non-Unity flavours and Mir

Marc Deslauriers marc.deslauriers at
Fri Jun 14 15:15:17 UTC 2013

On 13-06-14 11:04 AM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Friday, June 14, 2013 03:54:32 PM Jonathan Riddell wrote:
>> Here's a discussion I half started as part of vUDS.
>> The switch to Mir in Ubuntu seems pretty risky for the existance of
>> Kubuntu, I wonder if other flavours have the same probable problem.
>> KWin dev has opinions on the subject
>> From the
>> architecture section on that blog post:
>>  "Mir’s architecture is centered around Unity. It is difficult to really
>>  understand the architecture of Mir as the specification is so full of
>>  buzz-words that I don’t understand it [5]. From all I can see and
>>  understand Unity Next is a combination of window manager and desktop
>>  shell implemented on top of Mir. How exactly this is going to look
>>  like I do not know. Anyway it does not fit our design of having
>>  desktop shell and window manager separated and we do not know whether
>>  Mir would support that. We also do not know whether Mir would allow
>>  any other desktop shell except Unity Next, given that this is the main
>>  target. Wayland on the other hand is designed to have more than one
>>  compositor implementations. Using KWin as a session compositor is an
>>  example in the spec."
>> and on protocol
>>  "But it gets worse, the protocol between Mir server and Mir clients
>>  is defined as not being stable. In fact it’s promised that it will
>>  break. That’s a huge problem, I would even call it a showstopper....
>>  Given that the protocol may change any time and given that the whole
>>  thing is developed for the needs of Unity we have to expect that the
>>  server libraries are not binary compatible or that old version of the
>>  server libraries cannot talk with the latest client libraries"
>> Canonical was going to port LightDM to Wayland but now does not plan
>> to so someone else would have to do this.  KDE might be interested
>> but more likely will switch to SDDM.
>> For Kubuntu the options are:
>> - Use Mir - infeasable as upstream can't support it as described above
>> - Use Wayland with packages from Debian and hope we can make those packages
>>   live with Mir as best as possible
>> - End of Kubuntu
>> The second options is the one I'm expecting.  It's completely unknown
>> how much it means Kubuntu and other flavours will need to maintain X
>> and Wayland packages, hopefully not much (it's hardly our speciality)
>> and hopefully Debian and Ubuntu Desktop will support it enough.
>> I don't think there's a public timeline for Mir so we don't know when
>> this will hit us, presumably in the next year.
>> Other flavours I think are this:
>> Mythbuntu: not evaluated, hope to do so once NVideo and AMD provide drivers
>> Lubuntu: not evaluated, hope to use X and GTK
>> ubuntustudio: I've heard both that they use xfce based on xubuntu and
>> will follow them, and "aiming for users to choose whatever desktop
>> environment they want"
>> Any other flavours got an opinions?
>> Are there any misconceptions I have in the above?
> Given that mesa is going to be heavily patched to support Mir, I question the 
> long term feasibility of supporting Wayland in Ubuntu.

How would adding a new backend to mesa result in it being "heavily
patched"? Why would adding a new backend to mesa affect the other
backends, including Wayland?


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