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Intel Rejects Supporting Ubuntu's XMir

timothy posted 1 year,9 days | from the too-russian dept.

Graphics 205

An anonymous reader writes "Just days after Intel added XMir support to their Linux graphics driver so it would work with the in-development the X11 compatibility layer to the Mir display server premiering with Ubuntu 13.10, Intel management has rejected the action and had the XMir patch reverted. There's been controversy surrounding Mir with it competing with Wayland and the state of the display server being rather immature and its performance coming up short while it will still debut in Ubuntu 13.10. Intel management had to say, "We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream." As a result, Canonical will need to ship their own packaged version of the Intel (and AMD and Nouveau drivers) with out-of-tree patches."

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Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788837)

I don't know if mir is a good idea, and neither do I trust the Xorg bunch, after their numerous fsckups, to really get it right, honest, with wayland. The shambles with xorg is because they made it one, and now they're refusing to fix it. Oh well.

The thing is, though, that intel's management throwing a tantrum will ultimately lead to less options and less pressure on the failing failbunch at xorg to get it right. So I'm not thanking intel's management for this.

Re:Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788885)

Intel probably has something of their own in the pipeline and realized that supporting XMir would be bad for their own interests in the long run.

Drivers can't support competing* products or protocols. It's amazing any OS can support more than one of anything.

* competing: our stuff and everybody else's stuff.

Re:Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (4, Interesting)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788905)

I trust them more than Canonical, that's for sure.

Re:Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (0)

Stumbles (602007) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789029)

Well I don't trust any corporation of any industry. But like you I lean more in favor of Intel than Canonical.

Re:Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789299)

Well I'm not paranoid. I give my trust to those who deserve it and Canonical definitely do not.

Re:Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789557)

Will Intel create documented access to their hardware but then use secret underhanded methods themselves to boost benchmarks? You know, kinda like what they did with their CPUs and compilers.

Re:Monopolist acts anticompetetively, film at 11 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789393)

More like disinterested third party sees which way the winds are blowing and decides to pull resources away from supporting what is going to be an also-ran. Intel has been a very good citizen where it comes to provided chipset and video driver support to the Linux community. They are still making drivers for X.org ( you know the display server people actually use ) and likely will develop drivers for Wayland.

Why you or anyone else ( who does not run Ubuntu ) would want them dividing their efforts a third way writing software that will only be useful to a tiny segment escapes me. Normally I am not anti-choice but the best outcome here is for MIR to go down in flames.

The one factor that has made desktop UNIX/Linux a reality is the near universality of X11. Despite all the toolkit and desktop environment / window manager fights X11 was something software devs could depend on being there. As far as end users some integration issues aside they could run multiple toolkits and other high level stuff when needed. It would be really hard though for users to efficiently run multiple display servers. The display server is pretty much a core platform component now. I honestly think MIR is a Cononical attempt to create a walled garden for their platform. It isn't about better software for them but control.

I am glad Intel is abandoning the platform; hopeful Cononical's garden will simple become a ghetto.

Black People (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788947)

This is coming from me, a biracial guy (half white/half black), and my personal experiences in working fast food.

Our drink options are: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, Hi-C Fruit Punch, and Light Lemonade.

- Majority of black people order Hi-C Fruit Punch.
- Majority of white people order Coke/Diet Coke.

The rest of the drink options are a random toss up between the few that don't fit into the majority.

We also carry a few non-fountain drink options: Sweet tea and Un-sweet tea.

- Majority of black people who order tea order sweet tea. In fact, I can only recall two black people, in the time that I've worked there (and I always work drive-thru where the majority of the people come), order un-sweet tea.

- Majority of white people order Un-sweet tea. Although, there is more leeway within the white fast food test subjects in their selection between sweet or un-sweet tea.

Easiness of orders: (Despite the fact that anyone can be rather irritating)

- White people: Seem to be able to order more quickly and more precisely. Tend to say "Thank you" more often. Tend to complain less, and, if they do, they seem more reluctant as a sign of respect to not make a big deal of something petty. Although, are more likely to not come back if we forget a pretty obvious item; such as a drink with the combo. White people have a more pleasant ordering voice (and this makes a difference when you've had a slew of rude orders). I always feel more appreciation from white people compared to black people.

- Black people: Slow, slow, slow orderers! You may think that I'm racist but, after many encounters I have had in fast food, these are the conclusions I have made from the majority of orders I have taken. Sometimes I sense that they are intentionally taking their time just because they know they can. Also, they ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS change their order. Here is a typical conversation I have with them:
Black customer: "I'll have number....Fo---Fi--NO! number 8 combo. WAIT. I'll just go ahead and get number 4 combo."
Me: "Alright, what size would you--"
Black customer: "NO! Scratch that. Keep the number 8 combo!"
Me: "O..ok. What size?"
Black customer: "Small."
Me:"What kind of drink would you like?"
Black customer: "Fruit punch"
Me:"Anything else?"
Black customer:" Um... (1 minute later I hear them on the cell phone talking about something unrelated to ordering)......."
Me: "H-hello?"
Black customer: "Yeah that's it!
"Me: "Okay, your total comes to $7.56, thank you!"
Black customer:"$7.56?!?! Hell no, lemme just get your dollar menu chicken sandwhich and value fries, and that'll be all for me (they pull up without me even giving them their total)"

Black guys mumble too much. I'm constantly asking them to repeat themselves. When I ask them to repeat themselves they immediately assume I just said, "Fuck your mom!" and get all pissy. Other times, they won't even TRY to speak louder or more clearly. Then when their order comes out wrong they get pissed off. The women ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have something wrong with their food. Our fries will have just came up and they'll honk their horn and say they want fresh fries. The meat doesn't taste right. Their soda doesn't taste right. Their fries are too salty. Their fries aren't salty enough. The sandwich bun doesn't taste right. Their chicken nugget are cold. Their chicken nuggets don't taste fresh enough. The list goes on. This goes on all night for 8 hrs, and by the time the night is over I'm ready to jump off of a cliff.

If they order a shitload of food, they will sit at the window and open every single sandwich and inspect it while there is a line of cars behind them. I rarely witness a white person complaining about their fries. Our fries are usually always fresh, so no wonder. It is like black people are never satisfied. If they order a flavored tea (that we make with un-sweet tea) they will complain that the tea isn't sweet enough.

This is only grazing the surface, if I told you everything you would be mentally worn.

What validates my experiences even more is that my manager, whom is a black man married to a black woman, agrees with me completely. He's a preacher and he's always talking about how difficult black people are. His famous line is, "Who's holding up the line? You already know!"

Re:Black People (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789025)

This is coming from me, a biracial guy

Don't you mean a biracist guy?

Re:Black People (4, Funny)

Crimey McBiggles (705157) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789349)

That was pretty off-topic, there AC. You even left us guessing about which part of hicksville you call home (Georgia perhaps?).

Re:Black People (1)

SINternet (1194899) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789585)

Really?

Re:Black People (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789965)

Actually given that first AC is right on the money. I have tried pretty much all of Canonical attempts at replacing X11 and found them not only wanting but a real disaster when actually doing work rather than making yet another theme for KDE, (think the Windows Clock program) like the typically Linsucs fanbois. Try running IDV, IRAF, NCL, VAPOR or just about any other useful program from your office somewhere in New York on the computers in Illinois, Wyoming, Colorado or New Mexico using Wayland. X11 works Wayland well lets just say good luck

Re: Black People (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44790029)

It was absolutely directly on target.

Surprised? (5, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788847)

I can't say I'm terribly surprised.

Though Intel will be open to an alternative to X11 they are in no way obliged to carry an immature release just because Canonical wants to push theirs.

No shit! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788853)

This is what happens when you have a Linux distro geared towards niggers. It's one bad decision after another. You know it's bad when Linux For Niggers can't even mooch money from people properly. Maybe their Kickstarter campaign would have succeeded if they were on welfare.

Layering? (2)

multi io (640409) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788855)

Why does the Intel Xorg graphics driver have to know anything about XMir, which, as far as I understand it, is just an Xorg driver for running Xorg as a Mir client?

Re:Layering? (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788879)

Quoting the first link:

The other big change is the merging of XMir handling in the xf86-video-intel driver. When using XMir for running X11/X.Org applications atop a Mir display server, modified DDX drivers are still required. These modifications are now present in the xf86-video-intel driver by default rather than Canonical carrying the work as out-of-tree patches.

Re:Layering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788943)

The question was "why?". Merely stating that it is so doesn't answer that.

Re:Layering? (1)

multi io (640409) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788959)

Quoting the first link:

When using XMir for running X11/X.Org applications atop a Mir display server, modified DDX drivers are still required.

Well, that just restates/confirms the layering problem I mentioned, without explaining it.

Re:Layering? (3, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789007)

I'm honestly not super clear myself! But the DDX is, as I understand it, the in-Xorg portion of the graphics driver. So I guess it's not unreasonable that that component needs to know it's not got complete control of the hardware, as opposed to the Xorg-only case where it would have. Presumably it needs to proxy some operations through Mir (or Wayland, for XWayland) that it'd normally just set directly.

A *bit* like running X under X using Xnest or Xephyr, though I'd imagine it's less extreme than that (since those, I'd guess, have to issue X-level drawing commands to their host X server, whereas to get graphics under Wayland/Mir they'd just render to a memory buffer like any Wayland/Mir client).

All slightly speculative since I'm not familiar with the in-depth technical details!

Re:Layering? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789027)

But the DDX is, as I understand it, the in-Xorg portion of the graphics driver. So I guess it's not unreasonable that that component needs to know it's not got complete control of the hardware, as opposed to the Xorg-only case where it would have.

That makes sense if the Intel driver is running inside XMir itself, but then the question becomes, why do you need to do that in the first place? Surely XMir shouldn't have to care what the underlying hardware is? Can't it just send all graphics operations to Mir, the same way that any other Mir client would?

Re:Layering? (2)

multi io (640409) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789057)

I'm honestly not super clear myself! But the DDX is, as I understand it, the in-Xorg portion of the graphics driver. So I guess it's not unreasonable that that component needs to know it's not got complete control of the hardware, as opposed to the Xorg-only case where it would have. Presumably it needs to proxy some operations through Mir (or Wayland, for XWayland) that it'd normally just set directly.

Well..why would the Intel driver even be used when Xorg runs "hosted" as a Mir client? In that configuration, XMir should be the "driver", and any Intel driver code in Xorg should lie dormant. Or did this patch actually touch something other than Intel's Xorg driver?

Re:Layering? (2, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788881)

I thought they were switching to Wayland anyway.

X was really hated here on slashdot in the early days 12 years ago! I guess modern hardware hides its issues with bloat and a client and server relationship. It was made for dumb terminals and it shows. Low latency for things like glx openGL has had issues and many hacks just to get it to work mediocre wise.

Re:Layering? (2)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789053)

Everyone except Canonical are switching to Wayland.

Re:Layering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789253)

Such is the political football called Linux Developers.

Remember Android fragmentation? Linux Fragmentation is exactly the same, only from the hardware vendors end. AMD/Intel/nVidia only provide what support that they do as a token of letting the platform have a small arms race in who supports "Linux" better. Currently that holder belongs to AMD, with Intel support still on Sandy Bridge.

To enable GPU support at all in Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS X, Windows, etc, there are requirements on the OS's virtual memory system, that don't normally exist if it's just a server running in a data center. Typically the drivers you see for Linux stop short of "working as well as Windows" because there are less people working on it, and the more cluster-****ery political divides , the even less support it gets. The entire client-server x11 dumb-terminal interface itself is something that GPU's were never designed to run as. Indeed, if you go back to early X11, prior to "3D" cards, this was pretty much considered a better idea, since you could in theory control a server miles away, and have the rendering of the UI done locally. This stopped making sense when OpenGL and OpenCL started doing things like needing to communicate with each other.

See http://people.freedesktop.org/~daniels/lca2013-wayland-x11.pdf "The X server became it's own OS!" to "The Window manager became it's own X server"

Or basically the people fond of using Unix were so so wrapped up with "not fixing" the core of X, that they decided, hey how about we just throw away X.

Then Ubuntu comes along and goes "NOOOO", and decides to do it differently. Can't say Linux is any better for it's various forks and fragmentation, but undeniably the lack of funding the "Linux Mobile Phone" http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ubuntu-edge speaks enough that there is no demand for a Linux smartphone and Ubuntu might in actual effect be barking up the wrong tree.

Actually it was more... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789541)

The greybeards already had GL backends from their commercial unix vendors and thus had no itch to scratch.

X.org/XFree86 were slow lumbering beats who thought 'Who will ever need 3d acceleration'.

And the young upstarts decided 'we can do better', did it without proper engineering practices, regression testing, or any real concern for retaining the old feature set (without either clearly delineating the new one up front, or at least starting in a seperate branch, the XFree86->Xorg transition not withstanding) and basically ruined everything that once made X great, while leaving all the important new features in a constant state of flux for what... 10 years now?

As somebody who's used it, modern X is 'good enough', but it's also horribly broken. And the attitude regarding that brokenness is 'Fix it yourself', regardless of fact that many of those fixes span multiple modules and may or may not require YET ANOTHER BREAKAGE to accomplish.

Re:Layering? (5, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789607)

Then Ubuntu comes along and goes "NOOOO", and decides to do it differently.

yep, this is the way of Linux. You throw many different things at a wall and see which one sticks best. Then you standardise on that thing.

Too many people are just about bitching that one thing is better than another thing without any comprehension that this is the way FOSS systems evolve. I imagine (or would hope) that Wayland and XMir will stand on their own and one will become a dominant player over the other. Politics aside this is the way it should be. Unfortunately, once the politics and the 'my thing is better than yours' attitude gets involved, it makes dropping the poor version for the better one difficult - people try to maintain the poorer one regardless.

You see this in Openoffice v LibreOffice. Surely by now one of these would have their best bits of code migrated to the other so development and evangelism could focus efforts on just one product, but instead we still have the bitching about which one is better. (though maybe its just too soon for this example)

Re:Layering? (1)

Teckla (630646) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790515)

yep, this is the way of Linux. You throw many different things at a wall and see which one sticks best. Then you standardise on that thing.

In the FOSS world the "standardize on one thing" often doesn't happen, you end up with all kinds of incompatible competitors, no single one with a great deal of popularity.

Re:Layering? (3, Insightful)

lcampagn (842601) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790699)

The multitude of audio systems and the failure of the FOSS community to standardize on one is one of the more frustrating failings of desktop Linux in my memory.

Re:Layering? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790787)

You mean ALSA or something layererd on top of ALSA?

The rest is nonsense perpetrated by a lazy corporate developer who couldn't keep up with what the community can do on it's own?

Some whine. Some just take care of business.

Re:Layering? (0)

Tranzistors (1180307) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790747)

The way of Linux is to have one awesome kernel with no viable competition.

Bloat? Client/server relationship? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789293)

There's not a lot of bloat in the system and that could be removed in a recompile, absolutely nothing to do with X11.

And why, precisely, is a "client/server relationship" bad, wrong or misguided? What issue, exactly, does it raise?

Other than being X11's way of solving access to hardware and being an old idea?

X11 was no more "made for dumb terminals" than Windows was made for cheap hardware.

OpenGL and glx run many windows DirectX games under Wine FASTER than Windows running DirectX.

Many games ported to use Linux and OpenGL natively show up FASTER than their Windows relation, either OpenGL (being faster on Windows than DirectX) or DirectX on Windows.

Re:Bloat? Client/server relationship? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789595)

Many games ported to use Linux and OpenGL natively show up FASTER than their Windows relation, either OpenGL (being faster on Windows than DirectX) or DirectX on Windows.

My experience is the opposite. In most cases Windows runs rings around Linux in terms of desktop effect and game performance. For example, take the low-end Radeon 6320 Brazos APU (paired with AMD E-450 cpu). This setup can run Source based games fluidly under Windows, but under Linux they drop to 10-15 fps, which is about half the frame rate. Also, even simple desktop effects are jerky, while on Windows they are silky smooth. Linux experiment was made using the closed source 'fglrx' driver, the open source 'radeon' driver is even slower.

So this is one of the main reasons why I run Linux only rarely this days. A decade ago it gave a significant performance increase over Windows, but the roles have changed. I get more juice out of my computer with Windows, so of course I prefer that. The Metro aspect of Windows 8 is garbage, though.

Re:Bloat? Client/server relationship? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789751)

You seem awfully confused.

Are you talking about drivers, the kernel itself or Source based games? If you are using the Source based games as some sort of baseline, you should know that those _definitely_ have some issues with the AMD stuff. Whether the Source engine does something the drivers can't handle because they are buggy, or if it's something nasty lurking in the engine, I don't know, it just doesn't work (on a 5670, YMMV depending on model). But I do know it's a common trait for all the Source based games, and not a general thing.

Re:Bloat? Client/server relationship? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790091)

I don't know either. Whatever the issue is, it should be fixed and then Linux will be even better platform. But that does not explain the slow desktop effects. They are choppy under Linux on Atom platforms too, and once again, smooth under Windows.

Re:Bloat? Client/server relationship? (1, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790821)

Want to fix it? Use a better brand of video card.

There's no great mystery about any of this stuff. If you are still suffering then you are suffering because you choose to sabotage yourself.

Re:Bloat? Client/server relationship? (2)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789827)

> OpenGL and glx run many windows DirectX games under Wine FASTER than Windows running DirectX.
>
> Many games ported to use Linux and OpenGL natively show up FASTER than their Windows relation, either OpenGL
> (being faster on Windows than DirectX) or DirectX on Windows.

I can testify to this as well, having run Need for Speed Hot Pursuit as well as Roadrash under WINE.

That is why Linux wont win the desktop (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788869)

When will Linux finally use standard ABIs and APIs for drivers just like very other OS on the planet?

Why can't you just use one driver written a few years ago and use it universally across all distros due to this? The other free BSDs have this and you can install the extra compat libraries to accomplish this. I guess RMS thinks that is oppressive and wants opensource hardware even though patent holders from the likes of the h.264 consortorium forbid it!

Before I get flamed remember the article mentioned ATI and NVidia drivers as well so Intel is not the asshole here. Rather they different kernels and distros being redone requiring new QA and recompiling with every release.

There is a reason many old time linux users like myself only run CentOS in a VM Now. It is because Redhat provides ABIs and APIs that do not change for 5 years. Unfortunately it also means an out of date distro as well which is not fair to non server users (even a few server users who need a newer app or framework.)

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788909)

When will Linux finally use standard ABIs and APIs for drivers just like very other OS on the planet?

Never. The moves to support binary compatibility on Linux have been rejected time and time again by the Linux community. And that is far from the case for every other OS on the planet. Many OSes don't support arbitrary drivers at all.

I guess RMS thinks that is oppressive and wants opensource hardware even though patent holders from the likes of the h.264 consortorium forbid it!

RMS has little to do with this policy. Even Linus mostly supports it. The people who don't support it are mostly Windows users.

Why can't you just use one driver written a few years ago and use it universally across all distros due to this?

You can. You can use drivers from almost 2 decade ago that were sources into the kernel. You can't generally with binary drivers because Linux doesn't offer binary compatibility.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789107)

Sorry but the patent trolls who sue everybody will make you sign a NDA making your work closed source if you make hardware. So the days of having it in the kernel are over.

Microkernels and exokernels are what acemics say are supperior and the wave of the future.

Regardless what OS doesn't use abi and api for driver development? I cant think of any modern OS? How about Mac users wanting a driver that works throughout versions? With the exception of the split between powerpc and x86 it is true on that platform. Not just Windows users.

Who wants this? I, hairyfeet, and others who want things to just work and have given up putting linux on customer machines. How do I know that atheros wifi or ati driver will work when they click upgrade? My guess is this is the issue Intel has and is paying money in constant r&d and QA.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789235)

Sorry but the patent trolls who sue everybody will make you sign a NDA making your work closed source if you make hardware. So the days of having it in the kernel are over.

You realize you're commenting on a story about Intel, right? You know, the company that has Linux kernel developers writing open source drivers for their chipsets.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789261)

""I, hairyfeet,""

hairyfeet has blasted the Linux universe every time I read anything involving Linux. If he is that ticked off then he should do something about it. I can understand being frustrated with the community and there lack of becoming a coherent group but he seems to support every other OS out there.

They're hacks, MS/Apple they've all hacked some other system a claim they're the only ones that created it. Meanwhile closed source has tried to destroy anything open source... If Linux created a driver/drivers for ATI, or NVIDIA, INTEL they would be sued for patent or copyright infringement. The typical computer (desktop, lasts you 5 years, and that is cutting it close) your talking about stuff that is 15-20 years old, at that point you are using a PS2 like machine for basic internet usage, and nothing more.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (2)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790273)

Sorry but the patent trolls who sue everybody will make you sign a NDA making your work closed source if you make hardware.

If you lose a patent suit and use someone else's patented work, yes.

Regardless what OS doesn't use abi and api for driver development? I cant think of any modern OS?

ZSeries OS (MVS), ISeries OS (OS/400), Cisco iOS, most embedded.... In general most OSes that don't care about quick and easy hardware support.

I, hairyfeet, and others who want things to just work and have given up putting linux on customer machines.

Well if you are picking the hardware then you pick hardware without binary drivers.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44790533)

You do know that Microsoft changed the driver APIs significantly in every single Windows version? Everyone needs to redevelop their drivers (at least if things are supposed to work properly) all the time.
The difference is just how rarely Microsoft releases new versions.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (2)

caseih (160668) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790671)

And microkernels continue to remain in the realm of academics and theory, and not in the real world. Even Windows went down the microkernel route for a while with Windows NT, early versions, but for for performance reasons hacked and thunked things to the point that we're essentially back to a monolithic kernel now, with everything important running in-kernel, and in ring-0. Graphics moved back to ring-0, network drivers, etc.

Darwin, though based on a microkernel core, is a hybrid kernel with a large BSD subsystemThe coupling between the core and the BSD system is so tight and depended on that the result is quite monolithic.

Despite your dislike of RMS, he also thought as you do, that microkernels were the future, and so the infamous GNU Herd kernel is a microkernel. Herd is nowhere to be found, really, and no longer matters compared to the monolithic kernels of Windows, BSD, Linux, and others.

Microkernels vs monolithic remind me of the old CISC vs RISC debate. Thought unlike CPUs where RISC lost but actually won because CISC ended up being layered on top of RISC (or VLIW at least), monolithic seems to have soundly won and likely won't go away until RAM is as fast as CPU registers to make message passing fast.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (2)

sharklasers (3047537) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789111)

You can. You can use drivers from almost 2 decade ago that were sources into the kernel. You can't generally with binary drivers because Linux doesn't offer binary compatibility.

But most manufacturers don't WANT to provide sources to their drivers - they'd be quite happy to provide a binary interface, but that's difficult to do in Linux.

You might argue, fuck them then, sources or bust. Well, Linux use on the desktop is so low anyway, what incentive would they have to comply when they can just stick with Windows? Sometimes it's not worth the effort when your end users aren't grateful for the support in the first place.

The kernel developers can stick to their policy as much as they like. But put up barriers between businesses who make the stuff people want to use, and a small price to pay being keeping their source (IP) hidden and providing a binary driver instead, is no way to garner support. Since this policy is never likely to change, I can't see why anyone is surprised Linux has still never made it on the desktop.

Re: That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789173)

You van put whatever binary blobs too the kernel.
But when you face a problem, who will debug it?

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (4, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789175)

Since this policy is never likely to change, I can't see why anyone is surprised Linux has still never made it on the desktop.

Who exactly is surprised by this? Certainly not those who created the policy. The purpose of the policy was not to make Linux popular on the desktop, or anywhere else for that matter. The creators of the policy do not profit from Linux, so its popularity isn't really a big concern.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (2)

maird (699535) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789973)

But most manufacturers don't WANT to provide sources to their drivers

As someone who works on linux bug fixing for, among others, the hardware partners of a linux distro vendor I sense that changing day by day. Some never will publish but as a result those they compete with will generally have a lower per-developer cost of development leading to a higher rate of bug fixes alone for the vendors who do publish. Not publishing made sense when the PC was the only platform that mattered but I'm impressed by the number of x86/x86-64 build bugs I see for things being called point of sale systems. They are probably PC based but they are built in a way that means they'll never run Windows and there will be more of them in the end so the hardware with published source is probably a better choice for those manufacturers. I'm sure one of Intel's plans is to support them as hard as it can afford to. Those that follow the lead will probably do quite well. It's ironic that standardization of hardware was intended to make things cheap to mass-produce then we have mass-produced standard hardware interfaces that make incorporating a large variety of unique devices relatively easy and the cheapness comes from mass-produced software where standard libraries make the effort to handle each unique device very low cost and with just one third party developer interested in contributing to the final effort part of the cost for the hardware vendor is off-loaded. They only have to maintain control over what's accepted as code intended for their hardware.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790301)

But most manufacturers don't WANT to provide sources to their drivers - they'd be quite happy to provide a binary interface, but that's difficult to do in Linux.

Agreed. The server manufacturers didn't want to either that was until large number of customers made Linux compatibility a reason to buy hardware.

The kernel developers can stick to their policy as much as they like. But put up barriers between businesses who make the stuff people want to use, and a small price to pay being keeping their source (IP) hidden and providing a binary driver instead, is no way to garner support. Since this policy is never likely to change, I can't see why anyone is surprised Linux has still never made it on the desktop.

Have you noticed Android tablet sales? Unless by desktop you mean x86 Linux is finally doing quite well. Linux has been successful in other arenas where there were barriers. The difference was the competition screwed up more than Microsoft has on desktop. Ultimately

a) OSX provides an excellent Unix workstation OS
b) Microsoft fought very hard for the low end

So they lost.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789155)

You can. You can use drivers from almost 2 decade ago that were sources into the kernel. You can't generally with binary drivers because Linux doesn't offer binary compatibility.

You really really can't. (At least not in general.) Structures keep changing the names of members, and removing members. For example: Recently, user id's changed from being plain old integers to being potentially a struct that you have to use accessor methods to use. Every time a new kernel comes out, our drivers invariably break and need additional code adding to check for and cope with the new kernel. (No, we can't just stop supporting old versions of the kernel. Big companies are out there demanding support for Redhat5 and some event earlier. The 2.6 kernel tree is still very much alive. And of course, yet others leap on to the new kernel as soon as it's downloadable.)

So yeah - maintaining a kernel module is currently a pain in the ass and backwards compatibility with older drivers would be a big win. Binary compatibility would be preferable; but source compatibility would be a good start.

Explain Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789321)

Explain Windows XP/Vista/7/8 not being able to use the drivers binary of older OSs?

Many cases the drivers will flatly refuse to install.

But apparently this is fine if it's Windows closed binary, its then the mfgr's fault.

But for Linux, the same thing is Linux's fault.

Right...

You can recompile the 2.4+ drivers to run on the latest Linux 2.6 kernel with very few changes, as few or fewer than to get a Windows XP driver compiled for Win7, for example. However, in the windows case, only the device manufacturer is allowed. In Linux, you can do it yourself.

But apparently, it's only a problem in Linux.

Right...

Re:Explain Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (1)

maird (699535) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790041)

I suspect the major reason for the Windows behavior is that the driver gets polled for the version it was intended for at install or load time and Windows says no to further operation if it is less than some value. As a result, modifying the driver to do no more than say it is for a higher version is enough for it to suddenly work with what is really unmodified code. Perhaps with minor changes but we're not talking about the way it can be in linux where the whole interface to the class of hardware is changed enough that the driver has to have some re-write (not a massive amount usually). But then, which one is the friendlier OS behavior? Saying no to a perhaps working driver in order to promote development claiming to support your shiny new OS version or saying to driver vendors that the OS has changed and modified drivers are needed to support these named changes? Which you are welcome to grep the kernel for all instances of and fix yourself if you please. It might be promoted as a problem on linux but I think I agree, the linux behavior is much friendlier to developers and users.

Re:Explain Windows XP/Vista/7/8 (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790505)

I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the Windows driver interface hasn't changed since Windows 2000 was released.

There are two exceptions to this: Sound Drivers and Display Drivers.

The former changed when Windows "enhanced" sound drivers in Windows Vista. And by "enhanced" I mean such useful things as killing hardware acceleration in order to have separate volume sliders for each app and adding effects like making things sound like they were in a Bathroom or Auditorium.

The latter changed when Windows added desktop compositing, also in Windows Vista... and has continued changing as Microsoft realizes that some of the original assumptions they had were faulty... such as having a copy of each window's draw area in both system and video memory for GDI windows*.

* Which, as far as I know, is all non-fullscreen windows.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790313)

GP was talking about drivers not working between versions. You are talking about the complexity of maintaining a kernel module. That's a different issue. And yes stuff will break between kernel versions.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788931)

When will Linux finally use standard ABIs and APIs for drivers just like very other OS on the planet?

[...] I guess RMS thinks that is oppressive

The X.org driver architecture doesn't have anything to do with either Linux or RMS.

Also, if the existing API isn't sufficient for XMir's requirements, it needs to be revised no matter how "standard" it is.

and wants opensource hardware

Why would the openness of the hardware design have anything to do with the driver APIs?

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788945)

What the fuck are you talking about?
The API for linux drivers is standard. So is the ABI, even though that does (or at least can) change from one kernel version to the next.
What does RMS have to do with this? How exactly do redhat provide an API or ABI that never changes? by not updating their damn kernel?
Or because you just don't install the updates?

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

Paul King (2953311) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788957)

What's RMS got to do with it? Linus makes the choices for the kernel where such ABI/API would be important. The split between the two is pretty well known hence the GNU/Linux moniker being touted by the free software lot.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788971)

When will Linux finally use standard ABIs and APIs for drivers just like very other OS on the planet?

Ever had a perfectly useful piece of hardware (e.g. printer, scanner, etc.) and upgraded your computer with a new version of the Windows only to find that the latest operating system doesn't have drivers?

If you have, then you know the answer is hopefully never!

Binary incompatibility makes it more troublesome for companies to ship closed source drivers and makes it simpler to ship open source drivers. As a community we want to do everything we can to encourage open source.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789005)

>Ever had a perfectly useful piece of hardware (e.g. printer, scanner, etc.) and upgraded your computer with a new version of the Windows only to find that the latest operating system doesn't have drivers?

No, never. And why did you change the subject of discussion to Windows suddenly? What does Linux using stanrdards APIs have to do with Windows?

Re: That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789089)

If you're a regular Windows user, then your experiences are atypical.

FujiXerox DocuPrint 203A Driver for Windows 8 (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789353)

Dad recently purchased a Windows 8 laptop, but the FujiXerox DocuPrint 203A [fujixerox.com] printer doesn't have a Windows 8 driver. Some posts [microsoft.com] suggest that it is a rebadged Brother HL-2040.

I was using Windows as an example of why closed sourced drivers are bad for hardware longevity. Should my parents throw out a perfectly useable printer simply becausse FujiXerox cannot be bothered to release a new driver?

Re:FujiXerox DocuPrint 203A Driver for Windows 8 (2)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789675)

No comment on closed/open source drivers but I was just thinking about that problem. If there is no working driver for Win8, maybe your dad could run a little virtual machine as a printer server using an older version of Windows? So you would pass through the printer USB device to the VM. It's a bit clunky solution, but might keep the printer going.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789073)

Windows 2000 can run drivers from XP and even Windows Server 2003. Yours break during a simple patch or a distro update.

I used to own a mom popIT business and customers would always return later after an update as their screens would go black due to X or an ati driver breaking. Switch them to Windows and the problem goes away.

I don' t understand how you think this is a good thing? Linux is foss so drivers will never not be supported unlike other oses. I think you assume your printer will always work. How do you know a driver will work during an update or distro upgrade?

Nvidia uses a hack to get around this.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789093)

Printing has nothing to do with kernel drivers. The printing systems on Linux are rather standard. There aren't meaningfully printer drivers in the Windows sense at all.

Can? No. SOME *may* work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789355)

And you CAN run drivers written for the 1.2+ kernel on 2.6.

CAN? No.

It's theoretically possible to run some particular one? I could agree, but you'd have to show this is the case and where. Because it's highly uncommon.

Meanwhile the drivers for the USB devices have been the same ever since they were introduced in Linux 2.0.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789691)

"Windows 2000 can run drivers from XP and even Windows Server 2003. Yours break during a simple patch or a distro update."

And so can Windows 7 and 8! Oh wait ....

Just accept the fact that you are woefully misinformed. First of all, you don't know the difference between Linux and a distribution that uses the Linux kernel. Your confusion would be understandable, since it is common to refer to an entire distribution as a Linux distribution even though X, Wayland, and the whole of user space have nothing to do with the Linux kernel and could be run on any POSIX compatible OS (in other words, pretty much any kernel except Windows, except history has shown you have no desire to get a clue. Your "why don't they do it like Windows" cry is especially ironic, since Microsoft is the only one not POSIX compliant.

"Linux is foss so drivers will never not be supported unlike other oses."

Could you explain to me the topic of the article then? I'm pretty sure it is about what Intel is and isn't supporting in the FOSS community. You also may have heard of NVIDIA and AMD. They have plans to write drivers for this new Linux thing real soon! In fact, I predict that someday there will be a phone that runs an OS that uses Linux and the major chip manufacturers will have an even stronger incentive to support Linux!

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44790299)

> Nvidia uses a hack to get around this.

They have a binary blob with a stable API and some lightweight glue code to interface with the linux kernel and unless you run an experimental release (debian sid for example) you will never see a kernel update break the glue code - it generally gets fixed within a week after the new kernel is release and long before the kernel is adopted by the stable/long time release.

> I think you assume your printer will always work

99% of all printers today are either network or USB printers, networking uses user space sockets and USB can use device files (found in /dev/). In other words their drivers don't even touch the unstable kernel internal APIs and Linus gets rather mad* when someone tries to break the public user space APIs.

*His rants on that topic are rather famous.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788993)

>Unfortunately it also means an out of date distro

If your OS does everything you need and works, it's not out of date.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Xtifr (1323) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789009)

When will Linux finally use standard ABIs and APIs for drivers just like very other OS on the planet?

What do Xorg (totally OS-independent), Wayland (ditto, as far as I know), and XMir (again, ditto, though I'm not sure it's been tested on any other systems) have to do with Linux? These are not kernel drivers we're talking about.

Others have answered your incredibly off-topic and irrelevant questions, so I'll satisfy myself with pointing out that your questions are incredibly off-topic and irrelevant.

(Oh, and for the record, I started with Linux 0.12, and am currently running 3.10. Not every old fart is as paralyzed by the concept of change as you seem to be. Some of us even realize that very few apps actually use the kernel ABIs directly.)

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

sharklasers (3047537) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789083)

I think anyone who's followed Linux development on the desktop has been burnt so many times by the idea that it will make some measurable impact on the desktop SOMEDAY, that no-one except new, young, idealistic users even think this is possible.

It will never happen, because no-one sees the desktop as something to strive to take over anymore. Windows won the desktop, the next frontier is mobile. Even Canonical seems more interested in mobile pursuits because they've failed on the desktop. I have never see anyone use Linux on their personal machines, at least long term once they've played around for a bit then moved back to Windows/OS X.

Re: That is why Linux wont win the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789191)

I do not understand your ranting.

I run Ubuntu and all the updates to ATI Radeon and Nvidia just happen along the kernel updates. No problems there.

I don't see where you are coming from. A paid PR firm perhaps?

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (-1, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789741)

Are you on drugs? A good Linux based distribution kicks Windows' doors in, and success on the desktop is already here. You might as well say that Porsche will never be a successful car company because they don't own the market.

"It will never happen, because no-one sees the desktop as something to strive to take over anymore."

With the possible exception of Canonical, I am unaware of any company that offers a Linux based desktop OS who ever had that desire.

" I have never see anyone use Linux on their personal machines, at least long term once they've played around for a bit then moved back to Windows/OS X."

I have yet to see a single person who switched to Linux decide to request a refund for their misery. Given your extremely high SlashID, and considering your comments, I think it is pretty fair to say you have lead a sheltered and so far very short life.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789935)

I have yet to see a single person who switched to Linux decide to request a refund for their misery.

Good thing you used "request a refund" in your statement, otherwise I would find it really hard to believe. I like Linux, I use Linux, I evangelized Linux in the workplace, and I had people come to my office and request that Linux be removed and replaced with Windows 7.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790827)

"Good thing you used "request a refund" in your statement"

Well, maybe you didn't set it up completely, just as you didn't quote me completely. I said "request a refund for their misery" Obviously, if you didn't install it and configure it well, or didn't help them make the transition smoothly, then they will want to go back to the devil they know. For example, if you didn't get Java, Flash, etc set up properly they will complain. There are other things to consider as well. Is the person heavily into M$ products like office? If so, your mistake was in recommending Linux in the first place. People who are victims of vendor lock-in will not be able to switch to Linux, regardless of willingness or desire. That's the definition of vendor lock-in.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789115)

But hasn't X.org been the standard for well over a decade now, with Wayland only being non-universal in the future thanks to Canonical's self-segregating behavior? Or am I misunderstanding what you're saying?

I don't think that this is the reason that it hasn't really thrived on the desktop; outside the hardcore devs, most of the people (particularly non-geeks) that might/do use Linux tend to not know or care about the details as long as it works with minimal/no intervention. IMHO, the reason is that it has only really been promoted by individual enthusiasts -- there haven't been deep pockets ensuring it gets plenty of positive press coverage, basically like Google did with Android (then practically a distro) early on by using plain language to ensure people understand what it is, how it differs from the better-known alternatives and why they might want to use it.

Re:That is why Linux wont win the desktop (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789629)

When will Linux finally use standard ABIs and APIs for drivers just like very other OS on the planet?

When either Linux has stagnated and is dying or when Linux reaches the pinicle of perfection and can no longer be improved.

What some people see as a weakness in Linux is actually an advantage. Constant iterations and relentless evolution drive Linux forward. Designs are tried out and discarded if unsuitable; improvements are picked up right away. With the sources handy it doesn't matter if the ABI changes. Oh, a little bit of hassle for sure but changes to Linux are made for technical reasons not marketing reasons.

Time for a Yoda yodel (2)

dbIII (701233) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788915)

Dumb framebuffer wars begun have they?

Prefer one over the other because of hype and NIH (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788961)

This all will end up badly.

There is nothing wrong woth Mir or Wayland. But what's wrong is this "game" of hype and NIH. A lot of political decisions and talks and the defacto winner now is Wayland. But why ? I as normal user haven't seen Wayland nor am I able to decide yet whether its good or not. All I know is that GNOME Developers are pusing Wayland with all kind of patches to GNOMIFY it for the future GnomeOS (Fedora).

Sure, I am not a friend of Xorg either. It's bulky, old, doesnt come up the way like former Amiga or similar operating systems. It's something ontop of something else. But well see. We don't know yet, whether Wayland or Mir will be a good option. We can't know where it's vision and development leads to.

We still need to wait. Nonetheless I believe it's good for graphic cards manufacturer to support the current - in process - Xorg alternatives.

I think it was strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789021)

I may be entirely wrong, but my suspicion is that Mark Shuttleworth changed from Wayland to Mir when he/Canonical decided that they wanted to get into the mobile phone market. This is only a guess because I'm not familiar with the detailed functionality or development environment for the two alternatives, but I have this idea that Canonical get much more direct control over Mir than Wayland, and this has/will allow them to tailor it specifically to Canonical's plans to get into the mobile space with a competitor to Android/iOS/Windows...

It will be interesting to see how Mir develops as an alternative to Wayland. If it picks up mobile phone clients and Canonical gets deals that way, my guess it will have some legs. Otherwise, irrespective of whether it's technically superior, I think it might just fade away.

Re:I think it was strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789563)

Meh. It's just plain old megalomania.

Mark seems to increasingly see himself as the center of the universe and Mir is just the most obvious example so far. It shows hows that Canonical apparently have yes-men culture, or at least that there isn't anyone he listens to who can take him out of his delusions.

Mark, and indeed Canonical in large, just like the people behind Gnome3, are convinced that they have so much influence in the form of users that it allows them to call the shots. "Support us, or lose compatibility with the users". However, much to their chagrin they, and their respective fanboys are discovering that this is not the case and this of course is the fault of the rest of the world.

You can't really ask for a better example of narcissism and syncopation.

Open-Source is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44788973)

There is no future!
We all are doomed!
A nightmare came true!
The world is swallowed by evil!

You probably don't understand or do not want to, but that's the truth. That doesn't have anything to do with Religion or anything Alien, you only have to actually open your Eyes, the facts are everywhere.

Open-Source was killed by politics, ignorance, the lack of knowledge and sabotage. That also applies to various other things and thats also the reason for our doom and my very personal grief.

It's your fault and sooner or later you will pay the price, no matter if you want to or not. The world is about to end and it's your fault, get it, it's your fault.

Re:Open-Source is dead (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789931)

What on earth are you talking about?

Re:Open-Source is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44790409)

I suspect that its sabotage.

<tinfoil_hat_mode>

I think Microsoft, suffering from its abject fear of X, took a page from the NSA's IPSEC playbook and populated various display interest groups with its own operatives. They submit multiple, immature, in some cases incompatible proposals. All sharing one common theme: Cripple the functionality of X that Microsoft cannot duplicate.
</tinfoil_hat_mode>

Screw it. Want to play full screen games? Switch to frame buffer mode and write directly to the screen. Want to go back to your X desktop? Switch back. My stinking Linux sub-notebook can do it. And its OLD tech. If you don't like network aware displays then don't use them. Don't fuck with other peoples' tools.

Dumb Management (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | 1 year,9 days | (#44788999)

This sounds like dumb management decision that hopefully community outrage will cause Intel to reverse.

I say this not because I support Canonical's decision to build XMir or even run Ubuntu, but because I don't think politics of this nature should see source code removed from kernel. I would encourage other kernel developers to re-apply the patches.

Re:Dumb Management (1)

jbolden (176878) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789085)

This is X11 not the kernel and other developers aren't going to take over Intel's whole subsystem. If Intel doesn't want the XMir in there, it won't be in there.

Re:Dumb Management (5, Insightful)

MtHuurne (602934) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789205)

Canonical decided to write their own Mir display server instead of adopting the existing Wayland. They stated their reasons for doing so, but I'm not convinced they really had to start their own project instead of modifying Wayland.

It seems only fair to me that if Canonical wants to do their own thing, they'll have to put in the effort to maintain it. Because that is what this is about: Intel management decided that they're not going to pay their engineers to maintain code that benefits only Canonical.

Re:Dumb Management (1)

mathew42 (2475458) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789363)

It seems only fair to me that if Canonical wants to do their own thing, they'll have to put in the effort to maintain it. Because that is what this is about: Intel management decided that they're not going to pay their engineers to maintain code that benefits only Canonical.

This point of view I can appreciate and support, but the decision by Intel management means that they have removed functionality for purely political reasons. If they left the code in place and said 'unsupported', then Canonical could choose to continue development at their expense.

Re:Dumb Management (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789491)

Except the instant you put code in and mark it unsupported, someone expects you to maintain that code, because people are dumbasses.

Re:Dumb Management (2)

MtHuurne (602934) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789863)

There is a cost to keeping the code in there, even if it's not supported. If interfaces change, the unsupported code can break the build. Finding things in the code, by reading or grep, becomes harder since there is more of it. Static code analysis might flag issues in the unsupported code. Bugs will probably be filed that they'll then have to close as WONTFIX.

Also the question is what purpose would be served by keeping unsupported code in the main repository. If it's not regularly updated and tested, it will be broken sooner or later. Canonical will have to maintain the code anyway, so there will be a separate repository somewhere that contains the working version of XMir support.

Re:Dumb Management (1)

bakedbread (2009504) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790839)

As much as I agree with what you say, I also think it misses the main problem. After Canonical announced that they would switch to Wayland, they could have gotten active in the discussions and development of it. They decided not to (or at least they didn't). Sometimes groups try to work together and then realize that they have different visions or disagree over technical (maybe even political) reasons, that they decide that it would be more efficient to work separate. Google Blink forking from Webkit is a recent example. Canonical however didn't even try.

Re:Dumb Management (1)

bcmm (768152) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790859)

Canonical decided to write their own Mir display server instead of adopting the existing Wayland. They stated their reasons for doing so, but I'm not convinced they really had to start their own project instead of modifying Wayland.

The nice thing about Wayland is that, because all the real work is being done by things like evdev, KMS and widget toolkit the actual display server is *much* simpler than Xorg. Weston is only a reference implementation of a Wayland compositor, and it's expected that desktop environments will implement their own that work the way they want them to (for example, work is underway to let KWin function as a Wayland compositor).

So it's not even a question of having to do some hackish modification of upstream to get their own way - they could have just implemented Wayland in Unity's WM, like other major DEs have done. The concerns about running on Android drivers are weird - the Wayland protocol doesn't care how you actually do your compositing and display the finished screen (there is already a modified version of Weston for the Raspberry Pi, which uses the device's video scaling hardware to do the actual composition work), so a seperate client protocol (as opposed to rendering backend) makes no sense.

Confused (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789069)

So when Ubuntu 13.10 ships, it will force you to use XMir?

If so, thanks for the warning. The last thing I want to do is deal with an unstable graphics driver. It's taken years for X11 with NVidia drivers to get stable, and I don't want to touch XMir with someone else's 10-foot pole for until it's been in use for at least 2-3 years.

Re:Confused (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44789953)

Welcome to the world of open source, where you always have to wait, wait and wait for some feature to become available or things to stabilize.

Mir is fascinating... but not in a good way. (5, Informative)

Balinares (316703) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789207)

I think Mir is a case study in how to correctly identify problems and then going about solving them all wrong.

See, the good thing about Wayland is, it does the right thing in having a limited scope. It aims to do one thing and do it well: provide an API for GUI clients to share buffers with a compositor.

And the problem with Wayland is, of course, that... it has a limited scope. Screen management? Input handling? Buffer allocation? "A modern desktop needs all that!" say the Ubuntu devs, and yeah, that's absolutely correct. "That's a client concern," say the Wayland devs, and guess what? From their point of view, that's correct too. (Although Wayland since started working on an input handling API.)

Now, the important thing to realize is, when the Wayland guys say that something is a client concern, as I understand, they don't necessarily mean the GUI applications, no. They mean the compositor.

Meaning that a whole lot of the stuff desktop shells rely on is, in fact, not provided by Wayland itself.

That's where Weston comes in: it's supposed to be an example (a "reference implementation", to use the designated words) of how to write a compositor. But... not necessarily in a way that meets the higher level needs of desktop shells. Unsurprisingly, both KDE and GNOME will be using their own compositors.

So basically, a whole lot of the desktop integration on top of Wayland will be, as it were, left as an exercise to the reader.

With all that in mind, I think the highest outcome end game is somewhat clear: frame-perfect rendering through the Wayland API of Mir-composited KDE/GNOME/Unity clients.

Or in other words, Mir should probably be a set of APIs to handle all the admittedly important desktop integration -- clipboard, multi-screen layout, input and gestures, systray/notification requests... -- with an optional and replaceable compositor thrown in.

All the points of contention that I know of, mainly that Canonical requires server-side buffer allocation (presumably for mobile ARM platforms) where Wayland does it client-side, could have been resolved with some diplomacy and a mutual willingness to reach a satisfactory compromise.

But instead, it looks like the report card is just going to say, "Doesn't play well with others." As usual. What a sad mess and wasted opportunity.

Re:Mir is fascinating... but not in a good way. (1)

loonycyborg (1262242) | 1 year,9 days | (#44790033)

Yeah. Canonical people found some 'shortcomings' in Wayland and decided to start their own project with even more shortcomings. Like choosing C++ for implementation language. Good luck finding contributors. Most FOSS contributors don't get C++ at all. The language isn't ready for such low level components yet. Maybe in future but not now.

Isn't this more pro-Wayland than anti-XMir? (2)

daboochmeister (914039) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789757)

Intel heavily supports Wayland, including employing the primary developer. Isn't this move on their part simply saying, we're dogfooding Wayland, and Canonical needs to handle XMir itself? Snark aside, doesn't that seem like a reasonable move on their part?

I wonder what that means for Steam (1)

fozzmeister (160968) | 1 year,9 days | (#44789807)

This needless display system might put the fledgling Linux gaming industry on the back foot. Games need good drivers quite often. Steam only runs on Ubuntu (officially) and this silly bullying may cause them much more harm then the benefits they may get (and what are they after all!)

Re:I wonder what that means for Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#44790627)

Maybe Valve will also reject Ubuntu. Best thing they could do. If they support "linux" then they support "linux" and not another windows clone called "Ubuntu".

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