Ubuntu moving towards Wayland
przemek.klosowski at nist.gov
Wed Nov 10 14:21:24 UTC 2010
On 11/09/2010 01:12 PM, Dennis Jacobfeuerborn wrote:
> X will run as a Wayland client. That means all applications that support X
> will be able to run remotely without change. Since QT and GTK both run on X
> and virtually all apps out there are programmed to use QT and/or GTK for
> most people nothing will change in the next couple of years.
> Now let's assume Wayland is really successull. In that case people will
> want to get rid of X altogether and then you'd also lose the remote app
> support of X and in that case you obviously would need a replacement for
> this so apps can run remotely on an X-less Wayland desktop.
The argument seems to be that toolkit libs like Qt and GTK+ will shield
us from major rewriting of apps. However, this implies that toolkits at
some point will switch from the X mode to Wayland mode, with the
resulting sudden loss of network transparency.
I suppose one could imagine toolkits offering a dual backend: native
Wayland, and X that would be invoked by e..g. a commandline switch if
remoting was required. This seems a little heavyweight and awkward in
both deployment and maintenance.
You seem to imply that there's an alternative design involving some sort
of shim between Wayland and the kernel that could capture and remote the
GUI inputs and outputs. Can you point to any discussion of how it'd work?
Finally I found it ironic that Wayland was designed to decrease the
number of layers and roundtrips in X, but at least initially in the
important use case of user app->toolkit->X API->Wayland it actually
increases the number of layers. All the same, it's probably the only
workable approach, so my observation above is more of a cheap shot than
a serious anti-Wayland argument, but still it is a little funny,
reminding me of the observation that oftentimes when people try to heal
a religious schism, they end up creating a third sect :)
Of course if it turned out that remoting can be provided by a
Wayland-Kernel shim, this would not be an issue.
> What's puzzling is why people are willing to form hardened opinions on
> things they apparently don't understand. It's baffling.
Unfortunately this seems to be the popular attitude: c.f. attitudes in
politics and other things like economy, climate science etc etc.
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