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Wayland Isn't Ready For the Fedora 24 Desktop ( 120

An anonymous reader writes: There was much hope that Fedora 24 would be the first major Linux distribution using Wayland by default in place of an X.Org Server, that didn't pan out with Fedora 24 Workstation developers deciding not to use Wayland by default but it will remain a log-in time option. Fedora Wayland has made a lot of progress but functionality like on-screen keyboard, accessibility, remote displays, USB display hot-plugging, and other functionality is incomplete for the Fedora 24 timeline. At least there are many other Fedora 24 features that made it for this next release due out in June. Wayland will turn eight years old this year.
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Wayland Isn't Ready For the Fedora 24 Desktop

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  • by koan ( 80826 )

    Yes indeed

  • // Lame joke about Hurd & DNF goes here

  • Also missing... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Saturday March 05, 2016 @10:02AM (#51643275) Homepage Journal transparency, which is only available in the form of proof-of-concept unofficial patches, which themselves introduce substantial security holes.

    For Fedora, which underpins RHEL and other Enterprisey OSes, that's a major absence, even if Wayland's own developers don't consider it important.

    I really hope Wayland's developers stop treating it as a minority application unworthy of serious consideration (even though it's supposedly on their long term roadmap) and actively start work on it. They have a proof of concept. They have X to show them how security can work in practice. It's time the work was done.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by kthreadd ( 1558445 )
      Nothing stops you from running an X server on top of Wayland. That's what the Mac people are doing with XQuartz, they don't run X for their local apps but nothing stops them from running remote X apps. Sure GNU/Linux users should be able to do the same under Wayland.
      • And if X on Wayland works as well as XQuartz, it is just barely better than useless. When I run remote programs on XQuartz, it crashes a lot. Some programs can't reasonably be used at all, because XQuartz crashes so often (accidently hitting the mouse scroll wheel while in emacs seems to cause a crash every time). Real X on Linux has always worked beautifully in comparison. If X on Wayland is only as good as XQuartz, it is worth having in an emergency but no good for daily work. YMMV.
      • by Uecker ( 1842596 )

        But where to the remote X app come from? They are UNIX/Linux apps which onlz exist because X is the universal display protocol. X essentially unifies the ecosystem of all UNIX-like operating systems and those apps also work on Mac OS X and Windows. This is extremely nice, but in the new Wayland word-order, this ecosystem will slowly fall apart... Breaking backwards compatibility for the display protocol is really stupid IMHO.

        • Exactly. I have been saying this from the start. It isn't just that Wayland can't replace what X11 does, it also will *DESTROY* our choice to use X11 just as soon as some of the major apps are ported to it and X11 becomes an afterthought.

          I don't care how fancy or modern Wayland is- to me it is a mistake. That effort should have gone into making X12 instead.

    • which themselves introduce substantial security holes.

      Xorg is a single huge security hole, one that had to run as root until recently.

      Wayland is a step in the right direction. Perhaps in 20 years its successor will emerge and that one is perfect.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, without network transparency, a Linux GUI is quite useless to me with my many Linux machines.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      They use that one to mock the people who ask for it.
      See also mocking shaped windows and the Enlightenment window manager, despite the Enlightenment project helping them out a great deal.

      Under all the hype and venom it's a framebuffer with the work of other projects such as gtk, enlightenment etc on top, a worthwhile project for some purposes going back to a more simple approach than X , but the hype and venom is really working against them.
    • by Burz ( 138833 )

      Xorg network transparency is overrated. They never absorbed the advances made by the NX project, for one, meaning that X requires a LAN or similar very low latency connection to work well. The other problem is that transparency has been set in stone for a very long time, and competitors (WindowsNT and OS X specifically) leapfrogged X's net features by a mile in the early 2000s. That's why window-sharing and conferencing apps are plentiful on those platforms but very scarce on Linux -- actually, there is NO

  • "The Fedora 24 Desktop Isn't Ready For Wayland"
  • by jopet ( 538074 ) on Saturday March 05, 2016 @11:00AM (#51643437) Journal

    What I love about X is the flexibility one gets, which is unparalleled by any other system: I can easily start a window of an application running on another host on my machine, works fine if I am logged into that other machine using ssh. I can tunnel a whole session through sse usinv VNC and use the remote desktop directly on my local one. It supports mutliple monitors spanning one desktop or several desktop on several monitors.
    Does Wayland support these things too?

    • Does Wayland support these things too?

      Not yet, although various people have demonstrated proofs of concept. Since Wayland doesn't actually work reliably or properly yet, that is not a major issue. "Nobody" (probably one or two distributions will go bugshit, but not RHEL, and if you run Fedora then you chose to be an Alpha tester and you get what you signed up for) is going to be forced to switch to it for quite some time after it's made generally available by distributions.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday March 05, 2016 @11:37AM (#51643587) Homepage

      From what I've understood, VNC yes since it's essentially diff'd screen dumps with "damage areas" that are redrawn. In fact there's been some attempts at making a RDP-style remote capability that is slightly smarter because it knows the composition but not the contents of the window, like if you move a window the protocol knows it can just move rather than resend the contents. What you won't get is native X acceleration, meaning you can't actually send draw commands. Think like HTML, draw this box here with that text in this color.

      That is also why Wayland at least in the reference implementation doesn't have server side decorations, it doesn't want to understand fonts, antialiasing, buttons, animation, themes and all that. It is only a pixel-pusher, it composites images other software has made. By itself it won't draw a window border, a minimize/maximize/close button, nothing. It made the project much easier without dependency on any graphics toolkit, but I think it might have been a mistake to present it like this is the norm and clients should/might have to write their own decorations.

      I don't think applications should be forced to write their own decorations, it should be the norm that they can request decorations from the window system and that they'll take what they can get. The reference implementation should have been a wayland plug-in and might have been state of the art of the 1980s, a few fixed bitmaps and just "we expect actual environments like KDE, Gnome, even XFCE to come up with something more advanced this is basically a minimal placeholder". If you want to draw your own decorations that's something else.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I've been a pretty avid fan and user of VNC, in one form or another, for a very long time. Is there any reason for me to care about this? Almost nothing I try wants to forward the GUI over SSH anyhow. What benefit does Wayland, eventually, offer? Is there any compelling reason to change?

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          The theory is that it's going to be faster than X.
          Since the video drivers are mostly cut and pasted from X and there isn't much slowing down in the bits they have left out that has not happened yet.

          One of the biggest stumbling blocks they have is that they slow applications they want to display quickly are slow in portions that have nothing to do with displaying to the screen. Saving a few milliseconds in the new gedit starting up (Daniel Stone's strawman to show X is slow) is hard to notice when it still
          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Much thanks! I knew someone would chime in. Well, I hoped they would. I'm probably going to end up just doing what I have been doing. I'm not really seeing any compelling reason to change my behavior. So long as it doesn't break anything then I probably won't even care if the distros start using it by default.

            An example is that, right now, I've been on the road since September of 2015. Well, not on the road so much but no longer home. I left on wanderlust and have managed to acquire a girlfriend, quite by a

            • by dbIII ( 701233 )
              Some good points there.
              For me however I use X to put output from a couple of dozen different machines on my screen and to display that needs more resources than you can get in a desktop box. VNC doesn't do the first without being very clunky (full desktops instead of just applications) and while it works with the latter a desktop on a desktop seems to annoy and confuse people a lot more than X. Wayland with or without vnc has a long way to go with the latter and they just laugh at people who want the form
              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                Yeah, I like the TurboVNC viewer. I just keep it as a full-screen and key-combo out of it. It works well BUT (and that's a big but) I'm acclimated to it and *very* familiar with it. I like it because I can use a slower machine and just pipe things like compiling off to something else. I like it because I can split resources up. I can absolutely understand* that not many will be able to "work" like I do. I just drop it to the task-bar while not in use, I might even throw them up on separate virtual desktops,

      • X (the protocol) isn't really going away. You can run a cut down X server that does all of the decorations and so forth, then draws the window via Wayland. It isn't perfect, it may not appear exactly the same as it used to. In this way X joins VNC & RDP as client applications that can draw windows or desktops on a Wayland compositor.

    • by ssam ( 2723487 )
      X forwarding still just works if you are running wayland locally. behind the scenes its using xwayland, but from the user point of view nothing has changed. I am sure there will be a more waylandy solution before the tool kits drop their X support (which probably wont happen for decades).
  • hmm (Score:1, Funny)

    Ah, Wayland. The Hurd of windowing systems. I'm sure it will be amazing once finished.

  • I ran Wayland during F23 Beta and on F23 for about ten weeks. It worked a lot better than in F22 but still has some usability issues. A couple of examples: In gedit the user should be able to drag a tab to a new window. In Wayland this causes gedit to crash. In XWayland apps such as Firefox or LibreOffice, the cursor will randomly disappear. Once that happens you have to restart Gnome. I am a bit frustrated with the lack of Wayland fixes in F23 promised here []
    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      What happens is you run the Enlightenment environment under Wayland instead of Gnome? There has been a lot more work put in over more time so it's probably more stable.
      • by djl4570 ( 801529 )
        Is this version 0.20.3 what you're talking about? I'll give it a shot when I have some time. [djl@Tesseract ~]$ dnf list enlightenment*
        Last metadata expiration check performed 13:01:57 ago on Sat Mar 5 09:55:42 2016.
        Available Packages {snipped for brevity}
        enlightenment.x86_64 0.20.3-1.fc23 updates
        enlightenment-data.noarch 0.20.3-1.fc23 updates
        Will it do anything rude like load a screen locker that runs even when Gnome is started. xfce did this to me and the UI was so primitive I thoug
        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          The UI is so far from primitive that a Wayland developer mocked it for having far too many features :(
  • Seeing a lot of comparisons between X and other remote-access protocols such as VNC. From a personal use perspective I've found:

    One nice thing about X is that the active window is independent of a particular desktop, or parent etc. When I use VNC, one frustration is that everything is bound inside the parent window (which is generally also restricted to a particular monitor). Larger desktops tend to suck, performance-wise, as you end up with a lot of pricey redraws.

    One *nice* thing about VNC is that you can

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming