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Vastly Improved Raspberry Pi Performance With Wayland

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the fast-and-fancy dept.

Graphics 259

New submitter nekohayo writes "While Wayland/Weston 1.1 brought support to the Raspberry Pi merely a month ago, work has recently been done to bring true hardware-accelerated compositing capabilities to the RPi's graphics stack using Weston. The Raspberry Pi foundation has made an announcement about the work that has been done with Collabora to make this happen. X.org/Wayland developer Daniel Stone has written a blog post about this, including a video demonstrating the improved reactivity and performance. Developer Pekka Paalanen also provided additional technical details about the implementation." Rather than using the OpenGL ES hardware, the new compositor implementation uses the SoC's 2D scaler/compositing hardware which offers "a scaling throughput of 500 megapixels per second and blending throughput of 1 gigapixel per second. It runs independently of the OpenGL ES hardware, so we can continue to render 3D graphics at the full, very fast rate, even while compositing."

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259 comments

A really good demonstration of Wayland. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43835853)

This should be a really good demonstration of Wayland and why (and what) it improves over X.
Hopefully this would put to rest the flame wars.

Re:A really good demonstration of Wayland. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43835915)

I imagine performance would be much worse on older hardware that didn't have the same level of support, like ATI's X1*** range.

Yes, let's bring that back (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43835867)

The time when everything needed to be specifically ported to a machine to make it perform bearably or at all. How I missed having stuff not work without that extra length to go to.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (0)

multiben (1916126) | about a year ago | (#43835903)

Haters gonna hate.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43835919)

It's all about tradeoffs, and always has been.

Nothing has changed.

Either you write generic support which works everywhere and performs with mediocrity at best (e.g., standard Linux on a desktop), or, you optimize for a particular hardware platform and get more performance.

The thing with RP, is that it's a low-power machine, so the generic mediocre performance is pretty awful and you need to specifically optimize to make it usable.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year ago | (#43836439)

AMEN. Slackware with a custom compiled kernel on my laptop utterly decimates anyones Ubuntu install. To the point that people cant believe that it's linux running that fast.

The low grade dog-food that is the popular distros today are causing more harm than good with them being dog slow and broken all over the place for the sake of supporting everything possible.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (1)

sp332 (781207) | about a year ago | (#43836595)

What kind of changes did you make to your kernel build? And what CPU and I/O schedulers are you using?

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43836027)

The time when everything needed to be specifically ported to a machine to make it perform bearably or at all. How I missed having stuff not work without that extra length to go to.

On embedded hardware, that time never ended... And the rPi isn't really fast enough that you can just run in all software, or even with just the relatively feeble OpenGL hardware, and pretend.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (4, Insightful)

ThePeices (635180) | about a year ago | (#43836389)

The time when everything needed to be specifically ported to a machine to make it perform bearably or at all. How I missed having stuff not work without that extra length to go to.

On embedded hardware, that time never ended... And the rPi isn't really fast enough that you can just run in all software, or even with just the relatively feeble OpenGL hardware, and pretend.

Not to mention the Pi is only $35 and uses a few watts of power, you cant expect current laptop class performance for that price.

The OP ignores the fact that incorporating this tech into the major Pi distros and projects is only work for the developers of said projects, not end users.
End users just wait for the next software update, and then they get vastly improved graphics performance.

I fail to see what on earth is wrong with a major advance in performance to a specific piece of hardware.
I just smell the acrid stench of cynicism wafting from the general direction of the OP.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43837005)

Arguably, the fact that this specific hack had to take place is a bad sign, just not one specific to Wayland, or even (particularly) to the rPi.

There are, attempts at least, at standardizing [khronos.org] the interfaces for the sorts of features that this Wayland modification used to get better performance on the pi; but they certainly aren't anywhere near where OpenGL is in terms of adoption, and so the compositing and windowing modification had to be made specifically for the 'DispManX' API used exclusively on these Broadcom Videocore parts.

At least this isn't a situation where applications have to have much platform-specific knowledge; but it's always nice to keep platform-specifics abstracted in some standard way as low in the pile as you can.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (4, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43836303)

Things like low level OS frameworks and related drivers, which require low latency, high performance, and sane memory footprints, must be ported to the architecture in a language whose compiler/linker spits out native binaries. No python/java/.NET here, because the lower the hog is in the stack, the greater the impact on latency and performance it has.

Wayland is a perfect example of this as it sits very close to the hardware with a driver between it and each device. This concept will never change because at some point the software must speak to the hardware directly no matter how the hardware is designed. If anything, the decade of sandboxed apis are a big reason why we need gigabytes of ram and microwave clocked CPUs to do basically the same things we were doing with desktops in the 90s with acceptable performance. The current situation on desktops (regardless of OS) is a sloppy waste of cycles that could either go into greater performance or power savings (or both, depending). Clean, efficient code is not, nor should it ever be, passe.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (4, Interesting)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#43836503)

I'm not philosophically against clean fast code, but to your point my desktops are probably 98% CPU idle when doing a normal workload, and only really pick up when: Playing games, Playing flash, Doing a compile, Running a development server and testing. The age of low level fast optimization is all but dead. For a brief time during the smart phone revolution, pathetic CPU's were a bottle-neck, but with my N4, nothing I throw at it feels slow or choppy. It has 2GB of ram IN A PHONE. Sure limited spec and fit for purpose devices will need fast low level access to optimize, but that takes time, and quite often we're finding that hardware's faster and cheaper than wasting time optimizing for the apex solution.

Take your question again: In 10 years when our entire assortment of devices has as much horsepower as my desktop computer does today, are we really going to need significantly tight processing? I'd say the better long term solution will be making development faster and hopefully more expressive.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43837281)

The age of low level fast optimization is all but dead.

I keep thinking that, but then keep running into situations where I have to optimize things. My coworker has been optimizing a piece of code for the last two weeks because our customers find it too slow, and this is on a 64-bit i7 with 16 gigs of RAM (some image processing stuff). There will always be things that need optimization.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836609)

Hardware is a lot cheaper than developer time. This trend is only becoming more apparent.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about a year ago | (#43836945)

Also, languages like SML and F# can theoretically (and sometimes in practice do) generate code that is a lot more efficient than C, and not tied to a specific style of Von Neumann machine. That, and garbage collection has complexity bounds whereas malloc/free do not, not having managed memory leads to a lot of pointless copying (and nowadays the memory controller is what kills you so deep sharing of structure is always a huge win), etc.

And those expressive type systems happen to save programmer time too. I was personally amazed at how quickly I was able to dive into a large SML code base not even knowing SML and actually make changes that were pushed into production and didn't blow up (after figuring out the magic decoder ring for type errors that is).

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (2)

Gerzel (240421) | about a year ago | (#43837323)

At least until Moore's Law ends. Dunno when it will happen but assuming the continued survival of the human race there will come a time when our computers are not becoming more powerful with each generation.

For the short and moderate term you can risk relying on Moore's but in the long run all good things come to an end.

Re:Yes, let's bring that back (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43837125)

So what is low level today was high level yesterday? Sure it is nice not to have to peak and poke everything, but it seems that anything above that requires buying into somebody else's idea of the way things should be done. So, in the spirit of thought and freedom, just what does "Wayland" bring to the table?

Replaces hardware lag with animation lag (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year ago | (#43835917)

Hopefully all the swishy fadey stuff can all be disabled, so that the speed improvement actually manifests usably.

Re:Replaces hardware lag with animation lag (5, Informative)

ebenupton (2424660) | about a year ago | (#43836381)

Yup. We know lots of people don't love the shiny (or love the speed more than the shiny), so we'll be providing the ability to turn off fades and scaled window browsing. Disabling fades has the nice side effect of removing 120Mpixels/s of blending, so you can have more windows on the screen before the back of the stack falls back to 30fps (for responsiveness the front of the stack will always run at 60fps regardless of scene complexity).

But Wayland sucks!?!? (-1, Troll)

magic maverick (2615475) | about a year ago | (#43835929)

HELP MY ACCOUNT HAS BEEN HACKED BY AN ILLIBERAL ART STUDENT SET TO DESTROY THE INTERWEBZ!

And Wayland sucks because it doesn't do graphics forwarding. Even though I never use that feature of X. And ignoring that Wayland is being developed by many of the same people who develop X.org. Oh yes, I know what I'm talking about.

I sliced a piece of pie off my cow and threw it in the sea. The ocean boiled and cooked fish rose and I took them and fed them to the trees. What's a pretty picture and who is that pretty young thing? Quark, equine, quinine.

Hark, the sound of rabid waves! I smash the beast within but let the beast without free to ravage and rampage. I saw the end times.

Re:But Wayland sucks!?!? (0)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836035)

LOL. Pretty much the typical ignorant crap you get whenever anything wayland is posted. Top work summarizing the expected content of this thread :-)

wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43835939)

Great, more wayland propaganda. As if exploiting certain hardware features has anything to do with Wayland vs X11. Wayland: Breaking decades of backwards compatibility for no good reason.

Re:wayland (3, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43835979)

Great, more wayland propaganda. As if exploiting certain hardware features has anything to do with Wayland vs X11. Wayland: Breaking decades of backwards compatibility for no good reason.

Exactly. This article boils down to "wayland performance on pi went from suckass to very nice" which is mildly interesting but the implication that wayland rulez and X snoozes because of that is specious. There is no reason X couldn't see the same performance improvement if it too switched drivers.

Re:wayland (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43835987)

X11: Being needlessly complex with today's use cases for no reason.

If X11 is so good, why isn't Android using it?

Re:wayland (-1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43836049)

If X11 is so good, why isn't Android using it?

Because Android is a toy OS for cellphones.

Re:wayland (4, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836089)

Why doesn't any device that actually requires decent GPU throughput use it, including the Mac, the PS2/3/4, etc?

Why did those developers see fit to NOT use the freely available BSD-style code out there and spend their time writing their own rendering pipelines?

For fun?

Re:wayland (-1, Troll)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#43836335)

That's what a lot of us want to know, frankly. It's the last thing that NEEDED poking with a stick. Well, except for init scripts (here's looking at your sorry ass, systemd).

I've been playing with linux since before 1.0, and using linux on the desktop a lot for 15 years and almost exclusively for the last decade, on all kinds of hardware, and never once felt the slightest failing in X11 (or init scripts). I've felt a lot of failings in other areas, but not those.

Re:wayland (5, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836525)

If you've been using Linux since 1.0 (I have since 1.2) and have never seen any X11 failings, you're either talking out of your arse or are completely blinded by unrelenting fanboy-ism.

I've seen plenty of X11 failings over the years, ranging from inability to change screen resolution on the fly for about the first decade, poor security, crashes in the video driver taking down the OS, various hacks to get things like multi-monitor or 3d support to work, etc.

Yes, some of those things have been "fixed" via various bodges, in much the same way that the average wannabe Nissan Silvia drifter will "fix" crash damage with a drill and some cable-ties.

High latency, low bandwidth, high security risk stuff like network transparency does not belong in the same process as the rendering engine. It certainly doesn't want to be running as root. Especially when the majority of people simply do not use it, and it can easily be retained via a daemon like every other platform uses.

Re:wayland (3, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | about a year ago | (#43836599)

I'm... sorry?

You think SysV init scripts are in any way, shape or form moderately acceptable?!

I have a very simple refutation to that -- the collection of run scripts behind this link [smarden.org] .

Go ahead -- have a look. Keep in mind that systems using those mostly one-line scripts all provide not just startup/shutdown/status, but also the ability to auto-restart on failure and lack the propensity for race conditions that pidfile-based locking almost universally used by SysV scripts is so very, very prone to.

Holding up SysV init scripts as a thing that doesn't have to be changed... it beggars belief.

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836655)

so here's the story:

<rant>
some X11 devs decided that tcl/tk and motif was passe and should die, and that X11 should look like their new iPhones. So they tried to make X11 look like an iPhone and it didn't work very well, all the apps ended up having to be rendered and shaded pixel by pixel and it was a huge bottleneck.

so they abandoned X11 in its now broken state and started anew with Wayland, where they were freer to try and make it look like an iPhone.

What pisses me off is that they mock X11 for being broken and a huge bottleneck, but THEY are the exact same bloody few people who recently broke it and made it that way.

And thank you very much most of my professional work is done in motif, be it coding in nedit or using the HPC number crunching apps. I could give a shit if my cluster management software has the latest compiz-wobble transparency bling added to it, I'm trying to get work done here not look at cute puppies in 3D with surround sound and a semi-transparent background gently blending into my web browser window.
</rant>

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836791)

Amen.

Why don't the same people that screwed up X11 and now working on Wayland just fix X11? I sense a fail on the scale of epic Pulseaudio fail just waiting to happen.

Re:wayland (1, Troll)

kenaaker (774785) | about a year ago | (#43836889)

I work every day on 2 or 3 X based systems with all the individual windows coming to a triple-headed X desktop driven by an Nvidia GTX 660.

Even the netbook that's driving my FDM printer runs X clients remotely, very nicely and Cura displays its 3D renders from the netbook to the X desktop system just fine using OpenGL remote. By the way, the netbook has NO OpenGL hardware.

On that same X desktop machine every Linux Steam game that I've tried works without any problem.

You want to re-invent the wheel, go right ahead, don't let me stop you. Just quit trying to displace something that works amazingly well for everything I want with some spatch-cocked thing that you cooked up to scratch your own itches.

And stop making asinine claims that nobody wants to do what I do every day.

Re:wayland (1, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43837117)

If you think X11 was "recently broken", you're deluded. It's been a steaming turd for a very long time. And whilst you can't polish a turd, you can dump it in sparkly glitter and it will look a little better than before. But it's still a turd.

Re:wayland (1)

ebh (116526) | about a year ago | (#43836703)

OK, here's the slightest failing I've felt numerous times: Old laptop whose graphics under WinXP were just fine, if a little slow. Install Linux with your favorite desktop (LXDE works best for me on that machine). Machine is under moderate load. Click and drag a window to move it. When you release the mouse button, the window is still following the cursor, because the mouse-button-up event was not handled properly.

JWZ complained abut this sort of thing (events not being presented to the handler in proper order) when he was working on the Unix/X version of Mozilla. ISTR him saying that it was a problem wih the protocol itself, which would explain why the problem persists almost 20 years alter.

Re:wayland (4, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#43836841)

My complaint was simpler. Hot swap monitors in 2003.

in 2003 I could unplug a monitor from my powerbook G4, and plug in a different monitor with a different resolution without causing anything other than window resizing things(and even that was done mostly automatically)

I tried that with linux in 2010 and not only did it crash out X11 but the automatic tool that was supposed to do it wouldn't restart. I didn't want to manually rerwrite x.conf every time I wanted to plugin in a different monitor(something I was doing several times a day).

To this day I miss aspects of transparent network windows. remote desktop/VNC just are not the same. However they are fast/ stable compared to X over anything but a local 100mbit lan.

I truly wish someone would rewrite X from the ground up with some new ideas on how to do the network transparency.

Re:wayland (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43836339)

NIH syndrome, most likely. The opengl performance on X11 is quite good. The nvidia driver shows that it's possible.

Re:wayland (4, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836559)

Just because something is "possible" it doesn't mean it is a good idea. The fact that as per TFA wayland got 20% better power consumption BEFORE they took out a lot of un-necessary data copying should be reason enough for Linux people to sit up and take notice.

Mobile devices are future and a 20% plus reduction in power consumption whilst improving performance is nothing to sneeze at.

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43837043)

*Networked* mobile devices are the future and network transparency makes a lot of sense here (if it would be embraced instead of shoved aside into a backwards compatibility kludge). And every improvement in buffer management which can be achieved in wayland can (and will) be achieved by extending the X protocol. Doing it in Wayland is only because of NIH syndrome and has not a single good technical reason.

Re:wayland (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43837061)

Network transparency, if relevant will be provded by an additional daemon, where it does not have to run as root and does not become part of the local rendering pipeline. Networks are slow, any minimal theoretical performance impact moving the networking outside will incur will not be noticed as it will be imperceptible vs. the latency on even 10 gigabit ethernet.

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836113)

As if Android is a good example for great engineering choices.

Re:wayland (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43837159)

True, with "X" multi device computing was an afterthought...Wayland takes it center stage. Or am I wrong?

Re:wayland (2)

zakkudo (2638939) | about a year ago | (#43835999)

I've seen lots of special ports of packages made to take advantage of the RaspberryPi's gpu. X11 is the most conspicuous one left out. I want to hear you give me this reason.

Re:wayland (4, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#43836061)

You show me documentation on how to write an X video driver, and I'll friggin do it. There is no consistency between the drivers at all to even snag one as a "template". There is no article/paper that I could find that says "Here is how you develop an X video driver".

Re:wayland (4, Insightful)

ebenupton (2424660) | about a year ago | (#43836195)

Amen. X seems to have the highest complexity to documentation ratio of any major software subsystem I've ever come across.

Re:wayland (1)

ADRA (37398) | about a year ago | (#43836577)

I'll be generous and say there are probably all of 50 generic display device drivers written specifically for X11, probably the same for Apple, and maybe double-triple that for Windows drivers. It isn't exactly a large playing field for development efforts to just pick up from nothing, which is also why 99% of drivers are written by the manufacturer of the device.

You could always look into http://www.x.org/wiki/Development [x.org] for guidance, but in the end code is king. X Development is not simple, but neither is graphics development in general, which is why every card on the planet has a large set of incompatible surfaces that all get crushed together behind huge drivers in order to spit out a more or less coherent systems interface that a display server will interoperate with.

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836101)

"Cascade of Attention-Deficit Teenagers"

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836017)

As if exploiting certain hardware features has anything to do with Wayland vs X11.

Of course it does, fool. Hardware acceleration is huge win.

Re:wayland (1)

0123456 (636235) | about a year ago | (#43836055)

Hardware acceleration is huge win.

Yeah, because, as everyone knows, X11 has no hardware acceleration, which is why it sucks and stuff.

Re:wayland (5, Informative)

ebenupton (2424660) | about a year ago | (#43836159)

As the video and Daniel's post explain, we don't lose backwards compatibility because we can host legacy X applications in a Wayland window using XWayland. We get all of the benefits of doing top-level composition in hardware, none of the pain of writing (and maintaining) a hardware-accelerated X driver. Can you explain why anyone starting from a clean slate today would chose to accelerate X itself instead?

Re:wayland (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43836363)

At some point, someone will have to maintain the hardware specific driver. Wayland may or may not be a cleaner api, but the work still has to be done for each device.

Re:wayland (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43836605)

Which is why such drivers should go upstream. That's why the kernel developers want you to push your driver into the kernel - it gets maintained.

Re:wayland (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836641)

Yes, and the cleaner API is everything. If backwards compat can be maintained (it is) and the codebase can be a lot cleaner (it is) and perform better (it does) then why are people so anti-X replacement?

Open source is supposed to be a meritocracy, yet with all the weston hate around here you'd certainly not get that impression every time a weston thread pops up.

Re:wayland (-1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43836451)

I don't care as much about applications that I use now, as about applications that will be written in the future but will be crippled by Wayland. Use one of them, and X11 remote access is broken forever, for everything.

Re:wayland (4, Insightful)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43836663)

Having used PCAnywhere, VNC, X11, ICA, RDP, and PCoIP - X11 rates last in terms of performance. It rates last in terms of features. And before someone says "oh but rootless mode!", RDP and ICA have been able to do that since 1996 or earlier. If X11 is gradually phased out something better will replace it. Like perhaps something developed in the last 15 years.

Re:wayland (-1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43836685)

Having used PCAnywhere, VNC, X11, ICA, RDP, and PCoIP - X11 rates last in terms of performance. It rates last in terms of features.

That's because you used it as if it's PCAnywhere -- to run a single application, over a long, high-latency line. What is not what X11 is for (but X11-based NX is).

Re:wayland (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43837041)

You have no idea what I've done mate. I've also used X11 over 10 megabit ethernet and it's still crap.

Re:wayland (-1, Troll)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43837277)

Then you are among those who will always complain about things that did not come from Microsoft.

Re:wayland (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43837335)

LOL. I have plenty of complaints with Microsoft. But if something is crap, I'll call it crap - i don't particularly care who is responsible for it. X11 is crap. VNC is crap too, but performs somewhat better than X.

Re:wayland (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836807)

So you've never briefly pressed a key when using VNC and seen key repeat go out of control? I've repeatedly (groan) seen the key press got to the other end, but the packet containing the key release was delayed. Never happens with X.

Re:wayland (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#43837051)

Can't say I have. Used to run TightVNC as a remote support tool for about 5 years (supporting 500+ windows boxes at the time) and never seen this issue?

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836631)

Network transparency?

Re:wayland (4, Insightful)

electrofelix (1079387) | about a year ago | (#43836739)

X11 on linux is network capable but really can no longer be classified as network transparent. None of the main rendering engines for X11 on linux are network transparent.

The talk on the state of X11 and Wayland/Weston given by one of the lead developers is a bit of an eye-opener about just how munged up X11 is at this stage.

Re:wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836683)

Wayland with XWayland has backwards compatibility but no forwards compatibility for new applications. Also, by design, XWayland is a second class backwards compatibility kludge with the declared goal that it will be depreciated. Embedded platforms will probably never include it by default and this will break the Linux ecosystem completely (Android already did a lot of damage). In the unlikely case that XWayland would always be included and maintained for compatibility, overall complexity would be higher because now all X11 code would be maintained in addition to everything Wayland adds. So this is clearly not what is planned. And if the only point would be to have a nice API to write drivers against, this could clearly be accomplished by refactoring X11 internally.

Another one with no clue about wayland (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43836783)

none of the pain of writing (and maintaining) a hardware-accelerated X driver

Of course not, since wayland uses those hardware drivers that were written for X. That's a good reuse of good code, avoiding re-invention of the wheel, and you really should have heard of that if you'd spent more then ten seconds learning about wayland instead of spouting "X sux" bullshit.
Once wayland hits new hardware that X doesn't support you get "the pain of writing (and maintaining) a hardware-accelerated driver". There's no point in pretending that drivers happen by magic.

Re:Another one with no clue about wayland (1)

ebenupton (2424660) | about a year ago | (#43837037)

Fascinating points, except that once you've offloaded top-level composition to hardware you've claimed 90% of the benefit that you would have gained from full X hardware acceleration; even on the Pi it makes sense to use the software fallback path for all in-window rendering. I did bother to look into this a bit before opening my checkbook.

Re:wayland (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43837193)

Because most users own multiple device, each of which may require their own accelerator? If Wayland is to replace X, it will need to replace all the drivers needed run on all the devices that X runs on.

Re:wayland (-1, Troll)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43837315)

we don't lose backwards compatibility because we can host legacy X applications in a Wayland window using XWayland.

Come on man, don't be so disingenuous. That is a "true lie" - a technical truth about a similar-sounding issue intended to hide the truth about the real issue at hand. It isn't about "backwards compatibility" it is about network transparency. Most of the people bitching about wayland do so because of the lack of network transparency, not because of backwards compatibility.

When you can run a wayland app on a remote wayland display with good throughput and good latency - something that simple bit-blasting does not accomplish - then all the people will stop complaining. Hell, just come up with a spec for doing it so that there is a path forward and most people will stop bitching.

But going around telling true lies in order to muddy the waters, that doesn't help anyone and makes the people who do understand the technical issues doubt your sincerity.

Fuck backwards compatability (4, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about a year ago | (#43836435)

99% of Linux users want desktop performance, not remote desktop performance. Put that legacy remote shit into a module if you want.

Fuck backwards rumours (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43836793)

Sometime in the 1980s people thought of that problem in X and solved it - local stuff runs at high speed with sockets and the remote stuff only kicks in for remote windows.

Re:Fuck backwards rumours (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43836849)

with sockets

...and shared memory.

Really, it's done already, and better than anything current "architects" can ever do.

Re:Fuck backwards compatability (0)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43837211)

I smell a gamer.

Not that there's anything wrong with a gaming platform. But if platforms are being driven single-mindedly toward an architecture optimized for one class of app. I say: Go get your own platform (an Xbox). Desktop means we may need to minimize your precious full screen game. Maybe open another app on top of it. Maybe even a client from a remote system. So, if we have to strip everything out to satisfy your performance requirements, forget it.

If Wayland can manage multiple client windows and handle remote X clients, then maybe its worth a shot. We'll see.

Re:Fuck backwards compatability (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43837219)

No reason to run Linux if all you are worried about is desktop performance. Why in the world would you even consider using Linux if you can't think outside your own box?

Who gives a shit about the raspberry pi? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836071)

Some piece of crap ARM11 that Broadcom had a pile of around and wanted to get rid of. *who gives a shit* why does anyone spend time wanking over crap hardware and what runs on it? Oh that's right, it's Slashdot...

Re:Who gives a shit about the raspberry pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836225)

Its because the hardware is economical and affordable in the global market on a massive scale.

THAT is just one of the many reasons why.

Re:Who gives a shit about the raspberry pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836519)

you forgot, for 2004

Nice. Let me know when Wayland has networking (0, Troll)

LaughingRadish (2694765) | about a year ago | (#43836097)

Wayland working on Pi is nice, but it's still a non-starter as long as it lacks networking.

Re:Nice. Let me know when Wayland has networking (3, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43836467)

Especially considering that Pi would be a perfect example of a device that benefits from X11-style remote applications -- being based on a video decoder SoC, it has somewhat nice GPU but tiny CPU.

Re:Nice. Let me know when Wayland has networking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43836591)

Good luck doing anything remotely bandwidth intensive or latency sensitive over the flaky as fuck USB-Ethernet on the B.

Re:Nice. Let me know when Wayland has networking (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43836695)

Good luck doing anything remotely bandwidth intensive or latency sensitive over the flaky as fuck USB-Ethernet on the B.

Evidence?

Re:Nice. Let me know when Wayland has networking (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43837231)

Wayland isn't about networking, it's about being pretty on a single device. Perhaps in the end their efforts might be incorporated into a proper networking graphical system like X though, so I earnestly encourage them to push on with their work!

Cool (0)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year ago | (#43836153)

But now that Ubuntu's moving towards Mir, Wayland is pointless. I mean, Wayland can't possibly be any good, otherwise why would Mir be in development? At least that's what people have told me.

ok cool (0, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43836509)

but it doesnt change the fact the pi is a circa 2000 computer doing 2013 tasks ... poorly and hacky

Re:ok cool (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43836597)

Yup, "poorly." Not simply at speeds to be expected of an ARM11 CPU, poorly. Not "well", like a $500 system. And "hacky," whatever the hell that means.

Re:ok cool (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43836715)

Makes a great brain for my MAME cabinet... Apparently there was a LOT of "poorly" made arcade hardware up until just a few years ago.

Re:ok cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43837039)

Your mame cabinet is a piece of shit in a wooden box if you have an HDMI tv or monitor mounted in it.

Be a man and own real arcade machines.

Re:ok cool (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43837287)

I was totally serving small personal websites on a $35 computer at 5 watts with 247 days of uptime, yep yessireebob.

Desktop is forgotten (1)

Brandybuck (704397) | about a year ago | (#43837057)

Wouldn't it be great if this kind of effort was applied to the desktop?

Re:Desktop is forgotten (0)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43837111)

there is no need to, your not running a 32 bit 700Mhhz machine trying to compete in 2013

Re:Desktop is forgotten (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43837491)

there is no need to, your not running a 32 bit 700Mhhz machine trying to compete in 2013

Except said 700MHz machine is running a fairly modern and high end GPU.

The processor in it was designed for media tanks and media players - think Roku, WDTV, AppleTV, Popcorn Hour, and other such devices. The CPU load for those things is low (just enough to display a UI and handle streaming the media to the GPU). The GPU is capable of handling decent 3D performance at 1080p resolution as well as video decode and other tasks.

It's why the processor is weak and why XBMC is stuttery, but when using a GPU accellerated task like video playback, it can play 1080p video.

All these guys have done was to exploit the power of the GPU - including the 2D accelerator, to improve performance even more. The less CPU devoted to graphics task, the more for your tasks that can't use the GPU.

Re:Desktop is forgotten (1)

EzInKy (115248) | about a year ago | (#43837243)

Wayland is specifically for the desktop, multi-device network graphics are the least of its concerns.

Re:Desktop is forgotten (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#43837503)

This uses special 2D hardware you find in cell phone chips and some gaming (handheld or home) consoles. It offloads scaling, color space conversion, maybe rotation, JPEG decoding etc., maybe encoding the output of a digital camera; on a PC's graphics card you try using the video scaler but it's more limited and "fixed function".

For instance you can look at "Video Display Controller" and "Image Processor" on these diagrams (not too sure about the first one)
http://images.anandtech.com/doci/3912/boxee-02.gif [anandtech.com]
http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/SoC/NVIDIA/Tegra2/tegra2blocki.jpg [anandtech.com]

On a PC they just send everything to OpenGL instead, which is more wasteful but because the computer is so powerful and can afford power to be wasted, the Wayland/Ubuntu/Gnome 3 devs think it is okay for you (of course it is disastrous if your OpenGL driver is not up to par, doesn't exist or if you want to run a desktop in a VM)
Intel Quicksync could probably be used, it's a kind of DSP you find in recent Intel CPUs but it's maybe not supported on Linux and Intel disables it on Celeron and Pentium (assholes).

Easier fix (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a year ago | (#43837389)

Configure your window manager to not show the windows's content when you move them.
Job done! my 386 could do that. Dunno where's Openbox's setting for that but xfwm4 has it as a checkbox in a GUI tool.

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