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More From Canonical Employee On: "Why Mir?"

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the not-invented-here dept.

Graphics 337

An anonymous reader writes "Canonical Desktop and Mobile Engineer Christopher Halse Rogers explains in more detail the decision for Mir as apposed to Wayland. Although Halse Rogers 'was not involved in the original decision to create Mir,' he's had 'discussions with those who were.' 'We want something like Wayland, but different in almost all the details.' 'The upsides of doing our own thing — we can do exactly and only what we want, we can build an easily-testable codebase, we can use our own infrastructure, we don't have an additional layer of upstream review.' In a separate post Halse Rogers answer the question: Does this fragment the Linux graphics driver space?"

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337 comments

Context please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145823)

I nominate this submission for Slashdot's most lacking in context category.

Re:Context please? (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | about a year ago | (#43145841)

I concur. What the hell are they talking about?

Re:Context please? (4, Funny)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43145875)

I can think of no context in which a furniture designer engineer, no matter how agile or standards-conforming would have as similarly viable alternatives a former Russian space station and an animated sycophant.

Re:Context please? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145889)

Because inexperienced, but otherwise intelligent, people often believe that they can do stuff better than everyone before them, there is a trend among hackers to rewrite otherwise perfectly fine code. Since X dates back decades, according to this line of thinking, it must need to be rewritten. "Wayland" is on such attempt (actually, what they are doing isn't nearly as sophisticated as X). Since Cannonical believes they are the shit, they want to be in control of the X successor. Their candidate is "Mir". I know nothing about Mir. The truth of the matter is that neither of these projects is going to go anywhere because it will require redoing lots of hard word (the video drivers, which are for some terrible reason part of X itself). X could use some work, but destroying the decades of compatibility is not the way to do it. The right way to do this would be to try to gather some kind of very broad support (say... from the developers of Qt and GTK) and get the two of these groups to converge on some modern subset of X, and implement the deprecated remainder as a legacy library. Of course, this doesn't let you "own" the end result, and it requires a LOT of work, so that won't ever happen. Also there's a feud between them, so it's probably impossible to do that.

Re:Context please? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145989)

Your assertion that Wayland will not go anywhere seems to be predicated on the incorrect assumptions that Wayland is born of naïvety (it's not; it's developed by people with a LOT of real experience working on the current X-centric stack), and that it needs to entirely supplant X to succeed (it doesn't; it deliberately does a lot less, and it can host a rootless X server, and indeed this is the only realistic use case for it on regular desktop distributions for the next couple of years).

Yes, there are many projects that are started for the reasons you describe, and go on to fail for those same reasons. But Wayland is not one of them. That is not to say that its success is guaranteed—but rather only that your reasons to assume its failure is inevitable are invalid.

Wayland does not need to destroy decades of compatibility. In fact, its approach is quite the opposite: to maximize compatibility initially (pass almost everything through to a rootless X server with XWayland if you want), and then offer an optional smooth migration path away from X for applications that don't need its complexity, would like to push the complexity into separate components, or would like to take advantage of some of the things that you simply can't achieve with X today, e.g., flicker-free from boot, to playing a game, and then on to playing hardware-accelerated videos.

You concede that the current state of video drivers being too tightly tied to X is terrible, so I assume you agree that the work has to be done to resolve that at some point, whatever path we collectively take. That also happens to be the only thing I'm aware of that's really holding Wayland back from mainstream use today. Everything else is just little bits and pieces that need to be finished or polished up, and then it could be dropped in to real general purpose distros.

Re:Context please? (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43146029)

Your assertion that Wayland will not go anywhere seems to be predicated on the incorrect assumptions that Wayland is born of naïvety (it's not; it's developed by people with a LOT of real experience working on the current X-centric stack)

His point wasn't that they are inexperienced with X, it's that they are inexperienced with software development in general. It's fairly common for inexperienced (though otherwise skillful) programmers to decide to re-implement a huge chunk of code in the hopes to make it better. It rarely works out very well.

Re:Context please? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43146113)

His point wasn't that they are inexperienced with X, it's that they are inexperienced with software development in general

Which is just an incorrect point, since as the poster you replied to pointed out these are the SAME PEOPLE who have developed many of the modern enhancements to X that keep it useful today.

How does he make any sense at all when he talks about how great X is and that they should pay attention to those who worked on it when they ARE the people who worked on it?

Re:Context please? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43146153)

Maybe.

Having worked on the X Server in no way means their choice to create a new server is correct. Whenever someone forks software that's worked fine for nearly 30 years, the default position is, "they're making a mistake."

Maybe you're right and it's a great thing. We'll see.

Re:Context please? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43146591)

First - it's not a fork. Forks are branches of the code. Wayland is a completely new display server.

And I'll just say I'm glad Apple decided NOT to use X by default on OSX. They managed to create a much more efficient display engine by not continuing to base it on the largely obsolete X protocol. Though, guess what, there is also a perfectly usable backwards-compatible optional X-server you can install if you want (which is a goal of Wayland, and I assume Mir, as well).

Re:Context please? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146299)

His point wasn't that they are inexperienced with X, it's that they are inexperienced with software development in general. It's fairly common for inexperienced (though otherwise skillful) programmers to decide to re-implement a huge chunk of code in the hopes to make it better. It rarely works out very well.

That assumes that X11 was universally well-designed in the first place. It also assumes that experienced developers have been maintaining it (they all got laid off in the 1990s and nothing happend for 10 years). And it assumes that X11 is full of stuff that people care about, when much of it is legacy and not used by modern applications.

Eventually someone is going to have to suck it up and do something. Even if it was removing all the crap and making an "X12".

Re:Context please? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146589)

it's that they are inexperienced with software development in general.

So WHY do we let them fix X bugs?

Re:Context please? (1)

walshy007 (906710) | about a year ago | (#43146227)

This, everyone seems to think wayland is more than it is. For now it's basicaly an overhyped screen multiplexer for X.

Re:Context please? (4, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year ago | (#43146099)

Apple did it and it seems to be working out just fine. They could have tried to use X but probably had the same reasons as Canonical, full control.

Sometimes the only way to get better results is to tear it all down and start over. You learn from the past but let go of the baggage.

Re:Context please? (-1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#43146117)

They could have tried to use X but probably had the same reasons as Canonical, full control.

I hope they had the same reasons that most intelligent engineers have; X Sucks. Parts of that code tree are so old they have moss growing on them. The display code is in desperate need of a refesh. Mir instead of Wayland though? That's a control grab.

Re:Context please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145909)

Why the Russian Space station of course! It never really fell from the sky, they replaced all the old computing equipment with modern stuff, and of course, are running Linux. The rocket engine drivers are important. Isn't that clear to everyone?

Re:Context please? (3, Interesting)

undeadbill (2490070) | about a year ago | (#43145883)

Go to the comments in TFA about details. There is some really juicy repartee between Seigo (OSS developer) and Shuttleworth (guy who funds Ubuntu).

There is a dust up going on between people working on the replacement for X under Ubuntu, and on the merits or lack thereof in choosing the Mir project over Weyland. Seigo and others make some interesting points, especially about the selection criteria.

Re:Context please? (3, Insightful)

Randle_Revar (229304) | about a year ago | (#43146409)

The comments from e.g. Dave Airlie, Kristian Høgsberg, Daniel Stone are even better, IMO, since they are Xorg/Wayland guys. Though Aaron is certainly a graphics guy, just at a higher level on the stack.

Re:Context please? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43146447)

it has "canonical" in it.

that means it's a tech article about canonical doing some re-inventing of the wheel to get rid of some options shown to user.

Fragment the Linux graphics driver space? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145849)

"Does this fragment the Linux graphics driver space?"

No. That's the point of DRM and KMS. X11, Wayland, DirectFB, Mir, Xynth, whatever all share the same kernel drivers and userspace display and graphics libraries.

m4f - nsa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145867)

looking for a cute asian girl to shit on my face.

Re:m4f - nsa (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146627)

I'm not a cute Asian girl, but I'll happily shit on your face. Email me: pater@slashdot.org

AND ... IT IS THE MICROSOFT WAY !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145871)

Lock in !! Motherfuckers !! Lock in !!

And we call it Mir for that communistic touch !! To make the freetardhippietypes feel more at home !!

This just proves it's NIH (4, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43145903)

This just proves what everyone was saying last week. This decision was entirely based on NIH (Not in House) Syndrome. Ubuntu is convinced that they have to spend all their development resources on reinventing the wheel because Wayland isn't an internal project (but it could be).

It wasn't 6 months ago that Shuttleworth was complaining that Ubuntu needed to start making money, and here he is wasting development resources on reinventing things. Between Mir, Upstart, Harmony, and all the others he's going to have forked everything but the kernel (hey maybe that's next!, I hear forking the FreeBSD Kernel is common) and his costs only go up while he spends all his time fixing bugs all by himself. The result will be Ubuntu advancement will slow down, or it will become a buggy POS with no long term security.

Either way I think they suffer from NIH disease and maybe they should consider a fork of the FreeBSD kernel. I imagine it won't be long before Mint/Arch or whatever fully replaces all the popularity Ubuntu managed to create. I already see Mint recommended more often than Ubuntu.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (5, Informative)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year ago | (#43145933)

...This decision was entirely based on NIH (Not in House) Syndrome...

NIH = Not Invented Here

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43145981)

No, his initialism is fine. Just because it's not the one you were expected doesn't mean there is anything wrong with it. The real problem is he has no idea how to use it.

First, you state what you mean: Not in House Syndrome
Which you follow with the initialism: (NIH)
Then you can use NIH to your heart's content throughout the rest of your post.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (2, Funny)

deniable (76198) | about a year ago | (#43146457)

So, if you don't like the usual version, you create a new one and expect people to follow. Too meta for me.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146681)

Oh how I wish I had mod points.....

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146535)

Then you can use NIH to your heart's content throughout the rest of your post while looking like an ignorant and/or self-absorbed little prat.

TFTFY.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (5, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year ago | (#43145985)

Unfortunately the grandparent has NIH, so he had to reinvent the acronym.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (-1, Troll)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43146083)

Have you ever considered perhaps that every acronym you can imagine there are other acronyms that are spelled identical and have similar meaning but use complete different words?

i.e.
NSA = National Security Agency or
NSA = National Speakers Association or
NSA = National Stuttering Association or
NSA = National Society of Accountants or
NSA = Network Security Appliance.

What makes you think that the acronym you think is the right one is the one I even intended? Or do you actually think every abbreviation only has one definition? I used the definition for NIH that I'm most familiar with, maybe instead of playing grammar nazi you should focus on content instead. But alas, you would rather demonstrate your belief in your own superiority.

BTW you're an asshole along with everyone else that felt the need to correct an abbreviation because only YOUR abbreviation is the correct one. Not that I expect much from someone that feels the need to post something as inane and free of content as your post was.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43146325)

What makes you think that the acronym you think is the right one is the one I even intended?

Because in context "National Institutes of Health" wouldn't make sense?

Re:This just proves it's NIH (-1, Troll)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43146395)

Only two possible acronyms! That's right, just like the other idiots you think that only YOU can decide what are valid acronyms and if you don't think it's right, and you are the only valid judge of such things. Clearly you are clearly superior to everyone else, even if you are basement dwelling troglodyte with autism.

NASA has a ~300 page book of just acronyms. There are many, and just because you think you know what one of them means doesn't mean you have a clue what the author used, that's why people define what the acronym they are using means (well people not stupid enough to think there is only one definition), because there are so many of them. But there are stupid people that thing there is only one or two acronyms to any given sequence of letters and that they can't have similar meanings. It's as valid as a criticism of grammar that's riddled with grammatical errors. Internet is full of experts that aren't and you are one of them.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146471)

you: blah

962 other people: bleh

The bleh's have it, I think. Get over yourself.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1)

quadrox (1174915) | about a year ago | (#43146567)

Look, sometimes you are just wrong - this is one of them. Nothing to be ashamed of, we all get it wrong from time to time. The difference is in how you deal with it, so far you are not doing it very well...

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43146001)

Yup. Here is what I consider to be the key quote of the article:

the upsides of doing our own thing - we can do exactly and only what we want, we can build an easily-testable codebase, we can use our own infrastructure, we don't have an additional layer of upstream review - look like they'll outweigh the costs of having to duplicate effort.

They are doing it because they want to do it. So if you are someone who relies on backwards compatibility, cross-compatibility, or some feature in X that they don't care about, then you should realize that this is basically the guys at Canonical giving you the middle finger.

Also, it should be mentioned that one of the primary features of a good API is that it communicates its purpose well to those who want to use it. This is a communication issue, and unfortunately if the writing article is any indication, the MIR API is going to be haphazard and confusing.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146181)

So if you are someone who relies on backwards compatibility, cross-compatibility, or some feature in X that they don't care about, then you should realize that this is basically the guys at Canonical giving you the middle finger.

You're just as stuffed with Wayland.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43146195)

And that's the real reason people are concerned about Wayland, not because of some love affair with X. It's not clear that Wayland is anything more than a group of "here today gone tomorrow" guys. But X, X will always be there.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146273)

As someone above said, they're implementing X on top of Wayland, so you'll still be able to run your 1993 Motif applications.

Mir, on the other hand, seems to be related to Ubuntu Mobile, which is probably dead-on-arrival.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (5, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43146411)

Wayland is being developed by the same people behind X.org. 99.9% of the people lambasting Wayland have no idea what it is, what it's going to accomplish or how entrenched it already is.

Wayland is the future. It will take some time to get everything in place but it's already in play and many other project from the kernel to window managers are already moving towards implementing the plumbing necessary. Given this is slashdot I'm not particularly surprised by the ignorance, nor that people think something as complex as a complete rewrite of the GUI could be accomplished in weeks nor am I surprised that no one has bothered to actually learn about wayland and what it is but frankly the hatred is a bit surprising given the total ignorance. People hate software they know nothing about because they are afraid of change, it's just silly.

You think they would at least try to learn what it is given that almost all the people behind it are the same people behind X.org.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | about a year ago | (#43146427)

>"here today gone tomorrow" guys

except for the fact that they are largely all the people that have been driving X development for years and years...

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43146451)

They've been working on X for something like 6 years, right? That's like a quarter of the time X has been around? When they go, X will still be there. Will Wayland?

Re:This just proves it's NIH (4, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | about a year ago | (#43146511)

Dunno about the younger guys, but Keith was an X dev way back in the day. And by back in the day I mean 1988.
At least a few of the other devs where from the XFree era...

Re:This just proves it's NIH (1, Informative)

ndogg (158021) | about a year ago | (#43146119)

Sure, that could be part of it, but I think a careful reading would show that there were a number of things missing from Wayland that they wanted, and there were a number of things that would have required some heavy patching to get what they wanted, which probably wouldn't have been any better than starting anew anyway. This way they also don't have to worry about whether or not their patches get accepted upstream.

I guess they could have forked Wayland, but if they're not going to use most of that code anyway, what would be the point?

Re:This just proves it's NIH (3, Insightful)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#43146473)

And the misinformation is already being quoted as fact. Per the discussion on G+ where the Wayland developers responded to the FUD from Canonical, AFAIK none of the claimed missing feature of Wayland are even missing. In fact from what I was reading tonight touch input has already been implemented in Wayland and the work on virtual keyboards and such is being worked on (Canonical hasn't even started this part of MIR).

Given the Canonical didn't even talk to the Wayland project it's not surprising but what Canonical claimed is nothing but FUD. They are trying to back justify their decision, but they didn't even bother to learn about Wayland before creating a bunch of false assumptions and FUD. Unfortunately that FUD is so far out there now that people are even quoting it as fact.

Go to G+ and google MIR, you'll find a number of threads where the Wayland developers point out that Canonical outright lied about what Wayland could/couldn't do. The linked post basically points this out, they didn't talk to Wayland, they didn't find out about wayland, they just wanted something they had total control over.

In the end they'll end up with a monster that eats coder time to no actual benefit where had they devoted those developers to Wayland they could have had more input into Wayland AND helped it get here quicker. It's a sad story of Shuttleworth desire for total control, even if what he ends up with is unmaintainable crap that's dropped after 2 versions and fragments the community in the interim. All because he wants a tablet/phone OS in a very crowded space.

It's ironic, if he wanted Android so bad, why didn't he just fork Android. The reality is he doesn't have the resources to do what Google did. Instead he's going to create a Frankenstein blend of (half-assed) Wayland, X and SurfaceFlinger that will likely have all the worst of each and none of the benefits.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146149)

Ubuntu isn't already a buggy POS? Have you tried anything since 11.x? The only thing worse is Fedora, but Fedora doesn't pretend to be a stable distribution.

Re:This just proves it's NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146165)

Arch? Popular? Hahaha, not in a hundred years. There are dozens of distros that are easier to install. It's got deserved popularity amongst the more technical users, but amongst people in general? Nope. You might as well claim that LyX will replace Word.

Playing devil's advocate (3, Insightful)

foreverdisillusioned (763799) | about a year ago | (#43146177)

I'm almost inclined to cut Canonical some slack here. Almost. I don't think NIH is such a horrible thing if the project in question still isn't anywhere near usable. In a situation like this, it's entirely possible that a team of paid, full time, competent programmers could start over from scratch and quickly surpass the original project. Given equal talent and effort, the Cathedral is always more efficient better than the Bazaar.

However, I haven't seen evidence that Ubuntu possesses the talent or the manpower. Time and again, I've either read about or experienced firsthand halfassed, quite unnecessary 'improvements' while watching them neglect the fundamentals.

So, like most every other thing they've done for the past five years, this decision may be fine in theory (I'm not super familiar with the issues surrounding Wayland, so I can't say for sure), but in practice will quickly become a category five disaster.

Not entirely the wrong choice though (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43146291)

Since Wayland hasn't got very far yet there is little to lose by starting a different project that does some of the same things instead of extending Wayland.

Good for Ubuntu (4, Interesting)

Stalyn (662) | about a year ago | (#43145943)

We could have had a modern display server years ago with XGL/Xegl. But it was killed off because Red Hat and nVidia didn't like. Mainly because it wasn't their idea. Now it seems all the pissing and moaning is coming from the Red Hat camp. Well karma's a bitch ain't it.

Re:Good for Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146167)

Unlike Ubuntu, RedHat actually contributes code that isn't complete garbage.

Re:Good for Ubuntu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146403)

Gnome 3 was complete garbage and is still being pushed mainly by RedHat.

Re:Good for Ubuntu (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146465)

Gnome3 is fine. Cinnamon runs on it.

"our own thing — we can do exactly what we w (2, Insightful)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year ago | (#43146101)

"doing our own thing — we can do exactly and only what we want, we can build an easily-testable codebase, we can use our own infrastructure, we don't have an additional layer of upstream review."

IOW, Fuck GPL and collaboration.

Canonical better find an attitude. This is why they are disliked by the Debian team and others.

This is also why I dislike Shuttleworth and Canonical - the lack of helpful upstream collaboration.

Re:"our own thing — we can do exactly what w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146189)

Lots of open source project start behind a curtain and then get opened up for all to see, use, change etc.

Personally I like the network nature of X but with lots of things like VNC some of what X brings isn't needed.

Re:"our own thing — we can do exactly what w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146235)

"Lots of open source project start behind a curtain and then get opened up for all to see, use, change etc."

Fait accompli

not likely to be competent to do it (2, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | about a year ago | (#43146103)

We know what a disaster it was when Canonical tried to adopt PulseAudio in Ubuntu. Basically they broke audio for no good reason. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PulseAudio#Problems_during_adoption_phase [wikipedia.org] for more info.)

Mir would seem to be an order of magnitude more difficult to pull off, since it's to be developed in-house by Canonical, and video is *much* more complex than audio.

Over all, it seems extremely unlikely to me that Canonical is competent to succeed in this.

They also don't seem to have learned their lesson from the PulseAudio experience in terms of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

And if you disagree... (4, Insightful)

Stiletto (12066) | about a year ago | (#43146141)

The great thing about Linux is... You can simply choose to not use Ubuntu. BAM! Problem solved.

Re:And if you disagree... (2)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43146217)

Indeed! I do like that they explore things though. The X.org folks need a kick in the rear. They seem to think graphics has been solved. Not that it has gotten noticeably better since the X.org fork-off, but it is still pretty bad.

Re:And if you disagree... (1)

Randle_Revar (229304) | about a year ago | (#43146443)

Have you paid any attention to Linux graphics in, I don't know, the past year or so? Missed the whole Wayland thing, did you? Missed the part of this where all the X/Wayland devs are basically yelling "Why did start reimplementing Wayland late, with slight variations?"

Re:And if you disagree... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about a year ago | (#43146649)

I follow it, but apparently I did understand what was going on, in contrast to you.

Anything but X (-1, Offtopic)

A bsd fool (2667567) | about a year ago | (#43146163)

When you're on the bottom, the only way to do is up. It would be difficult to build a new GUI and do *worse* than X11, though if that's too difficult for Canonical I can't say. If they take direction from XP, OSX, and Win7 it may be good. If they all have eyes glazed over by words like "mobile" and "cloud" and take more direction from Android, iOS, and Win8, it may well be worse than X11.

Just pulling a Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146249)

Not many people were bitching when Google went a lot farther than this with every aspect of Android-- some were, but then Android was a huge success and then Google started committing their changes upstream and people shut up about it. This is JUST a display server that's being talked about right now. Can you imagine if Canonical took wayland and dumped so many patches on it that it became something completely different, with different requirements, different goals, etc? They want something different, so they're making something different. It's not complicated. Calm down.

Re:Just pulling a Google (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about a year ago | (#43146509)

Not many people were bitching when Google went a lot farther than this with every aspect of Android

There's a small difference: Google wasn't a two-bit Linux shop with a chronic lack of cash.

Re:Just pulling a Google (5, Interesting)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146523)

Not many people were bitching when Google went a lot farther than this with every aspect of Android

There's a small difference: Google wasn't a two-bit Linux shop with a chronic lack of cash.

Android was a two-bit Linux shop with a chronic lack of cash UNTIL GOOGLE BOUGHT THEM

Why not X? (1, Insightful)

Damouze (766305) | about a year ago | (#43146257)

Why not continue using and developing on and for X? It is and remains -the- standard way for UNIX applications to get a graphical user interface. X is also largely platform independent. If I want to run my X server on system A and the applications on system B, it is the X protocol that separates my desktop from my applications. My display is not necessarily directly connected to the computer I run my applications on.

Ignorance on display (4, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146365)

You're just betraying your ignorance of Wayland. Wayland does NOT replace X windows. In fact Wayland was designed from scratch so that an X server can run in wayland WITH NO PERFORMANCE PENALTY.

So with Wayland you can STILL run your old legacy X11 apps and get decent performance too!

Win win all around! What is the downside?

Re:Ignorance on display (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146433)

> What is the downside?

The downside is that a lot of development resources are being funneled to the rewrite of functionality currently quite well implemented by Xorg. Wayland wikipedia article doesn't shed light what are the benefits of Wayland for the end users.They keep talking in terms of reshuffling of some structural blocks, and that Xorg became way too complex, blah, blah, blah... No benefit for users. What can I do with Wayland that I couldn't do with Xorg?

Re:Ignorance on display (3, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146481)

what are the benefits of Wayland for the end users. No benefit for users. What can I do with Wayland that I couldn't do with Xorg?

You can have a display server with 10% of the code and 10% of the bugs!

TELL US MORE about how pruning dead code and reducing the number of bugs is not a benefit for the user.

TELL US MORE about the benefits of maintaining DEAD UNUSABLE remote code! WHY should users put up with the performance issues associated with years and years of X lossage?

Re:Ignorance on display (2, Informative)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146515)

The downside is that a lot of development resources are being funneled to the rewrite of functionality currently quite well implemented by Xorg.

QUITE WELL MAINTAINED???

do you actually use X windows at all?

It's buggy as heck and its performance is miserable.

Your crack about "developement resources" is pretty funny because the original X developers are also developing Wayland because they are SICK of funneling their development resources into fixing X bugs.

Re:Why not X? (0)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146385)

It is and remains -the- standard way for UNIX applications to get a graphical user interface.

Yeah let's just FORGET ALL ABOUT OSX, it is UNIX and it has a graphical user interface!

And if OSX is not "standard" well then WHY are "standard" UNIX applications like emacs and firefox written for it?

X Windows is also the standard way for VMS applications to get a user interface, but you neglected to mention this valuable addition to your pathetic argument.

Re:Why not X? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#43146441)

Yeah let's just FORGET ALL ABOUT OSX

Yeah let's just FORGET ALL ABOUT Android, it is UNIX and it has a graphical user interface!

Mozilla Firefox is on Android too!

Wait for it.... Waaaaait.....

YES, EMAC FOR ANDROID [google.com] ! Yay.

You neglected a bunch of stuff you stupids, pathetic and stupid, hrmph.

Remember; on sentence per line, just like they taught you.

Stupids.

Rio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146269)

The first company to get a web-browser running on Rio/Plan9 advances to Alpha Centauri.

Re:Rio (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146763)

The first company to get a web-browser running on Rio/Plan9 advances to Alpha Centauri.

No, the first to get all of the current open source gui applications to work on Plan 9, including KDE and Gnome, plus writes Plan 9 drivers for all recent graphics cards advances to Alpha Centauri.
Sigh.
If only we'd picked Inferno and Limbo instead of Java it all would have happened already.

remote X is garbage anyway (5, Interesting)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146429)

Everybody says "ooh noooo don't kill remote X windows! it's the best!"

except for one thing: IT SUCKS.

Have you ever tried to actually USE remote X? It's just beyond horrible.

The failure is that X was designed for low-latency between the display and the application, and that use case is just not very useful.

In reality the display and the application are connected over a high-latency link and X is UNUSABLE in this context.

VNC does not assume a low-latency link and so it remains responsive and pleasant even over a crappy ADSL connection.

Go ahead and TRY to use Firefox remotely over your ISP connection. It's just a pathetic joke and you will kill it out of frustration before even a single page loads.

Try the exact same thing with a VNC connection and it works just fine.

Re:remote X is garbage anyway (1, Insightful)

mvdwege (243851) | about a year ago | (#43146757)

I have done all you say is impossible, with little to no issues. So now we have competing anecdotes, how about next time you provide some actual data to go with your FUD?

Re:remote X is garbage anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146769)

> Have you ever tried to actually USE remote X?
Yep. All day, every day. It mostly works fine (except that GLX hasn't yet been updated to cover certain features in OpenGL 3).

> The failure is that X was designed for low-latency between the display and the application,
Wrong. X itself goes to great lengths to avoid being affected by latency. Problems with latency are usually a result of either poorly-written applications or poorly-written toolkits, or both, not with X itself.

> VNC does not assume a low-latency link and so it remains responsive and pleasant even over a crappy ADSL connection.
VNC is limited by bandwidth. Also, it gets no benefit from any acceleration offered by the video hardware on the system which actually has a display connected to it. It might be able to use the video hardware on the server, except that's probably nowhere near as capable as that on the desktop system, and is shared between all users. So normally everything is rendered in software.
The net result is that I find VNC too slow even over a direct GigE connection between the PCs on either side of my desk.

> Go ahead and TRY to use Firefox remotely
Firefox is pretty much the poster child for "poorly-written X application", although admittedly the sheer complexity of its job is a half-way decent excuse.

remote X is even more garbage! (0, Flamebait)

FranTaylor (164577) | about a year ago | (#43146455)

sound? nope, not happening

3-d effects? nope, not happening

D-BUS integration? nope, not happening

what a mess. kill it now. even the X developers are actively working to kiil X

All those rants about X windows in the Unix Hater's Handbook are STILL TRUE

I think I speak for all of Slashdot... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146479)

...when I say "GO FUCK YOURSELF MR SHUTTLEWORTH!"

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.
Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

regression (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43146521)

They want to integrate the shell into the display server? Wow, we're really regressing to the dark ages of display architectures here.

Protobuf RPC mechanism - is it generic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146601)

Hi, I read somewhere that MIR uses a protobuf based RPC mechanism for communication between client and servers. Is that available already? Is it generic to be used outside of MIR? What lanaguages can be used to write clients and servers? Got any links?

Thanks!

Re:Protobuf RPC mechanism - is it generic? (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about a year ago | (#43146729)

mechanism for communication between client and servers

I hope you meant remote clients and servers. Otherwise it's just X all over again, but slightly different. One thing Windows and OS X get right is that their GUI is based around local API calls.

Fascist commiters. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43146697)

It's entirely possible that Shuttleworth weighed up Wayland but discovered blowhard, insufferable assholes at the wheel. Why bother dealing with the deadweight? Wayland has been shuffling along for quite a while now and not really getting anywhere, why do you think that is?

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