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Graphics Ubuntu Linux

Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland 354

An anonymous reader writes "On the Ubuntu Wiki is now the Mir specification, which is a next-generation display server not based on X11/X.Org or Wayland. Canonical is rolling their own display server for future releases of Ubuntu for form factors from mobile phones to the desktop. Mir is still in development but is said to support Android graphics drivers, open-source Linux graphics drivers, and they're pressuring hardware vendors with commercial closed-source drivers to support it too. They also said X11 apps will be compatible along with GTK3 and Qt/QML programs. Canonical isn't using X11 or Wayland with their future Unity desktop as they see many shortcomings from these existing and commonly used components."
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Canonical Announces Mir: A New Display Server Not On X11 Or Wayland

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  • No, not again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#43072779)

    Seems like Unity lesson didn't teach Canonical anything. This will end badly too.

  • So now it's... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#43072787)

    the OS formerly known as Ubuntu distribution of a GNU/Linux-OS -> Ubuntu-OS brought to you by Cannonical (fine print: May contain GPL-licensed third party applications such as the Linux kernel).

  • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#43072789) Homepage

    You are going to need it.

    * and should you succede against all odds, we would all benefit.

  • Not surprised. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lazere ( 2809091 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#43072795)
    I'm thinking Canonical should just stop beating around the bush and split. I wouldn't be surprised if they announced their own kernel soon.
  • Ubuntu ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#43072797)

    Ubuntu, We Want To Be Different.

    Sure, breaking tradition will cause a little more fragmentation in the Linux world, but is that so bad? We don't think our needs, or that of our users, are always met by sticking to the 'same old song and dance' so we're bucking the trend.

    There is good and bad in change.

  • Re:No, not again (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:49PM (#43072897)

    I'm guessing that they're running an elaborate experiment to see just what one has to do to ruin a distro thoroughly and completely. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:53PM (#43072977) Homepage

    If that happens, it will be a fairly major step backwards for Linux on the desktop since developers will be on the hook to adjust to supporting not just multiple packaging systems and multiple library versions, but also multiple incompatible core system API's.

    So you're saying nothing will change?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:55PM (#43072995)

    the Apple of Linux. I'll likely never run another *buntu install again. Too bloated, too proprietary, too wanting to be commercially successful. Bad taste...

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @05:58PM (#43073023) Homepage
    If you find something doesn't suit what you would like to do then you should ditch it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:02PM (#43073075)

    No, but they did cram it down everyone's throats while for 99% of users it's functionality was meaningless and it severely broke all kinds of applications. I think that's close enough.

  • Re:No, not again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:10PM (#43073173) Homepage

    I'm guessing that they're running an elaborate experiment to see just what one has to do to ruin a distro thoroughly and completely. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

    Microsoft is trying to be a copycat of Apple, Ubuntu is trying to be a copycat of Google. Google scrapped everything but the kernel and wrote all new code - you can tell by the Apache 2.0 license, no GPL userspace code, Ubuntu is now trying to do the same wanting to go head to head with Android not realizing a house cat can't hunt the same way and the same pray a lion does. But then they're used to being a 1% company in a 99% Win/Mac world, maybe they'll manage being a 1% company in an Android/iOS world too. In any case if they head off to chase mobiles/tablets there's not really much to lose since the GPL presence there is ~0% (outside the kernel in Android) so why not? If they succeed great, if not... well the OSS community is not really worse off than before.

  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:14PM (#43073217)

    A lot of times in software someone starts some grand plan project which takes forever to get anywhere. Then some lone programmer comes along with something small, well focused and just plain well thought out, which causes the grand project to be abandoned. There are so many examples of this one can't count. The Linux kernel itself compared to Hurd is just one example. Let Canonical have a shot at this. They've got some good ideas, if they can pull it off, the result will stand on its own merits.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:22PM (#43073325)

    I think you had it the other way around. Wayland was started by a lone programmer in his spare time. Mir, on the other hand, is the grand plan project in this case.

  • Re:No, not again (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:23PM (#43073349)

    Actually it makes quite a bit of sense -- if you're not making a Linux distro.

    This appears to be the fundamental fact that Shuttleworth and Canonical have seemed to forgotten -- or rather, they want you to forget. Canonical is trying to position itself not just as a Linux distribution, but as a platform ala Android, where the only role Linux serves is to get around the licensing costs of using something like QNX instead...the work's already done, the community -are- the testers. They get an OS for embedded products (note: Canonical does not give a flying fuck about your PC or your server any longer), on the cheap, without the multibillion dollar R&D that it'd normally cost. They get to develop everything that goes on top of it -- they also get to say how it's used. For all the panning that Unity has gotten on just about every site I've read, the one criticism they strangely seem to ignore is that Unity is licensed so that Canonical is assigned the copyright for any potential contributions. Just like you, Canonical enjoys being given things for free.

    What Canonical is doing doesn't make sense to a seasoned Linux veteran or even a beginner starting with some other distribution, true. It makes quite a bit of sense if one is trying to jump into the walled-garden world of tablets though, and that's where Canonical is moving. The grand "community promise" has been thrown out the window and now Canonical wants _Ubuntu_, not Linux in general, to be the only viable alternative.

  • by citizenr ( 871508 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:26PM (#43073381) Homepage

    This is clever - this way they automagically get full GFX support for closed source vendors (MALI400 drivers on cheap tablets for example).

  • by Idimmu Xul ( 204345 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:29PM (#43073421) Homepage Journal

    Do they name it after a soviet space station as an indication that they are planning to take away our rights in a soviet style dictatorship?

    Don't be a hypocritical drama queen.

    Waa waa dictatorship, waa waa taking away freedom, waa waa forcing users

    For someone who loves choice so much you're pretty hard set on X fanaticism. In any other arena X would be described as a monopoly. Should Canonical not be allowed the freedom to compete? Or should your zealotry force their roadmap?

    We have competing window managers, competing graphical toolkits, competing desktop environments, X even has competing methods of rendering, a competing display server will make things interesting and looks like it's paving the way for easier cross platform application development.

    Chances are Mir will be an open source, open spec standard under a nicey nice GPLish license allowing freedom of choice to distributions, application developers and end users alike.

    Linux has been a fractured splintered platform for well over a decade, this doesn't really make that much of a difference.

  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:43PM (#43073591)

    Problem is quite simple - Wayland started very small and simple, but of course were held back by legacy support requests (and then there's those closed binary video drivers) and Ubuntu planned to do next LTS with it. However, Canonical suddenly changed their direction 2 years ago, and tried to push into mobile market. Wayland (and Xorg too) can be used for mobile platform, it just needs more work. Problem is Canonical's time is running out. They can't wait. They also don't want to be in same position as others. They want to be first. They don't want to waste all their money only be beaten by some guy who will put GNOME 3 with GNOME Shell together, make it sexy and make all phone/tablet wannabies run for their money. So they retreat more and more in NIH land.

    I don't mean them ill. But it's serious fragmentation and trying to destroying de facto Linux desktop ecosystem - to become ultimate winner instead. I'm not sure I can support that in any way anymore.

  • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @06:47PM (#43073639) Journal
    In case you havent figured it out yet, the future is going to be very fragmented. Start learning to glue stuff together or get left behind.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @07:05PM (#43073829)

    You are a dinosaur, sir.

    It is not good enough to "leave it well enough alone". That results in stagnation and obsolescence and toleration of mediocrity. This is the reason why consumer PCs were saddled with a piece of shit operating system that did not even have full 32-bit protected memory, for the better part of 2 decades after the i386 was released. This is the reason why most of the big RISC and UNIX vendors have stagnated and fallen.

    New things should continually be explored and improved, new ideas tested, and old ideas retested.

    You can sit there bitching and whining about how it was in your day, etc etc. Meanwhile, nobody who *actually* gets anything done will pay the slightest bit of attention.


  • Re:Ubuntu ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @07:13PM (#43073899)

    If you look at the specs, Mir will be more clean-cut and modular than X.org ever was, allowing for implementation across distros if they so wish.

    Had this been just another music-player people wouldn't have paid it any mind, just scoffed at it and went about their business. But the moment someone DARE'S to spend their time and money on an (just as open and free) alternative to a 25-year old monolithic mess of display server, THEN the swiss-guard comes out in force.

    X.org is good for some things, but making things pretty while preserving CPU/GPU-cycles aint one of them.

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @07:43PM (#43074123)

    Debian needs to stop being Ubuntu's and Gnome's bitch.

    Come on. Seriously?? Debian is nobody's bitch; certainly not Gnome's. You have a completely free choice of desktops in Debian, just as in practically all other distros. It's dead simple to select Xfce [debian.org], and it's dead simple to select KDE [debian.org], and it's dead simple to select LXDE [debian.org], just for example.

    Why would you have them completely drop support for ANY major desktop? Open source is about choice. Choice is good.

    As for "Ubuntu's bitch", color me completely mystified. I can't even begin to imagine how anyone can connect that to reality.

  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @08:09PM (#43074325)

    It's kinda the whole problem with Linux is that any "standard" is just defacto and ever shifting. Yeah for sure, it is something that holds Linux back compared to the stability of proprietary platforms. But also, it is the thing that allows it to move forward. Canonical will give this a shot, and if its great, perhaps it will be the new standard. If its rubbish, it won't be. Let's just see what they come up with. If Wayland were perfect, I'm sure Canonical would not want to throw money at a problem that is already solved.

  • by fwarren ( 579763 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @08:24PM (#43074447) Homepage

    My points are valid. I remember when Ubuntu took up each of these issues and adopted or created software to solve these issues.

    Network manager is far from perfect. Try setting a static IP address for you wired adapter with network-manager. Or getting a working bridge going. Or having a wi-fi connection active upon booting a computer but before logging in. When Ubuntu adopted network manager and people filed bug reports and brought up those shortcomings. Ubuntu said it wold get taken care of in the next couple releases. They did not.

    They said we would have grub to desktop graphic boots. Did they work on it for a bit. But even now, most desktops do not have a graphic boot from grub. Forget about that as an out of box experience with a Nvidia card. From not working in GRUB you move to not working in Plymouth Again Ubuntu did not create these technologies, but they did adopt them, set as a goal what they wanted to do with them. Then they fell short, got bug reports, promised they would fix it in a release or two. After a release or two, they announce another half baked initiative and move on.

    Does pulse audio work? Yes, Does it still have issues? Yes. Can it be a pain to get software designed to work with OSS or ALSA working with it yes it can. I have every right to complain. Ubuntu promised 6 years ago when they adopted it that they would get it all fixed and sorted out. They have not.

    You mention Unity and Upstart. Upstart still is not delivering on Ubuntu's promised sub 10 second boot times. Which by the way, were promised with graphic boot screens as well. Still not happening. What about 200,000 million users by 13.10? Again another half baked promise.

    Ubuntu has done a lot. The Linux desktop is better off than it was in 2006. Ubuntu has helped improve some of these projects. But so far, every time Ubuntu announces an initiative and makes some big claim about what they will accomplish, they end up doing a half baked job when you look at how well they have met their objectives.

    200 million users by October 2013
    10 second boot times
    Desktop looking better than OS X
    100% graphical boots on all Linux systems.
    Network manager as robust as OS X or Windows XP network manager
    Pulse Audio as robust as OS X or Windows XP sound system.

    I am not the one making these promises. Ubuntu is. They are the one telling us we should all hop on board and promote Ubuntu to all of our friends. All of this great stuff they are doing.

    What I see are half-baked half-fulfilled promises. Being told we are a community, and the minute the majority of us don't like something like the close button being moved to the left side of the window, or Unity. we are told Mark is in charge and it is not a community decision. I see the word Linux purged from anything Ubuntu is involved with. I am tired of being lied to and treated like the ugly girlfriend that Ubuntu want to have sex with but will not hold her hand in public.

  • by sl3xd ( 111641 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @08:24PM (#43074451) Journal

    Their time line seems very optimistic though.

    No, a "finished" and stable btrfs in 2009 was very optimistic... and four years later, it's still experimental, and lacks major features.

    This timeline, on the other hand, goes beyond mere optimism, flies past fantasy, and onto the sort of madness one expects of the North Korean Thermonuclear Fusion program.

    I wish Canonical well, but I've seen this song before enough times to be more than a little doubtful of their chances.
    * Fresco
    * DirectFB
    * Y Window System

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 04, 2013 @10:15PM (#43075093)

    Let Canonical have a shot at this. They've got some good ideas, if they can pull it off, the result will stand on its own merits.

    The results of the Mir already stand on their own merits. It's already shipping on millions of devices under the "Android" name, which is where this "new" architecture/design Ubuntu is using came from. Ubuntu is just porting Android's gfx/input subsystems to the PC and giving it a new name in the process.

  • by GigaplexNZ ( 1233886 ) on Monday March 04, 2013 @10:34PM (#43075167)

    GNU/Linux may be fragmented, but Ubuntu isn't.

    Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu et al...

  • by smash ( 1351 ) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @05:23AM (#43076877) Homepage Journal
    Plus LTS and all the versions in between the last LTS and current.
  • by Friggo ( 765910 ) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @06:24PM (#43084797)

    Let me tell you a story. A bunch of Swedish guys stay in a hotel in the US. Their manager speaks Spanish and chats to the staff. The staff complain the Swedes don't tip. So the manager talks to them and explains they should all put a dollar bill on the table each day. Some of them leave change and the cleaners tell the manager this is unacceptable. Eventually all but one of them do the crisp $1 per day thing. The one that doesn't claims that tipping is feudal and turns the cleaners into supplicants, the hotel should pay the staff a decent wage like in Sweden, the US should have a social democratic party like in Sweden to stick up for the workers and so on and so on and refuses to do it.

    When he checks out he finds out the cleaners have put on the porn channel every day after he left the room and turned it off just before he got back.

    I think we can all learn a lesson from that story, can't we?

    I would say that the lesson is that hotel cleaners in the US are criminals. And that the tipping system in the US sucks.
    If the cleaners (or others in the service industry) feel they are entitled to the tip, it is not really a tip any more, it is just a hidden direct taxation for services.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend