Why isn't Xwayland just a Wayland client?

Olivier Fourdan fourdan at gmail.com
Wed Sep 6 10:11:52 UTC 2017


On 6 September 2017 at 11:48, Joseph Burt <caseorum at gmail.com> wrote:

> To be clear, my first look at how the X11 channel is used in practice
> hasn't yet turned up the justification for its existence. The logic
> usually seems to be "if X client, send event over X11, else Wayland,"
> which is redundant. There must be something big, since tacking on a
> X11 channel is a big protocol extension, but I haven't found any
> discussion of that design decision. Can anyone point me in the right
> direction?

Positioning, stacking, focus management, decorations, X11 window
properties, ICCCM, etc. all those things that belong specifically to a X11
window manager which a Wayland compositor isn't. An X11 client running with
Xwayland does not become a Wayland client, it's still an X11 client,
whereas Xwayland itself is a Wayland client.

I guess one could come up with a X11 window manager specific protocol for
Wayland so that any compatible X11 window manager could integrate and work
along with a Wayland compositor, but that would be quite a lot of work, and
I am not sure about the benefits of such an approach.

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