Schrödinger’s cat: first release of Plasma Next will and will not support Wayland

Initial release of Plasma Next won’t have full Wayland support. What does full support mean? As it is well known that the next generation of KDE Software will have separate release cycles for libraries (KDE Frameworks 5), workspaces (Plasma Next) and applications. So there are three sets of independent projects within the so-called “KDE Software” umbrella and each set has different level of support or integration with Wayland. So instead of looking at “what’s the status of Wayland in “”KDE5″, let’s look at what is the status of Wayland in each of these three components.

KDE developer, Martin Gräßlin explains, “…our libraries are getting prepared for Wayland and the first release of KF5 will have Wayland support not on par with X11 support but certainly on par with Microsoft Windows or OS X support.”

What does it mean? Martin further explains, “This means for applications using our frameworks that they will support Wayland as long as they don’t speak X11 directly.”

KDE community’s goal had never been to focus on fully supporting Wayland in Plasma Next, the primary goal was to concentrate “on getting everything ported to Qt 5 first before going to Wayland.”

Since Plasma Next is entering alpha stage, it’s pretty clear that the shell won’t support Wayland at the moment.

What’s the status of other components? Martin explains, “Other parts of Plasma Next have a little bit more integration, some systemsettings modules get hidden when running on Wayland, some modules got fixed to not crash, KInfoCenter got some improvements to support the OpenGL module on Wayland and got a new Wayland module. KWin is still in the experimental support stage not yet being a Wayland compositor. Here we might still have some improvements till the final release as Wayland specific code is excluded from the feature freeze. But overall we can quite certainly say that the first release of Plasma Next will not support Wayland.”

Plasma Next will be entering alpha stage soon. So in the coming days, things will be much clear. It’s good to see that KDE developers have made it extremely clear from the very beginning that status of Wayland in Plasma Next.

Swapnil Bhartiya contributed to this story.

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