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Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger

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  • #21
    Originally posted by shmerl View Post
    Disappointing, since it means they won't put any effort in advancing Wayland on mobile.
    I would not worry about it. I expect Ubuntu to be as collaborative in the Android ecosystem as they have in Linux.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
      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".
      I doubt this is needed. Apparently apps(their toolkits basically) can be made to choose an appropriate backend for either Wayland or X at runtime. So I don't see a reason why this can't happen with SurfaceFlinger as well.
      Still, I'd rather Wayland to dominate, I believe it will be better. Time will tell.

      ***************************

      Also, I read in previous post(s) something along the lines that apps needing to be ported to a new display server is as much of an issue for SurcaFlinger as it is for Wayland. This is not true(except for the fact that the most important toolkits are already bettering Wayland support), since XWayland already exists. While barely usable now, it should be much better soon. Heck, I've watched youtube videos on FireFox running on top of XWayland, running on top of Weston, running on top of Wayland, running on top of X, running on top of Catalyst driver(!!!).
      It went fairly well actually.
      More things than people think are apparently possible. Basically Wayland can even be run on top of proprietary drivers as of now, but in a "crude" and far from ideal way..

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      • #23
        How much do it differ from regular android besides the frontend, according to the article it sounds like it basically cyanogenmod. What is the advantage over regular android. Is the sound system also android?

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        • #24
          Originally posted by nerdopolis View Post
          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.
          I am no expert, so feel free to correct me, but doesn't wayland require KMS and DRM, which the blobs lack? So wouldn't the blobs need to implement said features in order to support the wayland protocol? Wouldn't the SoC's libs have to include support for the wayland protocol?

          AFAIK wayland is only usable right now with open drivers, which kinda makes sense since this is an Intel project afterall, and Intel is the only one truly supporting open drivers.

          It may be fine for geeky distros such as arch and gentoo to impose such limitations on users, but if a distro is to be mainstream, it *must* simply work.

          Also, maybe canonical is planning on including something on the lines of XWayland onto SurfaceFlinger, to be able to run X applications on top of it. I guess we can only wait and see.
          Last edited by Figueiredo; 02-22-2013, 09:21 AM.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
            I am no expert, so feel free to correct me, but doesn't wayland require KMS and DRM, which the blobs lack? So wouldn't the blobs need to implement said features in order to support the wayland protocol? Wouldn't the SoC's libs have to include support for the wayland protocol?

            AFAIK wayland is only usable right now with open drivers, which kinda makes sense since this is an Intel project afterall, and Intel is the only one truly supporting open drivers.

            It may be fine for geeky distros such as arch and gentoo to impose such limitations on users, but if a distro is to be mainstream, it *must* simply work.
            I think it already exist closed source driver for wayland for the raspberryPi?

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
              I am no expert, so feel free to correct me, but doesn't wayland require KMS and DRM, which the blobs lack? So wouldn't the blobs need to implement said features in order to support the wayland protocol? Wouldn't the SoC's libs have to include support for the wayland protocol?
              I can tell you that Wayland doesn't require KMS, but Weston does(not sure if Weston truly NEEDS it to run though).

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
                How optimistic.

                I was thinking 5 - 7 years.
                You forgot the Intel factor.
                https://mail.gnome.org/archives/gtk-.../msg00119.html

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                • #28
                  The design philosphy behind Wayland is quite similar to SurfaceFlinger. Then the best thing to to ditch Wayland, embrace and leverage the work done by Google and extend it to support a traditional desktop window manager and XSurfaceFlinger to support legacy X apps.

                  Wayland has a chicken egg problem and convincing Nvidia/ATI to provide drivers for SurfaceFlinger would be much easier than for Wayland.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by newwen View Post
                    The design philosphy behind Wayland is quite similar to SurfaceFlinger. Then the best thing to to ditch Wayland, embrace and leverage the work done by Google and extend it to support a traditional desktop window manager and XSurfaceFlinger to support legacy X apps.

                    Wayland has a chicken egg problem and convincing Nvidia/ATI to provide drivers for SurfaceFlinger would be much easier than for Wayland.
                    A great thing about wayland is that it's using existing Linux technologies (eg. KMS, DRI/DRM). SurfaceFlinger however does not. So adapting SurfaceFlinger would probably mean redoing most of the graphics stack, a huge job.

                    If distributions move to wayland Nvidia and AMD will eventually support it. Supporting Linux is very important due to its' use in HPC.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by newwen View Post
                      The design philosphy behind Wayland is quite similar to SurfaceFlinger. Then the best thing to to ditch Wayland, embrace and leverage the work done by Google and extend it to support a traditional desktop window manager and XSurfaceFlinger to support legacy X apps.

                      Wayland has a chicken egg problem and convincing Nvidia/ATI to provide drivers for SurfaceFlinger would be much easier than for Wayland.
                      Regardless of the display server used, it does not change the fact that all desktop Linux applications are written for X and must be ported over to the new server eventually.

                      That will probably be the toughest thing to handle. And this is where enthusiastic end-users like me who prefer to compile their own applications from sources will be hit, since I have a nagging feeling that compiling said software is no longer as simple as just simply performing

                      - ./configure
                      - make
                      - make install

                      anymore.

                      On top of that, I don't see QT5 and its wayland-capable backend being made available for even the most bleeding edge distributions, and while GTK3 has a wayland backend, the amount of software that are still tied to GTK2 is staggering, especially when big name applications like Chromium, Firefox, LibreOffice and HexChat are still happily married to GTK2 with little to no progress on GTK3 migration.

                      Still, at the very least, I dare say Wayland migration with be smoother than a SurfaceFlinger migration simply because it makes use of existing Linux technologies and more importantly, work has already been done to bring some degree of Wayland support to existing toolkits.

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