Linked by the_randymon on Wed 9th Jan 2013 00:48 UTC
X11, Window Managers Lead developer for Compiz, Sam Spilsbury, says he sees little need to develop Compiz for Wayland due to the increasing fragmentation of the Linux ecosystem. Spilsbury writes "What does compiz actually provide to users of these systems? [...] None of this functionality that user wants really depends on our compositing engine. There's nothing so special about our compositing engine that gives it a reason to exist [...] This is the real practical toll of fragmentation amongst the Linux ecosystem. It's not just that there are multiple implementations of the wheel. There are multiple implementations of entire cars which do almost the same thing, but a little different from everyone else. Some say this is the free software's greatest strength. Now that I know the personal and technical toll of fragmentation, I see it as its greatest weakness."
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Weakness
by kwan_e on Wed 9th Jan 2013 01:18 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Surely, the ability for someone to be able to write Compiz when X11 was the main game in town, then for someone else to come along to replace X11 is a good trade off for fragmentation?

It's not as though there's so much love for X11 compared to Wayland that would keep Linux fragmented along those lines either.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Weakness
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Jan 2013 03:08 in reply to "Weakness"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I really don't see his point either. If there already was a great number of compositors for Wayland then, sure, yes I could maybe see it but as it is there's only the reference implementation.
It's not like porting Compiz would cause a great deal of fragmentation in the Wayland landscape.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Weakness
by Laurence on Wed 9th Jan 2013 10:03 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I really don't see his point either. If there already was a great number of compositors for Wayland then, sure, yes I could maybe see it but as it is there's only the reference implementation.
It's not like porting Compiz would cause a great deal of fragmentation in the Wayland landscape.

Not to mention that Compiz could be given as an example of fragmentation because it's an extra / standard hack to the preferred window managers the desktop environments ship.

So I wonder if the underlying annoyance is the number of DEs that include their own compositing window managers (eg KWin), pushing Compiz out of the market. From his point of view, it may not be worth porting to Wayland because if/when the big DE's switch, people will largely be using those WM's over his.

If that is the reason behind his rant, then I can kind of sympathise, but I cannot agree with him. Yeah it sucks when new software pushes your older product out, but that's how all software works and how businesses work as well. I don't agree that consumer choice should artificially crippled.

However if he is talking purely from the perspective of the work involved to support both X11 and Wayland, then I'm sure someone else will fork Compiz; and then once again we'll be talking about how great the open source model is.

Either way, I don't think he is a particularly good example of the drawbacks of fragmentation (and I'm not going to pretend that there isn't any).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Weakness
by dsmogor on Wed 9th Jan 2013 14:15 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

That's his point.
Let's use that occasion and stay with a single codebase that has single behavior. I theory documented standards were meant to cope with that, in reality this approach fails as seed by sory state of linux desktop.
Re-implementing every component N times with slightly different behaviours and bugs all other components that interact with it has to deal with creates a complexity toll that OSS comunity (whatever vibrant it is in a given moment) just can't bear.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Weakness
by bassbeast on Wed 9th Jan 2013 05:12 in reply to "Weakness"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

But this problem merely highlights what myself and many small shop owners have been saying about Linux for years which is thus: Linux is NOT AN OS, its a whole bunch of little programs made by guys that don't talk to each other that is magically supposed to seamlessly work together but which IRL does anything but.


So I can't say as i blame him, if I were a developer I would be targeting Android not Linux. At least with Android its all controlled by a single company so all the pieces "just work" instead of having to worry that the audio guys changed a pointer somewhere and the DE guys didn't get the memo.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Weakness
by Soulbender on Wed 9th Jan 2013 05:24 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Linux is NOT AN OS, its a whole bunch of little programs made by guys that don't talk to each other that is magically supposed to seamlessly work together but which IRL does anything but.


That still makes it an OS, your opinion on if it works or not doesn't change that.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Weakness
by kwan_e on Wed 9th Jan 2013 06:46 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Linux is NOT AN OS, its a whole bunch of little programs made by guys that don't talk to each other that is magically supposed to seamlessly work together but which IRL does anything but.


I don't know, the core stuff seems to work together and talk to each other very well. It's the third party stuff that can get a bit hairy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Weakness
by Laurence on Wed 9th Jan 2013 10:15 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

But this problem merely highlights what myself and many small shop owners have been saying about Linux for years which is thus: Linux is NOT AN OS, its a whole bunch of little programs made by guys that don't talk to each other that is magically supposed to seamlessly work together but which IRL does anything but.

Well yes, that why they're called "Linux distributions". The only people who pretend Linux is a single complete OS is people who do not know Linux.

This is also why I don't correct people who refer to Linux as Ubuntu; because almost always, they're talking specifically about Ubuntu and thus are actually more literally correct than techies who call 'Ubuntu', 'Linux'.


So I can't say as i blame him, if I were a developer I would be targeting Android not Linux. At least with Android its all controlled by a single company so all the pieces "just work" instead of having to worry that the audio guys changed a pointer somewhere and the DE guys didn't get the memo.

that's an odd statement because you wouldn't advocate someone writing a productivity suites in iOS instead of OS X. Some types of applications target laptops / desktops because they're the types of apps that work better for that paradigm of computer. So the only reason in favour for targeting Android would be if you were writing a mobile / tablet app rather than something that required an accurate pointing device and/or hardware keyboard.

You also need to bare in mind that the sort of application that Compiz is, isn't the kind of application that most app developers would be working on; and certainly not the kind of app that could ever be ported to Android.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Weakness
by Valhalla on Wed 9th Jan 2013 14:31 in reply to "RE: Weakness"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Linux is NOT AN OS,

This part you got right.

Then...

its a whole bunch of little programs made by guys that don't talk to each other that is magically supposed to seamlessly work together but which IRL does anything but.

No, it's just the kernel, the 'little programs' are other parts of functionality which together with the Linux kernel is presented as an operating system, you could say a 'Linux' based operating system, or if you are the FSF: 'GNU/Linux' based operating system.

However the common term for a set of components presented as an operating system that includes the Linux kernel is a 'Linux distro/distribution'. I can only assume this is where some people get confused.

So I can't say as i blame him, if I were a developer I would be targeting Android not Linux.

Android contains Linux, what you meant to say is that you would target the Android operating system, which consists of the Linux kernel and lots of 'little programs' in a specific configuration.

Just like Steam for Linux will initially target the Ubuntu configuration, which consists of the Linux kernel and lots of 'little programs' in a specific configuration.

Reply Parent Score: 3