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Maxo
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Unity 8, Mir, and convergence with Ubuntu

said by »bregmatter.wordpress.com/2013/06···ergence/ :

This is where it starts to get exciting, folks. The future starts now.

Ubuntu is an operating system for the server, the cloud, the desktop, and the mobile device. One single OS.
...
So what needs to be done before we have full convergence to a single OS?
...
This is where Unity8 comes in to the picture. You may have read elsewhere about “Unity Next”, which was a working title for the new Unity in the queue. It’s now more formally known as Unity 8, because it supersedes the current Unity 7 as the one single Unity (there can be only one). Unity 8 is designed to run natively on the Mir compositor, fancy term for what X11 called a display server. That’s what will be on the mobile offering, currently dubbed “Ubuntu Touch”. It’s also what will be on the desktop in the fully converged world.
A replacement for X11 is fine for a phone or a tablet and all, but Ubuntu already has a good thing going with the classic GNU/Linux milieu on the desktop, which is heavily dependent on X. We can’t just throw all that away. So, we need an X11 server running on top of the Mir compositor so all those legacy applications folks and grown to know and love will continue to run just like forever. This is where something dubbed Xmir comes in to play: It’s an x.org driver that fits in to the x.org X11 server.
...
What we’re going to do for the Saucy Salamander release of Ubuntu is make a Unity8 Desktop preview available for those who want to take it for a test drive. You’re going to be able to choose to have the option of logging in to either a regular Unity7 session with X11 running, or a Unity8 session without X11. And that, folks, is where the excitement starts.


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GraysonPeddi
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I will wait until late August since it will be too early to try out the preview.

(Update: I did not proofread since the words "try out the preview" gets way too repetitive. My bad.)


markofmayhem
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The convergence is currently alienating the derivatives.

»lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu···250.html

As Jonathan Riddell eloquently states:

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 ecosystem around Unity8 may be very, very different than what Ubuntu and the *buntu's derived from it have today. I think it will be interesting to see how many Mint and Debian pick-up in the original exodus and how many Ubuntu gains while penetrating new markets.
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sivran
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reply to Maxo
Why is Ubuntu trying to out-Microsoft Microsoft?
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Maxo
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said by sivran:

Why is Ubuntu trying to out-Microsoft Microsoft?

Microsoft is creating a free and open source operating system, giving out all the code they write for free? Wow.


Maxo
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At the same time Ubuntu has the option of using X or Wayland and not developing the operating system they want to build. Open source should be freeing, not limiting.


Black Box

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said by Maxo:

said by sivran:

Why is Ubuntu trying to out-Microsoft Microsoft?

Microsoft is creating a free and open source operating system, giving out all the code they write for free? Wow.

I think you know what he meant. I know I do.

+1 sivran See Profile
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Maxo
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said by Black Box:

I think you know what he meant. I know I do.

+1 sivran See Profile

No I don't. I see absolutely no parallel between the Open Source Ubuntu operating system that is developed in the open with a large community and gives away both the source and the compiled product and Microsoft who creates an expensive proprietary operating system and sues everything is site that they see as a competitor.
What Ubuntu is doing is fully within the good spirit of open source technology.
The only thing I see about sivran See Profile is that in stead of making a point that can be discussed or has any value in an intelligent conversation, he is resorting to meaningless name calling. He should take a hint from markofmayhem See Profile who actually has something useful to discuss.
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Maxo
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reply to markofmayhem
said by markofmayhem:

The convergence is currently alienating the derivatives.

Not really. There is no reason why the derivatives will need to care about Mir at all. They can still pack and ship Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc. with X/Wayland and the DE of choice. The derivatives will not need Mir support to continue doing what they do.


markofmayhem
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said by Maxo:

said by markofmayhem:

The convergence is currently alienating the derivatives.

Not really. There is no reason why the derivatives will need to care about Mir at all. They can still pack and ship Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc. with X/Wayland and the DE of choice. The derivatives will not need Mir support to continue doing what they do.

Surely seems that simple to you and I, but it is the package managers of these distributions who are claiming they either have to

- 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

Mutter/Kwin need a display server to run on and if Mir is not capable (which is the real question, and no real sign it won't be), then Debian X and Wayland packages will be required instead of Ubuntu. This "OMG change, kill it with fire!!!!" reaction has stirred the nest for *buntu derivatives to investigate LMDE editions and leave the *buntus to either someone else or let them die.

You know as well as I that the Linux community is one to over-exaggerate, FUD, and panic at the simplest sign that change is forthcoming. Why would Kubuntu's reaction that Kwin can't run on today's Mir be ANY DIFFERENT? Now if it comes to pass that Kwin can't run on Mir, then Kubuntu has the following options:

- 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

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Maxo
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Very interesting. I wonder what the plan is then. Having just accepted Lubuntu on the last release cycle as an official derivative, it doesn't seem likely that killing off derivatives is the game plan.


Maxo
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I have taken a bit of time to read through that thread. I think this post really sums up the what people are complaining about quite well.
said by »lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu···321.html :

As long as Canonical declines to work with the rest of the free software
community, those of us that are trying to do that are fundamentally
disadvantaged. Canonical presumably has good business reasons for behaving as
it is, so I won't even argue they should do things differently. I don't
understand the business rationale well enough to be able to say. I do think
that the long term effect on flavors that aren't deeply embedded in the
Canonical technology set is reasonably clear and we shouldn't try to hide it.

I think another way to look at this is that Canonical does what it needs to to build the product it wants to. That's what Canonical should do, but that entails doing things outside of the way the direction the free software community is going. This causes pains for the rest of the community as it tries to make sure its software is usable in Ubuntu since that is where most GNU/Linux desktop users are.
Canonical wants seamless convergence for Ubuntu across all devices. X and Wayland do not support this so they are building their own named Mir. Since the rest of GNU/Linux is going to Wayland, which is a big enough shift in itself, there are almost no resources available to support Mir. Canonical is willing to work with the different DE maintainers to make sure Mir meets their needs, but the resources for DE maintainers to support a solution that is only for one distro simply doesn't exist. Canonical cannot use X or Wayland to do what it needs, and DEs cannot afford to support Mir.
The only two solutions I can see for this, short of Canonical single-handedly porting KDE, LDE, and XFCE (at the very least) to Mir and maintaining. Or, the rest of the distros see Mir as superior to Wayland and Wayland dies on the vine before it ever ripens.
What the real end result turns out to be will be interesting to see.
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Maxo
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Also this.
said by »lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu···326.html :

The issue isn't that Canonical engineers aren't willing to work with other
people on integrating Mir, it's that because Mir is Ubuntu unique, has no
stable API/ABI, conflicts with other priorities, etc., integrating Mir is
simply not an interesting prospect for upstreams.



Maxo
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Having read threw the whole thread it looks like lots of opportunities still exist to support other DEs in Ubuntu for the forseeable future. »lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu···287.html is a good post outlining the many different option. Some would require lots of work from both ends, but others would require minimal work from both ends. Since the Canonical guys look at the inability to support different DEs in Ubuntu as a failure of the Mir project, I'm guessing they will make sure something gets worked out and users will be none the wiser, minus the reduced graphical bugs and enhanced features.
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markofmayhem
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said by Maxo:

Since the Canonical guys look at the inability to support different DEs in Ubuntu as a failure of the Mir project, I'm guessing they will make sure something gets worked out and users will be none the wiser, minus the reduced graphical bugs and enhanced features.

Exactly, which may or may not delay the release date of Mir. Realistically, we are looking at Mir sporting an API/ABI with documentation for WM's to hook into that may not be available in time for the first Mir release to be "compatible" with the other *buntus, but that it will come up to speed. There are workarounds and other solutions to keep the *buntus around, if they calm a bit and not engage in hysteria to change.

The further ecosystem will be interesting to study over the next 18 months... are we moving to distro's bound from init to DE? Will base system distros such as Gentoo and Arch need much, much earlier path diversions decided on end DE? Interesting times ahead with multiple display servers running around on top of other options that have surfaced in the past 2 years. Choice is wonderful, and that choice to be made is becoming deeper.
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Maxo
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