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.