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The Developers Behind The Mir Display Server

Ubuntu

Published on 04 March 2013 08:05 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu
35 Comments

Given Canonical's lack of upstream involvement with the development of X.Org, DRM, and Mesa/Gallium3D over the years, it was interesting to see who at the company is actually on-staff to work on the just-announced Mir Display Server for future releases of Ubuntu.

Canonical has been developing Mir in-house for months and only today announced it the world and published their initial and far-from-complete code. The Mir announcement caught X.Org and Wayland developers by surprise. With their use of the Canonical Contributors' License Agreement and lack of upstream involvement, surely they're not after making this a project of FreeDesktop.org or the X.Org Foundation.

Curious to see who Canonical has been paying to work on Mir in secret, I was scanning the Mir bzr repository. Here's some of the names that have made-up the 460+ commits writing this next-generation display server that Canonical hopes to have on all releases of Ubuntu Linux by April of 2014:

Robert Ancell - A Canonical employee since 2009 that's mostly been working on desktop matters. Up to his Mir involvement, he was mostly known for working on GNOME components.

Chris Halse Rogers - He's been part of the X.Org/Mesa maintainer team at Canonical for the past few years. He at least has made a few minor Wayland/X.Org contributions in the past, but nothing really significant upstream on a continuous basis.

Alan Griffiths - One of the biggest contributors to Mir is Alan Griffiths, who previously was working on Compiz for Canonical. Since last year when joining Canonical as a contractor, his LinkedIn profile cites his work as "Review and improvements to C++ codebase and associated working practices."

Daniel van Vugt - A Canonical developer who previously was part of the Unity team and working on the Compiz compositing window manager.

Alexandros Frantzis - Another big contributor to Mir has been Alexandros Frantzis. He's been working for Canonical since mid-2010 while up until last year was working on Linaro activities.

Kevin DuBois - A newer Canonical developer who previously was working for Qualcomm. He appears to be another one of the significant Mir contributors since its early days.

Robert Carr - A Canonical developer previously working on web applications.

Thomas Voß - A Canonical developer that previously appears to have been working on Unity and multi-touch support. He was the first person to make a commit to the Mir repository, which happened in June of last year.

Seeing as these are developers who don't have years of experience working on the low-level Linux graphics stack from X.Org/DRM to Mesa/Gallium3D drivers or Wayland or even DirectFB, it will be interesting to see what they come up with for Mir... Especially with a target to have it ready in an official Ubuntu desktop release in one year's time. It's taken X11 veterans years to get Wayland/Weston to the point where it is today and still isn't feature-complete.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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