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GNOME

Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release 204

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-in-time-for-the-x11-joke dept.
sfcrazy writes "Gnome developers are planning to delay the release of Gnome 3.12 by approximately a week. It's a deliberate delay to sync the release with the availability of Wayland 1.5. Matthias Clasen (Fedora and Gnome developer) explains that 'the GNOME release team is pondering moving the date for 3.12.0 out by approximately a week, to align the schedule with the Wayland release plans (a 1.4.91 release including all the xdg-shell API we need is planned for April 1). The latter 3.11.x milestones would be shifted as well, to avoid lengthening the freeze period unnecessarily.'"
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Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

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  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:05AM (#46162853)
    I've read through the Wayland site and another half dozen pages that are obviously over my head and I just don't understand what Wayland is or what it's advantages are. I think it's suppose to be replacing X11, but I don't really understand X11 either, other than it's a method of getting things onto the screen. So I'm throwing my ignorance out there hoping I won't be flamed out of existence and someone can explain or point me to a laymen description of Wayland, and/or X11 and how one is better than the other. It seems like it should be a big deal since I've read there's been a lot of dissatisfaction with X11 for quite sometime and yet no one's ever done anything about it. That is until now, if Wayland is in fact a replacement

    I'm sorry I realize this has been discussed several times and I'm sorry I'm just not getting it.
    • by Improv (2467)

      It is in fact an intended replacement for X11. It'd be hard to talk about the differences in much detail if you're not particularly technical.

      • by Dave Whiteside (2055370) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:09AM (#46162911)

        X11 low level is such a huge mess of everything from text to pixels to anything higher
        wayland is a much better step up to modern display tech
        [basically]

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          We've had steps up in the past (NeWS was an early one) but because they were not standard no one bothered much with them. So we've stuck with X for 3 decades now for mostly the same reason that people stick with Windows for a couple of decades while bitching about it the whole time: compatibility.

        • by dkf (304284)

          wayland is a much better step up to modern display tech

          That makes Wayland sound like some kind of alcohol dependence program for narcissists. Surely you can give an explanation of what it really is, and without so much boosterism?

    • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:13AM (#46162951) Homepage Journal

      This talk is insightful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      I've read through the Wayland site and another half dozen pages that are obviously over my head and I just don't understand what Wayland is or what it's advantages are. I think it's suppose to be replacing X11, but I don't really understand X11 either, other than it's a method of getting things onto the screen. So I'm throwing my ignorance out there hoping I won't be flamed out of existence and someone can explain or point me to a laymen description of Wayland, and/or X11 and how one is better than the other. It seems like it should be a big deal since I've read there's been a lot of dissatisfaction with X11 for quite sometime and yet no one's ever done anything about it. That is until now, if Wayland is in fact a replacement

      I'm sorry I realize this has been discussed several times and I'm sorry I'm just not getting it.

      Think of it as X12, the new version of X11. X11 came out when COBOL was king and while it and COBOL still work, there have been many advances in hardware and software since then.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by timeOday (582209)
        What's funny is that the worst part of X11 is how badly it does exactly what it was designed to do - remote display - because it is so slow if the network has any latency (too many synchronous calls). You certainly can't imagine something from 25(?) years ago bombing today because its RAM or CPU or bandwidth requirements are too high. Clearly, latency is not riding that curve, and must instead be designed around.
        • by jbolden (176878)

          Remember X11 was designed for low latency networks (LANs). It is great there. No one had interest in graphics over WANs (which mostly didn't exist) when X11 came out. But you are absolutely right, remote display is often quite bad on X11 over distance. Also the fact it doesn't have a security subsystem is a huge problem with actually using it for remote display.

          • by timeOday (582209)
            I suppose it was a "great" improvement at the time. In retrospect, the lack of ability to even migrate an X Client from one display to another sure feels like a glaring limitation.
        • what it was designed to do - remote display

          Ok, now things make a lot more sense. It's amazing how one piece of the puzzle really brings out the picture. So essentially X was designed to do more than just display, which is why I've always been confused about what X actually did. Sometimes I thought it was a graphics driver, sometimes I thought it was a network protocol, but it's basically both.

          • by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:42AM (#46163237)

            X11 was the protocol for the last big 'users don't need good hardware' fad. In the brave old future, we'd all have dumb X terminals on our desk and run our software on big iron servers while the display went over the LAN to the X terminal.

            In the brave new future, we're now going to run our software on virtual cloud servers while the display goes over the Internet to our web browser, using Javascript instead of X11.

            • by Darinbob (1142669)

              Which sounds suprisingly a lot like NeWS. Except that was Postscript instead of Javascript, and the driving force behind it wasn't marketing and advertising.

            • by morgauxo (974071)

              I have a desktop in the den and a remote X terminal in the garage that connects to it via the LAN. I like living in the brave old future! It serves my needs quite well! I don't want a full OS to babysit on my workbench computer.

              The brave new future just seems assinine. It wold only be useful if my main goal was to play Farmville.

            • by Teckla (630646)

              In the brave new future, we're now going to run our software on virtual cloud servers while the display goes over the Internet to our web browser, using Javascript instead of X11.

              And the difference is enormous. HTML / CSS / JavaScript can do a lot. Even something as seemingly minor as key presses not having to navigate a round trip is a huge win.

              It's popular to equate X11 and the web, but it's wrong to do so.

          • by kick6 (1081615)

            what it was designed to do - remote display

            Ok, now things make a lot more sense. It's amazing how one piece of the puzzle really brings out the picture. So essentially X was designed to do more than just display, which is why I've always been confused about what X actually did. Sometimes I thought it was a graphics driver, sometimes I thought it was a network protocol, but it's basically both.

            don't forget it's also a print server, and a binary interpreter too. This is why wayland proponents think X11 is a mess.

            • don't forget it's also a print server, and a binary interpreter too

              I can't forget that because I didn't know it in the first place.

              Thanks, I'm not feeling so dumb anymore as many people here have pointed out the confusion is that the developers don't know what X is or what to do with it and Wayland is only intended to replace a small part of what X does. My feelings are although it's always sad to see a tried and true method that just works, or people have learned to work around, thrown away, it just makes sense to start over with a fresh perspective and lessons learned

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          What's funny is that the worst part of X11 is how badly it does exactly what it was designed to do - remote display - because it is so slow if the network has any latency (too many synchronous calls).

          Well, duh.

          X11 was designed for remote display over LAN, not WAN. Which is how most of us use it. The Internet barely existed at the time.

          • by preflex (1840068)

            X11 was designed for remote display over LAN, not WAN. Which is how most of us use it. The Internet barely existed at the time.

            Actually, I think most of us use it for local display. It's so bad at remote these days, it's not even very useful over LAN.

            • by morgauxo (974071)

              "it's not even very useful over LAN"
              I read that from time to time but I really can't understand why. I am using it!

              I have a tiny little PC that I think might have been part of a cash register in a past life. It sits on my garage workbench. When I turn it on I get a graphical login box for my main desktop which lives upstairs via XDMCP. It works great! Everything works just the same there as it does locally!

              My only complaint is that I can't get applications running on the remote display to automatically

        • by dkf (304284)

          What's funny is that the worst part of X11 is how badly it does exactly what it was designed to do - remote display - because it is so slow if the network has any latency (too many synchronous calls).

          It does fine, provided you don't push lots of bitmaps back and forth between the server and the clients. I've used X11 over a 14400 dialup line, and it worked fine for everything except fancy client-side bitmap handling. No matter how bad you think X11 over a WAN is, it cannot possibly be as bad as using Framemaker over that modem. I also ran animated bitmaps with X11 over the transatlantic internet back in 1993. (If you were trying to do real work using that cable back then, I hereby apologize!)

          Unfortunate

        • by morgauxo (974071)

          X does remote display great for me! Granted, I mostly use it over a LAN.

          Wayland scares me because it looks like most distros will eventually switch to it but there doesn't seem to be a straight answer about how to do remote display in a Wayland environment. Answers to that question seem to fit into 4 categories:

          1) We don't care. Maybe someone else will implement that later.

          2) Just use X on top of Wayland. (No idea how to do this if/when applications stop supporting X)

          3) That should be implemented at the t

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      In my opinion...

      Wayland + Systemd + Gnome 3 + kernelspace Dbus = transforming Linux into Windows. Or something more like Windows. They represent a complete rejection of the foundational Unix philosophy [wikipedia.org].

      Basically the people behind it want to create a system that is not Unixlike, but they don't want to be bothered with attracting developers who are interested in that as an honestly stated goal and they don't want to be bothered with other "from the ground up" tasks like carefully designing such a syst
      • by jbolden (176878) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:35AM (#46163165) Homepage

        Let me just point out, Wayland came out of the X11 community. This version of how they recruited is total fabrication.

      • by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:38AM (#46163187) Homepage Journal

        In my opinion...
        Wayland + Systemd + Gnome 3 + kernelspace Dbus = transforming Linux into Windows. Or something more like Windows. They represent a complete rejection of the foundational Unix philosophy [wikipedia.org].

        Regarding Wayland: You clearly have no idea how X works today. Todays X is not like Unix should be at all.
        Regarding Dbus: How is a dbus protocol different from semaphores and shm in the kernel?
        Regarding systemd, I agree and see it critically, because it is tries to solve everything at the same time. Perhaps the direction of OpenRC is more appropriate. But to criticise systemd you have to understand the issues: A number of links are on http://freedesktop.org/wiki/So... [freedesktop.org] including http://0pointer.de/blog/projec... [0pointer.de]
        Regarding Gnome3: Gnome3 is conceptionally little different than Gnome2, KDE or XFCE: Windows and pointers. I actually really like it. If you don't exchange it for something else. Very Unixy.

        We have to keep in mind that the system we have today are not mainframes that are booted once and have their daemons running for months.
        We have plug-and-play of devices and screens, hibernation, multiple input devices, while at the same time the screen output must not flicker or have delays beyond 50ms. It's a different arena today.

      • by armanox (826486)

        I'm in complete agreement with you. What they're doing is throwing away everything that used to work just to have something they can say they developed in a lot of cases. They're also making a lot of things Linux only, and throwing out compatibility with UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems.

        • by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @12:54PM (#46163941) Journal

          Let me change a few words around for entertainment purposes :-)

          PHB: "I'm in complete agreement with you. What they're doing is throwing away everything that used to work with activeX just to have something they can say they developed in a lot of cases. They're also making a lot of things W3C only, and throwing out compatibility with IE 5 quirks mode and IE 6 browsers."

          Sound ludicrous but my point is X is also a bad technology that is dated and a thorn in the Unix ecosystem equally. People fear change sometimes and I can tell you the same Unix nerds screamed when Sun got rid of Inet for their event driven system system which is more modern and appropriate for laptops and modern systems where conditions change.

          Have you used Linux 13 years ago? I have and MAN X SUCKS back then and it showed more easily. You do not realize it because you have very fast cpus with gobs of ram. But I remember X taking up just 75% of the ram before I could run any apps.

          X is a dumb terminal technology made for greenscreens of the Carter Administration of where you had the VAX the size of a refigerator and everyone had dumb terminals or smart ones with long serial cables to the computer room.

          It was not designed for multimedia, OpenGL, low latency, touch screens, low power phones or tablets, or even running a desktop program.

          Thats right your code has to run in a server and another copy of itself as a client. Why?? Gnome hides some of this the openGL workarounds are to go to the linux kernel directly with DRM (where does that leave Solaris and FreeBSD users?) to get around that horrible hack of X.

          The unix haters manual has an entertaining section on X. The protocol, technology, and API are beyond horrible.

          I think Linux lost on the desktop because of X! We would not be fighting for 15 aweful years recreating Guis due to the lack of X working.

          • by armanox (826486)

            Have you used Linux 13 years ago? I have and MAN X SUCKS back then and it showed more easily. You do not realize it because you have very fast cpus with gobs of ram. But I remember X taking up just 75% of the ram before I could run any apps.

            Yes, I ran Linux that long ago. Red Hat 6.1 on a Pentium 1 with 48MB RAM and a 1GB HDD. Ran at least as well as Windows 95 on that box.

            It was not designed for multimedia, OpenGL, low latency, touch screens, low power phones or tablets, or even running a desktop program.

            Funny, IRIX seemed to handle OpenGL and multimedia fantastically. And guess what? It's running X11 on what's now really old hardware (my Octane has a single 300MHz MIPS processor, with 1GB of RAM. My O2 (also with IRIX 6.5) had a 180MHz MIPS processor, 64MB RAM, and also handled OpenGL without hiccup. Ran Photoshop rather nicely too).

            Thats right your code has to run in a server and another copy of itself as a client. Why?? Gnome hides some of this the openGL workarounds are to go to the linux kernel directly with DRM (where does that leave Solaris and FreeBSD users?) to get around that horrible hack of X.

            It creates issues for Solaris and B

            • by spitzak (4019)

              IRIX did not run OpenGL under X really. It did pretty much what modern DRI stuff does: you do a bunch of OpenGL calls passing X window ID's and that causes the OpenGL library to locate the piece of memory X is using for that window (at that time it was part of the dual-buffer memory for the screen) and then OpenGL draws into it. The X server has no idea what is being drawn and is not involved in this. It also does not work over the network (though they did add DGL later). Also IRIX originally used their own

          • by morgauxo (974071)

            Throwing away features that many users still need is not a good way to fix anything. If X is so broken it must be completely replaced then fine, but the replacement should have all of X's features. Until there is a way to do remote display in a Wayland system both single application at a time and entire desktop then it is not a good solution.

            • What is missing then?

              Client/Server requirements or the ability to remote in? These are 2 different things. I am a cynic towards X as I do not see dumb terminals besides at fast food restaurants like McD's these days.

              I see mobile and low latency becoming big. I see web UI's taking over as well and serving the elements in HTML 5 fashioned to any client independent of OS which I consider a boon. I hate any OS that tries to be standard including even Linux.

              Maybe if I saw apps that have the server part of the pr

    • How X/Wayland work (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @12:01PM (#46163403)

      X is an application that runs on a computer with a graphics card. A graphical application can then use the X libraries to send drawing commands over the network to an X server, eg "draw a line", "draw a box", "display this bitmap", "display this string in font zzz". Note that the concept of "client" and "server" are somewhat reversed from the normal meaning - the X "server" runs on your desktop, the client can run somewhere in a datacenter. Think about apps processing major datasets and then generating some output...makes sense then for the "client" to be on the larger computer.

      The X "server" also controls keyboard/mouse/etc, sending events to the relevant client apps.

      The problem with X is that the whole design no longer matches what client apps want to do - eg interact with 3d-capable GPUs, use exactly the fonts they want (rather than asking the X server to use the font with a specific name, and hoping the server has that font available). And the network layer inbetween adds latency. And the set of commands that X supports is now so large that the server is huge - making it buggy, full of security holes, and difficult to maintain.

      Wayland is basically the lowest-level parts of X (handling the graphics card), plus a very simple API for clients - it accepts bitmaps only, no "draw a line" stuff. And no network support - clients are local only. Client apps can then code directly against the Wayland APIs (ie pass it bitmaps, often generated by interacting directly with a GPU to render 3d graphics into a buffer). Fast, simple. Or clients can code against the original X API, in which case the drawing commands are sent across the network as they always were, and then are handled by a slimmed-down X-server which executes the commands and passes the resulting buffer to the local wayland server.

      In practice of course, most apps will code to the GTK or QT apis, and it is GTK/QT which is responsible for interacting with Wayland or X.

      There is also code in development to create a "wayland network protocol" where clients can generate images (on whatever computer they are running on - which might have a GPU), and then send the (compressed) image over the network to another wayland server where the user actually sits and sees the graphics. This is a kind of "RDP remote desktop" mode - and according to many people will actually out-perform the old X way of doing things, as well as being vastly simpler to implement/maintain.

      • I noticed the AC comment was modded as overrated, but the post seems to provide lots of back story and reasoning for why some people are working toward Wayland adoption as well as some draw backs of Wayland.

        It didn't seem to contain any flamebait or troll comments so is the post untrue or does it contain untrue statements? or is this just a case of a bad moderation?
        • by Kjella (173770)

          It didn't seem to contain any flamebait or troll comments so is the post untrue or does it contain untrue statements? or is this just a case of a bad moderation?

          Probably this part, which is pretty much nonsense. X has never been used this way.

          Note that the concept of "client" and "server" are somewhat reversed from the normal meaning - the X "server" runs on your desktop, the client can run somewhere in a datacenter. Think about apps processing major datasets and then generating some output...makes sense then for the "client" to be on the larger computer.

          • Note that the concept of "client" and "server" are somewhat reversed from the normal meaning - the X "server" runs on your desktop, the client can run somewhere in a datacenter. Think about apps processing major datasets and then generating some output...makes sense then for the "client" to be on the larger computer.

            Is how the developer in the linked youtube video above pretty much says it works.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Previous AC poster here..

            When you say "X has never been used this way", I presume you mean that nowadays most desktop users only run apps locally on the desktop, ie the client/server are on the same machine. This is true - now. I'm old enough to remember the "thin client" wave, where the latest coolest thing for businesses was to have a low-powered desktop system that was just screen/keyboard/operating-system/X11, and all the apps were run on servers. The networking ability of X made this possible. And even

            • by morgauxo (974071)

              I don't know a lot about DRI or specific X extensions. I'm aware of them but only so far as I have needed to be to get X running on various video cards.

              I do run X remotely. A lot! I haven't really ran into much that didn't work. Actually I can't specifically remember anything that didn't work although I think I vaguely recall it happening once.

              Mostly I run a web browser, various text editors, the Arduino programming envionment, gimp, an instant messenger, occasionally Libre Office and probably a few thi

          • by spitzak (4019)

            The use of the terms client/server are correct for X.

            I never really saw it as being backwards. The x server is providing a service for the client, that service is to display it's output on the user's screen. Also, more importantly, the x server keeps working for other clients even if one client dies. But if the server dies the clients can't do anything. This matches how a whole lot of desktops running "email clients" and talking to a central "email server" works: it usually is ok if one of the email clients

          • They have gotten the 'datacenter' part, but it's true that generally from say an X station point of view, you can use it from your desk and someone from the data center could also use it. But the server is not some big iron thing, it's just a simple client.
      • by spitzak (4019)

        There is also code in development to create a "wayland network protocol"

        My understanding is that the clients will just talk to a special wayland server using the same api they would use to draw locally.

        There may be a "wayland network protocol" but the clients should not have to worry about which protocol is being used. Most of the current developement is to use RDP.

      • by morgauxo (974071)

        "There is also code in development to create a "wayland network protocol" where clients can generate images (on whatever computer they are running on - which might have a GPU), and then send the (compressed) image over the network to another wayland server where the user actually sits and sees the graphics. This is a kind of "RDP remote desktop" mode - and according to many people will actually out-perform the old X way of doing things, as well as being vastly simpler to implement/maintain."

        If this is true

      • by morgauxo (974071)

        I'm no expert in how X works but my understanding was that when running remotely it sends commands like draw a line here, draw a circle there, etc and only falls back on sending bitmaps when necessary. It sounds like Wayland will be the opposite, sending a stream of bitmaps constantly. Did I understand that right?

        I thought not sending bitmaps was supposed to be the faster way? Maybe this is a use case. I can understand, if I was mostly just watching videos I would expect sending bitmaps to be the only way

        • by raxx7 (205260) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @07:16PM (#46168381) Homepage

          You're 90% right, but the devil is in the details.
          The X protocol allows applications to send drawing commands like "draw a line here, circle there, text with this font over there". You can also store pixmaps to the server and then reference them.
          But these drawing commands can't draw anti-aliased shaped, so in the late 1990s X applications were either pushing lots of pixmaps or pushing so many tiny drawing commands it was worse than pushing pixmaps.

          Then came XRender. XRender is based on pixmaps/gylphs, but also provides masking/blending operations on them.
          This allows for better re-use of server stored pixmaps, which allowed for anti-aliased applications with less network traffic.
          All in all, it's pretty slick.

          But history is repeating itself and application developers are again going back to pushing lots of pixmaps. Qt developers concluded that, for local clients, their client-side renderer was *much* faster than the XRender based one and at some point made it the default for Qt4. For Qt5, they didn't bother with a XRender based one.

          To top it off, whether it's XRender or brute force pixmap, modern X applications send so many commands they need a lot of bandwidth.Also, most X applications were never written to tolerate high latency connections, even though the protocol is asynchronous.
          So, remote X tends to work poorly over the Internet, leading a lot of us to use tools like VNC, NX or Xpra.

          The Xpra server runs as specialized X server and X compositor in the remote system, where the X application is to be run. Then it takes the contents of the X application's windown, scans for changed parts, compresses and sends it over to the Xpra client, which then draws the application window in the local system.
          Since the X application is talking to a local X server, there's no latency there. And the diffiing/compressing ends up requiring less bandwidth than sending the raw X commands.

          So, history has shown twice supporting drawing commands is a fool's errand, Wayland only supports pushing pixmaps. And only through shared memory, a Wayland compositor and a Wayland application must always to be on the same machine.

          But there isn't anything stopping anyone from implementing a Wayland compositor that does what the Xpra server does. So, that's pretty much plan "A" for running Wayland applications remotely.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @12:35PM (#46163755) Homepage

      X11 used to be a *lot* of things, but long story short it's now mostly a go-between your applications (that render themselves), the compositor (which put the windows together to a screen) and the framebuffer (where you put the screen to make it show on your monitor). And the parts that aren't totally gone, is provided by klugded-on extensions to avoid breaking the core protocol. Wayland basically drops all legacy functionality and backwards-compatibility and consolidates modern X into a new protocol, last I checked in less than 10% of the code and those parts work much simpler and faster.

      Now X has network transparancy and Wayland does not, but not the way it's currently used. It's like saying HTML is network transparent but the way most people use it is like this: <html><body><img src="here_is_the_real_content.png"></body></html>. The other big question has been client or server side decorations, who draws the window frames/titles/buttons. The default implementation (Weston) leaves it to the client, but the protocol lets the server do it and KWin does. It's better because a frozen client doesn't stop them from rendering, but at the cost of pulling some form of drawing toolkit into the display server.

      • by spitzak (4019)

        Server side decorations actually add a lot of complexity to the protocol, and don't fix frozen clients if in fact pushing the button (such as the close box) requires the client to do something like exit. Also unlike Windows, Wayland compositors can detect frozen clients and still allow the windows to be dragged around (or minimized with reasonable accuracy if the new xdg_shell has support for child windows). In addition it is now possible to write clients with a gui thread and a computation thread, which wi

    • To understand Wayland, you have to understand X. An X server is a program(s) running as root, which coordinates all of the aspects of a GUI interface. This includes all of the drawing and updating to the display modules in the kernel. X also managed input devices like the mouse and keyboard. However, X is not the window manager or the widget set. X simply listens to the client, and draws what it is told to. Thing like Gnome or KDE actually handle what is to be drawn, and then interface with X. If you
  • Say, forever? MATE with Xorg is much more suitable than either Gnome or Wayland.

    • X11's far more than mature by now. You can expect ongoing support in various capacities for decades - it's just that widespread.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:20AM (#46163023)

      Say, forever? MATE with Xorg is much more suitable than either Gnome or Wayland.

      Ummm, even MATE is planning on switching to Wayland, so evidently the developers of MATE would disagree with you.

    • by bobbuck (675253)
      What is MATE? (Yes, I realize it might be a sore subject on Slashdot.)
      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        (Presuming that's a genuine question, and I'm not somehow wooshing myself).

        MATE is a fork for the Gnome 2 shell, which maintains a simple desktop style of the classic variety. It is usually associated with the distro Mint. Competes on similar territory to XFCE, although I don't think they have an explicit "for lighter hardware" mandate in the same way as XFCE does.

        Not to be confused with Cinnamon, which is a fork of the Gnome 3 shell which attempts to recreate a classic Gnome 2 style desktop, and is also us

      • by jcdr (178250)

        http://mate-desktop.org/ [mate-desktop.org]

        To me, this is the greatest desktop project since the fading of Gnome 2. If fact this how the Gnome foundation should have managed the desktop project: continue the Gnome 2 support e improvement until the experimental Gnome 3 project is polished in a way that Gnome 2 users start using it by there own choice. The failed by cutting the life of Gnome 2 way too early and trowing a unfinished, buggy and incomplete Gnome 3 kludge.

  • On Wayland.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @11:45AM (#46163259)

    Like many people, my chief concern over Wayland is 'network transparency. Unlike some others, I'm willing to believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Specifically, with X based systems, X remoting is no longer the way I use X remotely, I use xpra as it delivers me a better experience. Unlike something like NX, Xpra does not try to extend or enhance X based protocols, but instead gets content by setting itself as the compositor, knowing things like window relationships to each other and being able to do things like recognizing a tray icon for what it is.

    My question is if the same sort of thing would be possible with Wayland today and if people are doing it.

    I am entirely amateur hour at this and may have mischaracterized, but I'm willing to hold out hope that the one major fundamental downside of Wayland could be overcome in the same way that Xpra makes X better.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Wayland has something like Windows RDP working as their remote solution. They are throwing out "network transparency" in exchange for "easy and fast remote operation".

      • I don't want to run my *desktop* over a network, that's horribly clumsy compared to pulling over only select applications.

        Having had to deal with the entire RDP/VLC crap only made me like X11's way of doing things more.

        • Re:On Wayland.. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Billly Gates (198444) on Wednesday February 05, 2014 @01:02PM (#46164021) Journal

          X11 is remote by default whether you like it or not.

          To get an app to work on X you need a server and client component and it emulates running on a freaking network with high latency. Does that sound like a great architecture to you? Great for dumb terminals and smart terminals in which the system was made for in the 1980s.

          Gnome hides this by default but under the scenes just to get opengl to work it uses hacks with DRM opengl in the server and it tries not to talk to X for the actual view. So in essence X sees a black box and a hack shows you the code. That is just one horrible work around that X does. It is not adequate and there is nothing to fear with change.

          There is a reason Android does not use X.

          • Gnome hides this by default but under the scenes just to get opengl to work it uses hacks with DRM opengl in the server and it tries not to talk to X for the actual view.

            lolwut?

            That's crap. Gnome doesn't do any magic, it talks to libGL like everything else if and when it does OpenGL. LibGL has a fast path to the graphics card locally (like on SGIs in the 90s before PCs had 3D cards) and will do the right thing for remote stuff.

            There is a reason Android does not use X.

            The android developers are mad and often

        • by jbolden (176878)

          RDP allows you to run applications over a network. It does precisely what you are talking about. I think you are confused since you are comparing it to VLC.

          • VNC can also forward individual applications, though I can't comment on how well it works. For an example see v11vnc with the "-appshare" option. I tend to use xpra for that myself, even on LANs.

            The API which Wayland exposes to client applications should make this sort of thing much easier to implement. (Clients aren't expected to know how they're layed out on the screen; they just send surfaces to the compositor, so the compositor knows exactly which images to compress and forward.)

        • by Wdomburg (141264)

          RDP has supported remote applications since 2007: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-u... [microsoft.com]

    • by raxx7 (205260)

      Yes, it's possible. All you need is to implement a compositor which is actually a Xpra-like server.

      And yes, it's been worked on. Support to have Weston (Wayland reference compositor) work as a RDP server has been merged.
      Not sure if it supports rootless (applications only, no desktop) already or it's rooted (full desktop). But RDP does allow for rootless.

  • The transition from Gnome2 to Gnome3 was an awful one for me. I bet there was a meeting somewhere that went like this...

    Designer 1: Gnome2 is way too simple! Look at this Windows 8 - they totally outdid the rest of the world!

    Designer 2: Yes, and look at this OSX - girls love it!

    Dev: Totally! Let's re-do all the menus/toolbars, and then we'll make it the new default on (insert list of gnome3 distros here). Everyone will love it from day one, and nobody will experience any loss of productivity! It
    • by jcdr (178250)

      MATE is improving really fast. Give it a new try.

      • by aws910 (671068)
        Yeah.... this has been the bane of my linux existence. Shiny new things. I'd try them, they'd work amazingly... and then, on Monday morning, when I have a meeting/presentation in 30 minutes, it would fail in some way and I'd be trapped at the terminal for the next 2 hours. I wish it were different, but I've only got time for flexible, reliable applications, especially when it comes to desktop environments. After hearing this, fans of crapple will usually say "Well then OSX was made for you!"... then I r
        • by jcdr (178250)

          I agree with your view.
          I think that MATE is not the cause of the "shiny new thing", but the fact that Gnome 2 was abandoned by the Gnome Foundation. This is also why the name "Gnome" can't be used anymore for the fork.

          The very interesting thing is that MATE project will soon support all the new cool technologies like GTK+3, Wayland and systemd (like Gnome 3) but without changing the desktop experience for the users (unlike Gnome 3).

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