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Thread: Wayland should not be the default in 18.04.

  1. #1
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    Wayland should not be the default in 18.04.

    So, excited to try out wayland, I gave it a spin.

    And, as long as I pointy-clicky-click on everything, and just run very simple programs, it works. But then, I became very frustrated and confused when I started trying to use keyboard shortcuts, or access my drop-down terminal, or run virtualbox, etc. etc. etc.

    You see, Wayland breaks a LOT of essential functionality, and people are by and large ignoring this and still forcing it on the desktop.

    So, what does wayland break, currently?

    1) Keybindings. Even those built into gnome-shell by default, such as Ctrl+Alt+T
    2) Drop-Down Terminals
    3) Virtual Machines
    4) Virtual Keyboards
    5) Screen/Video Capturing tools
    6) Lots and lots of accessibility tools and utilities such as Workrave, Easystroke, Speech Recognition, etc. etc.
    7) Tons of wonderful utilities like xdotool, xrandr, etc. (to be expected, but still)

    Basically, anything which captures or sends keystrokes or anything to do with the display manager whatsoever is utterly broken, at least in Wayland proper.
    On Ubuntu 17.10, the situation is even weirder and very inconsistent: some of these features work some of the time, depending on whether or not the window you have in focus is what I will term "specially protected." IE: switch focus to certain programs, like Firefox, for example, and press Ctrl+Alt+T. A terminal will appear. Now, switch focus to your file browser, and press Ctrl+Alt+T. No terminal will appear, because your Nautilus is apparently a specially protected program that insists on owning all of your keystrokes.

    This is really bad / dysfunctional, and will frustrate new users who have no idea why basic functionality doesn't work, or worse yet, mysteriously works sometimes and not others.

    Worse yet, it will take years for developers to decide on protocols that allow Wayland to implement this functionality, and years more for all of those applications to be updated and make it into the repositories. The fact that even gnome's own keyboard shortcuts don't work tell me that we're in for a very long wait indeed. And all the while distros will be trying their hardest to force this dysfunctional display manager on us and deprecate X.

    Why this happens (and a small rant about "security")

    I'm not the most qualified to explain this, but the gist for those who don't know is this: This happens because Wayland is trying to be more "secure" than X. In X, any application can send or read keystrokes to/from any other application, allowing them to interact with one another. This is what allows all of the above programs, which don't simply operate in a blackbox, to work and integrate with the rest of your desktop. However, it can be a security concern because if you install a malicious program, it too could capture your keystrokes as you're typing in other windows. Wayland seeks to protect against that by confining each window to its own little black box. This, unfortunately, breaks a lot of important and basic stuff.

    Anyway, that's mainly what people are talking about when they refer to X being insecure. And here's where my rant comes in.

    X11 is not insecure. And, frankly, Wayland's conception of security is misguided and not worth, at least to myself and the vast majority of users, the damage it does.
    Wayland is trying to protect against rogue keyloggers that might get installed on a user's system. Essentially, it's the equivalent of keeping all of the doors in your home locked at all times, and having only one key, which only one person has (despite there being, potentially, legitimate family members or guests in your house, who do not have the key and cannot currently be given copies). So, if by chance someone breaks into your house, they'll be confined to a single room.
    Do I need to explain why this is foolish? Lock your front door, and secure access INTO your house. If untrusted users are downloading and installing untrusted programs on your system, it should be considered compromised from a security standpoint. There is no protocol that Wayland or anything else could implement that would protect you, nor should there be, as any such protocol that would provide sufficient protection would render the entire system far too locked down for legitimate users.

    I value freedom and control over my computing experience, and I practice common sense safety. Wayland doesn't give me the first, currently, enforcing overly strict security measures that attempt to protect me from myself, and in the process breaks far too much core functionality to be of use for me.

    I don't think I'm alone in this regard, and making it the default is only going to confuse, annoy, restrict, and turn-off many users -- especially those who don't know what's going on or that they should switch to Xorg.

    I'm sure that I've gotten a few details wrong and people will nit-pick and correct me (which they should! I want to learn/be corrected), but are my concerns, overall, not valid?
    Last edited by cajuncoder; December 7th, 2017 at 06:41 AM. Reason: minor edits to ensure CoC conformity + decapitalized "not" in title

  2. #2
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    The last I read the decision to make wayland default had not been decided, has that changed and if so do you have a link?

  3. #3
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    Quote Originally Posted by wildmanne39 View Post
    The last I read the decision to make wayland default had not been decided, has that changed and if so do you have a link?
    https://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/1710

    "New Wayland
    The default display server is Wayland, but can also run x.org as a session or on systems that cannot support Wayland"

    It installs and selects Wayland by default, unless you have incompatible hardware (ie, Nvidia graphics cards)

  4. #4
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    The Gnome Shell runs on both Xorg and Wayland which is why both sessions are available on 17.10. This gives 17.10 users a chance to report bugs affecting both sessions.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    Quote Originally Posted by cajuncoder View Post
    ...
    I'm sure that I've gotten a few details wrong and people will nit-pick and correct me (which they should! I want to learn/be corrected), but are my concerns, overall, not valid?
    Well, you can correct your initial post as you learn more

    Also, a softer approach would be more likely to get folks to focus on the issue

    For example, "Should Wayland be default in 18.04" would get less emotionally charged responses than "Wayland should NOT be default"

    Just to be clear, I think it would be useful to have a list of what works and what doesn't. Obviously, this list may evolve.

  6. #6
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    Yes I see now, I thought you were referring to using it in 18.04 LTS, it was supposed to replace xserver completely in 18.04 but I believe they have been rethinking the issue about having it the only graphical session in 18.04. I hope they leave xserver in as well as wayland.

    I have been using wayland without issue in 17.10 but I do not try to do the things you listed in your post.
    Last edited by wildmanne39; December 7th, 2017 at 03:05 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    Well, you can correct your initial post as you learn more
    Absolutely! Will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by vasa1 View Post
    Also, a softer approach would be more likely to get folks to focus on the issue

    For example, "Should Wayland be default in 18.04" would get less emotionally charged responses than "Wayland should NOT be default"

    Just to be clear, I think it would be useful to have a list of what works and what doesn't. Obviously, this list may evolve.

    That's very good advice, and a thoughtful response. Thanks

    I think you're right. I feel very strongly about this, and so I guess my wording is a bit strong. I just feel like many developers / distros are too quick to throw the concerns of many users under the rug, especially when it comes to things like accessibility and compatibility/customizability.

    You're right about maintaining a list, though. That could be quite useful, and we could even include work-arounds and alternatives. I think that would be best suited for another thread, though.

    Edit: I'm hesitant to change my title or wording nonetheless, because I still feel that, from an objective point of view -- at least, if we are considering the user's experience, Wayland should not be the default. That said, I'm very open to discussing this and entertaining the possibility that I'm wrong. My intent is not to debate or incite combative discussion. I just earnestly feel that this design decision on the part of the Ubuntu team is a bit ridiculous and not well thought out, and want to make that sentiment clear along with supporting reason and logic.
    Last edited by cajuncoder; December 7th, 2017 at 03:40 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Wayland should NOT be default.

    Quote Originally Posted by cajuncoder View Post
    Absolutely! Will do.




    That's very good advice, and a thoughtful response. Thanks

    I think you're right. I feel very strongly about this, and so I guess my wording is a bit strong. I just feel like many developers / distros are too quick to throw the concerns of many users under the rug, especially when it comes to things like accessibility and compatibility/customizability.

    You're right about maintaining a list, though. That could be quite useful, and we could even include work-arounds and alternatives. I think that would be best suited for another thread, though.

    I think if you search a bit you'll find other distributions are having some of the same issues with Wayland. Ubuntu users involved in testing reported many bugs in the 17.10 cycle and that will be on going during the 18.04 development cycle.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Wayland should not be the default in 18.04.

    Agree, Wayland should not be default. There should be a limit to how unfinished a product Canonical presents to its users.

    Lubuntu also made a major change in the 17.10 release by introducing LXQt. This was not made default, on the contrary the well-known and highly stable LXDE continued to be the main offering.

    LXQt was and is presented as a separate 'use-at-your-own-risk' ISO called Lubuntu Next.

    The results: The Lubuntu user feels that he is being taken seriously by receiving an honest warning about a work in progress. The Lubuntu developer does not have to deal with a flow of messages from surprised/disappointed users.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Wayland should not be the default in 18.04.

    Quote Originally Posted by mörgæs View Post
    The results: The Lubuntu user feels that he is being taken seriously by receiving an honest warning about a work in progress. The Lubuntu developer does not have to deal with a flow of messages from surprised/disappointed users.
    that makes more sense to me as well.

    if user get's frustrated with wayland they will just switch to X. who has time to report bugs? which is why on LTS X should be default and wayland optional. maybe on 18.10 wayland could be default.
    it all depends how well it is all done and how finished the product is.


    additionally having many bug reports is one thing, solving them is another. the OP is right it may take a few years to erase the major bugs.
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