Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Dec 2012 16:56 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
X11, Window Managers "For two decades, X has been the foundation for Linux graphics. Ubuntu's decision late in 2010 to switch to Wayland shakes things up all the way to those roots. Just over a month ago, the official 1.0.0 release of Wayland appeared, as well as its associated Weston project. How will these milestones affect working GUI programmers? What will happen to all the existing toolkits - Qt, wxWindows, Tk, and others - on which so many graphical applications already depend?"
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Easy
by zizban on Wed 5th Dec 2012 17:02 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

Legacy toolkits will run in a rootless X and they'll be Wayland ports.

Reply Score: 6

fluid rendering
by boulabiar on Wed 5th Dec 2012 17:30 UTC
boulabiar
Member since:
2009-04-18

Wayland means less crashes and fluid rendering without glitches.

Reply Score: 2

RE: fluid rendering
by dusanyu on Wed 5th Dec 2012 17:43 UTC in reply to "fluid rendering"
dusanyu Member since:
2006-01-21

In theory, the reality is lack of driver support, and Stability issues due to it being a relativity new technology.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: fluid rendering
by boulabiar on Wed 5th Dec 2012 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE: fluid rendering"
boulabiar Member since:
2009-04-18

Many ARM GPUs have opensource driver, reverse-engineered driver, or at least an OpenGL ES2 interface.
Also, new Intel CPU which have Haswell GPUs removes the needs for an nvidia card (on laptops), and in the same time provides opensource drivers.

Changes can follow quickly once the need is present.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: fluid rendering
by BluenoseJake on Wed 5th Dec 2012 18:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: fluid rendering"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

I don't think there was ever a need for NVidia cards...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: fluid rendering
by shmerl on Wed 5th Dec 2012 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: fluid rendering"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Really? Intel GPUs were horrible with anything related to gaming. Not sure if it improved lately, but without Nvidia any graphics intense game wouldn't work.

Edited 2012-12-05 18:36 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: fluid rendering
by BluenoseJake on Thu 6th Dec 2012 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: fluid rendering"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

AMD cards work fine, and intel for light duty, I just prefer AMD.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: fluid rendering
by bnolsen on Wed 5th Dec 2012 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: fluid rendering"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Well they are better than gma500 (powervr) based intel video.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: fluid rendering
by snowbender on Wed 5th Dec 2012 19:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: fluid rendering"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

Many ARM GPUs have opensource driver, reverse-engineered driver, or at least an OpenGL ES2 interface.


Hmmm... which ARM GPUs have fully open source drivers.. since I don't know any...?

Reply Score: 8

RE[4]: fluid rendering
by Morgan on Wed 5th Dec 2012 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: fluid rendering"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You beat me to it. This is the sore spot with switching to ARM as a production platform, at least for me. There are fully open alternatives to ARM like the Loongson platform, but I don't know if the performance is up to par.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: fluid rendering
by WereCatf on Wed 5th Dec 2012 20:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: fluid rendering"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Many ARM GPUs have opensource driver, reverse-engineered driver


I don't know of any ARM GPUs that have manufacturer-endorsed open-source drivers or even a fully-working reverse-engineered one. I would appreciate it if you could point me to any.

Reply Score: 6

RE: fluid rendering
by renox on Wed 5th Dec 2012 23:26 UTC in reply to "fluid rendering"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Wayland means less crashes and fluid rendering without glitches.
Hum, less crashes? What makes you think so?
If the crashes are caused by the drivers, then new usages of the drivers will tend to create *more* crashes not less (at least initially).

'without glitch' this is true, but this is a tradeoff: I believe that resizing a window can be jerky/laggy if the program doesn't send its frame quick enough, whereas with X it could still be smooth if a bit ugly.

Reply Score: 6

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 5th Dec 2012 18:34 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

The main barrier now is the lack of drivers for common GPUs like Nvidia.

Reply Score: 4

But what does Wayland mean for Android?
by butters on Wed 5th Dec 2012 19:27 UTC
butters
Member since:
2005-07-08

Android was the first major Linux-based client OS to ditch X11 in favor of a direct rendering manager (SurfaceFlinger). Now that Wayland inching its way toward adoption by Ubuntu and Fedora, what does this mean for the future of Android and SurfaceFlinger?

If Google has any intention of pushing Android upmarket into the productivity and workstation segments, then they may want a presentation framework which natively supports composited client windows. I suppose that ChromeOS, with its new Aura window manager on X11, would be the most likely venue for Google to introduce Wayland, if they have any intention of doing so.

Reply Score: 3

ThomasFuhringer Member since:
2007-01-25

And why not just take SurfaceFlinger as a replacement for X Windows?

Reply Score: 2

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm no developer, but I wonder if it would even scale up to desktop use. It's designed for one fullscreen app at a time; no window management would be possible without heavy modification.

And let's not forget what die hard X fanatics would miss the most: Remote X sessions. I've used them in the past from time to time, but there are some people for whom that feature is a necessity.

I may be wrong, but I think the best solution is to clean up and modernize X rather than shoehorn a mobile framework onto desktops. I don't have a problem with Wayland either, but I'm interested to see where the various distros go.

Reply Score: 5

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm no developer, but I wonder if it would even scale up to desktop use. It's designed for one fullscreen app at a time; no window management would be possible without heavy modification.

I doubt it's much of a limitation - pull-down notification area can be already seen as another window on top of an app?

Reply Score: 3

Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

You're right, I didn't think about that. And there is already a "desktop pager" of sorts, with the multiple home screens (though again, no floating or tiled windows).

It would be interesting to see someone take this idea and run with it!

Reply Score: 2

steampoweredlawn Member since:
2006-09-27

For an example of floating windows, check out AirCalc. There's also the various floating video players.

Reply Score: 3

...
by Hiev on Wed 5th Dec 2012 21:19 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

I'll believe in Wayland wanders when I see it.

Reply Score: 1

X's era is in the past
by jonsmirl on Wed 5th Dec 2012 21:27 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

X basically ignores the GPU. Linux simply couldn't continue to ignore the GPU and remain competitive. Wayland turns the GPU into a first class citizen in the Linux world.

Nobody knows where this is going to end up. Usage of 3D in desktops is still in its infancy. I'm sure that in ten years we'll look back and laugh at these early desktop designs.

One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop.

Also note that 3D is just a catch all that includes compositing, GPGPU and other GPU based technology. It doesn't necessarily imply rotating cubes.

Reply Score: 3

RE: X's era is in the past
by Morgan on Wed 5th Dec 2012 22:21 UTC in reply to "X's era is in the past"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop.


I thought this was exactly what Apple did in OS X with Core Text, Quartz 2D and Quartz Extreme?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: X's era is in the past
by jonsmirl on Wed 5th Dec 2012 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: X's era is in the past"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm no Mac expert so I don't know what they are up to. The basic concept is to download TTF fonts (probably preprocessed) into the GPU. You then give the GPU a string of text and a rectangle in your coordinate system. As that rectangle is transformed by the display system the GPU would generate the best text possible (including subpixel rendering) without application involvement.

This is not giving the GPU a texture with the glyphs on it and then scaling. The GPU has the equations for the fonts, transforms those equations and then draws with subpixel antialiasing.

The problem being addressed is that apps can't do the antialaising if the window is going to be transformed in any way. Slightly transform the app's antialiased window and all of the antialiasing gets broken. We need a scheme where the drawing system does the transformation based antialiasing without application interaction.

There have about ten papers written on this subject but I didn't know anyone has deployed it.

Edited 2012-12-05 23:02 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: X's era is in the past
by Morgan on Thu 6th Dec 2012 00:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: X's era is in the past"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Okay, that's definitely a different concept. I think what Apple does is render text as images and then performs transformations using the GPU and CPU. But again, it's not something I know a lot about.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: X's era is in the past
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 09:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: X's era is in the past"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Reading "One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop" reminded me about Matrox Parhelia - though it was much simpler ("Glyph acceleration, where anti-aliasing of text was accelerated by the hardware" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrox_Parhelia )

But still, what "large impact on the desktop" do you envision?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: X's era is in the past
by WereCatf on Thu 6th Dec 2012 09:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: X's era is in the past"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Reading "One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop" reminded me about Matrox Parhelia - though it was much simpler ("Glyph acceleration, where anti-aliasing of text was accelerated by the hardware" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrox_Parhelia )

But still, what "large impact on the desktop" do you envision?


I don't know what he meant with it, but well, glyph acceleration would mean higher-quality text rendering even when the text is in motion (think of e.g. during scrolling up or down, various window transformation-effects and such) leading to a smoother experience. Also, rendering text is somewhat of a heavy task and it only becomes heavier with the ever-increasing display resolutions, so the decrease in resource-usage is always welcome.

Still, I don't see it being THAT much of a large impact.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: X's era is in the past
by zima on Sat 8th Dec 2012 11:21 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: X's era is in the past"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, rendering text is somewhat of a heavy task and it only becomes heavier with the ever-increasing display resolutions, so the decrease in resource-usage is always welcome.

Is it really somewhat heavy? Processing power seems to increase faster than the requirements of such low-level tasks, even in mobile.

Reply Score: 2

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 6th Dec 2012 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: X's era is in the past"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

There was a great post detailing why exactly X.org sucks and why it holds Linux Desktop back big time and needs to be replaced by something better. Too bad it was on linuxhaters blog and nobody is aware it exists. Here it is if you want to read it http://linuxhaters.blogspot.gr/2008/06/nitty-gritty-shit-on-open-so... (just don't read the comments, it feels like having your head drilled with a cheap drill)

Long story short, support for even basic stuff invented 15 years ago like pbufffers (at SGI -1997) is missing from X.org. Nvidia had to replace the 1/3 of X to get their closed drivers working and fully supporting OpenGL. I think X.org has played a MAJOR role in the flamewars surrounding Linux.
User with a Nvidia card: Linux is good
User with ATI/Intel: WTF is this crap!

Edited 2012-12-06 10:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: X's era is in the past
by jonsmirl on Thu 6th Dec 2012 12:31 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: X's era is in the past"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

GPU glyphs are the final piece needed to allow apps to draw resolution independently. Currently apps are forced to query the display resolution and do all kinds of calculations involving anti-aliasing. All of that platform specific code would disappear.

HTML is an example of something that is partially resolution independent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: X's era is in the past
by WereCatf on Thu 6th Dec 2012 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: X's era is in the past"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

GPU glyphs are the final piece needed to allow apps to draw resolution independently. Currently apps are forced to query the display resolution and do all kinds of calculations involving anti-aliasing. All of that platform specific code would disappear.

HTML is an example of something that is partially resolution independent.


Uh, you don't need hardware acceleration for resolution independence, you just need the WM and all the toolkits designed for it. Currently they aren't designed top-down for that and GPU-generated glyphs won't magically fix them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: X's era is in the past
by jonsmirl on Thu 6th Dec 2012 13:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: X's era is in the past"
jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

You can do anything in software. The concept is to make glyph generation a low level operation instead of the very high level operation it is today. ie make it look like a hardware feature.

Currently all pieces of drawing except glyphs have been moved onto the GPU. They're the final piece.

As far as I know this hasn't been built yet except as multiple research projects.

This is the first paper I know of describing it...
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/cloop/loopblinn05.pdf

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: X's era is in the past
by zima on Sat 8th Dec 2012 11:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: X's era is in the past"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

HTML is an example of something that is partially resolution independent.

HTML yes. But websites - not really. Probably would end up similarly with desktop apps; I just don't quite see this "large impact on the desktop" which you mentioned.

Reply Score: 2

RE: X's era is in the past
by renox on Wed 5th Dec 2012 23:42 UTC in reply to "X's era is in the past"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

X basically ignores the GPU.

That's not really true, what about the DRI2 extension?

If you squint enough, DRI2 is very similar to Wayland which is not surprising as it is the same author.

Note also that in some environement (ARM, virtualisation) the GPU is very limited..


Nobody knows where this is going to end up. Usage of 3D in desktops is still in its infancy. I'm sure that in ten years we'll look back and laugh at these early desktop designs.

The car interface has stopped evolving, will the desktop UI still evolve a lot, possible but not likely.


One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop.

Uh? What "large impact"? Slightly smoother fonts?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: X's era is in the past
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 10:02 UTC in reply to "RE: X's era is in the past"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The car interface has stopped evolving

Maybe not yet - autonomously driving cars are sort of a quite different concept, interface-wise.

Additionally, computerised dashboards are often quite horrible, there's a place for lots of improvement with them (they're often so bad that I wouldn't mind Apple focusing on the area, providing integrated solution for auto makers; with the influence of big & lavish US market on car designs, all would improve hopefully)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: X's era is in the past
by Novan_Leon on Fri 7th Dec 2012 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: X's era is in the past"
Novan_Leon Member since:
2005-12-07

The problem with evolving car interfaces has to with the inherent advantages of a physical interface. Nobs and buttons in a car are a huge advantage due to the physical feedback and thus not needing to take your eyes of the road. I've seen cars with touch-screen based interfaces such as the Tesla Motors Model S (http://www.teslamotors.com/models) and I cringe at the prospect of having to take my eyes off the road to do something as simple as change the AC temperature.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: X's era is in the past
by zima on Sat 8th Dec 2012 11:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: X's era is in the past"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

That's what I meant, the problem is that many manufacturers do go in the direction of (poorly implemented) touchscreens. So maybe we need a company like Apple (not afraid to go against the trends) to stop that - and they would likely improve on what does and/or can work (one of old iPods does have a fully physical, mechanical clickwheel; then there's Siri...)

Reply Score: 2

Will the migration path truly be viable?
by benali72 on Thu 6th Dec 2012 00:53 UTC
benali72
Member since:
2008-05-03

The real question here is whether Wayland will truly be backward compatible, or whether its developer community will say "tough luck, sod off" to the earlier X user base, as those for Win 8 UI and Unity have.

Reply Score: 2

laffer1 Member since:
2007-11-09

Until wayland runs on non linux systems, it's a non starter for many X users.

Reply Score: 4

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Until wayland runs on non linux systems, it's a non starter for many X users.


+100 thumbsups ;)

Reply Score: 2

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

The real question here is whether Wayland will truly be backward compatible, or whether its developer community will say "tough luck, sod off" to the earlier X user base, as those for Win 8 UI and Unity have.


Given that Wayland developers have worked on XWayland very quickly, I don't think that this is much of a question..

Reply Score: 3