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Re: A Critique: Getting Started with GNUstep on Windows


From: David Chisnall
Subject: Re: A Critique: Getting Started with GNUstep on Windows
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2016 09:30:09 +0000

On 17 Feb 2016, at 19:53, Gregory Casamento <address@hidden> wrote:
> 
> Why not wayland?  

Because it’s a distraction.  Wayland can run X11 apps fine.  You gain nothing 
from Wayland that you wouldn’t have from just dropping support for early '90s 
X11 implementations.

> Network transparency is not something which is super important these days 
> even on the rpi.   Wayland brings us a number of advantages:
> 
> * native compositing

X.org has compositing via a compositing manager.  Wayland moves it in process, 
which has a negligible performance improvement at the expense of a reliability 
and security (the compositing manager in X11 is usually stateless and can 
happily be restarted if it crashes).

> * it expects frameworks to draw their own Windows something we do extremely 
> well.

But if you actually want to have a useable environment, then you need all of 
the applications to agree on how they decorate windows, which is something that 
we do extremely badly.

> * it supports true window transparency

So does X11, as long as you are running a compositing manager, which all modern 
DEs do by default.

> * it allows animations and such to be done much more l easily if and when 
> needed 

How?  It gives you an OpenGL context.  So does X11.  If you want to use OpenGL 
as the compositing target, then you get all of this from X11 too (and, 
actually, can share most of the code on Windows / Wayland).  Given that Mesa’s 
LLVMPipe now works pretty well even on comparatively slow processors, this 
might be a sensible thing to do.

> * etc
> 
> I think we really need to question whether X truly serves our needs.  No one 
> is saying leave it behind.  What we are saying is to take advantage of the 
> things wayland does for us. 

The only significant difference between X11 and Wayland is that X11 has a 
somewhat overengineered and Lisp-like mechanism for doing drag-and-drop, 
whereas Wayland has one that is fundamentally incompatible with the OpenStep 
APIs (and with low-latency GUI applications).

We could invest a lot of developer time and effort (at least, if we had some 
developer time and effort to waste) in a Wayland back end, but the end result 
would be GNUstep looking and feeling on Wayland exactly as it would if we 
didn’t bother.

David




-- Sent from my IBM 1620




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