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Does The Display Server Matter? The Latest Mir vs. Wayland Argument

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  • Does The Display Server Matter? The Latest Mir vs. Wayland Argument

    Phoronix: Does The Display Server Matter? The Latest Mir vs. Wayland Argument

    The latest argument within the open-source camp is whether the choice of the display server is still relevant in modern times of the Linux desktop, given the advancements of tool-kits and other components. Alas, it's another Mir vs. Wayland battle...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTY0MTM

  • #2
    So Canonical narrows the scope down to applications and then says display servers don't matter because of toolkits. That's actually a troll technique, narrowing the scope to make an argument that otherwise doesn't work. For example, what about toolkits themselves, they just magically work for different display servers? No, someone needs to implement backends for each display server. Also display drivers, they too don't just magically work, Wayland and Mir both being EGL based does not mean display server specific code isn't required. And even in the narrow scope of applications, Martin Grlin nicely demonstrates how things don't just work by saying the magic word "toolkit".

    In short: Nice troll Canonical, but that all it is.

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    • #3
      this abstraction stuff is only true in college textbooks. In reality, software is poorly abstracted and one change in the stack affects everything in the chain. that's why browser makers often have to deal with driver issues and whatnot (hardware acceleration in browsers is sometimes broken because of old drivers)

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      • #4
        Yes the display server DOES matter, this is just them trying to "brush off" something huge as something small... trying to sweep it under the carpet and hide the fact they created a mess yet again.

        In Mir every window is it's own completely separate compositor making it an orchestration of compositors to create a final display output vs compositing to one surface like normal, Which is why it's architecture is a freaking interconnected mess probably worse than X itself.
        is the image straight from Cononical's source repo in a png format from http://www.reddit.com/r/LinuxActionS..._architecture/ a post I had my buddy to create for me since I'm no reddit addict, decide for yourself...

        PS Sorry for such a huge image, I dont know how to use a smaller version...
        Last edited by HeavensRevenge; 03-24-2014, 10:22 AM.

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        • #5
          Display Server doesn't matter. Hence, we create a new one.

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          • #6
            Aaron Siego goes into more detail regarding all the issues:

            http://aseigo.blogspot.de/2014/03/mo...es-matter.html

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            • #7
              Everything is political

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              • #8
                X.org -- it's the wave of the future.

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                • #9
                  This just shows how ignorant Canonical is.

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                  • #10
                    Sadly, only Martin has the right to complain because in the end he will have to deal with the two display servers.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Anarchy View Post
                      Sadly, only Martin has the right to complain because in the end he will have to deal with the two display servers.
                      Martin will never have to deal with Mir, since KDE won't work on it.

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                      • #12
                        well another point (swiftly mentioned by martin) is not all apps use big toolkit like Gtk/Qt5/EFL, for example VLC/Mplayer-Mpv/Blender/wxGtk based apps/etc, and in fact many of this applications have to deal directly with display servers regardless the tollkit(for example, mpv have to directly query the display system regardless any toolkit).

                        another structural problem is composition, in wayland as shown in many demos provide a very flexible composition path and since the composition can be done by the client and/or the compositor at global scope allows you to deal with pretty freaky neat possibility like nested compositing per client, for example i could write a plugin for MPV player that allows to composite the vdpau overlay with client side effects and add multilayer presentation for subs/PIP/Geodata and inform the global compositor that only the main overlay is used to plasma preview task widget(ofc kwin/mutter/efl should support this through dbus and/or as an compostior plugin) but Mir do server side central process composition and even if it can be disable per process i will have to relay in EGL for do in process flatten superpositioning since i do not know if Mir even support nested composition or if it works as expected, so as a developer ill have to choose either take the safe path that should theoretichally work in all 2 at the cost of effciency and a neat feature or support only wayland?


                        sure you can argue that mir will probably allow something similar, bla bla but at the end of the day is a 3rd path i have to test, a 3rd api i have to learn, a 3rd system i have to QA, probably a third code path i have to write, a 3rd source of problems(sure lets assume mir support this but there is no warranty will always work with all systems, especially since it could not be too popular for ubuntu specific apps), is a 3rd path i have to test against a miriad of drivers, etc. <-- this is the problem

                        Note: ofc in the example Xorg will automatically hide all this feature since is not technically feasible at all but as a developer i knew this and decided to add legacy fallback for X or Y reason

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blackout23 View Post
                          Martin will never have to deal with Mir, since KDE won't work on it.
                          Ask him in a couple of years.

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                          • #14
                            "This is not for political reasons as its so often claimed, but for technical, because I cannot test the patches (Mir not available on Debian) and our CI system cannot build it."
                            So if canonical makes it available in debian he will test things are he will come up with another "convenient" excuse ?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by madjr View Post
                              So if canonical makes it available in debian he will test things are he will come up with another "convenient" excuse ?
                              well first you will need

                              1.) Digia offer upstream support for Mir, for now is downstream only (whine to them )
                              2.) Mir specific driver code make it upstream (doesnt look good especially since amd and intel are not specially peachy about custom driver internals for Mir only)
                              3.) pass debian technical board (won't pass only all of the above are well supported)

                              then martin have to decide if he want the extra burden(which i suppose you won't help, after all ubutroll only ability so far is whine and cry rivers of tears) and then someone will have to actually step up and provide upstream support from canonical, so at best he has 2 solid years to be Mir worry free.

                              won't hurt if all the ubutroll here take those 2 years to actually learn some engineering to actually help their cause instead of posting to the world that you don't have idea what you are talking about and whine in a technical forum where no one take you seriously at all or care about your baseless conspiration theory.

                              since most hurted troll will go all grammar nazi, im not american and i don't care

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