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Thread: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

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  1. #1
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    Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    So, a question for those more knowledgeable. If Ubuntu develops MIR for its display server and the rest of the Linux ecosystem goes with Wayland (as apparently Mint, KDE and Gnome intend to do) isn't that a fairly serious split? Am I right in thinking that this could seriously marginalize every distribution that uses Wayland? -- or is the choice of display server fairly seamless (meaning, for instance, that game developers wouldn't have to develop two separate versions of a game). With this make twice as much work for developers considering Linux? -- or not?
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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Shouldn't make much difference if there is a compatibility layer. The developers who are going to have to do more work will probably be the Mir developers. I don't really take the opinions of Mint or Gnome seriously. It's been known for a quite some time that some people in those groups don't like Ubuntu. Gnome Shell sucks and it's highly likely that UI will drive them into obscurity over the next few years. Linux Mint just like to say things to try and show that they aren't Ubuntu. They have a bit of an identity issue.

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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    "Splits" as you call it are part of the genetic make up of Free and Open Source Software. Richard Stallman had a serious difference of opinion about how softeware should be developed and distributed and now we have FOSS. From the beginning there have been divisions. If someone does not like the way things are being done or they have a disagreement with another developer then they split and "fork the code" as the saying goes. Why is Wayland being developed when we have Xserver? Why is KDE being developed when we have Gnome? Why have Linux Mint (based upon Debian and Ubuntu) when we have Ubuntu?

    Apparently, anybody can do what they like but let Ubuntu go a different way and it is cursed into the outer darkness. The only way to avoid this apparent "twice as much work" is for developers to be employed by one massive corporation. In FOSS developers are free to work on whatever projects that interest them. If this were not true then we would not have a Linux kernel not even a Gnu/Linux kernel. We would still be waiting for a GNU kernel.

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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Thanks Grahammechenical, can't say as I disagree with anything you've written. My question was more practical than political. I'm wondering how, if at all, two different display servers will affect development.

    Ubuntu is the 800 pound gorilla. Take Steam for instance. Steam has already chosen sides. From what I can tell, they picked Ubuntu. Steam will now run on Fedora (and Arch I think), but it's not as if Steam devs developed Steam for Fedora. When Ubuntu switches to MIR, will this increasingly exacerbate the marginalization of non-Ubuntu distros (there's Ubuntu and then there's the rest of them)? Or is the difference between MIR and Wayland negligible?
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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Quote Originally Posted by VTPoet View Post
    Take Steam for instance. Steam has already chosen sides. From what I can tell, they picked Ubuntu. Steam will now run on Fedora (and Arch I think), but it's not as if Steam devs developed Steam for Fedora. When Ubuntu switches to MIR, will this increasingly exacerbate the marginalization of non-Ubuntu distros (there's Ubuntu and then there's the rest of them)? Or is the difference between MIR and Wayland negligible?
    Unless I'm much mistaken, this isn't the case. Steam hasn't chosen Ubuntu. It's chosen Linux. It chose Ubuntu as its first approach to Linux, as the perception is it's the most popular Linux distro, but what Ubuntu does next will have zero effect on Steam I imagine. The Steam box isn't going to be Ubuntu-based (I don't know where this idea comes from, so please enlighten me if there's solid info I missed), but Linux based, and the client is Linux based. Of course what comes after X will affect how distros work with the Steam client on the desktop, but Steam in and of itself is not solely intended for Ubuntu.

    My personal take is Ubuntu and Mir will pull further away from Linux as we know it. Whether this will result in the success they want is debatable. I suspect Wayland will be what the Linux eco-system uses, and Mir will be what Ubuntu uses, much like how things are right now with Unity. I don't think this will affect drivers from Nvidia etc, as you'll see the same driver across both approaches. From what I gather, it's not like how X was and shouldn't cause a divide from a driver point of view.
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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSilly View Post
    My personal take is Ubuntu and Mir will pull further away from Linux as we know it. Whether this will result in the success they want is debatable. I suspect Wayland will be what the Linux eco-system uses, and Mir will be what Ubuntu uses, much like how things are right now with Unity. I don't think this will affect drivers from Nvidia etc, as you'll see the same driver across both approaches. From what I gather, it's not like how X was and shouldn't cause a divide from a driver point of view.
    Drivers do in fact need an interface to X. In mesa, that's the DDX. (check out: http://yangman.ca/blog/2009/10/linux...ack-explained/) The NVidia driver and AMD's Catalyst also install their own X drivers (http://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphic...Installation-1). While I'm not intimately familiar with Wayland/Mir architecture, it is likely that these drivers would need something written to interface with Wayland/Mir.

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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDShu View Post
    Drivers do in fact need an interface to X. In mesa, that's the DDX. (check out: http://yangman.ca/blog/2009/10/linux...ack-explained/) The NVidia driver and AMD's Catalyst also install their own X drivers (http://wiki.debian.org/NvidiaGraphic...Installation-1). While I'm not intimately familiar with Wayland/Mir architecture, it is likely that these drivers would need something written to interface with Wayland/Mir.
    Interesting. So, the question becomes: Are these companies going to write drivers for X, Wayland and MIR (if a choice has to be made). They only just barely cobble together Linux drivers. Am I wrong in thinking this could turn into a Blu-ray versus HD DVD style "battle"? If so, I would expect Canonical's MIR to become the defacto standard. The other distros, even if they were to all go with Wayland, are utterly irrelevant outside the Linux-verse -- including RedHat.
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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSilly View Post
    Unless I'm much mistaken, this isn't the case. Steam hasn't chosen Ubuntu. It's chosen Linux. It chose Ubuntu as its first approach to Linux, as the perception is it's the most popular Linux distro...
    But isn't that, in effect, "choosing" Ubuntu? Ubuntu users could quickly download Stream via the download manager. For a short time the first official release of Steam "on Linux" wasn't initially available to other distros unless you were knowledgeable enough to manually install it. If what JDShu writes is correct, then even with MIR it will be business as usual.
    Linux: You reap what you tweak.

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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    Quote Originally Posted by VTPoet View Post
    But isn't that, in effect, "choosing" Ubuntu? Ubuntu users could quickly download Stream via the download manager. For a short time the first official release of Steam "on Linux" wasn't initially available to other distros unless you were knowledgeable enough to manually install it. If what JDShu writes is correct, then even with MIR it will be business as usual.
    They selected Ubuntu as their first supported linux platform. We really don't now what that mean in long term. Especially after they release their expected "steambox". Games don't need a advanced windows management. They are probably fine with Xorg in short and middle term. And if they switch display server they need to get the game developer on the train. If we wait maybe two years before the new display servers has stabilized, they has released their steam <whatever it is>, they has a bunch of game developer in steam. I suspect it can take time before they support either wayland or MIR.

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    Re: Mir vs. Wayland & effect on Linux "Ecosystem"?

    The effect:

    1. Wayland development will speed up to a furious pace to compete with Mir, which will benefit all distros that may ship Wayland in the future.

    2. Mir has on-paper support from GPU makers such as AMD and Nvidia. Wayland has none. Wayland will become the geeky choice for the Ubuntu-haters, and Mir will become the choice for regular users who would prefer good 3D performance over "freedom".

    3. You'll see other distros either adopt Mir as an option, or sink further into irrelevance. Either way, Mir will be THE display server for hip young Linux users

    *all this is assuming that Mir doesn't become abandonware, or that it doesn't end off being a total schmozzle.
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