Now, I really like Wayland, and it’s definitely better than the mess that is X11

BUT

I think the approach to Wayland is entirely wrong. There should be a unified backend/base for building compositors, something like universal wlroots, so that applications dealing with things like setting wallpapers don’t have to worry about supporting GNOME, Plasma, Wlroots, AND Smithay (when COSMIC comes out). How about a universal Wayland protocol implementation that compositors are built on? That way, the developers of, say, wayshot, a screenshot utility, can be sure their program works across all Wayland compositors.

Currently, the lower-level work for creating a compositor has been done by all four of the GNOME, KDE, Wlroots and Smithay projects. To me, that’s just replication of work and resources. Surely if all standalone compositors, as well as the XFCE desktop want to, and use wlroots, the GNOME and KDE teams could have done the same instead of replicating effort and wasting time and resources, causing useless separation in the process?

Am I missing something? Surely doing something like that would be better?

The issue with X11 is that it got big and bloated, and unmaintainable, containing useless code. None of these desktops use that useless code, still in X from the time where 20 machines were all connected to 1 mainframe. So why not just use the lean and maintainable wlroots, making things easier for some app developers? And if wlroots follows in the footsteps of X11, we can move to another implementation of the Wayland protocols. The advantage of Wayland is that it is a set of protocols on how to make a compositor that acts as a display server. If all the current Wayland implementations disappear, or if they become abandoned, unmaintained, or unmaintainable, all the Wayland apps like Calendars, file managers and other programs that don’t affect the compositor itself would keep on working on any Wayland implementation. That’s the advantage for the developers of such applications. But what about other programs? Theme changers, Wallpaper switchers etc? They would need to be remade for different Wayland implementations. With a unified framework, we could remove this issue. I think that for some things, the Linux desktop needs some unity, and this is one of these things. Another thing would be flatpak for desktop applications and eventually nix and similar projects for lower-level programs on immutable distros. But that’s a topic for another day. Anyways, do you agree with my opinion on Wayland or not? And why? Thank you for reading.

    • Gamma@programming.dev
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      9 months ago

      14 years later the need is slowly growing so the support is slowly growing

      Yes! I agree wholeheartedly. Adoption has been slow because Wayland did not meet the needs of most people more than Xorg did. Cinnamon isn’t moving any time soon because the value-add isn’t enough for the average desktop user.

      But…

      build something that people need

      People have needed HDR and VRR for years. HDR is essential for professionals in video and image editing. They needed Wayland years ago, and it was being built with them in mind, not just the average desktop user in 2012.

      Not every feature is used by every user of that software. I used X-forwarding over SSH once, ever. It did not add any value to me. SSH forwarding adds no value to the average user either. But it is essential to someone.