Wayland/Weston Fork Now Called Northfield/Norwood
Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 25 March 2013 at 12:53 PM EDT. 7 Comments
Yesterday I reported on Wayland and Weston being forked as "GH-Next" as a new project that sought to drive new Linux desktop innovations. Now today, enter Northfield/Norwood.

The GH-Next initiative was announced by Scott Moreau as basically a playground to experiment with future Wayland/Weston developments and to particularly focus on "desktop bling" and other graphical desktop effects. After one year of working on Wayland with little to show, Moreau decided to do this GH-Next project.

While some Phoronix readers disagreed with me in calling GH-Next a "fork", Kristian Høgsberg had similar views to me and called out Moreau on his claims. As a result, the independent Wayland developer has now announced Northfield/Norwood. Northfield is the Wayland fork while Norwood is its new Weston reference compositor.

Northfield/Norwood is basically GH-Next. Moreau's new project announcement continues to rant about the history of Compiz, XGL, and Compiz being "dead." The expressed purpose of Northfield is for developers to learn about compositors and experiment with new compositor concepts, creating new and exciting desktop effects, a less restrictive development environment, and a project aiming to get as many Compiz effects as possible into a Wayland compositor.

Northfield/Norwood isn't about changing anything fundamentally with Wayland/Weston, but Moreau doesn't like the pace of development within Wayland/Weston and it being bottlenecked at times by Kristian's workload. Moreau is also more focused on just "desktop bling" and effects than low-level graphics subsystem work. Among the desktop effects he wants to bring over from Compiz into a Wayland compositor include the desktop cube, desktop wall, scale, wobbly windows, expo, and Emerald Theme support.

Other development goals of Northfield include real-time on-the-fly configuration, other real-time configuration support, and an environment that's fit for everyday use. Most of this slated work is about the Linux desktop rather than fundamentally changing the display server.

So far there isn't too much enthusiasm around Northfield/Norwood by the Wayland developers. Sam Spilsbury called out Scott for bashing Compiz and other free software projects. Tiago Vignatti reiterated that Moreau seems to be mostly about desktop aesthetics and building a new desktop environment rather than low-level compositor and protocol development.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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