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Luc Verhaegen

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Intel & Mir: The point-of-view of a graphics driver developing bystander. [Sep. 10th, 2013|01:22 am]
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Only a few days ago did I write about how open source software is not about "code or design or doing The Right Thing". "Open source software is about power, politics, corporate affiliation, and loads and loads of noise." I would like to thank Intel for so succinctly underlining that now with their current action.

Before I go any further, this seems to not be Chris Wilsons decision or his preferred solution. Chris wrote the patch which he was told, by unnamed party or parties in Intel, to back out. Also, I personally do not condone the actions taken by Canonical, but, as a graphics driver developer, I find Intels actions far worse. I rather doubt that Intel thought this one through properly.

What's the problem?

As a graphics driver developer, I fail to see the big problem with Mir.

So what if Canonical has decided to reinvent Wayland? Apart from the weird contribution agreement (which will only limit contributions), Mir is fully free software isn't it? Who are they hurting apart from their own resources and their own users? It's not that I am applauding Canonical for their decision, but I really don't see the massive problem here.

Why is Canonical not allowed to do this?

Reinvention galore

I personally really hate things being reinvented all the time. It is the disease that plagues open source software, and that what makes sure that we don't have a growing linux market.

How often have we heard that something is outdated and broken and doesn't fit modern demands anymore? We are then invariably being told that something new is being built afresh, from the lessons learned of what was done "wrong" before, and that in a few months time, everything is going to be fantastic. Sadly, such timeframes never pan out, and while the known "errors" are fixed, everything else gets broken, which then has to be reinvented or ported as well (or which simply remains broken). And then several years down the line, things are still not perfect, and then someone else (or sometimes even the same person) goes off and implements the next great thing from scratch, again.

We never have something that just works, we just go from broken state to broken state. And nobody learns from this, nobody apparently ever states "Hang on, isn't that pretty much the same story we heard 3 years ago?"

To me, as a stupid shortsighted driver developer, Wayland seems like X reinvented. A server/client display architecture with the new lessons learned implemented, but with everything else broken. We've been waiting for getting all those little niggles worked out ever since 2009, and at one point, networking was added to Wayland making it even more of an X replacement.

So then Mir was announced... And suddenly the world was ablaze. Huge flamewars broke out everywhere and effigies of Mark Shuttleworth were getting burned in the forums. I found the Mir move quite ironic, at first, and thought that the outrage was quite out of proportion, but then I read this article. It is a who's who of reinventers, complaining about Canonical reinventing Wayland. I was appalled.

What exactly gives these people the sole monopoly on reinvention?

What is Intel afraid of?

How could Mir possibly threaten Wayland?

Intel is a pretty big company, and it probably has the largest contingent of open source developers devoted to graphics. It employs some of the brightest and most influential people in the business. On top of that, Wayland was there first, has had more time to mature, has had more applications and toolkits ported, and has a much larger mindshare. Most people would think that Waylands future is pretty secure.

So what could possibly be so much better about Mir that makes Mir such a big threat to Wayland that Intels graphics driver developers have to be told not to support XMir at all? Honestly, in the above constellation, how vastly more superior technically does Mir have to be to justify such an action? If Intel really feels that it has to react like this, well, then it might as well just throw in the towel and go Mir immediately, as Wayland clearly must be completely useless.

What a way to oust your own insecurity.

Software Fascism

Intel finds it necessary to play games with their X.org graphics driver, instead of having Wayland battle it out directly with Mir.

This kind of powerplay is quite insidious, and far more damaging than most people would expect. It completely skews the ability of software to compete on a fair and equal grounds, and hurts us all as it is mostly applied by those who are not able to compete properly, or those who feel as if they shouldn't need to bother to compete properly. It tends to favour the least technically advanced and the least morally acceptable.

The best example which I have come across so far is the RadeonHD versus Radeon battle. RadeonHD beat ATI by actually providing a solid open source driver in September 2007, and we at SuSE had a stated goal of being able to ship a solid open source driver on enterprise desktop rollouts. 3 months later, Radeon came around with support for the same hardware. It was technically inferior, and "borrowed" much of the hard work of radeonHD plus some noise added on top. What was worse was how the so-called X.org community used software fascism to artificially boost the Radeon driver. This started out with the refusal of a mailing list at the usual place, hit a low point with RadeonHD being dropped from the build script for the xserver, and sank to whole new levels when, 2 years after the obvious death of the RadeonHD driver, the RadeonHD repository got vandalized (and the whistleblower got tarred and feathered while the perpetrators were commended for their "quick" confession).

So who won?

Well, it definitely was not RadeonHD, as that died early 2009 with Novell laying off a large portion of SuSE developers in Nuremberg. As luck had it, at the same time, AMD experienced serious financial difficulties and did not continue the RadeonHD project with SuSE. But although Radeon did survive, it did not win either. ATI won, AMD (which wanted a proper open source driver, whereas ATI seriously didn't) lost, and we all lost with it. Fglrx still rules supreme today, but now it does not get as much flack as it did before, as the figleaf driver provides some sort of an alternative for those who are unhappy with fglrx. But it goes beyond that, the radeon driver consistently applies or applied the solutions ATI fglrx developers recommended, instead of the empirical solutions we at RadeonHD usually chose, and the radeon driver is not as good as it could be.

Software fascism goes further than just badly skewing competition, and it always is a negative influence on software. Who knows what other bad decisions will make their way into the Intel driver now?

The responsibility of a graphics driver

The main responsibility of a graphics driver is to support the users of your graphics hardware. If you are actually employed by the vendor, your users are those who bought your hardware and who will buy your hardware again if they are satisfied. This is the business case for providing optimal support for your hardware for a given operating system or infrastructure. On top of that, in open source software, the users are more than just the customers, they are also the testers.

Canonicals plan and marketing seem to have worked out quite well over the years, to the extent that half the planet thinks that linux equals ubuntu, and ubuntu probably has the larger part of the linux desktop market. This means that ubuntu users are a sizable portion of Intels userbase, and as a hardware vendor (and only secondarily a maker of display servers), Intel simply cannot afford to refuse to support or even alienate these users. Canonical has decided that Mir will be the primary display server on future Ubuntu releases, and this in turn means that Intel has an obligation to support Mir.

The Xmir patch to the Intel graphics driver seems rather minimal and not very invasive. There also seems or seemed, as the case may be now, direct communication between Intels graphics driver developers and Ubuntus developers. As Mir will ship on the next Ubuntu versions, there will be a large amount of users which will test the Xmir code in the Intel graphics driver. There is no chance that the Xmir code will bitrot for the foreseeable future, and Intels own investment in this code will be minimal.

The real art of writing good drivers is to provide for quick and painless debugging. Graphics hardware is complex, the drivers for this hardware are also complex, and neither is ever perfect, so one has to work hard to maximize the chance for bug resolution. This means easy communication with users, and giving the user an easy route to test changes so that proper feedback can be provided quickly. If you fail to make it easy enough for users, you will simply not get your bugs fixed, and the higher the resolution threshold becomes, the worse your driver will become.

By not carrying this patch, Intel forces Ubuntu users to only report bugs to Ubuntu, which then means that only few bug reports will filter through to the actual driver developers. At the same time, Ubuntu users cannot simply test upstream code which contains extra debugging or potential fixes. Even worse, if this madness continues, you can imagine Intel stating to its customers that they refuse to fix bugs which only appear under Mir, even though there is a very very high chance of these bugs being real driver bugs which are just exposed by Mir.

The reality of the matter is, Intel is hurting its own graphics driver more than it could potentially hurt Mir or Canonical.

The andriodization of linux

The biggest installed base of Linux is android, and it is bigger by many orders of magnitude. Sadly the linux which we call android is little more than the linux kernel and some new-ish (mostly) open source infrastructure on top. While this, to some extent, is quite the boon for open source software, it also holds a major threat. If we are not careful, we get fully locked hardware. We are only sporadically able to enforce the GPL on the kernel, and we have no chance at all to get open source userspace drivers. This limits the usefulness of the now ubiquitous linux hardware out there, and with the way the desktop and mobile are evolving, this will soon limit the availability of hardware for which more-or-less complete open source is available. On top of that, all those electronics companies that are churning out hardware at an amazing rate, they are either unable to see the advantages of actively contributing to open source, or they are having a very hard time in learning how to do so.

This is exactly why I created the lima driver, and why some other brave souls created their respective GPU reverse engineering projects. We recognized this danger, and are sacrificing a large portion of our lives trying to prevent catastrophe. And even though things are not going as fast or as smooth as we expected, we have come a very long way.

Things took a wrong turn a while back though. In an effort to create a stopgap solution, Jolla developer Munk created libhybris, a wrapper library which allows the usage of android drivers on top of glibc, and thus on a normal linux installation. I find this hack pretty dangerous, as it makes all vendors complacent, and it cements the android way of working and the it makes binary drivers the default. Our biggest open source hopes for mobile; Sailfish, Firefox-OS and Ubuntu-Phone Mir readily embraced this way of working.

I have, so far, not seen anything from either Jolla, The Mozilla Foundation or Canonical, along the lines of active support of the route we have chosen with open ARM GPU drivers, and we've been at it for quite some time now. Those companies are more dependent on open source software than your average android vendor, and know how to do things the open source way, but they have fully embraced the binary drivers built for android only, with no signs of them wanting to change this.

The only reason why I favour Wayland over Mir is that Canonical immediately chose the libhybris route with Mir. Wayland currently has patches for libhybris, so soon Wayland sadly will have sunk to Mirs level as well, from a graphics driver point of view.

Intel employs a small army for their open source software, and specifically for their open source graphics driver. But Intel also has other teams working on graphics drivers, and while I am not certain, I do think that Intel ships binary only drivers on their android devices.

Canonical is happy with using libhybris, but currently would prefer to use a proper graphics driver for their future products. This preference now got significantly reduced. Intel now potentially has driven one of the last big users of open source graphics drivers to exclusively using android binaries as well, seriously reducing the relevance of its own OSTC driver developer team in the process.

The low road

Up until now, intel had the moral high ground in the Wayland versus Mir situation. With the simple decision to revert the Xmir patch, this situation now got reversed.

Well done.
linkReply

Comments:
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 12:29 am (UTC)

(Link)

I agree with Intel's actions. Mir is not a community project - due to the CLA, Canonical has an advantage over other contributors. They also didn't try to work with Wayland community first. And their initial Mir announcement slandered Wayland. Essentially Mir is a Canonical project exposed to the public.

Although the patch "seems rather minimal and not very invasive", the Intel team will end up having to carry it, support it, test it, update it etc going forwards. That commitment is far larger than the patch so far - who knows how big it will eventually get? Those costs should rightfully be borne by Canonical not Intel. The easiest way to ensure that is that Canonical have to keep them in their fork, support them, test them, update them etc.

[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 01:06 am (UTC)

(Link)

I disagree with the burden of the patch, as clearly explained in the main post :) And I think that Chris made his decision on that one too.

In any case, that is a decision that should be up to the actual driver developers, and should not be imposed by bad political games.

Edited at 2013-09-10 01:09 am (UTC)
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 08:01 am (UTC)

(Link)

Intel and Red Hat are probably the biggest open source contributor out there. As a Linux and open-source user I should be grateful and I was but until recently but not anymore. I stopped trusting those companies. I know that's wierd when talking about open-source but there are reasons to be wary and the recent NSA news are one of them.

I do not trust Canonical either because I still belive if Mir is a sucess they will at some point change the Licence of Mir to non-free Software and go Apple.

[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 09:53 am (UTC)

(Link)

If Canonical is successful with Mir, and has a userbase that likes it, then, when it decides to change the license, Mir will simply get forked.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 10:19 am (UTC)

(Link)

I must say that the above "who's who of reinventers" is quite unfair to Rasterman. He chose his own path, what, 15 years ago, and stuck with it. 15 years of constant honing and improving, until things are absolutely perfect. I doubt that he always had support of a giant like samsung in that time. I have profound respect for rasterman because of that.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 04:48 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I'm glad you added this clarification, as it's the one thing that struck me as out of place when I followed the link.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 10:30 am (UTC)

(Link)

While I despise Intel's action here, and like your blog post, I think you've got Intel's fears wrong.

The threat from Mir isn't that it is a better solution that will eventually overtake Wayland. It's that it's that this weaker solution will steal developer time and user testing away from Wayland. Intel (or at least I) believes that Wayland will eventually dominate, but will arrive there slower because of Mir (and time to market is hugely important in modern IT).

In a sense, Intel is strongarming Canonical against the reinvention of the wheel which you criticised in your introduction. While both companies have their reasons, I dont think anybody has the moral high ground here. Canonical started the mess, and Intel made it worse. In the end, Linux and its users lose.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 10:54 am (UTC)

(Link)

Involving the graphics driver is simply not the way. Strongarming is totally out of bounds in a mess like this. Intel should have been above this, for many many reasons.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 01:30 pm (UTC)

(Link)

"Why is Canonical not allowed to do this?"

I'll bet you money that you can't find a single quote of some respected open source software developer who ever said that Canonical isn't allowed to develop their own display server. I don't see how making your own display server automatically means that everyone that YOU depend on HAS TO support you no matter how retarded your idea is.
If they want their own display server and can't convince people that it's worthwhile they'll simply have to do it on their own. As simple as that. No one has ever said they are not allowed to do what they want.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 01:39 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Nobody is able to stop them, that is true. But the amount of flack canonical gets for what it can rightfully do with its own resources, and now intels software fascism, is really out of proportion.

Intel as a whole does not have to support Mir. Intel graphics driver developers on the other hand will have to as it will be a large part of their customer base.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 01:51 pm (UTC)

(Link)

"Who are they hurting apart from their own resources and their own users? It's not that I am applauding Canonical for their decision, but I really don't see the massive problem here."

I disagree with your view that Mir hurts nobody. In my opinion there will be a clear winner of the "post-X" era and that will be the x-server, which will get binary support from AMD and nvidia. If past experiences are any indication, neither AMD nor nvidia will support both Wayland and Mir. Canonical, as a big company, will fight for this binary support.
Once Mir is supported and used on a big fraction of all Linux PCs, we will have to wait a long time to see official support for Wayland from both companies. The same applies for display drivers for cellphone chipsets, which I expect Canonical to target, too.

So yeah, in my opinion Mir hurts Wayland, if it is successful.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 02:00 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Either company will drag its feet on supporting either display infrastructure. Wayland has been around for a long while now. Intel is doing its thing with wayland, which does not make nvidia or amd more keen to support it. Conversely, the fragmentation that Canonical caused, plus their use of libhybris, is not spurring either on to support Mir either. At most, canonical simply reinforces the status quo.

On the other hand, it can be argued that Wayland has all the vendor support it needs.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 02:20 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Thanks you for this detailed post.
It was a nice read and explains the situation very well, especially from your side of view as a driver developer.
A good contrast to all the hatred.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 02:49 pm (UTC)

(Link)

It is amazing how much of this blind hatred makes it impossible for most to see the real damage being done. I think that my blog post tries hard to not take sides in the wayland versus mir battle, it focuses on the horrible move intel just made, and the damage that does. Yet only few people seem to be able to grasp that.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 02:24 pm (UTC)

(Link)

My personal opinion; Canonical started throwing around just a few too many demands compared to their contributions; As much as I hate politics and know that this wasn't done by for altruistic motives Canonical had to be reminded by someone that they aren't the only fish in the pond - and Intel did that. Canonical is making decisions soley for business reasons that can be seen as specifically hurting the larger community, and it just so happens that Intel is aligned with the larger community on this issue.

One thing that isn't mentioned nearly enough is another unmentioned tidbit; Canonical will not provide support to anyone for Mir, and they are building Mir specifically for their products with no compatibility guarantee outside their ecosystem. Canonical can break the client-side Mir API daily if it suited them, and the onus is on literally everyone else to just keep up. Mir could be forked, but we already have Wayland. Mir is and will always be a Canonical-specific product, and Canonical will always be the sole proprietor. Even if someone did fork, Canonical could break the Mir api and accuse forks of 'holding back progress' and we'd get another can of worms. Supporting Mir is just a huge risk.

Canonicals products have become increasingly dependant into this sort of one-way community. Desktop enviornments and minor standards like unity panels aren't as damaging to the wider developer crowd; You can make a DE without making life terrible for hundreds of developers, or optional standards and developers can pick and choose if they like them. Canonical has gone deeper into the stack than it ever has with Mir, and *is* making life terrible for developers now.

Looking soley at the graphics aspect - I really really like the idea of competition. With the decoupling effort going into all the DEs and (hopefully) graphics cards, I'd love to see this part of the graphics stack be as interchangable as other portions of the system. Have everything be generic, so if something new and fantastic and mind-blowing comes out it would 'just work'. But Mir was done Mir the wrong way, and in reality it's about as open as a black hole and as accessible as a one-way street. Canonical has taken almost Microsoft-ish tactics recently, their pitting a product against a protocol and trying to attack the competition, and they did indeed slander Wayland heavily when they announced Mir (even after supporting Wayland).

Going 'round circle... Intel may not be an angel guarding over us, but Canonicals interest is not in the community that built it. They've been disregarding community feedback for years, and now Canonical has finally bumped up against a bigger dog and their learning the hard way that they can't shovel all their crap into everyone else without getting some of it back. A slice of humble pie is good once and a while, and event hough it'll hurt users in the short term Canonical may have to start learning to be a better citizen - which will help everyone in the long run.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 02:30 pm (UTC)

(Link)

The trouble is the way in which this was done, not the fact that intel openly states that it dislikes Mir. Forcing things through from the graphics driver side is wrong, and it leads to driver which is worse than it could be. Canonical might have started this war, but Intel chose to use Sarin instead of conventional weapons.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 03:07 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Just to let the trolls know. If it is clear to me that you're just spewing random Canonical/Mir hatred and haven't even bothered to read or understand the post to which you are replying, i will not unscreen your anonymous replies. You either read the thing, or you should go spew your hatred on the phoronix forums instead.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 03:55 pm (UTC)

(Link)

From 'code fascism' to 'comments fascism'?
From: Samium Gromoff
2013-09-10 03:45 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Luc, thank you for this post!

You could reference it on g+, btw : -)
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 03:58 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Do you think they will get the same/different response from other vendor's driver mantainers?
Or is the decision to reject canonical's patch taken by the xorg foundation?

Also thanks for the article.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 04:11 pm (UTC)

(Link)

It was a decision taken by other parties than the actual driver maintainers. The driver maintainers saw no issues with this code and wanted their driver to be as universally used as possible.

In case you missed it, the X.org foundation is a dead organization that managed to lose their sole achievement of the last half a decade in about a year or so. It never had any technical leverage to begin with, but now it declared itself dead.

And that's the jist of it: the driver maintainers were perfectly ok with things, but bad politics had to undo that and make the world a tad worse for everyone.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 04:11 pm (UTC)

(Link)

A bit wrong on the wayland/hybris thingie: libhybris already implemented wayland-egl. The wayland patch you mention is actually targeted at weston, and the only "hybris" part is an env variable.
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-10 04:13 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Granted, but that doesn't make the whole libhybris premise harmless :)
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 04:28 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Great post. Thank you. At least not everybody in the Linux community joins the army of ivory tower geeks with a bucket full of primitive hatred and justifications.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 06:36 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Thankyou very much for a great read! You sir should be commended.

You kept it pretty simple considering the tech involved, you focused on what is truely the problem as I see it aswell.

I want Wayland to be a huge hit, I also want Mir to be a huge hit. Admittedly for slightly different reasons.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-10 06:40 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I agree 100% with the post.
From: shmerl.blogspot.com
2013-09-10 07:44 pm (UTC)

(Link)

I have, so far, not seen anything from either Jolla, The Mozilla Foundation or Canonical, along the lines of active support of the route we have chosen with open ARM GPU drivers, and we've been at it for quite some time now.

Can't say about Canonical or Mozilla, but the author of libhybris said before, that Jolla did not give up the fight for the native glibc drivers. They don't want to make libhybris the way forward forever. It's merely a tool to gain traction since it's basically a catch 22 situation. Native drivers are needed for glibc mobile distributions (like Sailfish, Plasma Active and the like), but so far their presence on mobile is miniscule. Manufacturers aren't going to make glibc drivers for a small market. So libhybris can be used to enable the growth of glibc mobile distros already now. With crititical mass it will be easier to pressure the manufacturers. Of course, having open drivers could solve this much better, but it's a magnitude more difficult and you yourself say doesn't move fast at all. If you think that these mobile projects should help open drivers projects like Lima and Freedreno - that's true. Did you try talking to them directly about it? Open drivers have another issue that is a quite serious risk for any mobile project - patents pitfalls. How do you think this will work in practice?

Edited at 2013-09-10 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: brandonsnider [launchpad.net]
2013-09-11 01:45 am (UTC)

(Link)

Luc, I just want to know your views regarding the idea of reinventing the X server. Are you saying that X was good enough but needed some polishing, or that Wayland isn't a radical enough departure from X, or something else?
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-11 03:54 am (UTC)

(Link)

This is the first post I have seen that rationally talks about the X/Mir/Wayland display server conundrum in Linux. Thank you.

I also agree with your comments about Android as it has really seemed to reinforce the binary driver stance of the graphics vendors.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-11 05:45 am (UTC)

(Link)

Wow, thanks to the phoronix link you posted at the beginning of the article, I learnt about the (in)famous Lennart Poettering's views about Mir.

While I am no fan of Mir, his bashing Mir in such a childish manner shows how *mature* he is. He is mocking Canonical for bazaar, upstart etc. while he has only been able to further the crap Pulseaudio and systemd through Red Hat's clout.

As for Intel's decision, it seems like they are trying to force people away from Ubuntu to Fedora maybe?
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-11 11:09 am (UTC)

(Link)

Wow, I just read the mailing list exchange over the radeonhd "prank" and have lost a lot of respect for these guys. I mean you post the issue publicly with the goal of getting people to take it seriously, are then mocked and attacked for doing so, while at the same time they are trying to find out what happened to stop all the rumors/speculation in the thread on Phoronix in order to ease people's concerns about the security and, quite frankly, professionalism of X.Org and its developers. Which is of course the reason you made it public in the first place. It's appalling to see that kind of passive aggressive attack being repeated by developers at Intel. I'm finding it difficult to imagine just how much progress in the open source community has been destroyed/neutered by people willing to tear down others for disagreeing with them rather than working together to build great software despite differences in opinion.

I think I've been idealizing these guys because I'm amazed and grateful for all the work that goes into the desktop I use on a daily basis, but clearly they are only human and can be immature and destructive as well as good coders, thanks for the reality check.
From: Markus S.
2013-09-11 11:25 am (UTC)

(Link)

Whoa, a maintainer simply rejecting a single distribution patch is fascism…
Go tell that to people who lost their family because of actual fascism. I'm sure they'll punch you in the face until you realize how sick, disrespectful, and wrong your stupid analogy is!
From: shmerl.blogspot.com
2013-09-11 02:47 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Also the argument in the post is strange. KWin also rejected Mir specific modifications. It's a major pain and not a reasonable decision to maintain code for one distro exclusively, when no one else uses it. If that distro is wild enough to make such low level diversions, let them deal with it themselves.

Edited at 2013-09-11 02:48 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-11 02:49 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Heh, proof that intel lost the moral upper hand now. In his google+ posts, Canonicals Michael Hall stated: "no, that's not how things are done in open source. We will continue to work on our projects (Ubuntu, Mir/XMir, Unity) and win by having a better product."

Canonical can now publicly go and state that it does not need to play dirty games, like intel does. This is simply one of the worst marketing moves possible in the Wayland vs Mir battle.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-12 05:00 pm (UTC)

(Link)

big thanks to LWN for actually doing some journalism on this one, and not just fanning the fires. But I believe intel clarified their position. Doesn't sound like dirty games to me... quote from LWN:

I contacted Dirk Hohndel, CTO of the Intel Open Source Technology Center, who answered the main question at hand: Intel's "engineering team and the senior technical people made the decision that we needed to continue to focus our efforts on X and Wayland", he said. It was a question of focus, he said, "adding more targets to our QA and validations needs, having to check more environments for regressions [...] would require us to cut somewhere else".
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-11 04:12 pm (UTC)

(Link)

i disagree with the following:

although reinvention is a problem of OSS, Wayland cannot be placed under that category. You see, Xorg is over 20 years old, and along the way some choices were made that make it impossible for the current maintainers to correct those faults.
Wayland (and every decision they have to make going forward) was thought in a way that they can correct that in the future. Wayland is a necessary improvement and the only problem it has is that it isn't widely used.

Mir on the other hand, brings nothing new to the table. Obviously Canonical is free to do as they like and reinvent everything, although not a nice move, it's their right.
But it doesn't end here... Canonical doesn't maintain an API for Mir, that means it only works with Unity.
So, if you want Mir you have to use Unity, and vice-versa.

On top of all this, you have the CLA.


Bottom line, there isn't one good thing that Mir brings to the table.


Luc actually contributed something here with the debugging explanations... i had no idea about that. But intel is a big company and can compensate that easier than Canonical.

I trully believe (and hope) that Mir is going to eventually be droped by Canonical, like Compiz...
[User Picture]From: Janusz Lewandowski
2013-09-12 06:59 am (UTC)

(Link)

"So what if Canonical has decided to reinvent Wayland? Apart from the weird contribution agreement (which will only limit contributions), Mir is fully free software isn't it? Who are they hurting apart from their own resources and their own users? It's not that I am applauding Canonical for their decision, but I really don't see the massive problem here."

You'll revisit your opinion when you'll see the first Mir-only binary programs that you'll need to use.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-12 12:16 pm (UTC)

(Link)

"Mir-only binary programs that you'll need to use"?

I do not have a need for such imaginary programs, but then again, if such programs make it easier for more people to use free software, then I am glad if they get such a choice.
From: (Anonymous)
2013-09-12 10:26 am (UTC)

(Link)

"and while I am not certain, I do think that Intel ships binary only drivers on their android devices"
These android devices are out there, shouldn't it be easy to verify it? Anyway, why would they be using binary only drivers considering they have an advanced open source linux driver already?
[User Picture]From: libv
2013-09-12 12:29 pm (UTC)

(Link)

Because intel also has teams working on binary drivers.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
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