MATE Developers Are Considering Mir-Over-Wayland

Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 27 June 2017 at 08:21 AM EDT. 46 Comments
MATE developer Martin Wimpress has shared that they are talking to Mir developers about how Mir could be used as a Wayland compositor.

Wimpress is among those gathered this week at a Snappy Sprint in Canonical's London office. There they are discussing about better Flatpak/Snap integration, extending GNOME Software, and more. But what's perhaps most interesting is MATE developers eyeing Mir.

He had posted that they are eyeing potentially using Mir as a Wayland compositor for this GNOME 2 forked desktop environment.

While MATE has seen porting to GTK3, which does offer toolkit compatibility with Wayland, they still need a Wayland compositor unless they were to reuse GNOME's Mutter or the like. MATE developers are hoping the use of Mir could jump-start their effort. Wimpress had commented, "The rumors of Mir's death are greatly exaggerated. MATE is a very small team, with extremely constrained time. Implementing Wayland directly is, at our current development velocity, several years away IMO. If Mir could provide us a fast path to supporting Wayland we (and possibly other desktops without Wayland support) should explore it....Using Mir as the Wayland compositor, while still a chunk of work, is considerably less work."

Following Canonical's decision to abandon Unity 8 development and move to GNOME Shell with Wayland, the remaining Mir developers (several were let go) have been pleading the case for Mir with Wayland client support and "why Mir". It looks like so far the MATE folks may be the only ones biting for potentially making use of Mir in their future desktop stack.
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