Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Mir

Today we go public with the Ubuntu graphics stack for the post X world. Since the beginning Ubuntu has relied on the X server to support the user experience and while it has worked generally well; it’s time for something new. My team is working on a big new component for this - Mir. Mir is a graphics technology that allows us to implement user experience we want for Ubuntu across all devices we support.

In many ways, Mir will be completely transparent to the user. Applications that use toolkits (e.g. Qt, GTK+) will not need to be recompiled. Unity will still look like Unity. We will support legacy X applications for the foreseeable future.

This is a big task. A lot of work has already been done and there’s a lot more to go. We’re aiming to do incremental improvements, and you can find more about this on the Wiki page and in the blueprints. You can help. From today our project is public, it’s GPL licensed and you’re welcome to use the source and propose changes.

It’s exciting times, and I hope you enjoy the results of this work!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert,

I don't see the project listed on the list of projects requiring the Canonical Contributor Agreement ( http://www.canonical.com/contributors ) yet. Is there just a lag on adding Mir to that list, or will contributions to Mir not require copyright assignment to Canonical? Thank you.

Robert Ancell said...

It will require the contributor agreement. Just lag :)

zen said...

wheather or not you succeed with mir vs X or wayland. Competition is always a good thing. Exciting times indeed!

Dennis Martin Herbers said...

Still doesnt explain why you are not using Wayland.

Unknown said...

Dennis, I'd recommend reading the spec for the reasons why Wayland was not chosen: http://wiki.ubuntu.com/MirSpec

Sergei Chudakov said...

Great! I'm trust Canonical and Ubuntu.

Anonymous said...

So for a good number of years now we've all known we need a replacement for X, and so Wayland shows up and looks great. You've said yourself (Canonical) that you meant to base some release back on Wayland instead of X. Everyone was happy and working towards this new goal.

Then you cook up your own solution instead of helping with the concentrated effort. There were even examples of concrete factual errors in the Mir wiki page on #wayland with regards to what was and what was not possible with Wayland. You could have just, you know, *helped*. But then you wouldn't have copyright.

I don't know, I feel betrayed. It's like the village is all pooling together resources to build a new school, you speak publicly about how you will send all your children to it, and then out of the blue you reveal your own school that you've been building in secret instead of cooperating. Because heavens know we all have unlimited developer hours.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why these guys constantly whine about Wayland: that thing is _not_ yet production ready and is still _not_ viable X alternative (old hardware, hello).

So, competition is good and I'm glad Mir already address main Wayland weakness: kitchen sink and driver support.

Good luck guys and please, please keep it compatible with X API and small and lean (or don't repeat Wayland mistakes).

KAMiKAZOW said...

"Still doesnt explain why you are not using Wayland."

Duh, Canonical wants to be another Apple with full control and absolutely no influence of outside parties.
The use of CLA is proof.

If it was anything else and Canonical had interest that others pick Mir up and contribute to it, it would've been developed under a different license than (L)GLPv3-only and no CLA – just like LightDM.

Nacho said...

Mark stated back in 2010 that Wyaland issues where solvable and that Canonical "would rather be part of solving them than chasing a better alternative"
So it seems that the NIH syndrome attacks again, and instead of working with Wayland devs upstream to solve the issues, Canonical decided to go it's own way and fragment the second most important component after the kernel. The CLA agreement makes it worse and it's unlikely that other major distros adopt it instead of Wayland. This means more work for upstream and fragmenting the efforts to get an unified graphics driver model. I hope you're getting help from Nvidia/AMD or even Valve with this. Otherwise, it's one of the major mistakes done by Canonical. Ok, so you're following the Google model of doing everything in house. But at least Google is honest with their intentions an what they do and do not pretend to be involved with the FLOSS comunity. You seem to only utilize upstream as free labor.
Sorry for the harsh comment. Some of us are quite upset with Canonical's direction.

Shivan said...

@Dennis: not sure if trolling or...
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MirSpec#Why_Not_Wayland_.2BAC8_Weston.3F

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Canonical still thinks that requiring copyright assignment is a good idea. It is, for Canonical, and nobody else. Also, as usual they've got a huge NIH complex.

Daniel said...

Is mir based, in any way, on X?

Daniel said...

Does MIR have any X code in it or did you start from scratch? Interoperability in mind?