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Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger

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  • Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger

    One of the first things I wanted to check when installing the Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Developer Preview is seeing what display server / compositor was in use by this newest Ubuntu Linux variant. Wayland? Compiz on X?..

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

  • #2
    Disappointing, since it means they won't put any effort in advancing Wayland on mobile.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by shmerl View Post
      Disappointing, since it means they won't put any effort in advancing Wayland on mobile.
      At least they apparently decided not to roll their own display server. That would have been much much worse.

      And I don't see anything wrong with SurfaceFlinger since it's already optimized for mobile. Wayland can stay on desktops and notebooks. AMD's Bridgman already claimed that the OSS graphics drivers should be workable on any display server.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by shmerl View Post
        Disappointing, since it means they won't put any effort in advancing Wayland on mobile.
        They can't even get NVIDIA to just make their driver compatible with Wayland. How are they supposed to do this with smartphone chip vendors?
        It's not about making an effort it's about being able to do it in the first place.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by blackout23 View Post
          They can't even get NVIDIA to just make their driver compatible with Wayland. How are they supposed to do this with smartphone chip vendors?
          It's not about making an effort it's about being able to do it in the first place.
          I have full faith Nvidia will port their proprietary driver over to Wayland once the majority of big name distributions adopt it. Obviously they are not going to be interested in building Wayland compatibility into the binary driver now when X is still so deeply entrenched as the de facto display server.

          And if they don't...then you better hope the Nouveau driver is competent enough.

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          • #6
            Chip vendors will make it if they'll feel compelled enough. Without the push - they won't move. And Ubuntu runs away from pushing - that was my point. Using Surface Flinger isn't good, since it means sticking with bionic libc. I.e. Ubuntu on mobile basically will be a separate thing, much closer to Android, than to normal Linux. Mer, Plasma Active and Sailfish in this context look much better and are pushing the stack which shares the effort with desktop Linux. Wayland will eventually come on mobile. Just probably without Canonical's help.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
              At least they apparently decided not to roll their own display server. That would have been much much worse.

              And I don't see anything wrong with SurfaceFlinger since it's already optimized for mobile. Wayland can stay on desktops and notebooks. AMD's Bridgman already claimed that the OSS graphics drivers should be workable on any display server.
              I'm not sure how optimized it is. Did you see how laggy both android and ubuntu are?
              I recall a really great white paper by an Intel engineer about touch latency in android. I don't recall how much was due to the compositor but I bet it's more than is present in iphone.

              Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
              I have full faith Nvidia will port their proprietary driver over to Wayland once the majority of big name distributions adopt it. Obviously they are not going to be interested in building Wayland compatibility into the binary driver now when X is still so deeply entrenched as the de facto display server.
              Once RH and Suse move to Wayland you'll see the nvidia driver, at the latest. So, say, another three years?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by liam View Post


                Once RH and Suse move to Wayland you'll see the nvidia driver, at the latest. So, say, another three years?
                How optimistic.

                I was thinking 5 - 7 years.

                That said, i still don't know (and partly don't dare) how to try out using Wayland as a display server even though packages for it exist in Fedora 17 and 18 (and Mageia 2). Anyone got any idiot-friendly instructions to try out Wayland without borking up the systems?

                Or should I just wait until Wayland is deemed 'usable' enough for the distributions to start using it as the default display server over X?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                  How optimistic.

                  I was thinking 5 - 7 years.

                  That said, i still don't know (and partly don't dare) how to try out using Wayland as a display server even though packages for it exist in Fedora 17 and 18 (and Mageia 2). Anyone got any idiot-friendly instructions to try out Wayland without borking up the systems?

                  Or should I just wait until Wayland is deemed 'usable' enough for the distributions to start using it as the default display server over X?
                  The estimate comes from RH, primarily, as I understand they release a new major version every 2.5 years, or so, and they're about a year away from releasing RHEL7, IIRC.
                  Wayland should be quite safe to run once XWayland works properly.
                  As for trying it out, you can either get one of the various isos (like Rebecca Black), or shut down X, and start wayland from one of the VTs. It shouldn't be that scary
                  Having said that, you probably don't want to run it as your default display server yet. At least wait for XWayland.

                  Originally posted by BO$$ View Post
                  You should wait until they call it usable and then some another 2 years. What I've seen as 'usable' these days isn't actually usable until after a couple of years of more development.
                  This isn't a file system, so it's not QUITE so life and death

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                    Chip vendors will make it if they'll feel compelled enough. Without the push - they won't move. And Ubuntu runs away from pushing - that was my point. Using Surface Flinger isn't good, since it means sticking with bionic libc. I.e. Ubuntu on mobile basically will be a separate thing, much closer to Android, than to normal Linux. Mer, Plasma Active and Sailfish in this context look much better and are pushing the stack which shares the effort with desktop Linux. Wayland will eventually come on mobile. Just probably without Canonical's help.
                    How is Canonical supposed to push Wayland on the mobile when there is simply no wait they can use it at this point?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                      At least they apparently decided not to roll their own display server. That would have been much much worse.

                      And I don't see anything wrong with SurfaceFlinger since it's already optimized for mobile. Wayland can stay on desktops and notebooks. AMD's Bridgman already claimed that the OSS graphics drivers should be workable on any display server.
                      I think they'll use SurfaceFlinger for desktop as well and this is the reason I won't support Ubuntu anymore.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BO$$ View Post
                        So basically this whole thing is just android with unity interface on top of it? This isn't actually Ubuntu, more like android with ubuntu themes.
                        Then again, if you glue the ubuntu front-end on top of a different (but related) back-end, the result will still feel like ubuntu in most ways.
                        It's basically a philosophical question: Is the essence of ubuntu in the user experience, or in the underlying platform?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by shmerl View Post
                          Chip vendors will make it if they'll feel compelled enough. Without the push - they won't move. And Ubuntu runs away from pushing - that was my point. Using Surface Flinger isn't good, since it means sticking with bionic libc. I.e. Ubuntu on mobile basically will be a separate thing, much closer to Android, than to normal Linux. Mer, Plasma Active and Sailfish in this context look much better and are pushing the stack which shares the effort with desktop Linux. Wayland will eventually come on mobile. Just probably without Canonical's help.
                          How hard would it be to port surfaceFlinger to gnu (or, just for the hell of it, FreeBSD) libc? I'm only guessing, but it seems like the complexity lies in the driver interactions, not in the libc calls - and porting from one libc to another ought to be surmountable anyway.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dnebdal View Post
                            Then again, if you glue the ubuntu front-end on top of a different (but related) back-end, the result will still feel like ubuntu in most ways.
                            It's basically a philosophical question: Is the essence of ubuntu in the user experience, or in the underlying platform?
                            If it doesn't use Dalvik it isn't Android or just a theme for CynaogenMod.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pawlerson View Post
                              I think they'll use SurfaceFlinger for desktop as well and this is the reason I won't support Ubuntu anymore.
                              WAHAHAHA.

                              Tell me that again when Canonical successfully modifies and recompiles every single Linux desktop app that relies on X to run on SurfaceFlinger.

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