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LCA: The ways of Wayland
Posted Feb 13, 2013 20:42 UTC (Wed) by richmoore (subscriber, #53133)
Posted Feb 13, 2013 20:59 UTC (Wed) by arekm (subscriber, #4846)
Will it features/performance be on par with xserver without wayland?
Posted Feb 13, 2013 21:18 UTC (Wed) by dowdle (subscriber, #659)
Posted Feb 13, 2013 21:26 UTC (Wed) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
Basically, X server just gets a "front buffer" that is an OpenGL texture. It then can use whatever it wants to draw on it and Wayland just pushes it to the actual screen.
Posted Feb 13, 2013 22:28 UTC (Wed) by iabervon (subscriber, #722)
DRI2 and accelerations bypass the X server in the first place, so it doesn't matter whether the X server is a Wayland client or not for them.
Posted Feb 14, 2013 20:26 UTC (Thu) by Serge (guest, #84957)
Technically Wayland is totally different from X11. No compatibility. To get the compatibility you have to run them both: either start X-server inside Wayland or start Wayland server inside X.Org, both ways work, kind of.
In the long run Wayland is supposed to completely replace X.Org, meaning, every app would need wayland support, either explicit, or in toolkit it's based on.
Posted Feb 14, 2013 20:51 UTC (Thu) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
No one is even talking about removing X support, except for you.
Posted Feb 15, 2013 10:53 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
I would rather say that, if there's ever a X12, it will run _on top_ of Wayland. And as a consequence, it's going to be much, much simpler (and more reliable).
But that will only happen if the people that want X features organize and start to walk instead of talking. It's almost time.
Posted Feb 15, 2013 18:43 UTC (Fri) by Serge (guest, #84957)
Ok. I see 3 possible future ways for wayland:
1. Wayland runs as X.Org client. Meaning, X.org talks to the hardware, and Wayland talks to X.Org. Nothing changed, window managers work as usual, everybody is happy, we just got one more layer on top of X11.
2. X.Org is running as Wayland client. Meaning, Wayland talks to hardware, X.Org talks to Wayland, and all X11 apps run through such X11-to-Wayland proxy.
3. Wayland is aiming to replace X.Org. Meaning, there would be a compatibility proxy for some time, but developers would be aggressively encouraged to switch to wayland.
Since Wayland is advertised as a better X.Org, I was thinking that #3 is the case. If it's not, if you're talking about #1, you developed Wayland, which is "better than X.Org", but you're still relying on X.Org and not going to replace it, then... what have you made Wayland for?
So, I guess you mean #2. Obviously, window managers, dock-bars, decorators, and other similar stuff won't work in that mode. So every window manager in the world would have to either (a) implement its own wayland compositor (b) fork and hack weston, (c) commit its code to weston as a plugin and merge with it, or (d) cease to exist.
It takes a lot of effort to support such a monster as wayland compositor. So only big players like Gnome and KDE will stay alive. Others will die. Compiz author had already said that he sees no reason to develop compiz any more.
Under X11, if somebody wants to write a cool dockbar he can just write it. He don't have to patch Gnome/KDE/X.Org. And he can use it anywhere, in Gnome, KDE or OpenBox. If he wants to write a WM he's free to do it (IIRC, it takes ~50 lines of code for a basic WM). And then he could use it anywhere, he could use KDE Plasma or XFCE desktop with his own WM and it would work.
Under Wayland one can't just write a dockbar. He must integrate it with some compositor. So he either forks weston just to write a dockbar (obviously, nobody would do that), or he must submit patches to the compositor. And even if his patches were accepted by e.g. kwin, his dockbar will work under kwin only, but not under weston.
X.Org is a pearl of Linux world. It's extremely flexible, whatever you want you can do that. You like gnome panel, but don't like metacity — you can use OpenBox+gnome-panel. If you want to switch to XFCE, but you are used to kwin features — you can use kwin in XFCE. You like tiling — there're plenty of options for you, all working in X.Org. At the same time X.Org is extremely stable and backward compatible. You can use programs written 10+ years ago. People usually don't even talk about X.Org, they talk about Gnome/KDE/etc, X.Org just works.
Wayland bring fragmentation to Linux. Under wayland almost everything is compositor-specific. Since it's really hard to make a good compositor, there's going to be just a few of them, and soft written for one compositor, won't work under another one.
Are you still saying that there will be X11 support in wayland? And what is it going to be used for?
Posted Feb 15, 2013 19:49 UTC (Fri) by Serge (guest, #84957)
Well, there's still a ray of light in a world of Wayland.
Since there's going to be just a few compositors out there there's a chance that their developer will start talking to each other and create a common standard. It already took 5 years to develop wayland/weston. It will probably take 10 more years for "simple wayland protocol" to turn into "simple core wayland protocol and compositor extensions". Of course technology will change by that time, older extensions will get deprecated and replaced by new ones. And finally after all those years Wayland will turn into what X11 is now (with Weston in place of X.Org).
Unfortunately most probably by that time nobody will be using it. Wayland is not going to be as stable as X.Org, and real world users like everything stable and working as expected. Of course they like new features, but they prefer stability. After some time most people get tired of fighting, fighting with bugs, crashes, unexpectedly disappeared windows or mysteriously closing programs.
When KDE4 was released people started switching to Gnome/XFCE not because it was bad, it was great, it had many new features that were not possible before. They left KDE because it was unstable and because previously working things, that everybody were used to, got broken. Same happened to Gnome3, it looked great, but it was missing all the features people got used to. Even now users go from Ubuntu to Win/Mac just because once again their system became unusable after upgrade. Pushing Wayland to desktop will definitely reduce number of linux users. Some fanatics or really smart people will stay, but many users will go. Together with users developers will start leaving to, since they have nobody to develop software for.
The main question is: why spending 10 years for making Wayland as good as X11, if we already have X11 today?
PS: I really wish I was wrong and there's another bright wayland future
Posted Feb 15, 2013 22:34 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
I doubt that, the developers of the Wayland protocol and Weston and other window managers have a much better idea of what the state of the art of graphics looks like and are likely to be in the future vs. the original X11 developers in the 1980s. I don't expect things to ever be as complicated or fundamentally broken as the X11 protocol, we just know more about designing this kind of thing now.
> Wayland is not going to be as stable as X.Org
I call BS. It's using the same underlying graphics infrastructure as X11 is using but with less broken behavior in the middle so it should be much more stable, with less surprises, than Xorg can be. It's not going to be worse, it can only get better.
> The main question is: why spending 10 years for making Wayland as good as X11, if we already have X11 today?
You think X11 is good, which puts you at odds with the people who work directly with X11. We don't just "have" X11 today, what we have is an on-going, heroic effort to keep it working and support modern devices, which is failing.
> PS: I really wish I was wrong and there's another bright wayland future
No argument there 8-)
Posted Feb 21, 2013 4:40 UTC (Thu) by mmarq (guest, #2332)
No argument there 8-)
Tech unaware but savvy user talking (lol)
Does it make any app look better ? NO (depends on lot of things)
Does it makes any app with more features ? NO
it doesn't matter a bit at all then...
And that is the truth, give 10 users with 10 computers with very identical "themes" with identical "apps", and they will not say a word if it Wayland or X or care AT ALL...
Wayland is better, it may be but depends a lot on how much and how X could evolve... in the end it could be almost a perfect match...
But if it is already settled, if Wayland is to go full force, then i advocate the end of Xorg, CLOSE THE DOORS... who is paying their bills BTW ? ... Collabora ?... what the hell for ?... to keep an illusion for donkeys consumption ?... and who is paying Collabora and why BTW !?
**(THIS ARE THE QUESTIONS)**
Posted Feb 21, 2013 6:46 UTC (Thu) by viro (subscriber, #7872)
Never would've guessed by the question marks alone - not without all-caps from a pretentious wankstain. Good thing that you've clarified that...
Posted Feb 21, 2013 23:46 UTC (Thu) by mmarq (guest, #2332)
Nevertheless, no matter who *pretends* to have known or guessed, i never saw those questions posed... who is it really? ... why is it really? ... who **benefits** the most, or what is the real agenda ?
The LCA X thread provides also a lot of clarifications.
Posted Feb 22, 2013 0:08 UTC (Fri) by hummassa (subscriber, #307)
Posted Feb 15, 2013 22:24 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
> 2. X.Org is running as Wayland client. Meaning, Wayland talks to hardware, X.Org talks to Wayland, and all X11 apps run through such X11-to-Wayland proxy.
Yes. X11 apps run on an X11 server with Wayland being the backing graphics output and key/mouse input.
> It takes a lot of effort to support such a monster as wayland compositor. So only big players like Gnome and KDE will stay alive. Others will die.
That seems unlikely. Wayland should be easier to make a window manager/compositor for than X11 because it has a sane design. I expect there to continue to be a robust assortment of Wayland compositors with various behaviors, some ported from X11 window managers, some based on Weston. It would make sense to build from the reference Weston implementation rather than writing your own from scratch.
> Under X11, if somebody wants to write a cool dockbar he can just write it. He don't have to patch Gnome/KDE/X.Org. And he can use it anywhere, in Gnome, KDE or OpenBox
That's not really true, X11 doesn't have any support for dockbars and the like, what there is are standards hammered out over the years by the window manager makers for dockbars and other apps to signal what they expect so that the window manager knows where to put them, not to put borders on them, etc. So they did have to "patch" gnome/kde/xorg to make this work, and continue to make new standards at freedesktop.org for new use cases, you can't take that effort for granted and claim that Wayland would be any different.
> If he wants to write a WM he's free to do it (IIRC, it takes ~50 lines of code for a basic WM)
I call BS, a window manager which supports all the relevant standards you just talked about previously takes far far far more than 50 LoC and has to spend a huge amount of effort to work around unfixable bugs and legacy behaviors because of X11. Nothing is straightforward or easy at this level. All of the logic for how your desktop work is in the window manager.
> Under Wayland one can't just write a dockbar. He must integrate it with some compositor.
That's not any different than X11 for the reasons I mentioned before
> And even if his patches were accepted by e.g. kwin, his dockbar will work under kwin only, but not under weston.
I would expect new versions of the relevant standards that these window managers, such as kwin, already support. It may be even easier than that, much of the expected behavior may just work with very little modification when porting existing desktops to Wayland. I wouldn't expect the major window manager/compositors to radically change their behavior when moving to Wayland, just to spite each other or something.
> X.Org is a pearl of Linux world. It's extremely flexible, whatever you want you can do that.
> X.Org just works.
Not really, the people who maintain that fiction for you have very strongly disagreed, which is why they have created Wayland.
> Are you still saying that there will be X11 support in wayland? And what is it going to be used for?
Yes, of course. X11 will continue to work much the same way it does now into the distant future to support all those 10+ year old applications you may want to run.
> Wayland bring fragmentation to Linux. Under wayland almost everything is compositor-specific. Since it's really hard to make a good compositor, there's going to be just a few of them, and soft written for one compositor, won't work under another one.
Not really true on any point. This will not be any different than today, compatibility is not a function of X11 vs. Wayland but of the window manager/compositor makers like KDE/GNOME/XFCE/Openbox/etc. in having standards. I wouldn't expect anything substantial to change on this front.
Posted Feb 16, 2013 2:11 UTC (Sat) by Serge (guest, #84957)
Hm... Modern cars are very complex, so many buttons, so many parts, they take too much space, require too much fuel, and they were designed ages ago! There's a fundamental flaw: they have 4 wheels. That's too much, people don't need so many wheels. Let's fix that! I present you... unicycle. It's simple, easy to use, takes little space, has just a few parts, easy to support. It has sane design.
Of course that's sarcasm. But still, Wayland design is simple, that does not make it sane. For example client side decorations make sane tiling (and many other things) impossible.
> I expect there to continue to be a robust assortment of Wayland compositors with various behaviors, some ported from X11 window managers, some based on Weston. It would make sense to build from the reference Weston implementation rather than writing your own from scratch.
Forking and patching Weston is not that simple. But even if people start forking Weston to implement dockbars, WMs, etc. you end up choosing between Wayland compositors with nice WM, nice dockbars, nice theming support OR nice workspaces. And you'll have to choose only one of them. Do you call that sane design?
> That's not really true, X11 doesn't have any support for dockbars and the like
X11 does have that support (EWMH). By "support" I mean ability to implement it without having to patch X.Org or write protocol extensions. X11 is so good that it allows me to do that.
> standards hammered out over the years by the window manager makers for dockbars and other apps
That's what I was talking about! Yes, if I was inventing dockbar, I would have to write a standard for that. But it's already done, ~20 years ago. And now Wayland makes everybody to reinvent the wheels, spend 10 more years to write all those standards again. From scratch. But use extensions, outside of Wayland. Because core Wayland protocol does not allow that by design.
> a window manager which supports all the relevant standards you just talked about previously takes far far far more than 50 LoC
I just tried TinyWM (which is ~50 lines) and it works. :) Well, I had to unbind Alt+F1 to make it work. As for some actually useful WMs, there's DWM. Yes, it's about 40 times larger than TinyWM, but it's 20 times smaller than Weston and has many features that Weston does not.
> I would expect new versions of the relevant standards that these window managers, such as kwin, already support.
That's it! Wayland is useless as it is now. It's just a toy, like TinyWM. To make it useful you NEED all those standards. After ~10 more years new compositor-related standards will appear, and "simple wayland protocol" will slowly turn into "core wayland protocol + extensions + standards". But hey, X11 is "core protocol + extensions + standards". Why breaking everything and inventing another X11 if we already have X11?
Posted Feb 16, 2013 3:58 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
I'm not sure what more can be said, others can decide for themselves whether you've addressed my points or I've addressed yours and whose version of reality is most likely to be predictive and useful
Posted Feb 16, 2013 9:50 UTC (Sat) by daniels (subscriber, #16193)
> Why breaking everything and inventing another X11 if we already have X11?
Keep using X, then. It's not going to stop existing, and with all its advantages it sounds like it's going to be much better for you.
Posted Feb 17, 2013 18:44 UTC (Sun) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
X.Org is a pearl of Linux world.
X.Org is "pearl of dying Linux world". Take most popular Linux distribution — X.Org is not there. Take most popular linux laptop on Amazon — X.Org is there but it's not accessible and there are plans to rip it out altogether.
Wayland is a play to try to make something relevant in this brave new world. If you want to continue to use X.Org till X.Org-compatible hardware will go the way of dodo - you are free to do that.
I'm not sure if Wayland will succeed or not, but it's clear that X.Org is failing. It's not yet finished, it still has few years of life in it, but it's failing — and small cosmetic changes will not save it.
Posted Feb 18, 2013 0:29 UTC (Mon) by Serge (guest, #84957)
Android became popular because it had just one competitor among high-end devices and no competitors among low-end devices. (And because Google have done good job advertising it)
X.Org have nothing to do with android popularity. Android was initially developed for small screens, single full-screen window, no multiple monitors, it used a simplified graphical system (and now it's not that good on large screens because of that).
> Take most popular linux laptop on Amazon — X.Org is there but it's not accessible and there are plans to rip it out altogether.
The cheapest laptop should be the most popular, isn't it? ;) Or do you think its low price could be caused by X.Org absence?
> X.Org is "pearl of dying Linux world".
Linux is not the most popular desktop OS, that's right. Why? Because it was not among the first! Android came to a semi-empty market and filled it. But desktop Linux came to a market, filled by Apple (a little) and Microsoft. It had to fight for its future, and one of its advantages was X11: desktop workspaces, many DE/WMs to match everybody's taste, multi-monitor support, multi-seat and X-terminals with the network transparency that people like to talk about so much — its features and design were so good that now we have at least basic X11 support everywhere, on Linux, Windows, MacOS...
In those early times when X11 was like modern Wayland, there were about 3 Linux distributions and nobody have even heard about Linux. What do we have now? Most people know about Linux and many of them tried it.
Without X11 there could be no desktop Linux world at all.
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