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Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger

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  • #11
    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?

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    • #12
      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.

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      • #13
        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.

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        • #14
          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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          • #15
            Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
            WAHAHAHA.

            Tell me that again when Canonical successfully modifies and recompiles every single Linux desktop app that relies on X to run on SurfaceFlinger.
            Everyone has the right to talk some bullshit.

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            • #16
              Originally posted by Pawlerson View Post
              I'll tell you the same when every single Linux desktop app runs on Wayland and not on some crap from android.
              Is there anything objectively wrong with SurfaceFlinger, or is it just that you don't happen to like the project it's from?

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              • #17
                It's funny how people in these forums start to moan and complain about things that are only in their own heads.

                According to this post ubuntu touch *does not use bionic*, it uses libhybris which allows the use of android drivers with glibc.

                So ubuntu touch is not that much of android, but not that much of GNU either, it is its own thing. With regard to the push for SurfaceFlinger on the desktop, we will have to wait and see. But the desktop and touch interfaces will most probably remain very different beasts for quite some time. Since X is all the desktop blobs support right now.

                Before moaning about whatever display server canonical might be pushing, remember this one thing: *it must be supported by the blobs*. The only GPU more or less well supported by open drivers is intel's. All the other ARM SoCs or desktop GPUs require blobs, end of story. Consumers mostly buy notebooks, which should not melt when ubuntu is installed.

                Either ubuntu gets big enough so that canonical can convince GPU makers to write drivers for their own display server, or they are bound to use the display servers (or a fork thereof) that is already supported by GPU makers.

                That said, I do believe it would be easier to convince AMD/nVidia to support SurfaceFlinger than to convince *everyone* to support wayland (how are they so much different anyway?). If someone else does that or manages to write good open drivers for every GPU under the sun, then I'm sure canonical would reconsider.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                  Before moaning about whatever display server canonical might be pushing, remember this one thing: *it must be supported by the blobs*. The only GPU more or less well supported by open drivers is intel's. All the other ARM SoCs or desktop GPUs require blobs, end of story. Consumers mostly buy notebooks, which should not melt when ubuntu is installed.
                  Radeon is fairly well supported by the open drivers (excluding RadeonSI), but I'm just nitpicking.

                  Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                  Either ubuntu gets big enough so that canonical can convince GPU makers to write drivers for their own display server, or they are bound to use the display servers (or a fork thereof) that is already supported by GPU makers.

                  That said, I do believe it would be easier to convince AMD/nVidia to support SurfaceFlinger than to convince *everyone* to support wayland (how are they so much different anyway?). If someone else does that or manages to write good open drivers for every GPU under the sun, then I'm sure canonical would reconsider.
                  That will depend on how things turn out. Personally, I don't really care what display server gets chosen as the de facto as long as it works, existing drivers still function without breaking, and existing applications get upstream changes to let them compile and run on the new display server. If Android's SurfaceFlinger gets blessed as the new de facto display server and Chrome / Firefox / LibreOffice / Skype / <insert any other X-based application here> are updated to include support for it, great.

                  Same for Wayland.

                  My only demand (which is fairly reasonable as a user) is that whatever the devs eventually choose as the de facto is to stick with it and stop flirting with alternatives for no good reason. Not like a certain person from a well-known distribution that got everybody all worked up over Wayland and caused so much development on it to take place only to do a 360 and now proclaim that "Wayland does not suit their needs and that they need to consider something else".

                  If you choose to stay with X, STAY WITH IT.
                  If you choose to migrate to Wayland / SurfaceFlinger / <insert other unheard-of display server>, MAKE SURE EVERYBODY ADOPTS IT.

                  The last thing I want is to see a webpage offering users a downloadable package that says "Download Application XYZ for a) X, b) Wayland, c) SurfaceFlinger".
                  Last edited by Sonadow; 02-22-2013, 08:21 AM.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                    Radeon is fairly well supported by the open drivers (excluding RadeonSI), but I'm just nitpicking.
                    It handles 3D fairly well. Thats about it. Besides being completely unusable on laptops, it is so far from feature complete it is not even funny.

                    Everything else, I completely agree.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                      It's funny how people in these forums start to moan and complain about things that are only in their own heads.

                      According to this post ubuntu touch *does not use bionic*, it uses libhybris which allows the use of android drivers with glibc.

                      So ubuntu touch is not that much of android, but not that much of GNU either, it is its own thing. With regard to the push for SurfaceFlinger on the desktop, we will have to wait and see. But the desktop and touch interfaces will most probably remain very different beasts for quite some time. Since X is all the desktop blobs support right now.

                      Before moaning about whatever display server canonical might be pushing, remember this one thing: *it must be supported by the blobs*. The only GPU more or less well supported by open drivers is intel's. All the other ARM SoCs or desktop GPUs require blobs, end of story. Consumers mostly buy notebooks, which should not melt when ubuntu is installed.

                      Either ubuntu gets big enough so that canonical can convince GPU makers to write drivers for their own display server, or they are bound to use the display servers (or a fork thereof) that is already supported by GPU makers.

                      That said, I do believe it would be easier to convince AMD/nVidia to support SurfaceFlinger than to convince *everyone* to support wayland (how are they so much different anyway?). If someone else does that or manages to write good open drivers for every GPU under the sun, then I'm sure canonical would reconsider.

                      But the Wayland protocol doesn't care about drivers. It's a protocol, that all the major toolkits have started to port to. This isn't Xorg, with user space drivers. Weston currently can run in an x server, under video cards that support KMS and DRM, or under a Framebuffer. Drivers aren't the issue. A developer even got Weston to run on Android a while back. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnrYxEMXF6g

                      From my understanding the basic ideas SurfaceFlinger uses similar ideas to Wayland, but it uses different APIs, and I don't know how much the protocol SurfaceFlinger would allow expansion for adding desktop things to its protocol.


                      Because Ubuntu is pushing Android's SurfaceFlinger, unless they add support for the Wayland protocol into SurfaceFlinger somehow, supporting both protocols, they could be causing fragmentation, because everyone else is porting to the Wayland protocol.

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