Shuttleworth On Mir: "A Fantastic Piece of Engineering"
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 7 March 2013 at 01:26 PM EST. Add A Comment
Mark Shuttleworth has written a third blog post today. After he started blogging to come to his defense on Ubuntu, he's written a third post that largely is defending Canonical's position on developing the Mir Display Server and the feelings right now by derivatives like Kubuntu and Xubuntu.

When talking about what Kubuntu, Xubuntu, GNOME Ubuntu Remix, and other derivatives get out of Ubuntu, Mark writes, "you get the benefit of an enormous and concentrated investment in making a core platform that can be widely consumed (on top of the already enormous efforts of the open source community, Debian, and any number of other groups). That investment brings with it a pace of change, and a willingness to be focused on specific outcomes."

About Mir, the space tourist goes on to say it's "a fantastic piece of engineering by a very talented team that has looked hard at the problem and is motivated to do something that will work well" Mir being a fantastic piece of engineering is quite interesting considering it's widely opposed by upstream X.Org and Wayland developers. The Wayland founder even called out Canonical for pissing on Wayland and led to the Mir developers retracting their Wayland criticism.

Will Mir hold better? It will be genuinely interesting to see how it turns out in the months ahead. I do wish any open-source project success that seeks to improve the Linux graphics stack.

Mark also writes, "I’ve absolutely no doubt that Kwin will work just fine on top of Mir." This is quite interesting considering that Martin Gräßlin, the maintainer of the KDE KWin compositing window manager, wrote on his blog about Mir. The German KDE developer wrote, "Will KWin support Mir? No! Mir is currently a one distribution only solution and any adjustments would be distro specific...This means at the current time there is no way to add support and even if someone would implement support for KWin on Ubuntu I would veto the patches as we don’t accept distro-specific code. If Mir becomes available on more distributions one can consider the second question. Given the extreme success of Unity on non-Ubuntu distributions I’m positively optimistic that we will never have to do the evaluation of the second question." Of course, Unity is barely used outside of the Ubuntu world, so Martin basically isn't looking at all towards having Mir support for KWin in order to run the KDE desktop on this Canonical display server.

Ubuntu gearing up for a graphics/display battle? [Note: It's always worth having a camera ready at Linux events with Phoronix-sponsored beer, which is especially the case at Linux graphics events. ;)]

Mark added in his third blog post of the day, "I’m pretty confident Mir will be on a lot more devices than Wayland." This is quite an interesting claim, but if Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Tablet really manage to take off and that the Canonical claims of Ubuntu will ship on over 5% of PCs worldwide, greater Mir usage is a possibility. At the moment, Wayland isn't used on any tier-one Linux distribution yet or any widescale deployments aside from some TVs and "in-vehicle infotainment" systems.

Mark's third post of the day can be read here.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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