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GUI Graphics Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Delays Wayland Plans, System Compositor 319

Posted by timothy
from the differentiation-has-downsides dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Wayland-usage in Ubuntu 12.10 via setting it up as a system video compositor has been delayed to at least Ubuntu 13.04. Developers made progress on running Ubuntu on Wayland (there are experimental packages available), but they need more time to complete their work and ready Wayland. For those wanting to try out Wayland on Linux, there is a specialty Wayland LiveCD."
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Ubuntu Delays Wayland Plans, System Compositor

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  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:47PM (#40953119)

    http://wayland.freedesktop.org/screenshots.html

    Try harder.

  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:05PM (#40953255)

    Wel basically it's a display server, like X11/X.org, except it's optimized to run locally, unlike X11/X.org which has it's origins in networked environments and tries its best to work either locally or remotely.

    Except that X has been tinkered to work for desktop systems for so long that there little of that network oriented code left around, yet W, or Wayland, tries to get rid of that aspect completely.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:47PM (#40953549) Homepage

    Wayland is designed to fix a lot of the problems that X has. X, for historical reasons, does a TON of things. It has network transparency, it's responsible for input, for setting up the graphics card's memory and registers, drawing various primitive shapes, font rendering, etc.

    But today 99% of the time people don't use the network transparency stuff in X, they run locally. But all sorts of memory has to be shuffled around. X mandates all sorts of bitmap formats that must be supported. Today the kernel, through KMS, can setup the graphics card. We have libraries like Cairo to draw basic shapes. Then there are all sorts of weird things that have been hacked into/onto X to support common features like resizing and rotating your desktop.

    Wayland basically started with a blank slate. The kernel can setup the video card, so it won't do that. Most people don't use network transparency, so it doesn't do that (you can run an X client on Wayland, for when you still need the feature). The GUI toolkits and OpenGL libraries already draw everything, so it doesn't do that stuff.

    LWN had an article [lwn.net] from two years ago about what Wayland set out to accomplish. Things may have changed since there, here are two [lwn.net] updates [lwn.net] from LWN describing Wayland earlier this year.

  • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Friday August 10, 2012 @09:16PM (#40953715) Homepage

    can Awesome be ported to Wayland itself, so that it manages X clients and native Wayland clients?

    Yes, but with a twist. Wayland doesn't have window managers as a separate process. Instead of porting your preferred window manager to work with Wayland, one would implement the Wayland protocol support in the window manager, with help from libwayland for the common parts. Supposedly the Wayland support only requires about as much code as the boilerplate for an X window manager. Of course, X core rendering and XRender will be unavailable. If the WM already uses a portable library like Cairo, GTK+ or Qt for rendering that shouldn't be a problem; otherwise all the drawing code would need to be ported as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @10:31PM (#40954211)

    I think Wayland is meant to move X and other legacy stuffs out of the local rendering path, making X second-class (and optional) citizen. This is one (big) difference between Wayland and previous attempts is that it is actually meant to work with X. Rather than removing X, It replaces X's position from being the center of the rendering universe. I don't know if Wayland would succeed, but it would satisfy both the network transparency AND the local desktop crowd. It seems like a very sane way to progress to me since I don't believe you'd want to run a lot of composite apps over X network protocol anyway. I think Wayland deserves the hype for what they're trying to accomplish.

  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday August 10, 2012 @11:20PM (#40954437) Homepage

    My understanding of Wayland says that it wouldn't bother Valve at all.

    If you use a toolkit that has been ported to Wayland, you use the toolkit and nothing changes.

    If you use a toolkit that hasn't been ported, you'd just run the X server that runs as a Wayland client, so things keep working.

    But the important thing is running OpenGL, which works just fine in Wayland (which is built on OpenGL).

    Unless Valve is writing their own rendering directly against X (which seems like it would be an idiotic thing to do in general, especially considering Wayland has been coming for over 2 years), I wouldn't think this would really effect them. In fact, they could decide to go Wayland only (assuming it's done enough at that point) and avoid whatever hassle X might have given them.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Friday August 10, 2012 @11:20PM (#40954445)

    But what about native Wayland aps? (Is there such a thing?) Will I be able to run those across the network?

    No.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @01:21AM (#40954949) Journal
    Well, No, yes and maybe. FAQ is useful. http://wayland.freedesktop.org/faq.html#heading_toc_j_8 [freedesktop.org]
  • by whoever57 (658626) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @02:14AM (#40955103) Journal

    The Wayland developers have repeatedly said they will support network transparency. Stop being a fucking drama queen.

    Their FAQ disagrees with you: [freedesktop.org]

    Is Wayland network transparent / does it support remote rendering?

    No, that is outside the scope of Wayland.

  • by ais523 (1172701) <ais523(524\)(525)x)@bham.ac.uk> on Saturday August 11, 2012 @02:55AM (#40955239)
    ssh -X has some restrictions for security reasons. If you trust the other end, try using ssh -Y instead, which lets it do things like run code on the local GPU (which OpenGL probably cares about).
  • by agrif (960591) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @04:00AM (#40955377) Homepage

    This is almost exactly what Wayland is doing. Wayland is a communication protocol between compositors and the things they composite: usually, between window managers and applications. This means that the window manager is responsible for communicating with applications, and for pushing video data on to the screen (via OpenGL + Kernel Mode Setting). So instead of launching X, then launching a window manager on top of that, you just launch the window manager.

    This is the primary advantage of Wayland: it's simple. Really really simple. It's basically just OpenGL and a protocol for delegating render surfaces to other applications (to render on to using OpenGL). By comparison, an X server needs font rendering, shape rendering, and a ton of other things that aren't used today anyway because everyone uses freetype and cairo and such. Wayland leaves those out and expects you to get that from other places (like, say, freetype and cairo).

    (Wayland is also the name of a C library implementing the Wayland protocol. The Wayland project also produces the Weston compositor, as a reference implementation of a simple "window manager".)

  • by mellyra (2676159) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @04:03AM (#40955393)

    Wayland is an attempt to remove the network transparency of X... in a world where everything is networked.

    I just don't get why they are so keen to get rid off that faeture... When I was in uni (just four years ago) our department had a powerful Sun server that mostly powered the computer lab's thin clients but also allowed ssh access from the outside. Being able to log into that server via ssh with X forwarding and run Maple, Mathematica, ... was awesome and saved me the expense of getting any of that software myself.

  • by gaelfx (1111115) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @06:33AM (#40955817)

    Nice job clipping that response to suit your needs. If you bothered to read the second paragraph:

    This doesn't mean that remote rendering won't be possible with Wayland, it just means that you will have to put a remote rendering server on top of Wayland. One such server could be the X.org server, but other options include an RDP server, a VNC server or somebody could even invent their own new remote rendering model. Which is a feature when you think about it; layering X.org on top of Wayland has very little overhead, but the other types of remote rendering servers no longer requires X.org, and experimenting with new protocols is easier.

    Now, call me crazy, but isn't a large part of Linux about the user being able to choose how their machine does the work that they ask it to do? It seems to me Wayland isn't trying to force anything on anyone, rather, just trying to open up more choices that would otherwise be limited.

Some programming languages manage to absorb change, but withstand progress. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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