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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:39PM (#40953061)

    The usual Ubuntu practice is to jam incomplete, beta quality changes (grub2, upstart, plymouth, unity, etc.) into release and fix them them in subsequent
    releases. This decision is a welcome change.

    Or maybe Wayland is so un-ready that even the usual Ubuntu powers-that-be couldn't allow it to be foisted on users, in which case we'll see beta quality Wayland in 13.04.

    I'm betting on #2.

    Not that I'm complaining, but there is wisdom in adopting realistic expectations.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nzac (1822298) on Friday August 10, 2012 @07:55PM (#40953183)

    It's so far from ready, this is what its currently achieving. When you are remaking a compositor from the begging these are significant steps.

    I have been waiting from this announcement from Ubuntu since they said they were trying to use it next release. It might be close to being ok for a 2d no accel window manager but trying to run unity was never happening in 6 months.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:11PM (#40953297)

    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.

    From the 10,000 ft view it sure looks like wayland is just reinvention for reinvention's sake and is likely to run into a whole host of problems that X figured out 20+ years ago.

  • by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Friday August 10, 2012 @08:50PM (#40953569)

    way more pragmatic answer, if they switch to wayland they will piss of valve who is working on porting their games onto ubuntu. they piss of valve there will be no games, as a consequence there will be no year of the linux desktop for a long time. linux as a big force in the desktop space is ubuntu's goal. so no xserver means no valve means no steam no games and now no games.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @09:07PM (#40953667)

    Basically the idea of wayland is that by using the wayland libraries the window manager becomes the display server. There are no restrictions on how the window manager works, other than that it is a compositor. The end result is that you can have tiling window managers like Awesome but they will leverage the GPU a tiny bit for the rendering. From an end user perspective there is no reason you should see a change given that the devs are halfway competent.

  • by dbc (135354) on Friday August 10, 2012 @10:15PM (#40954117)

    But what about native Wayland aps? (Is there such a thing?) Will I be able to run those across the network? (Asking, I don't know.) Like the GP, I use X over the network. If I can run *every* graphical ap on my machine over the network, then, sorry, no sale.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:12AM (#40955973) Homepage

    In my experience, the hard parts of making GUI code are dealing with multiple platforms (why would you want to write code for a single platform?) and going from functional-but-dull to snazzy-and-usable. The networking side of things (or not) is nowhere on that map.

    I don't write software where I have to push large numbers of frames through per second either. On the other hand I use software where large numbers of frames per second matter. Interestingly enough I just got the mac retina. Because the retina is doing virtual adjustments (i.e. there are several virtual screens being drawn to by applications and those those are re-rendered to another virtual screen which gets pushed to the physical screen) I could easily see frame rate problems in even day to applications like video inside a web browser while scrolling before the driver improvements in OSX 10.8. What Apple did in 10.8 to get rid of those problems, would be impossible under X.

    Kristian Høgsberg who wrote a lot of the X acceleration you are probably using was the one who started Wayland. He was frustrated about what he couldn't do. Under X applications are not able to control rendering. They cannot make decisions required to avoid visible tearing. They cannot force the X client to draw potential windows in advance to avoid lag.

    Another problem is either the client and server (to use X terminology) share a video memory buffer or they don't. If they don't you pick up a lot of time passing information between them. Your CPU is probably no more than a few gigabytes per second, that is the maximum speed you can get data from one buffer to another under best conditions. And with screens that are 5 mega pixel x 4 bytes of color per pixel, every one way trip is is 1/100th of a second under perfect conditions. You aren't getting perfect conditions and 2 round trips is common. And if X wanted to implement something like the resolution system Apple for retina then it would be worse (though the CPU speed for memory is likely about double) because you could be rendering virtual screens as large as 14 megapixel with some round trip being 4 hops.... you could be talking flicker over 1/10th of a second.

    I hope these two examples help. They have a good discussion: http://wayland.freedesktop.org/architecture.html [freedesktop.org]

  • by EvilNTUser (573674) on Saturday August 11, 2012 @07:18AM (#40955989)

    If everyone were putting their cards on the table, then we could have an honest conversation about tradeoffs.

    Sometimes it seems like people don't even know what cards they're holding. All these arguments are missing the point from a usability perspective.

    When I type "ssh -X", I don't actually care what protocol is used. All I care about is that it works on every single computer *by default*. The solution is obvious: modify the Wayland spec to demand that every system that implements Wayland also includes VNC integrated with SSH. Problem solved, everyone can be happy.

    Yes, performance won't be exactly the same, the specified protocol might not end up being VNC, etc. but these endless arguments about Wayland are much worse. We have the software to implement this, so let's just please standardize on *something* so we have usable systems out of the box. It's not going to prevent someone from manually installing a better network protocol in the future, so Wayland trying to remain neutral on network protocols is just ideological posturing.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec

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