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Thread: How Important Is The Wayland Display Server?

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  1. #1
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    Default How Important Is The Wayland Display Server?

    Phoronix: How Important Is The Wayland Display Server?

    Last November we detailed the Wayland Display Server, which came about as a lightweight alternative to the X.Org Server and leveraged the latest Linux graphics technologies (primarily kernel mode-setting), and is designed elegantly with the rendering and compositing all being done by Wayland. Quite a bit of work was going on with this project early on to the point of running two X Servers within Wayland and then talk of a Clutter back-end for Wayland, but over the summer there has not been much to report...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzUzMQ

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    I don't want to guess on this topic. If Mr. Deucher, Airlie and the likes will post about how they think Wayland is really needed than I think it's important. Until then I'll follow the drastic improvements in the Xorg stack even without Wayland.

    I agree with the man that all the problems of the Linux desktop are being fixed right now, except Xorg which is developing too slow (I didn't say Mesa). It will be intersting to see what Google will unleash with their Chrome OS, because rumours are they've done a new Xserver or something in that regard.
    Last edited by d2kx; 09-12-2009 at 01:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d2kx View Post
    I don't want to guess on this topic. If Mr. Deucher, Airlie and the likes will post about how they think Wayland is really needed than I think it's important. Until then I'll follow the drastic improvements in the Xorg stack even without Wayland.
    I totally agree with this sentiment. It seems to be mostly people who don't understand X who criticises it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kape View Post
    I totally agree with this sentiment. It seems to be mostly people who don't understand X who criticises it.
    Or those of us that have the displeasure of messing around with xserver/xorg.conf. I've had to deal with modelines and EDID options and resolution switching not working and absurd amounts of crap with it over the years. I just gave up in the end on making dual screens work the way they did in Windows once too.

    It's slowly been fixed, better autodetection, xrandr, better multiscreen configuration but it's been very slow. My impression is still that it's an outdated framework that doesn't cover modern uses like tearfree video playback or compositing/RDR well. But given the momentum it has, I guess it's better fixed in the system and then finally some codepaths just aren't called anymore on a modern system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjella View Post
    It's slowly been fixed, better autodetection, xrandr, better multiscreen configuration but it's been very slow. My impression is still that it's an outdated framework that doesn't cover modern uses like tearfree video playback or compositing/RDR well.
    And sentiments like this against X.org are part of why trumping Wayland up is so hilarious (I realize you weren't necessarily pushing Wayland here). Before X.org solved those problems, Wayland COULD NOT EXIST. Wayland is only able to do all the things it does because of the efforts done by the X.org developers, pushing KMS, DRI2, and Mesa development.

    So people who think that Wayland is the solution to X.org's shortcomings are simply misinformed and best ignored.

    People who want to argue that Wayland has a cleaner architecture are, on the other hand, quite right. In the long term, I have no problem if Wayland replaces X.org as the core display server. It's really all quite irrelevent to actual users though, because both are going to be using KMS, DRI2, OpenGL over Gallium3D, video acceleration over Gallium3D, and so on. The only difference is that X.org will natively support the X protocol while Wayland will need a separate X.org-based display server to support X applications.

    It's worth noting to potential users that the (planned) Wayland architecture actually has a distinct disadvantage in that the compositor and basic window management functions are expected to be built into Wayland itself. That means that more general logic unrelated to actual rendering and input is built into the display server, which increases the likelihood of a crash bringing down the whole damn desktop -- especially if users want to be able to screw around with a myriad of user-created compositor plugins. The X model of having a separate CM/WM process means that if the WM or compositor crashes it can just be restarted without affecting the other applications running on the desktop.

  6. #6
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    Default discussion forking...

    I'm sure the Phoronix guys had good intentions, but what we see here is a classic example of the detrimental effects of forking applied to a discussion.

    There are some constructive comments in here that it would be good for the person that initiated this discussion, along with others that participated in the original thread, to read. Instead we ended up with 2 threads.

    I can easily see the benefits of things like Gallium3D and talk about it, even if I have only basic knowledge on it's inner workings. However, even though I do understand the desire for a 'lighter' X alternative proposed with Wayland, I'd need to know a lot more about Wayland to have a meaningful opinion about it.

    I find this comment by Lowe interesting:
    "X is technically Free Software, but it is not a community project. "

    The lack of developers in Xorg is a direct result of its complexity, becoming a barrier for anyone attempting to 'enter' it. However, as people said before me, X is getting simplified by stripping away parts that better fit in other places, such as the kernel, leaving a more manageable code base.

    I like fresh ideas, who doesn't, but I'm always afraid of the detrimental effects of forking/diversifying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjella View Post
    Or those of us that have the displeasure of messing around with xserver/xorg.conf. I've had to deal with modelines and EDID options and resolution switching not working and absurd amounts of crap with it over the years.
    Heh, thanks to opensource development, I haven't had to even use a xorg.conf for half a year or so.
    Edit: The good multiscreen support apparently requires KMS. :3

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    I think mr. Lowe is right.

    Currently the state of Xorg is not very good and we ( linux users ) experience problems everytime and in every possible situation.

    But we must take in mind that gallium is ready to change the linux ( and possibly not only linux ) graphics scenario. With gallium we'll have a complete, organic, unique graphics stack that embeds 3d, 2d, video acceleration, gpgpu and God knows what other.

    So I don't think Wayland is the only solution. But it is one solution, for embedded devices it is ( will be ) probably the best solution, so why let it die?

    In regards to Google they'll do for chromeos what they have done for android, a proprietary graphics stack.

    Will be good? bad? the best? I don't know, but surely Google will not make use of the current Xorg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pabloski View Post
    In regards to Google they'll do for chromeos what they have done for android, a proprietary graphics stack.

    Will be good? bad? the best? I don't know, but surely Google will not make use of the current Xorg.
    Any source for that? I've heard many people saying it but never seen an actual official statement or other proof that this will be so.

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    I think that in many ways Xorg is a card that we sould play with. They do have problems and they lack testers but they should ease the process of testing xorg rc's, I've tried the other day, compiled everything from git, compiled xserver 1.7rc but I've stumbled upon many errors during compiling and I had to manually satisfy some deps. If we all help in testing (and those who are able in developing) I think that xserver got a pretty big chance of being a stable and mature display server...

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