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Gnome throws its weight behind Wayland

Gnome developer Matthias Clasen has proposed to make Gnome work on Wayland. Clasen made this proposal after meeting with X and Wayland developers (most X developers are the ones working on Wayland).

In order to make Gnome work on Wayland, GNOME shell needs to be turned into a Wayland compositor. The team also needs to complete the GTK+ Wayland backend and all the X dependencies in the desktop infrastructure need to be replaced by Wayland equivalents.

As far as Gnome applications are concerned they can be ported one-by-one, which involves finding and removing hidden X dependencies.

Clasen has proposed that Gnome’s Wayland integration can be achieve in two stages. The first target would be Gnome 3.10 (which is expected to be released in the fall of 2013) where X sill remain the default but Gnome Shell can operate as a Wayland compositor and allow experimentation and development in this mode; it should support the same core interfaces as Weston. Developers will try to make the GTK+ backend ‘functional enough for day-to-day use’. Applications will use xwayland as fallback if they don’t work under Wayland and it will still keep some parts from being ported to Wayland such as display configuration, a11y and Wacom tablet support.

The second target would be Gnome 3.12 which would be release sometime in 2014 and by that time entire Gnome will be ported to Wayland, including all core Gnome applications. However, most parts of GNOME will still work under X as due to constraints some parts may be hard to keep working under both X and Wayland.

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KDE has also decided to use Wayland as its future generation ‘user interfaces will run on top of Qt5, on Linux, they will run atop Wayland or Xorg as display server.’

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.


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