Mir Developers See The Door, No Commits In A Week

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 20 April 2017 at 11:23 AM EDT. 34 Comments
With switching back over to the GNOME desktop, Ubuntu is migrating to Wayland by default as presumed. But Mir is to be maintained for IoT use-cases, according to previous comments by Shuttleworth. However, it looks like multiple developers from the small Mir team were sent packing and there's been no public commits to Mir in the past week.

We've seen efforts by Canonical's Alan Griffiths to try to still make Mir relevant by suggesting Wayland client support or use it for other reasons. But it doesn't look like that's being received well and it's not clear how big are Mir's IoT use-cases with Canonical's commercial customers.

There's been no commits now to the Mir Bazaar repository in one week, since 13 April.

At least two Mir developers have left Canonical last week as part of the ~100 Canonical employees let go, so unfortunately not being re-tasked to other areas of the Ubuntu graphics stack or helping to advance their Wayland adoption.

Cemil Azizoglu, the team lead on the Mir Display Server was one of the people let go.

Kevin DuBois is another Mir developer who is no longer at Canonical. Kevin DuBois had been at Canonical since 2012 and has made significant contributions to the Mir code-base, at one point being the top contributor to the Mir code-base.

It also looks like Mir developer Alexandros Frantzis might be out with Kevin giving Alexandros a recommendation for employment last week on LinkedIn, but his employment status has yet to be revised.

It appears the few other Mir developers are still at Canonical. It will be interesting to see how active Mir will be going forward given the even fewer developers involved and whether Canonical will try to switch their IoT Mir use-cases to Wayland or transition to a Mir-on-Wayland model for reducing their burden.

Update: Alan Griffiths has now posted some more details:
The changes at Canonical have had an effect both on the priorities for the Mir project and on the resources available for future development. We have been meeting to make new plans. In short:

Mir is alive, there are Canonical IoT projects that use it. Work will continue on Mir to support these and on cleaning and upstreaming the distro patches Ubuntu carries to support Mir.

Canonical are no longer working on a desktop environment or phone shell. However we will maintain the existing support Mir has for compositing and window management. (We're happy to receive PRs in support of similar efforts.)
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