Are you going to be happy that Linux cannot use the processor in your computer and get the same level of performance as other OSes without proprietary drivers?
The things to remember is:
The GPU is now part of the computer architecture. It's not just about driving graphics acceleration anymore. It's increasingly used for a wider variety of workloads and GPUs are now being integrated into processors themselves. Both AMD and Intel now are releasing processors that include GPUs on die. The idea that Linux cannot support the processors being shipped natively and requires proprietary drivers to get acceptable performance is, hopefully, unacceptable for most people.
So GPU drivers are still needed. Newer solutions like Gallium3D are needed. Were the drivers can support multiple APIs effectively. This is different from X model were you have to have a DDX driver for 2D and 3D DRI driver for 3D. This is really quite a broken design, especially since modern hardware no longer has any 2D acceleration except through emulation support and that is going away eventually, too.
> Maybe I am underestimating KMS + OpenGL/ES. That's a really pretty good start certainly: but is it *enough* to provide the experience that people like Shuttleworth seems to expect?
That is just what is needed to drive Wayland itself. Minimal requirements.
With this approach the display manager is just another application and is not very special in terms of what it requires to operate. Other applications can use different APIs for acceleration. Wayland is just a application that collects their output and puts it into a single image that is displayed on the screen.
> If no, how are we going to convince manufacturers to provide better documentation of their hardware? (X as a project was doing a decent job at that - probably in part due to its maturity and overall success.)
Intel is supplying open source drivers. That's right about 70-80% of the desktop market right there. If all we gave a crap about was providing support for the majority of potential users they could stop right there.
AMD/ATI are not providing their own open source drivers and are also giving out documentation. And Nvidia is being asshats as usual about being open, but the open source driver is progressing at a good pace regardless.
For the desktop and server market that covers 99% of all situations. Via is still lurking in the wings, but that's about it.
For embedded systems it is much more difficult. But the Wayland model offers significant advantages for them in terms of efficiency and memory footprint over X.
Think about why Android does not use X.
> We need to ensure that life after X will provide us with something really worth the effort to switching (not even counting the network transparency feature drop- which I would personnally linger for).
X and Wayland are not mutually exclusive.
Remember X is a network protocol and the X server just displays the output from X clients. Would you like it if your web browser had to control the hardware directly to render Web pages?
Anyways. X is not very good when compared to more modern protocols like ICA or Spice.
With X Windows. It's just impossible. It's far too inefficient.
Look at the name at the bottom of the page. Notice that: Citrix?
They make a huge amount of money providing support for thin clients and remote applications for corporations all over the planet. Do you know why they can make so much money?
Partially because X sucks so badly. There are ways to deal with remote applications that are probably better.
With SPICE they can get performance better with Linux-KVM then ICA through the use of virtualization and special 'virtual' hardware. So they are going at a level much lower then X, VNC, RDP, or ICA runs at and they are getting better results.