×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Clearing Up Wayland FUD, Misconceptions

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the where-there's-a-will,-there's-a-wayland dept.

Graphics 240

An anonymous reader writes "In clearing up common misconceptions about Wayland (e.g. it breaking compatibility with the Linux desktop and it not supporting remote desktops like X), Eric Griffith (a Linux developer) and Daniel Stone (a veteran X.Org developer) have written The Wayland Situation in which they clearly explain the facts about the shortcomings of X, the corrections made by Wayland, and the advantages to this alternative to Canonical's in-development Mir."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

240 comments

Am I the only one? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940525)

Who thought that "The Wayland Situation" was the title of a 70s sci-fi novel?

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 10 months ago | (#43940643)

It sounds like a title for a TOS episode to me.

Re:Am I the only one? (1)

aix tom (902140) | about 10 months ago | (#43940987)

Re:Am I the only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941151)

That seems appropriate. Seeing whom it is coming from.

Really now. The same devs that got the previous incarnation so horribly wrong. That can't do documentation to save their lives. That have trouble putting the right characters in the right order. Not a native speaker and it just stands out how sloppily that thing is written.

The points they're trying to bring across would be good ones if they could write coherently about them. Instead we get a cartload of powerpoint bullets. Bit of the wrong platform, eh? But even so, the FUD is what they ended up reaping, well-deservedly so because that's what they sowed. They haven't been communicating very well. And they still are not.

Remoting (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940549)

Better remoting than with X11? Seriously? I'm in!

Just recall to support authentication (certificates, kerberos, and/or ssh piping), and root windowless operation, and you will get every admin that works in corporate environments at least to test Wayland. If it manages to fulfill the promise on better reactivity (== better usability), Wayland will catch like wildfire.

Re:Remoting (2, Interesting)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 10 months ago | (#43940771)

I really appreciate what Cnonical has done for Linux. I think they've helped push it to a much wider audience than it would have had otherwise ... but I'd liek to know why the hell they can't play nice with others and use/contribute to Wayland, KDE, Gnome, etc? They've come up with their own desktop, which is not bad, but now they're creating Mir instead of Wayland, and are apparently creating a new package manager as well. We'dget much better products out sooner if everyone worked towards the same goals.

Re:Remoting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941059)

Wayland does not do any remoting, at all. The article only says it "should", which translates into DOES NOT.

Re:Remoting (4, Insightful)

unrtst (777550) | about 10 months ago | (#43941195)

I've been a supporter of X11 for some time, but only as a user. I know how to use it, and it's more or less the same as it was ages ago. That heritage will be difficult to break, especially the network transparency it has (which some claim it doesn't really have if you're using DRI2 etc, but you don't have to use those).

However, I've read enough of these rants from both camps to start looking at this differently.

Back when X.org started, I was surprised that it became the norm so quickly. It did so because it worked, could be dropped in, and had some improvements.

AFAICT, Wayland isn't done yet. As a user, we're judging too early. Right now, they really only need to be convincing toolkit, driver, and X developers to get that development on board.

Once Wayland is drop-in usable with all common apps, it won't matter to the user except for how it performs in their various tasks. Once it gets to the point that, for example, a Ubuntu user could "sudo apt-get install wayland-somethingorother && dpkg-reconfigure somethingorother" to try it out, then we'll see if it lives up to the hype.

There are plenty of things it's saying it'll do that sound good. The parts that worry me from my naive perspective will be answered when it's usable, such as:
* apps having to do all the rendering. What about apps that don't do this now? Are we really going to force them through X, or will there be some middleware they can use, etc?
* the mini x server solution... there was a problem noted due to the change in coordinate systems. How will that be solved? What other problems may we run into? etc.
* the network transparency question. They haven't completed this yet. They may not ever do it (might be 3rd party). There's already some other attempts at this that show something can be done with it, but it's just not finalized yet. We just have to wait and see.
* remoting apps, and how that will relate to interoperability. Sounds like I'll be able to pull an X app up on my local Wayland desktop and have it displayed using the built in mini x server (maybe). What about the reverse? How do you export a Wayland app to a client that is only running X.org?

Seems to me that those are all solvable. Will the solutions pan out? well.. seems like those are still a work in (early) progress.

It's far enough now that there's no point in asking, "why do this?" or "why not fix X?" etc.. they're doing it, period. I'm done reading these things now, cause it's just a matter of "will it succeed?" (and it won't unless all the stuff people have been bitching about are solved, so who cares for now?)

Re:Remoting (5, Interesting)

spitzak (4019) | about 10 months ago | (#43941375)

* apps having to do all the rendering. What about apps that don't do this now? Are we really going to force them through X, or will there be some middleware they can use, etc?

Apps can use the Cairo library to render. That is what most of them are doing now anyway, since that is the only practical way to get antialiased lines and scalable images on X.

* the mini x server solution... there was a problem noted due to the change in coordinate systems. How will that be solved? What other problems may we run into? etc.

The problem was not really described correctly. The Wayland developers have this idea that applications should not know what their window positions are (I don't agree with this btw). X applications when they do the X api to figure out the window position are told it is at 0,0. On X an application wanting to make a popup menu not go off the screen, compared it's window position to the screen position, and thus knew where to place the menu (on Wayland the client says what position it wants the menu in (relative to it's window) and is told how it will be clipped, so the client can try another position). This means some errors with the popup of menus in X applications.

I was under the impression that they "fixed" this by allowing the X emulation to get at the secret information about where the window is. I complained on the mailing list that this means that X clients have a special privledge and they really should allow regular clients to get this secret info, but was ignored.

* the network transparency question. They haven't completed this yet. They may not ever do it (might be 3rd party). There's already some other attempts at this that show something can be done with it, but it's just not finalized yet. We just have to wait and see.
* remoting apps, and how that will relate to interoperability. Sounds like I'll be able to pull an X app up on my local Wayland desktop and have it displayed using the built in mini x server (maybe). What about the reverse? How do you export a Wayland app to a client that is only running X.org?

It looks like they are planning to use per-window RDP. This makes sense because the api and remote clients already exist, and you would run an X RDP client to display the Wayland windows.

The Manchurian Candidate (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940561)

Why not fix X?

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940583)

Because it would require completely rearchitecting and breaking the protocol.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940789)

I have never seen a good argument for this.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (5, Informative)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 10 months ago | (#43940795)

I have never seen a good argument for this.

Read the article, then.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 10 months ago | (#43941323)

I've never delved too deeply into X, but none of the issues pointed out in the article really seemed all that compelling.

They seemed like the kind of quirks you end up in any large system. I assume wayland will trade them for a completely different set of quirks.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 10 months ago | (#43940833)

Which is what they amount to by inventing an entirely new system anyways.... So the difference is...?

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#43941307)

As they say in TFA: Calling it X12 or X20 or whatever will call in all the persons who care about X trying to meddle. Calling it Wayland will leave the others mainly uninterested, so the developer team can work on stuff.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1, Insightful)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 10 months ago | (#43940671)

Why not fix X?

The simplest and most obvious answer: it's easier and faster to just not bother and start from scratch.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (4, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43940799)

Well he gave an answer in the article: if you move to "fix X", you end up making X12. And when you do that, all the stakeholders in X come out of the woodwork and insist on preserving all the legacy parts of the system that, frankly, don't belong.

The way things have unfolded, X11 will become a library on top of Wayland. And that's perfectly fine.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#43940895)

> The way things have unfolded, X11 will become a library on top of Wayland. And that's perfectly fine.

Sounds like X running on Windows.

If you don't understand what's wrong with that, or you try to claim there is nothing wrong with that, then you really have no clue why people are resisting Wayland.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 10 months ago | (#43940971)

No, it's rootless X running on Wayland which in turn is running on Linux. X is not going to behave appreciably different than if you were running it directly.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941057)

If you don't understand what's wrong with that

I've seen what happens when you run X11 apps on windows. All the fancy widget themes and whatnot break. If that's not it, then I invite you to enlighten me.

you try to claim there is nothing wrong with that

I love the blind implication that the exact same whatever will happen with Wayland and, therefore, we should oppose Wayland.

you really have no clue why people are resisting Wayland.

The only argument I've seen is the lack of network transparency, often poorly worded with no actual technical argument behind it.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 months ago | (#43941673)

The only argument I've seen is the lack of network transparency, often poorly worded with no actual technical argument behind it.

Sounds like you aren't interested in hearing the arguments, but I'll try. Practically all X11 apps can run remotely - the ones that can't are likely to be inherently limited, like video players or 3d first person shooters that have bandwidth and latency requirements that are transport constrained. Outside of those types and pathological configurations, remote X11 just works for all apps.

V) "Wayland can't do remoting." Wrong. Wayland should be BETTER than X at remoting, partially do its asynchronous-by-design nature. Wayland remoting will probably look a like a higher-performance version of VNC, a prototype already exists. And this is without us even giving it serious thought about how to make it better. We could probably do better if we tried.

"We haven't given it serious thought" is a particularly bad approach to convince people to quit bitching. Show us a well thought out plan to support per window/application remoting, not vnc-style desktop remoting and that will shut up practically everyone. Act like you really don't give a shit and nobody will have any confidence that it ever will "better than X."

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (4, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | about 10 months ago | (#43941793)

I've seen demos of Wayland that had per window remoting, including moving and cloning per window across different diplays. Wouldn't it be nice if xmove still actually worked for most applications? If you could just move your application across Xservers as you wished and didn't have to worry about temporary network outages killing you application? Well apparently Wayland can do that. So it seems to me that Wayland has potentially more to offer in terms of network transparency than X. It isn't done yet, so let's wait and see. Everything I've seen looks very promising.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 months ago | (#43941889)

It isn't done yet, so let's wait and see. Everything I've seen looks very promising.

I don't know what you saw, but what I just read at the cited article is that the people designing wayland have barely given it a second thought. That attitude does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941989)

Sounds like you aren't interested in hearing the arguments, but I'll try.

No, I'm just tired of bad arguments.

Practically all X11 apps can run remotely - the ones that can't are likely to be inherently limited, like video players or 3d first person shooters that have bandwidth and latency requirements that are transport constrained. Outside of those types and pathological configurations, remote X11 just works for all apps.

That's nice. But it's a very limited subset of how computers are used, and there's nothing in Wayland that makes it impossible to do this.

"We haven't given it serious thought" is a particularly bad approach to convince people to quit bitching.

Maybe because they know you won't even when they make an entirely point and put it in front of you? Read what he said:

Wayland remoting will probably look a like a higher-performance version of VNC, a prototype already exists. And this is without us even giving it serious thought about how to make it better. We could probably do better if we tried.

When he said "without us giving it a serious thought about how to make it better" he said that, out of the gate, it was better than X11 remoting and better than VNC remoting without them even seriously trying and that if they had, it would be even better.

It's not "we don't care," it's that "we've got it handled better than X, easily."

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941995)

Augh, bad engrish today.

Maybe because they know you won't even when they make an entirely point and put it in front of you?

should read

Maybe because they know you won't even when they make a point and put it in front of you?

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#43941557)

Yes, because if it's not X12 then you can actually break it. If it's X12 then you'll be forced to keep some broken stuff. Maybe you'll be allowed to say that something is deprecated until X13 though, but that means it could be another 26 years until it's removed.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (4, Interesting)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 10 months ago | (#43940935)

Why not fix X?

The simplest and most obvious answer: it's easier and faster to just not bother and start from scratch.

In addition, X was originally written when networks and client systems were slow(er). Many of original design decisions are no longer appropriate with respect to the X server code complexity and maintenance requirements. A long (long) time ago, I wrote a program (called CXC - Concurrent X Control) to manage the low-level X protocol (think everything in the X11 Volume 0 book) and support transparent X traffic interception, blocking, redirection and insertion for a CBT application (called CAST) and, if I remember correctly, I remember wanting to off myself (or at least start drinking heavily) after trying to make sense of it all. Just my $.02.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 10 months ago | (#43941355)

In addition, X was originally written when networks and client systems were slow(er).

So if Wayland only works on a fast network, it will not win me. Heck, many X11 applications are far too slow over DSL (I guess those are the applications which do not use the X core, but all those "better" alternatives). I prefer a less pretty window I can interact with to a pretty one which I is too slow to use.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#43941643)

X was also designed when your workstations were very expensive, so having things like an X Server dumb terminal was a good idea. Keep all the jobs running on your departmental super mini computer, and hand out xterms to the staff. Save money and you get a larger display than you would otherwise (meanwhile PCs are still running DOS).

What's interesting is that in the intervening decades that all the power moved over to the client on the desktop, and now it's starting to be moved back to the backoffice again using thin clients.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940713)

It ain't broke.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 10 months ago | (#43940949)

Fix the protocol (e.g. by using UDP and unidirectional traffic where possible, deprecating a bunch of obsolete crap) and you break it. It's no longer X any more. At that point why bother fixing X?

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941577)

The protocol is fine. The toolkits need to be changed not to wait for every reply. But nobody ever bothered... There are many other things possible with X11 which nobody never bothered to implement, e.g. one could easily implement connect/disconnect or moving windows between displays, which would be really cool nowadays with wireless connecitvity everywhere. But wobbly windows had prioritiy.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (3, Informative)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 10 months ago | (#43940951)

Why not fix X?

The article answers that question on the very first page. (Scroll down to the bottom.)

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941015)

Because it wasn't invented here.

Re:The Manchurian Candidate (4, Informative)

Sique (173459) | about 10 months ago | (#43941601)

It was invented here. A large share of the Wayland developers are ex-X11-developers. They know X11 from the inside.

show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (0, Flamebait)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43940585)

wayland, mir, etc are all fine in theory.

but have you ever tried to actually install one of them on your own machine and get a hello world program working?

this crap is, at best, alpha quality software. its just utter vapor ware.

i sound like a grumpy old man, but thats because i have been hearing about the "demise of X" since, oh, around 1997. There was SVGALIB, there was GGI, there was SDL, there was Cairo, there was Display Postscript and its various iterations, there was all sorts of stuff. And here we are, still with X.

In 2013.

That's 20 years since linux was created. 20 years and the only widely adoptd alternative to X is on Android, and i dont even know what its' called.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940623)

> have you ever tried to actually install one of them on your own machine and get a hello world program working?

Yup (Wayland). Guessing you haven’t.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940677)

First, SDL isn't an alternative display technology, it's a library which works on top of X (and Weston). Second, I am running KDE on Weston right now and it is working pretty well. It's not ready to replace X for most users yet, but it's stable and getting close to ready for mass consumption.

are you running X? (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941773)

if you arent running without X, then you arent running without X.

  you missed the whole point of my rant

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (0)

iggymanz (596061) | about 10 months ago | (#43940687)

You're too grumpy to be thinking clearly.

There are far more Macs than desktop Linux or Unix machines, they don't run X normally.

There are far more Windows boxes too.

And as you point out, Android and all the other mobile device OS far outweigh Linux or Unix desktop.

So there you go, X is mostly dead but for us fringe Linux or BSD desktop users. Yay for your worries.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about 10 months ago | (#43940829)

Why, did the machines running X ever outnumber the Macs at any point in history? Also, Windows is not UNIX, and neither is Android, which isn't even a desktop OS, so why would their prosperity be a measure of the "death" of X as a windowing system for UNIX?

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

gagol (583737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941383)

I think you fall under the "Go ahead and implement X12 by yourself" category.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#43940915)

> There are far more Windows boxes too.

Ironically, you Wayland fanboys are going to make sure that the remote access features that have been adopted by Windows are ripped out of Linux.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941205)

Ironically, you Wayland fanboys are going to make sure that the remote access features that have been adopted by Windows are ripped out of Linux.

I see we're whipping out the baseless attacks now!

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43940729)

but have you ever tried to actually install one of them on your own machine and get a hello world program working?

Yes, I did it on my Raspberry Pi using the implementation of Weston that they discussed.

this crap is, at best, alpha quality software. its just utter vapor ware.

Making your ignorance plain is quite helpful to others in knowing to avoid you.

i sound like a grumpy old man, but thats because i have been hearing about the "demise of X" since, oh, around 1997. [...] And here we are, still with X.

Yes, here we are, still with X. That doesn't make X good and it doesn't mean Wayland has made no progress. In fact the biggest driver of the Wayland transition is the wide availability of graphics accelerators that we didn't have back in 1997.

I won't really shed a tear when X is reduced to a library that sits on top of Wayland. I will enjoy improved performance and compositing that Wayland brings.

i dont even know what its' called.

SurfaceFlinger. Of course, no one has actually adopted it. It's just prevalent because of Android.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about 10 months ago | (#43941341)

As the only other human I've seen mention Wayland on the Raspberry Pi, I'm forced to funnel my questions to you. I apologize. I tried to install it months ago using the huge pile of instructions at freedesktop.org. It didn't work. When they put the actual install package up, I ran that, and it sort-of worked. I have to run export somethingorother_path=/tmp/ && weston to run it every time. That's all fine.

I don't NEED it, but I'm excited to try it. And now here I am without a file manager, or really anything at all that runs under Weston. They all complain about needing an X display. Do I really have to install X11-under-Weston using their other huge page of instructions to do anything interesting? Because if I do, I'm guessing it won't work... Is there a repo, or are they any package around that I can install just to have some fun, and take it for a legitimate non-X11 spin?

I barely got Apache installed properly. I wish the Raspberry Pi Foundation would just release a Weston Testng Fun Times Image I could flash.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941449)

I tried to install it months ago using the huge pile of instructions at freedesktop.org. It didn't work.

Given that the "huge pile of instructions" are build instructions, unless you're familiar with building from source it's probably best avoided.

I have to run export somethingorother_path=/tmp/ && weston to run it every time.

Probably LD_LOAD_PATH, because their setup is installing to the user's home directory and not the system, to keep things clean. It's entirely testing centric at this point.

Do I really have to install X11-under-Weston using their other huge page of instructions to do anything interesting?

If everything "interesting" you're doing currently uses X11 libraries, yes.

I barely got Apache installed properly.

No offense, but if this is true then I doubt you really need to worry about (or comment on the difficulty of setting up) Weston just yet.

I wish the Raspberry Pi Foundation would just release a Weston Testng Fun Times Image I could flash.

Which is wholly off topic for them.

bullshit, horse shit, cow shit (2)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941837)

if a program cannot build easily on a standard linux machine, its not going to be adopted by hundred of millions of people and its not going to topple an installed standard with a huge userbase

the 'user is wong' attitude is what doomed every display system before and will doom wayland just the same.

get the thing to compile out of the box or dont ship it. a simple philosophy. we have cmake, autoconf, scons, choose your poison

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (3, Interesting)

Beardydog (716221) | about 10 months ago | (#43941901)

I'm not worried about it, or complaining about the difficulty of installing it, as I'm aware that I'm currently not the target audience (although the Apache comment was hyperbole). Just wondering if I had missed anything, or if the current situation really was "build xwayland or gtfo." It sounds like the answer is, "build xwayland or gtfo."

watch out they will accuse you of FUD (0)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941809)

if you spend 8 hours trying to make your computer show a triangle on the screen, and fail, obviously its your fault.

welcome to the pre-ubuntu linux asshole philosophy of user support.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about 10 months ago | (#43941363)

Also, I feel the need to watch Burn Notice every time I start Weston up.

i dont have a raspberry pi (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941785)

which is why i said 'on my desktop PC'. which has a user base of, oh, several ten-million

not some niche little fad product with 512mb of RAM that has a month waiting list so hipsterss can pretend they are saving money

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

Requiem18th (742389) | about 10 months ago | (#43941943)

Actually learning that Wayland is being developed by former X developers removed most of my ancieties about it. Now I just want to know when it's going to be production ready and if it is going to support my craphics card.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (2)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about 10 months ago | (#43940745)

Just as an interesting addendum, Quartz is a PDF-based display system descended from Display Postscript, and I'm pretty sure OS X/iOS between them have far more installations than X.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about 10 months ago | (#43941705)

My Mac has X on it. It came with OSX as an optional install until recent releases and it's still a free download.

Mac doesn't necessarily mean no X. In fact, some programs REQUIRE IT like some high end math stat programs.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 10 months ago | (#43940979)

That's 20 years since linux was created. 20 years and the only widely adoptd alternative to X is on Android, and i dont even know what its' called.

Hold on there, cowboy – you can't just hand-wave away Android, since Android deployments outnumber desktop X11 deployments by several orders of magnitude! Android is succeeding at end-user adoption where X11 has failed miserably for your "20 years", so you should be looking at Android for guidance, not dismissing it as a blip.

By the way, when Linux is used in an embedded system like a media player, they usually use DirectFB or something similar (if they're not using Android) – not X11. The truth is that X11 is utterly, completely unsuitable for anything a non-technical end user ever sees.

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941021)

Android is succeeding at end-user adoption where X11 has failed miserably for your "20 years", so you should be looking at Android for guidance, not dismissing it as a blip.

The only lesson to be learned here is that if you've got Google driving you, you're probably going to succeed. Suggesting that there is anything to be learned here about X11 vs. SurfaceFlinger is ridiculous.

The truth is that X11 is utterly, completely unsuitable for anything a non-technical end user ever sees.

Which is entirely untrue. By that logic my N9 is completely unsuitable for use by anyone "non-technical" because it uses Xorg, but most people would be completely unable to tell.

my desktop PC is not an embedded system (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941865)

show me how to write OpenGL hello world programs for DirectFB on my desktop PC

Re:show me hello world on my own pc or STFU (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941227)

Install Fedora 18 or 19, then it's just two commands:

# yum install wayland weston
$ weston

At which point a small window will appear inside which runs a weston desktop session. Within that you can then startup a terminal and type "echo 'hello world'" and it all works just fine, but thanks for the usual display of ignorance!

more bullshit... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940659)

Let me summarize:

1. Some old unused X11 API is bad

Comment: If it is needed for backwards compatiblity, it is needed for compatibility. We know you don't give a shit, and for you toying with wobbling windows on touch displays is more important.

2. Something is broken, but we won't fix it in X11 because we now play with Wayland.

Comment: Then shut the fuck up and leave my system working as it is (and did the last decades).

3. The feature you are using on a daily basis (networks transparency) and works perfectly is actually a NIGHTMARE to use and has to go.

Comment: Please tell me more about what is working for me and what not.

Re:more bullshit... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940731)

You can still use your broken-ass X all you want, Captain Neckbeard.

Let me know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940663)

From the article: "Once XWayland is finalized and merged we should have more-or-less perfect backwards compatibility because every X app just gets its own mini X-server to deal with."

Dear Wayland developers: once you get that worked out, let me know.

Re:Let me know (0)

PPH (736903) | about 10 months ago | (#43941023)

because every X app just gets its own mini X-server to deal with

And that's fine, as long as those mini X-servers are network capable. But then, don't have people from the Wayland camp follow up with "nobody needs a networked display". Or "my app has to have full screen. You can't open a window on top or minimize my app because everybody is a gamer."

X is full of cruft because it has attempted to support may different group's requirements over the years rather than throwing them out as "not important".

The only good thing about Wayland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940737)

Is its name. The problem with X? Some people cant set it up and the latest modifications are stupid ( a BLACK screen, really? What was wrong with the mesh?).
Wayland is being made because the guy who writes it want too, not because there is anything inherently wrong with X. Wayland is NOT a cure, its just a new thing... which is good since new stuff is fun. (and the name is soo cool!)

Re:The only good thing about Wayland (2)

gagol (583737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941457)

Wayland is being made because the guy who writes it want too, not because there is anything inherently wrong with X.

Most Wayland developers are X developers, they did it exactly because X is a pile of bull crap...

Interesting arguments... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940759)

Media Coherence. Whats Media Coherence? In its simplest terms... Your browser window? That's a window. Your flash player window on youtube? The flash player itself, displaying the video, is a sub-window. What keeps them in sync? Absolutely nothing. The events are handled separately and right now you just pray that they don't get processed too far apart. Which is why when you scroll on Youtube ,or other video sites with a video playing, sometimes everything tears and chunks.

I've actually noticed that, and wondered why it did it. I figured it was a browser bug or something to do with my particular setup. Interesting that it's a much deeper problem according to TFA.

Since it is, is there some workaround? Because it's anoying as fuck.

Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 10 months ago | (#43940837)

Each application does its own rendering? 31-bit pixel counter?

This sounds like it's all pixels, like X, rather than geometry, like NeWS or display postscript.

So if I have monitors with high resolution I still have to tell all the applications to change their size, individually, or use a microscope to read the text, right?

If I stretch a window (intending to scale it, rather than just see more of what it shows) it has to go back to the application for re-rendering, right?

And if I have adjacent monitors with different resolutions they won't match up. Heaven help me if I lay a window across the boundary between two, the T between 3, or the + between four. Right?

Or have I missed something?

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (3, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43940999)

So if I have monitors with high resolution I still have to tell all the applications to change their size, individually, or use a microscope to read the text, right?

You're using a modern toolkit, one that scales depending on the DPI reported by the display server, right? Wayland is entirely correct to be aware of pixels, it's your toolkit that should provide and operate with geometry which it translates into a rendered output that is placed into the buffer that Wayland manages.

If I stretch a window (intending to scale it, rather than just see more of what it shows) it has to go back to the application for re-rendering, right?

If the toolkit is any good, the application won't be aware of it.

And if I have adjacent monitors with different resolutions they won't match up. Heaven help me if I lay a window across the boundary between two, the T between 3, or the + between four. Right?

A bit of reading would suggest that scaling would be employed on a per-monitor basis, I don't have time to read in depth to figure out what the logic is behind it.

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941169)

> You're using a modern toolkit, one that scales depending on the DPI reported by the display server, right?

I was under the impression that a "toolkit" is basically a software library that sits between the application and the X server, and that the application is tightly tied to the toolkit used for its development.

How, then, could an end user choose which toolkit he/she is using, as you suggest? Assuming the situation that Ungrounded Lightning described.

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 10 months ago | (#43941233)

How, then, could an end user choose which toolkit he/she is using, as you suggest?

Sorry, I phrased that from a developer's perspective. Few developers really have any need to worry about pixels in their UI, and shouldn't be for this very reason.

Assuming the situation that Ungrounded Lightning described.

Well if it's an arbitrary, raster-based toolkit then I assume it'll be scaled by some system default, just like they're scaled on OS X. It's a transitional period where we're going to be breaking things for a bit as we identify all the things that don't handle high dpi screens well.

will it be broken just like fucking Retina? (-1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941951)

i keep reaading articles about how apps dont look proper on retina displays -- because the allmighty display-PDF of Mac OSX doesnt really actually use vector graphics nor do its toolkits.

even in the walled garden, we can see the emperor's new clothes are a sham, and he is naked

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941859)

I have been witnessing the failure of vector-based toolkits. Even as this brave new world rolls on, it has forgotten something, and that is vector-based toolkits produce abysmally bad font rendering on low-DPI monitors. All this old stuff must sometimes be resurrected and what looks like obsolete baggage ends up being critical in certain accessibility situations.

My light sensitivities are way not-normal, and anti-aliasing just looks wrong to me on anything less than a retina display. Ugly and usable is so much better than messing with my eyes.

shhh dont actually list facts (1)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43941959)

you will scare the nutjobs who like to draw castles in their cheerios and tell you to go live there.

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941087)

I'm guessing there will be toolkit libraries like GTK and QT that will handle all that you mentioned, like scaling. Wayland will handle things at the pixel level, and hopefully do it well, and by leaving the higher stuff to the toolkits, wayland won't get overly complicated. (sorry for the runon)

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about 10 months ago | (#43941249)

Not much, except that all modern Linux software already does this because X is utterly obsolete as a drawing toolkit. Wayland is pretty much the answer to "If we assume the toolkits look at X like a dumb framebuffer, how much of X can we throw away? And fix some deep design issues in a process." That's it, nothing more. It's not an either-or, nothing prevents you from building an overlay that talks geometry to clients and pixels to Wayland, if you can get any traction for that. But then you're probably going to compete with similar functionality in GTK+, Qt, wxWidgets, OpenGL, OpenGL ES, SDL and so on that all like to render pixels. Unless you can force developers to use one library like Windows and OS X can you'll be just another library clamoring for support. But they all need something to render on and that's Wayland.

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941403)

As much as I agree with you that display postscript or some other vector-based graphics system seems like a much cleaner solution to scaling, just setting the DPI appropriately (which should be done automatically, but can be tweaked manually if you want different scaling) works fine on Linux (XFCE) in my experience. Not sure about multiple monitors with different DPIs though; I've only seen such setups in OS X, which does do a good job of handling it sanely.

Re:Sounds like it's still "all pixels" (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 10 months ago | (#43941795)

Basically in the past we had a big fat X11 with big fat clients. Now it will be a thin display server with big fat clients. Much of the bulk in X11 was not being used or being done separately in the client anyway. Ie, clients are already doing all the pixels themselves rather than doing geometry if they're built on top of modern toolkits.

However what's not being talked about is what sort of layer is going to sit between Wayland and the clients. It won't be big and bulky though, it'll probably be thin. When they say "clients" they mean the client is going to be using a library that talks to some of this middle layer. Ie, the desktop manager, an entity that knows about all the screens you have, etc. However I'm pretty sure that early on that most clients will just be legacy clients using an X11 wrapper. Over time though there will be newer clients and new client libraries, the same way that toolkits started sprouting up after X10/X11.

Mir? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43940847)

As an Ubuntu user, and somewhat of a fan, I was hoping to see the discussion on Mir vs Wayland. But where is it? The only mentions of Mir I see are in the Phoronix summary, and the slashdot summary. Only the slashdot summary makes it seem like Mir is talked about.

I don't have the knowledge to decide whether Mir is a good or bad way to do things (and certainly the "I hate anything that caninical does" sentiment of slashdot isn't informative either), so it would have been nice to here about Mir from someone who knows what they are talking about.

Re:Mir? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941165)

I was wondering about this too. There is no mention of Mir in the article.

Re:Mir? (2)

coliverhb (886806) | about 10 months ago | (#43941317)

I went digging after reading this article, here's the only thing I've found:

Mir in Kubuntu [martin-graesslin.com]

Halfway down, he compares the two - it doesn't look like there's much concrete info about Mir though.

Summary: Philosophical differences in development style, server-allocated buffers vs. client-allocated buffers.

Re:Mir? (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about 10 months ago | (#43941549)

There isn't anything about Mir. I think Phoronix made a booboo in their summary. It was only intended to explain some things about Wayland, Mir is out of scope.

didn't you read my epic rant? (-1, Troll)

decora (1710862) | about 10 months ago | (#43942005)

MIR and Wayland are both airy-fairy piles of shitty vaporware that a whole 12 people have managed to get installed and working.

No mention of remote anything in the article (1)

LaughingRadish (2694765) | about 10 months ago | (#43940881)

Not supporting remoting is a misconception about Wayland? I certainly didn't see any discussion about that in the article. Would someone please point out a web page that discusses Wayland's remote capabilities?

Re:No mention of remote anything in the article (2)

gigne (990887) | about 10 months ago | (#43940931)

there is more than one page

Re:No mention of remote anything in the article (2)

LaughingRadish (2694765) | about 10 months ago | (#43941213)

Okay, I see now. Some other observations: 1) It sounds like Wayland doesn't do remoting yet. 2) The way they're talking about it suggests it's desktop-only -- no starting an application on some other machine and displaying it on the local machine.

#1 isn't too bad -- they're working on it. #2 has me more concerned. Are they planning on having it be able to export individual applications rather than just the entire deskstop?

Re:No mention of remote anything in the article (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941413)

FTFA, page 3, point VI:

every X app just gets its own mini X-server to deal with

That sounds like it will be pretty straightforward to support individual apps remotely.

Re:No mention of remote anything in the article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941743)

each app gets it's own framebuffer. I send the frames for just that one apps buffer over the network.

In practice, most X11 apps basicly do this (poorly) already anyway. (or atleast that's the argument of the wayland developers)

Not a good architecture for alternate guis (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941153)

With the release of hardware drivers for the Raspberry Pi I decided to investigate Wayland a bit further.

One thing that has confused me about Wayland is "where are all the alternate GUIs?", X window managers number in the hundreds with every man and his dog writing one.. The extremely basic GUI seen in Weston has barely changed in years.

It seems that Wayland has thrown away X's 'mechanism, not policy' mantra, and the architecture combines device drivers, the display server and the window manager into one blob (the reference one being Weston). This means that every alternate GUI needs to know how to talk to hardware, instead of just how to lay out windows and control them, it's rather laughable. At least turn the hardware support and abstracted device driving into some sort of library,. Also there's practically no documentation on Weston to use as a basis for another GUI, and the code is barely commented.

Wayland may be good, but it needs many more years of work at the current rate and still has some big issues;

1) The terrible architecture that I mention above that makes it difficult for people to build GUIs.
2) Driver support needed for running, that doesn't seem to be forthcoming from some of the biggest names in graphics cards.
3) The fact that we'll need to run X clients in Wayland for years, if not indefinately. Negating most of the arguments of "but we can throw away the crusty bits of X, hurrah".

I'm not going to discuss the X remote support issue, I think that one has been done to death :)

Re:Not a good architecture for alternate guis (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 10 months ago | (#43941993)

Wayland and Weston are separate programs.
Weston is currently the only window manager for Wayland.

a.out interpreter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#43941649)

X is for Ecstacy, and that's good enough for me!

Nice but (2)

nbsr (2343058) | about 10 months ago | (#43941839)

...does Wayland run *on* an X server?

I could play with Wayland API and help it to take off but not if I have to wait 5+ years for Wayland to get X11 features and drivers.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...