An anonymous reader writes "Six months after the release of Wayland 1.0, versions 1.1 of Wayland and Weston have been released. Wayland/Weston 1.1 brings new back-end support for the Raspberry Pi, Pixman renderer, Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and FBDEV frame-buffer device. Wayland/Weston 1.1 also introduces a modules SDK, supports the EGL buffer-age extension, touch-screen calibration support, and numerous optimizations and bug-fixes."
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An anonymous reader writes "Canonical Desktop and Mobile Engineer Christopher Halse Rogers explains in more detail the decision for Mir as apposed to Wayland. Although Halse Rogers 'was not involved in the original decision to create Mir,' he's had 'discussions with those who were.' 'We want something like Wayland, but different in almost all the details.' 'The upsides of doing our own thing — we can do exactly and only what we want, we can build an easily-testable codebase, we can use our own infrastructure, we don't have an additional layer of upstream review.' In a separate post Halse Rogers answer the question: Does this fragment the Linux graphics driver space?"
First time accepted submitter taikedz writes "Citrix Xenapp with Receiver/Metaframe allows publishing individual applications installed on a Windows server to users on remote machines. These applications open in their own windows, along side others as if they were installed locally. I am looking to do the same at home, with free software, publishing applications from Mac, Linux, and Windows machines (and yes, I've verified the license agreements for the apps I am going to do this with!). Up until now, the only alternatives I have found are full-on remote desktop login, not seamlessly-integrated. Can you recommend any tools that can achieve the goal of remote individual application access across platforms for free or at low-cost?"
jones_supa writes "The SDL developers Ryan Gordon and Sam Lantinga have proposed a window manager change to work out the full-screen X11 window mess, primarily for games. The proposal is to come up with a _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN_EXCLUSIVE window manager hint that works out the shortcomings of the full-screen hint used currently by most games, _NET_WM_STATE_FULLSCREEN. Ryan and Sam have already worked out an initial patch for SDL but they haven't tried hooking it to any window manager yet. Those interested in the details, information is available from this mailing list message. One of the key changes is that software would make the request to the window manager to change the resolution, rather than tapping RandR or XVidMode directly. Martin Gräßlin of KDE was rather wary about the patch and said that games changing the resolution just tend to mess up the desktop." Seems like a reasonable idea, given a bit of time to mature as a spec. In KDE's case, a separate daemon from the window manager handles resolution changes so going through the WM would add complexity, and the plasma shell still has no way to realize that it shouldn't reflow the desktop widgets. Setting window properties seems like a sensible IPC method for communicating intent though (without making yet another aspect of the X desktop reliant upon the not-very-network-transparent dbus): "hey, I need to resize, but just for me so don't reshuffle the desktop and docks."
An anonymous reader writes "After being talked about for four years, Wayland 1.0 was released today. The Wayland 1.0 release doesn't mark it yet as being ready for Linux desktop usage but just being API/protocol stable for future expansion. Wayland will now maintain backwards compatibility going forward, but how much longer will it take to replace X11 on the Linux desktop? Quite a while seems likely."
An anonymous reader writes "The widely used X11 Window System has turned 25 years old today. Version 11 of the X Window System is likely to remain in use for many years to come for backwards compatibility with the many legacy applications, BSD/Solaris systems, and Enterprise Linux distributions. Meanwhile, Wayland is still working to unseat the X Server for the common Linux desktop."
As part of a KDE-wide effort to prepare for Qt 5/QtQuick2, and a push to improve the window manager, KWin now sports QML decoration support. Currently, the C++ API for decorators is "...not very Qt like and requires a strong understanding of how the window decoration in KWin works ... [and] seems to be too difficult to be used." This complexity increases maintenance burden: "In 4.9 we ship four window decorations: the Aurorae theme engine, Oxygen, Plastik, b2 and Laptop. Together they are 10 kSLOC of C++ code and 1 kSLOC QML code (Aurorae). Before Aurorae got ported to QML the size of the decorations was 13 kSLOC. Overall that is about 10 per cent of the KWin source base, which is rather large." Basing his work on the QML version of the Aurorae engine, Martin Gräßlin set out to port Plastik to QML (the C++ version has already bitrotted, and was slated for removal): "After one and a half days of work I’m proud to say that writing decorations in QML is possible. ... In the current state the decoration consists of 370 lines of QML code and I expect to need an additional 100 lines to finish the buttons (they are already functional, that is the close button closes the window) and add some of the configuration options. The same API in C++ consists of 1500 lines of code. So we do not only get fewer lines of code but also a more readable and easier to maintain codebase. For something like a window decoration a declarative approach is much better suited than the imperative C++ way of painting elements."
Phoronix was at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and has two articles on the status of Wayland and X11 integration. The second talk was about the current status of Wayland, and its impending release (version 1.0 is due this summer). The developers also have an experimental GNOME-Shell working on Wayland. There's a (kind of shaky) video of this talk (attached, and at youtube for those wanting the html5 version). The first talk (by Keith Packard) covered X11 support on Wayland. It's basically ready to go, but window management is implemented only as a hack right now. The next year could be quite exciting for GNU/Linux and BSD users as distributions begin including Wayland as an alternative to X.org.
New submitter mkwan writes "The open-source X Server for Android has hit beta and is now available for download through the Android Market. On Australian networks at least, smartphones are assigned publicly-accessible IP addresses, so it should be possible to display many Linux applications on an Android smartphone simply by setting the DISPLAY environment variable to the phone's IP address followed by :0" The source is available under the MIT license (or Apache; the project page and story disagree) over at Google Code. It doesn't support all of the X protocol and there's no Xlib implementation (i.e. no X11 apps on the device yet except via the NDK if you're lucky), but it is a reimplementation of the X server in Java for Android. You can run remote applications at least.
First time accepted submitter brad-x writes "A new team of developers has recently picked up development of WindowMaker, and they've added many new features, including improved support for the freedesktop standard menu layout and Mac OS X style application and window switching from the keyboard, culminating in a new release, 0.95.2. A basic changelog is available on the newly redesigned website."
An anonymous reader writes "In marking the fourth anniversary of AMD's open-source strategy for their Radeon graphics, Phoronix has published the letter that launched this open-source effort. It was a letter written by Novell SUSE X engineers and submitted to AMD management with their open-source proposal."
DrKnark writes "I am not an IT professional, even so I am one of the more knowledgeable in such matters at my department. We are now planning to build a new cluster (smallish, ~128 cores). The old cluster (built before my time) used Redhat Fedora, and this is also used in the larger centralized clusters around here. As such, most people here have some experience using that. My question is, are there better choices? Why are they better? What would be recommended if we need it to fairly user friendly? It has to have an X-windows server since we use that remotely from our Windows (yeah, yeah, I know) workstations."
devtty writes with some bad news for Linux users, from OSNews: "The release notes for Firefox 4.0 beta 9 noted that it comes with hardware acceleration for Windows 7 and Vista via a combination of Direct2D, DirectX 9 and DirectX 10. Windows XP users will also enjoy hardware acceleration for many operations 'using our new Layers infrastructure along with DX9.' Furthermore, Mac OS X has excellent OpenGL support, they claim, so they've got that covered as well. No mention of Linux, and there's a reason for that. 'We tried enabling OpenGL on Linux, and discovered that most Linux drivers are so disastrously buggy (think "crash the X server at the drop of a hat, and paint incorrectly the rest of the time" buggy) that we had to disable it for now,' explains Zbarsky, 'Heck, we're even disabling WebGL for most Linux drivers, last I checked...'" An update to the story softens this news slightly, saying that "hardware acceleration (OpenGL only) on Linux has been implemented, but due to bugs and issues, only one driver so far has been whitelisted (the proprietary NVIDIA driver)."
jschauma writes "NetBSD 5.1 has been released. NetBSD 5.1 is the first feature update of the NetBSD 5.0 release branch. It includes security and bug fixes, as well as improved hardware support and new features. Some highlights include: RAIDframe parity maps, which greatly improve parity rewrite times after unclean shutdown; X.Org updates; Support for many more network devices; Xen PAE dom0 support; Xen PCI pass-through support. For a full list of all changes, please see the release announcement. NetBSD 5.1 is dedicated to the memory of Martti Kuparinen, who was the victim of a traffic accident in June 2010."
Timothy found a news report and a little video demonstrating the multi-touch capabilities of Ubuntu. It's attached below if you're curious what the new Unity Netbook UI is looking like these days.
werfu writes "Compiz 0.9.0, the first release of Compiz rewritten in C++, has been announced on the Compiz mailing list. See the announcement for more info." Compiz has for years been one of my favorite ways to make Windows users envious, despite my (Linux) systems' otherwise low-end graphics capabilities. Besides the switch to C++ from C, this release "brings a whole new developer API, splits rendering into plugins, switches the buildsystem from automake to cmake and brings minor functionality improvements."
The Linux Terminal Server Project has for years been simplifying the task of time-sharing a Linux system by means of X terminals (including repurposed low-end PCs). Now, stgraber writes "After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad."
mu22le writes "Enlightenment, the daring window manager that disappeared from our collective radar years ago, is back to bring Ubuntu to ARM. The bet that E developers made years ago to neglect 3D, compositing, and make a fast and versatile 2.5d engine may have finally paid off. The current popularity of ARM-based devices could be a niche that the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries can fill comfortably."
Borov writes "I'm planning to buy a second monitor in near future and I was searching for ways to configure it under Linux. It seems there are two main ways: 1) to have one 'big' desktop, which means I have single workspace — changing virtual desktop switches both monitors or 2) to have separate X sessions for each display — which means I have separate workspaces, but I can't move applications between them. I need something in the middle — a separate workspace for each screen, so that I can have independent virtual desktops on each screen, but still have the ability to move applications between monitors (no need to strech one app across both of them). I've read that some tiling window managers can do this kind of thing, but I'd rather go with 'classical' window managers, like Openbox/Gnome/KDE or similar."