Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Nov 2010 19:15 UTC, submitted by Debjit
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Finally. Finally the leader of a major distribution who has the guts to stand up and say what a lot of people have known for a long time, but didn't dare to say because it usually leads to a storm of criticism. Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu will be moving away from X.org, opting to go with Wayland instead.
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renox
Member since:
2005-07-06

How does Wayland implement or plan to implement network transparency?


I've read that Wayland's main developper think that network transparency should be handled by the toolkits on top of Wayland.

This can work: anyway the toolkits have to be able to 'speak X' for compatibility, so the toolkits would use their X's comptability mode for the network transparency..

Reply Parent Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

No, network transparency has to be done at the lowest level possible, beneath all the GUI tookits. Otherwise, you end up with each toolkit doing it a different way, and you have learn Z different ways to do things for Z different apps.

Are Windows apps written to be network-aware? No, because it happens at a lower layer.

Are MacOS X apps written to be network-aware? No, because it happens at a lower layer.

Are KDE apps written to be network-aware? No, because it happens at a lower layer.

And so on.

Network transparency has to occur near the bottom of the graphics stack. Otherwise, it's no longer transparent to the user, and basically useless.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

It's worth noting that even Windows does this below the toolkit level, from what people have been saying. On a *nix system saying "Let the toolkit do it" is like saying "Let's have six hundred incompatible, incomplete and poorly thought-out ways for doing it" - GTK and Qt cannot even agree on on something simple like "Share common theme preference data" such as you preferred fonts; they're never going to agree on something like this unless it's something that just happens.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

This can work: anyway the toolkits have to be able to 'speak X' for compatibility, so the toolkits would use their X's comptability mode for the network transparency..

This is a recipe for disaster. Simple example: Developer writes app on top of GTK on top of Wayland. Performance is Good Enough(tm) and he releases it. Some user tries to run it on top of X and hits a corner case or a race condition which doesn't get exposed under App->GTK->Wayland and causes a crash or a showstopper performance issue. User reports this bug to the app author, who never did test his app under this configuration because he doesn't need it himself. Most authors at this point update the documentation to mark the X back end as buggy and unsupported and close the bug. Now imagine this effect multiplied by thousands of apps over ten years. Ten years after Wayland becomes the default you won't be able to run just any app on top of GTK->X.

In all probability it won't even get that far. Some smart GTK developer will wake up in 5 years and say "Hey, you know what? We have a pile of on-top-of-X code that no one really likes to maintain any more, because most GTK developers just care about Wayland, and it's getting crufty and accumulating blocker bugs and making evolving the toolkit really messy. How about we just remove support from that from the next release?" and without someone stepping up to clear the backlog this will happen, then poof! So much for network transparency.

The key word here is "transparency" as in "No one has to worry about this, it just happens."

Reply Parent Score: 2