wayland-protocols scope and governance

James Feeney james at nurealm.net
Thu Feb 21 18:36:24 UTC 2019

On 2/21/19 8:47 AM, Daniel Stone wrote:
> But why should Weston cripple itself in order to create this negative
> space for wlroots or Mutter or Smithay or whatever? I'm happy to clean
> up the README to reflect reality. One of the side effects of creating
> this protocol documentation site really should be an update of the
> Wayland site as a whole to reflect the actual reality of Wayland as a
> project in 2019, including better and more accessible documentation,
> linking to the various environments and implementations (including
> linking to a separate Weston site), and, y'know, not claiming that
> Weston's X11 backend uses DRI2. The entire site describes a project
> which has long since moved on a long way since it was written -
> including the role that Weston plays.

As an outside observer, and still cheering for Wayland, I've often felt inclined to rant about the focus and management of the "Wayland Project", or perhaps, its lack thereof.  To put this in perspective, let me remind, that the "Initial Release" of the "Wayland Protocol" is shown at Wikipedia as "30 September 2008".  So now, after over 10 YEARS of intense development, and to this day in 2019, *still*, no really usable Wayland Desktop Compositor exists.  Consider - Weston is excused as a "toy"; Mutter still cannot function without XWayland, with the position that "yeah, someday we should fix that"; kwin_wayland still cannot function *with* XWayland, with the position "won't fix"; sway is a tiling-only compositor; enlightenment cannot handle multiple screens - and on and on, with limited functionality.

Worse, it appears that none of the developers have focused upon some of the *most basic* functionality that an end user would require for day-to-day use.  "Cut and Paste" *still* requires too much extra work.  There is *still* no "xrandr" replacement.  "Color Management" seems to be an "afterthought".  There is *still* no standard for networking Wayland client/server.  What's actually been going on for 10 years?

On top of that, over the years, certain developers have been actively hostile toward proposed contributions to address these missing bits of functionality.

As a group, the Wayland Project might also do better at playing well with others.  Notoriously, the Wayland Group alienated the Mir Group.  How did that work out for everyone?

So, as long as "you all" want to play together in a "private sandbox", hey, that's your business, and not my place to criticize.  But, if instead, the desire is to produce some kind of "Community Desktop" software for the benefit of more than just this specialized group of graphics software engineers - well, it would be a really good idea to "step up the game" and change the project focus, to directly address "real world" expectations from potential users.

In particular, I would also remind of Eric Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar".  Somewhere, not obviously publicized, the Wayland Developers have chosen the "Cathedral" approach to development as the best way forward.  Maybe, instead, reflect upon a possible alternative, "release early and often, delegate everything you can, be open to the point of promiscuity".  It could be worth another read.

All in all, I really appreciate Daniel raising this issue.

Just saying...

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