Re: [dev] Wayland vs X11

From: Silvan Jegen <>
Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2016 22:08:08 +0200

On Tue, Aug 02, 2016 at 08:41:57PM +0200, FRIGN wrote:
> On Tue, 2 Aug 2016 20:33:39 +0200
> Silvan Jegen <> wrote:
> Hey Silvan,
> > One can argue that having a simple protocol *is* the suckless part of
> > Wayland (dont forget Xprint[0] :P). The Wayland protocol also does not
> > allow for communication between clients directly[1] but only through
> > the Wayland compositor.
> yeah, but omitting the rest is not suckless, it just turns everything
> into a big mess. You might say anything about, but at least you
> can more or less rely on a set of features available to you, even if
> they are "default" XFree86 extensions.

As far as I can tell, the goal of the Wayland devs is to keep the
required protocols to a minimum and graduate prooven protocol extensions
to official Wayland ones.

So theoretically, as long as you implement the Wayland protocol (and
it's assumptions) correctly, any compatible Wayland-speaking client
should work just fine.

> > I see two main issues that stem from switching to Wayland.
> > 1. With Wayland there will be no non-compositing desktop.
> I don't see this aspect too critically. See how Wayland performs vs.
> X in limited environments[0].

I always assumed that having a compositing window manager has negative
performance impact but at least according to

this could have been exactly due to X's XComposite extension which is
not needed in Weston.

> > 2. Since rendering is done client-side and there is no Xlib, it may be
> > harder to get pixel on your screen if you don't want to use one of
> > the big GUI libraries like Qt or GTK2/3/++/whatev.
> Yeah, very good point. Also, clients cannot rely on compositor
> features, because each compositor can do things differently. There
> really is no simple way to write software and making it deliberately
> hard almost makes you believe its a GTK/Qt conspiracy of some sort.

Since Wayland is only a protocol, as long as both the client and the
server follow it closely enough both the clients and the server will
be happy. What is crucial is that the protocol is minimal and strictly
defined however. I am still cautiously optimistic that this is and will
be the case...

> > As a non-expert in this space I am not sure the Wayland future is
> > looking that bleak though.
> > Velox[2] does not look bloated to me and wayland-enabled st[3] is only
> > barely larger than the current X11 version's git tip (though the
> > wayland version depends on wld[4]).
> How can you compare the two? You need a third-party library (wld) to
> get shit done. Just wait down the line how much of a fucking mess we
> are going to have!

In wayland-st, wld replaces XLib. I haven't worked with either of them
really so I can't say which one is worse but 'wld' is less than 8K so
it doesn't seem *that* bad.


Received on Tue Aug 02 2016 - 22:08:08 CEST

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