trying to be a big mainstream player going forward, and that's going to take some risk and experiment. That's what we're watching now.

[And yeah, sure, I'll be watching it from SL running Gnome 2.x through 2017 on my desktop. Ubuntu's path isn't my thing. But that doesn't mean they're wrong.]

Re:No, not again (0)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43073543)

Maybe ATI is paying them to torment NVidia? ATI have bad open source drivers and NVidia have good closed source ones.

open-source Linux graphics drivers, and they're pressuring hardware vendors with commercial closed-source drivers to support it too.

I think a lot of open source is actually a very elaborate practical joke at NVidia's expense possibly coordinated by an evil genius with an irrational fear of NVidia like Charlie Demerjian. For example Linus himself flipped them off over Optimus support.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/18/linus-torvalds-nvidia-linux/ [engadget.com]

Other people pointed out that they should use DMA-BUF to do to the copies between the two GPUs in an Optimus system. So they assigned an intern to do that

But that intern was told that they couldn't use it unless they GPL'd their drivers.

http://linux.slashdot.org/story/12/10/11/1918251/alan-cox-to-nvidia-you-cant-use-dma-buf [slashdot.org]

Hahaha. I bet his boss went apeshit when he saw that email.

I used to joke that the reason Microsoft had ISV and IHVs supporting them is because they didn't do stuff like this. However with Windows Phone they have adopted Linux style trolling of their ISVs. Windows Phone 7 didn't run C/C++ Win32 applications so everyone had to rewrite in C#. Then on Windows Phone 8 they went back to C++ but a new API, WinRT. C# applications still worked but they wouldn't get access to new APIs.

What happened? Well Skype for example announced they wouldn't support anything after Windows Mobile. So MS bought them. Actually that will save them rewriting too because MS are allowed to run Win32 application on Windows Phone.

They told all the browser makers - Opera, Mozilla etc that even if they rewrote they wouldn't allow the browsers in the store. So they all dropped support for any Microsoft mobile OSs. All the other Windows Mobile ISVs seem to have jumped ship to Android.

What about the IHVs? Well they got Samsung and HTC onboard initially. They told HTC they couldn't use Sense or any of their old Windows Mobile software. Then they promoted Nokia as the saviour of the platform and grumbled that the pre-Nokia IHVs hadn't done a good enough job.

Then again since Windows Phone 7 MS has had a Linux like share of the mobile OS market i.e. 1-2%. By contrast Windows Mobile had 10%+

So it does seem that being a complete dick to your IHVs and ISVs leads to poor support.

So what does it all mean.

I think HTC and Samsung should drop Windows Phone and let Microsoft buy up Nokia as their in house manufacturer. Putting a cellphone into production that doesn't sell is very expensive. They should only support the platform if Microsoft offers act as a buyer of last resort - i.e. if they have n unsold handsets MS should pay n times the street price.

I think NVidia should leave their Linux drivers to interns instead of dropping it for political reasons however. One intern-year per year of effort is basically nothing and it's probably easy to find interns who want to work with Linux.

Man of La Mancha (1)

Pausanias (681077) | about a year ago | (#43073661)

There's something quixotic about all the recent changes in Ubuntu, isn't there? In the real world they are a Linux distro preferred by 2% of users for its good driver support and its ease of use. But in Shuttleworth's mind, they are a smartphone/tablet/TV operating system that is about to go mainstream and take over the world. Maybe if his desktop market share was a tad higher than 2% it would be realistic, but it just seems to me that they are overreaching and mostly daydreaming of grandeur where they should be focused on serving their core clientèle better.

Re:Man of La Mancha (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43073945)

Where's the revenue stream from their core clientèle? It seems like unless they can get it used on tablets by companies who pay a licence fee they don't have one. Or they could sell support. But slashdotters aren't going to pay for that. They need to get it onto corporate servers as a sort of software as a service

http://askubuntu.com/questions/21730/how-does-ubuntu-make-money [askubuntu.com]

* Support services (mostly to business) alongside which they sell Landscape
* Contracting services to businesses (for instance working with OEMs such as Dell, or helping Google with Chrome OS). As Ubuntu makes its way onto mobile phones and TVs then this will grow.
* Ubuntu One (online file storage and syncronisation service)
* Ubuntu One Music Store (selling music from within Ubuntu)
* Ubuntu Software Centre's paid section (Canonical takes a cut of purchases)
* The Canonical Store (selling physical Ubuntu branded items)
* Closed-source projects wishing to use Launchpad.net can purchase a license

I think you need to be careful talking about 'core clientèle' when the clientèle is not the one that will make the company turn a profit.

Now admittedly I'm not sure how this development will get them any closer to making a profit. If they're going for tablets they are screwed because Google/Apple and even Microsoft have a competitive advantage their. And if they're going for servers who really cares about UIs when everyone is sshing in anyway.

Re:No, not again (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#43073947)

I'm guessing that they're running an elaborate experiment to see just what one has to do to ruin a distro thoroughly and completely. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

No, they just think they are the next Apple and people will accept whatever they come out with. Unfortunately for them, Mark isn't Steve.

Re:No, not again (1)

horza (87255) | about a year ago | (#43073487)

Unity started to turn out quite nicely until they turned it into Amazon spyware. It was completely unnecessarily made unusable but the underpinnings were there. Coming up with a new display server, I am sure they have some hotshot OS programmer sell them on a demo of something that seems pretty spectacular. However, the fact X has hung around for a decade past its due by date shows it's not easy to replace. There is a horrible amount of legacy to be supported in terms of standards and hardware. I agree there is a good chance it will end badly, but I don't think Unity is related.

Phillip.

So now it's... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072787)

the OS formerly known as Ubuntu distribution of a GNU/Linux-OS -> Ubuntu-OS brought to you by Cannonical (fine print: May contain GPL-licensed third party applications such as the Linux kernel).

Good luck with that! (4, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year ago | (#43072789)

You are going to need it.

* and should you succede against all odds, we would all benefit.

Re:Good luck with that! (4, Funny)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43072889)

* and should you succede against all odds, we would all benefit.

It's possible they have a small team who has overcome all the corner cases discovered by the Xorg, XBC, and Wayland folks over the past couple decades by fundamentally re-factoring the problem into a more correct solution and have achieved excellent performance by doing so.

It's also possible that space aliens gave them this technology, but that's only slightly more likely.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43073119)

Mark Shuttleworth while proclaiming publicly and often that he won't support the company forever and that it needs to be profitable decides in his infinite wisdom to not only fork a major toolchain piece (upstart) but to fork the GUI as well. Rather than putting his limited resourced into the community projects.

I think he has as much chance succeeding at this as he does of the aliens giving him the technology.

Re:Good luck with that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073341)

Got the joke, but should have been rated insightful.

Anyway, screw Canonical, they should imitate Red Hat, not Google, Apple, or in this case, Microsoft.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about a year ago | (#43073783)

It's possible they have a small team who has overcome all the corner cases discovered by the Xorg, XBC, and Wayland folks over the past couple decades

To be fair, Wayland wasn't even trying. They were just delegating all hard decisions to the compositor and saying that wasn't their problem.

Re:Good luck with that! (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43073807)

And they had good reason for that - to keep Wayland maintainable and supportable as much as possible.

Wow, yeah, graphics are hard. You really can't solve them designing another display server. I think we had some 5 of them 8 - 10 years ago.

Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072793)

Unless they can convince the wider Linux community to adopt some of their technologies, Canonical is basically going to end up forking the platform. If that happens, it will be a fairly major step backwards for Linux on the desktop since developers will be on the hook to adjust to supporting not just multiple packaging systems and multiple library versions, but also multiple incompatible core system API's. Essentially Ubuntu will no longer be "Linux" in any way that matters to developers and all the support for Linux out there now will either die or just switch over to being Ubuntu specific and I don't see how that benefits anyone in the community.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (3, Informative)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43072931)

I've heard that Debian is re-organizing its release cycle to meet some of the objections that have kept people on Ubuntu.

I've seen most of my Ubuntu friends switching to Fedora or Mint, not Debian, though.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43072981)

I keep trying things like Fedora, Mint, etc. But when it all comes down to it, I end up with Debian again.

Different people have different needs.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (1)

McGuirk (1189283) | about a year ago | (#43073117)

I've always been a Debian guy. It's just clean, simple, does what it's told, and leaves me alone when it can. I always love it and sing its praises when testing is fresh yet stable. But as time passes and I'm still using stone-age software near testing's transition to stable, I always start looking elsewhere.

Maybe I need to give Arch another try.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073501)

Yeah except the GNOME2 desktop in Debian is not going to be in stable, it's going to be removed because GNOME deprecated it and replaced it with a tablet GNOME experience.
This ruined Debian for me as an escape route from GNOME3/Unity hell.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about a year ago | (#43073529)

Same here. Debian Sid is great when Testing isn't frozen, but then it stops being fun for far too long. If I wanted to run Stable, I'd run Stable, and if I want to run a rolling distro, I'd rather not run some slow-moving, semi-stable slush. So after Squeeze was frozen, I moved to Arch for some time, but quickly jumped back again when Sid got moving again. Repeat for Wheezy, but this time I'm so happy with Arch that I'm not sure I'll be moving back. Things work, and I've got all the packages I want.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073139)

I'd probably go back to Debian over Fedora or Mint. It depends on where the third party software goes for compatibility... The main reason I went to Debian and eventually Ubuntu was I didn't have time to muck around with third party packages and getting them to work on systems they weren't meant for originally. When you start coding for money, time becomes money, and ultimately convenience becomes important... So that 15 minutes here and there you spend making a package work on your system (or that hour compiling in Gentoo) adds up to a lot of billable hours.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073317)

I've heard that Debian is re-organizing its release cycle to meet some of the objections that have kept people on Ubuntu.

I've seen most of my Ubuntu friends switching to Fedora or Mint, not Debian, though.

Debian needs to stop being Ubuntu's and Gnome's bitch.
This distro lacks balls to do what the creator of Slackware did eons ago. Ditch gnome completely and use QT or XFCE. Keep those 2-3 gtk applications (inkscape, xchat and gimp) but drop all the Gnometards (especially with the debacle that is Gnome 3)..
Until this goal is met, reorganizing its release cycle is the last of its problems.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#43073493)

I dumped Ubuntu quite some time ago. The last Ubuntu install I had going, a web server, was shut down last fall. I've switched over to Debian, which has everything I liked about Ubuntu without any of the things I absolutely loathed about Ubuntu.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43072977)

If that happens, it will be a fairly major step backwards for Linux on the desktop since developers will be on the hook to adjust to supporting not just multiple packaging systems and multiple library versions, but also multiple incompatible core system API's.

So you're saying nothing will change?

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43073065)

> So you're saying nothing will change?

Linux has always had a common set of core system APIs. Even things as dire as GNOME versus KDE still represented things that could happily co-exist within the same desktop user context.

There has always been a common "upstream", despite what trolls like you might want to make of the situation.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43073241)

> So you're saying nothing will change?

Linux has always had a common set of core system APIs. Even things as dire as GNOME versus KDE still represented things that could happily co-exist within the same desktop user context.

There has always been a common "upstream", despite what trolls like you might want to make of the situation.

Right, I'm a "troll." It's not like I write Linux applications for a living and deal with this shit on a daily basis or anything.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43073385)

> Right, I'm a "troll." It's not like I write Linux applications for a living and deal with this shit on a daily basis or anything.

Sounds you are that jackass at Adobe that was complaining about clanlib.

Re:Canonical swirling down to irrelevance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073785)

Canonical is trying to make things better, and I'm thankful for it. X is a bloated pile of cruft, and it's been partially responsible for holding back a more widely adopted Linux desktop. Considering that Ubuntu is the closest thing to a standard that the Linux community can manage, it's safe to say that if Canonical goes the way of Mir, that the other distros will follow or sink into irrelevance.

Not surprised. (4, Insightful)

Lazere (2809091) | about a year ago | (#43072795)

I'm thinking Canonical should just stop beating around the bush and split. I wouldn't be surprised if they announced their own kernel soon.

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073045)

Feels like the "extend" portion of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073627)

Just grab a BSD kernel, go closed source and suddenly Canonical becomes who it's wanted to be for the past few years: Apple.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year ago | (#43074003)

In order to do that, they'd have to do a lot of work on graphics drivers. FreeBSD has nvidia binary blobs and decent support for Intel graphics in recent releases, but AMD/ATI graphics are a joke.

Re:Not surprised. (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about a year ago | (#43073765)

You do realize all the vendors already have their own kernels, right? Have you looked at the huge patch list Fedora/RedHat maintain against the stock kernel in their RPM builds?

Sigh ... reality check -- its no big deal.

Ubuntu ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072797)

Ubuntu, We Want To Be Different.

Sure, breaking tradition will cause a little more fragmentation in the Linux world, but is that so bad? We don't think our needs, or that of our users, are always met by sticking to the 'same old song and dance' so we're bucking the trend.

There is good and bad in change.

Re:Ubuntu ... (0)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43072997)

Change for the sake of change is bad.

Re:Ubuntu ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073439)

Change for the sake of change is bad.

Too bad people didn't realize this when Obama was being elected the first time around.

Re:Ubuntu ... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43073395)

You forgot "...so we can claim exclusivity of the Linux desktop platform to ourselves only and therefore getting....profit?!" part of that claim.

Seriously, this is stupid. Breaking tradition isn't bad. First, wasting it's money on repairing one alternative, then trashing it and picking another one just because you suddenly feel lucky to be on mobile platform - it's bad, messy strategy. I fail to see how this will work on Canonical's advantage.

Re:Ubuntu ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073899)

If you look at the specs, Mir will be more clean-cut and modular than X.org ever was, allowing for implementation across distros if they so wish.

Had this been just another music-player people wouldn't have paid it any mind, just scoffed at it and went about their business. But the moment someone DARE'S to spend their time and money on an (just as open and free) alternative to a 25-year old monolithic mess of display server, THEN the swiss-guard comes out in force.

X.org is good for some things, but making things pretty while preserving CPU/GPU-cycles aint one of them.

Ubuntu is re-building the wheel everybody! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072809)

And.. as usual, it will do less, perform more poorly, and cause more headaches than the existing solutions. Thanks for the useful contribution, Canonical. Thanks also for Pulse Audio and Unity - I have yet to understand exactly what purpose they serve, but they sure keep my mind sharp every time I have to remember to switch desktop environments or "killall pulseaudio" as a universal fix for all my computing woes.

Re:Ubuntu is re-building the wheel everybody! (2)

egr (932620) | about a year ago | (#43072975)

Canonical did not create Pulse Audio.

Re:Ubuntu is re-building the wheel everybody! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073075)

No, but they did cram it down everyone's throats while for 99% of users it's functionality was meaningless and it severely broke all kinds of applications. I think that's close enough.

Re:Ubuntu is re-building the wheel everybody! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073555)

This is even worse, somehow. It must be, because even Lennart Poettering, the patron saint of half-assed, shitty reimplementations of things that used to work, seems to think it's a bad idea.
https://plus.google.com/100409717163242445476/posts/jDq6BAgdpkG [google.com]

(And speaking of shitty, useless software, how the fuck do you link directly to Google+ comments?)

I Think I'm In Love! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072861)

But I can't get it up!
Baby how you do it
There must be something to it
Babe I know it's got to be love
Oh with magic in your hand?
You made me understand
I know I know it's got to be love

Perhaps They Forgot (4, Funny)

FrankDrebin (238464) | about a year ago | (#43072887)

But didn't Mir come crashing down in fiery chunks?

Re:Perhaps They Forgot (1)

rvw (755107) | about a year ago | (#43073035)

But didn't Mir come crashing down in fiery chunks?

Remember that Mir came down on us with peace of mind.

Re:Perhaps They Forgot (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#43073767)

Not to mention Mer [merproject.org] , with an 'e', is a linux distro built on the remains of Meego. Ubuntu on devices running Mir will be in competition with Mer.

Canonical has become... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43072995)

the Apple of Linux. I'll likely never run another *buntu install again. Too bloated, too proprietary, too wanting to be commercially successful. Bad taste...

Re:Canonical has become... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073307)

So now being commercially successful is distasteful for you zealots. Brilliant. You qualify for hipster status now, enjoy!

Re:Canonical has become... (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43073445)

Commercial success? What commercial success? What makes you think that forking even more of their core system will actually lead to any sort of commercial success? If anything, they are just increasing their own burden.

Ubuntu does not represent "commercial success".

If I wanted to whine about commercial success like some "hippie", then I would whine about some other company.

Re:Canonical has become... (1)

twilight30 (84644) | about a year ago | (#43073597)

It's not the being commercially successful - pretty sure more people would grant Ubuntu leeway if they were - but their aspirations to commercial success are taking them down ultimately the wrong path.

Terrible news from the Soviets at Canonical (1, Interesting)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a year ago | (#43073089)

This is a terrible development. The splintering of the Linux desktop into a bunch of incompatable window systems is the last thing we need and which has been prevented for years by the X standard. While the Mir says it will support X applications, the threat comes from the fact that there may also be Mir applications which will not be able to run on other distributions, will not be able to run on X server root displays of other distributions. Another danger is not only Canonical trying to create a fleet of Mir only applications that cannot run on X server, but as well, end up creating a driver mess with drivers that can only run on Mir, or where driver vendors will now be faced with supporting many incompatable driver APIs for all of these windown systems, which will deter hardware vendors from supporting the platform.

The presents of so many incompatable window systems will simply make Linux appear to be a splintered, fractured platform that will appear impossible for hardware vendors to support.

Another problem with this Mir idea is that it takes away the ability of Linux users to continue to use their fine tuned, customized X desktops which so many have invested time in tailoring to their liking, and with their own choice of window manager.

I also find the name to be odd. Do they name it after a soviet space station as an indication that they are planning to take away our rights in a soviet style dictatorship? Canonical has been acting like a soviet style dictatorship that has forced its own obscene agendas on its users for years, including the Unity atrocity which is utterly antagonistic towards users. The Unity environment was designed to force on users some convuluted model of how things should work, as if Canonical has felt it needs to take away users freedom and force on users things that will cause them great pain and discomfort because the pain is good for them, as a price to pay for Canonicals fetish for bizarre and unueable user interfaces. It is sort of like how an interior decorator designs extremely uncomfortable furniture that inflicts misery on the users of that furniture, because to the interior decorator, such misery is a beautiful thing, they think that deprivations and discomfort have an aesthetic value to them.

Re:Terrible news from the Soviets at Canonical (5, Insightful)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | about a year ago | (#43073421)

Do they name it after a soviet space station as an indication that they are planning to take away our rights in a soviet style dictatorship?

Don't be a hypocritical drama queen.

Waa waa dictatorship, waa waa taking away freedom, waa waa forcing users

For someone who loves choice so much you're pretty hard set on X fanaticism. In any other arena X would be described as a monopoly. Should Canonical not be allowed the freedom to compete? Or should your zealotry force their roadmap?

We have competing window managers, competing graphical toolkits, competing desktop environments, X even has competing methods of rendering, a competing display server will make things interesting and looks like it's paving the way for easier cross platform application development.

Chances are Mir will be an open source, open spec standard under a nicey nice GPLish license allowing freedom of choice to distributions, application developers and end users alike.

Linux has been a fractured splintered platform for well over a decade, this doesn't really make that much of a difference.

Re:Terrible news from the Soviets at Canonical (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43073701)

While claim of soviet style dictatorship maybe are part of drama, I can't agree with rest of claims though.

"For someone who loves choice so much you're pretty hard set on X fanaticism. In any other arena X would be described as a monopoly. Should Canonical not be allowed the freedom to compete? Or should your zealotry force their roadmap?"

No, they can compete in anyway they like. However, they trashed Xorg first, claiming it doesn't do what they want to do - ok, fine. Then they supported Wayland. Ok, it's not good enough anymore. If it were some small hobbyist project no one would say a thing. However it's most popular Linux distro. And with this step Ubuntu tries to fragment their market away and make Ubuntu exclusive to Linux desktop. It's dirty play and it won't help them. But it sure can destroy any trust in market and I don't see how AMD and Nvidia will pay hackers to code three (!!) different driver versions for Linux. I just don't.

So, repeating - if Mir where just truly another experimental display server, no one would care. However it plans to destroy any hope we have on standardized display server, because no one will touch Mir, because of Canonical's copyright policy. Also hard card manufacturers will start to question need to produce any binary drivers for any of these display servers at all. Or will just ignore pleas of improvements and will stick with Xorg, instead of supporting progressive Wayland.

Re:Terrible news from the Soviets at Canonical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073889)

From
http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~mir-team/mir/trunk/view/head:/COPYING

GPLv3

Re:Terrible news from the Soviets at Canonical (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073459)

>> "I also find the name to be odd. Do they name it after a soviet space station as an indication that they are planning to take away our rights in a soviet style dictatorship?"

I'm not sure if you're trolling or just ignorant, so let me share some knowledge in case anyone takes this silliness half seriously.

The Russian word "mir" is typically used to mean "world" or "peace", depending on its usage. The term "mir" can also be used in a similar sense to the English words "village", "community" or "global". The word "mir" is actually a perfect fit with the rest of Canonical's naming structure. Ubuntu refers to community, the Unity desktop is named with an idea of many coming together to form a whole, and Mir continues this trend as the term refers to a unified group or community.

Buntu's Track Record. (1, Interesting)

fwarren (579763) | about a year ago | (#43073629)

This will go nowhere. Cananonical has "completion" issues. Look at their past track record on linux. The focus on a feature for a release or two and then either declare it done or stop talking about it. They were going to make everything easy, printing, wifi, audio. Pulse Auido is still far from perfect and network manaeger still has issues. Then we have 10 second boot times, better looking that Mac, Desktop notifications, Wayland and 200 million users by October 2013.

Back in October of 2011 I predict the death of Wayland on my blog which I almost never post to. http://elder-geek.blogspot.com/2011/10/ubuntu-is-failure.html [blogspot.com]

Unity is still here, but instead of fixing it for the desktop, more work will go into making it run on other platforms. I love Linux with all of my heart. But Ubuntu is so preditible on how they are going to fail. They never complete anything that they start. Linux will be safe in the long run from the Distro that strives to remove the word "Linux" from their users minds.

NeWS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073163)

Let's reimplement the display server architecture again! Yay!

why (1)

ssam (2723487) | about a year ago | (#43073309)

I understand the desire to replace X. Big chunks of X either aren't needed any more or have moved into other locations (mostly the kernel). but i find it hard to believe that the direction and goals of wayland are so different to what ubuntu want that its worth starting fresh.

maybe now that a display server has so little to do, it something that a small team can knock up in a few months. in which case maybe every window manager will end up being a display server.

Jokes aside... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073321)

Never been a Ubuntu fan but I can see a reason behind this, in the light of the recent announcements of an Ubuntu phone OS and an Ubuntu tablet OS to cohesist with the traditional desktop OS.
If they really want to build a common ground between these three platform (and it's a VERY BIG "if", considering the disaster that Windows 8/RT/Phone is becoming), then a video display compositor lighter and more updated than the whole X server is, I'd say, mandatory. Apparently Wayland, which they announced they would eventually adopt some few years ago, is not the correct choice according to them.
Add to this the fact that they are finally reinventing the wheel *correctly* with Unity switching fully to QT, which will let there be an alignment with the Ubuntu phone and tablet announced programming paradigm.
Anyway: considering that Microsoft failed with 4 years of developement and thousands of programmers on a similar project, resources that Canonical no way has, and considering that Shuttleworth & Co have repeatedly made big announcements but very few results have been seen (Ubuntu for Android could have been an interesting project, what has happened to that), I doubt we will see some results in 2014 as claimed.

support Android graphics drivers (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#43073381)

This is clever - this way they automagically get full GFX support for closed source vendors (MALI400 drivers on cheap tablets for example).

Re:support Android graphics drivers (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#43073467)

They could do that without screwing over the desktop in the process.

And still... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073485)

and still it's about a zillion times more free and open than "prison for people that can't use a computer" Mac OS and "bloated" Windows. So, just enjoy the ride people!

out of control (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43073585)

Canonical seems out of control: they create one new, half-baked technology after another. Shame, because for a while, Ubuntu was doing quite well.

Terrible clever idea or just terrible? (4, Interesting)

Peter H.S. (38077) | about a year ago | (#43073647)

I really don't have the technical knowledge to praise or damn the idea, but as I understand it, there are some clever moves in this;

It appears that they rip out enough of Android that they can use the Android graphic drivers for Mir, so that every device with android drivers delivers "free" drivers for Mir too. That would give them a huge advantage in the Smartphone and Tablet arena.

QtMir, QtUbuntu, Qt/QML; it looks like Ubuntu dumps Gnome/GTK in favour of Qt5 for core OS (GUI) development. As I see it they will clone KDE/Qt, substituting the KDE parts with QtUbuntu.

Their time line seems very optimistic though.

Probably about drivers. (1)

Jartan (219704) | about a year ago | (#43073659)

From Ubuntu's point of view drivers are what matter. If Wayland is causing them problems on that front then they probably have to drop it.

Valve (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | about a year ago | (#43073673)

I wonder what will be the effect on Valve plans for Linux. Good thing is they have a lot of options, like going upstream with pure Debian, or downstream with Mint.

Re:Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073975)

...or stay with Ubuntu who cares enough about graphics to upgrade from a 25 year old outdated display server...

Out of Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073675)

I've used Ubuntu since 5.10, and with the exception of Unity, I like it. Correction, my issue with Unity was not that it was developed, but the way it was effectively forced on users as the default choice, *before* it was properly ready. On balance, that's a pretty short gripe list for an OS that has seen me through numerous, effortless upgrades over the last 7 years.

However, with the overall Unity strategy and the announcements around the integration of Canonical-branded spyware into Dash, I have no choice but to rethink my choice of distro. Ubuntu has without question come closer than any other distro to mainstream success, built on rigorous software engineering principles, attention to detail and focus on the user.

For reasons I don't understand that seems to be changing.

Mark has an opportunity to continue his innovative approach to making Linux easier for Joe User, but now seems determined to muscle in on aspects other teams are tackling, while leaving glaring gaps that Ubuntu are ideally placed to fix. Gaps? Yes.

How about a really, *really* slick configuration framework that packages could integrate with, to make it easier for end users to manage their environments?

How about an uplift enabler, that would make it much easier for a package author (let's say LibreOffice) to wrap and submit a new release of their suite for multiple Ubuntu distros, so that users running current-1 still get access to new packages if they want them?

How about a really slick roll-your-own ISO packager, so that I could take an existing ISO (say 12.04 LTS) and then merge it with the very latest packages and patches, producing a bespoke ISO for myself that would give me the 12.04 Core Build without having to pull in hundreds of megs of patches.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

My concern is not that Mark is doing pointless things. Canonical have the backing to build great software.

What concerns me is that Mark doesn't seem to want to be so collaborative, and, rather than play to his strengths, he is poking his finger into other pies... He can, of course. It's his company, his money, and he is very successful. But I can't help but think that there are other issues, in a far worse state than the components that Canonical and Ubuntu are trying to fix.

I sincerely wish Canonical success. I just don't know how much longer I will share their vision enough to remain part of that community.

X or die (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073709)

Look, if I can't run "ssh -X" to an Ubuntu system -- I'm not using it. And by not using, I mean not installing, recommending, or providing support to.

I don't care if there's VNC, RDP, whatever the hell wayland has.

I don't care what your protocol is. I don't /like/ using X11 forwarding, but it's what I have supported on every desktop, laptop, netbook that is guaranteed to fucking work without having to emerge some dialect of VNC or whatever-the-fuck flavor of the month it is.

If you don't support X11 for your graphical apps, you're not getting installed in the desktop or server environment.

And no, I don't like having X on my servers anyway -- but if management dictates a GUI so their MSCE shithead of the month can follow a pretty fucking checklist on login, I'll do it and laugh my ass off at the security liabilities while demonstrating that it's against best practices and they signed off on it.

Need a VPN? Use SSH. Needs a different auth system? Use SSH. Need the ability to move a port from one place to another, use SSH. Need a custom solution with some sort of multi factor authentication-- use SSH under it.

Need a publicly exposed server where field techs log into a console for a specific task that updates a database on the back end... use SSH with a restricted shell and fixed commands.

Dear Canonical, you break my workflow -- I won't break you. I'll just use Debian and be severely disappointed by your choice to bend compatibility over.

What kind of license ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073757)

Will the source code for mir be availbable (at least in parts ?).
Will it be GPL ?

No thanks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073791)

Standards are there for a reason. If you want to break them you need a damned good reason. I don't see them having one.

Holy Grail: the TCP/IP of graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43073797)

The description of Mir's goals in TFA wasn't really very clear, but it is true and widely recognized that *some* alternative to X11 is badly needed. X11 has become FOSS's own "X25 elephant" like something conjured up in the committees of the ITU, whereas open systems need is a lightweight "TCP/IP gazelle".

Whether Canonical can produce the goods is a different question entirely, but the need for such an alternative is rapidly approaching certainty..

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