Network transparency argument

Kristian Høgsberg krh at
Tue Nov 9 12:22:17 PST 2010

On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 2:51 PM, David Eisner <deisner at> wrote:
> On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 1:48 PM,  <Darxus at> wrote:
>> The "network transparency argument" is pointless because network
>> transparency via the X protocol will never go away.
>> I think people who are concerned about this must not be aware that X
>> clients already run seamlessly with Windows or Mac OS as the native
>> graphical environment.
> Such ignorance may account for some concern.  But even those who know
> that Wayland will support an X Server Wayland Client might be worried
> for the following reason: Should Wayland become ubiquitous on the Free
> desktop, it may come to pass that most (non-browser-hosted) apps will
> be written as native Wayland clients. Let's say you really need to run
> AppFoo on a remote system.  If AppFoo isn't an X client, you're out of
> luck.

You're right, using X for remote applications is not a full answer.  I
do think HTML5 is a better answer than most people acknowledge, but at
the same time I agree that there may be a need to run native wayland
applications across the network.  Wayland isn't a remote rendering API
like X, but that doesn't exclude network transparency.  Clients render
into a shared buffer and then have to tell the compositor the what
they changed.  The compositor can then send the new pixels in that
region out over the network.  The wayland protocol is already
violently asynchronous, so it should be able to handle a bit of
network lag gracefully.  Remote fullscreen video viewing or gaming
isn't going to work well, I don't know any other display system that
handles that well and transparently.


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