Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mir, Wayland and the Future of Bodhi Linux

Things have been a little quiet around my blog of the late. At the beginning of last month I started a full time position doing some IT related tasks for a major insurance company where I live in central IL. Between the new job, playing Magic, spending time keeping Bodhi things up to date, and preparing to get married in less than a month - I haven’t had time to post as much as I’d like to on here.

Today I would like to take a moment to discuss a topic that has received much attention on Linux blogs/news sites in recent weeks – Ubuntu’s concept for the Mir display server. I would like to start by pointing out I’ve said the concept of Mir. That is right folks – at this point it is just a concept, nothing more. Not long ago Ubuntu announced they’d be moving to Wayland. We all know exactly how much came from this announcement. Because of this history I’m going to reserve my judgment of Mir until we see it actually created and put into use.

Lots of people have been jumping to even more conclusions as to what exactly Mir means for derivatives of Ubuntu – such as the Bodhi project I manage. Currently Mir means absolutely nothing for Bodhi. We intend to continue following our close relationship with the upstream Enlightenment developers (we are after all an E-centric distro) and at this current point in time the Enlightenment team has zero plans to support Mir (which is fine, because again it is still nothing more than a concept). The E team however has been actively working on porting the EFLs/E desktop to be functional on top of Wayland.

Does this mean Bodhi will move to using Wayland for our display server? No it does not. Does Ubuntu moving to Mir (some year[s] from now) mean Bodhi will be rebased on another Linux distribution (such as Debian)? No it does not. Bodhi uses Enlightenment for it’s desktop because I believe it is the best desktop Linux has to offer. As long as X11 remains the best display server Linux has to offer Bodhi will continue using it. As long as Ubuntu remains the best/most supported core to build a distribution off of Bodhi will remain being derived from it.

That being said, our next major Bodhi release (3.0.0) will not be released until summer of 2014. A lot can happen in terms of software (and technology in general) over the course of 15 months – so nothing is set in stone. When it comes time for our next major release we will be re-evaluating all aspects of our project to ensure we are choosing technologies that are the best for our end users. After all, what good is an operating system if it doesn’t serve it’s end users well.

Speaking of Bodhi releases – keep an eye on our testing forum for Bodhi 2.3.0 pre-release discs within the next twenty-four hours. That update release is scheduled to be out by the end of this month.

~Jeff Hoogland



    judging by that comment Carsten is reasonably pro Wayland so its possible that by next year something may be on the cards. I guess it depends on how much the rest of the OS community want to piss off Canonical, by making Wayland better technically and more stable than mir they would show that Canonical aren't interested in "better tech" just "their tech"

  2. Congrats on your upcoming wedding, Jeff!

    Glad to hear some information on the Wayland/Mir/X front when it comes to Bodhi. I wanted to ask but didn't really want to start a dust-up in the forums as this topic seems to result in so easily.

    Sounds like you're taking the same reasoned approach Clem is, which is let's wait and see until there is actually a tangible thing to judge. As Allan stated, Carsten seems pro-Wayland and as such I would imagine E17 on Wayland sometime in 2014.

    Whether it's X, Wayland, or Mir Bodhi will more than likely continue to be my main desktop OS. Likewise whether it's on an Ubuntu or Debian base. I have been giving the recent RC release of LMDE a spin the last week and I must say I am impressed by how polished it has become. While I will always be a +1 for "cutting the Ubuntu fat" and going straight to a Debian base, I fully realize that the Ubuntu fat is what helps to make Bodhi such a successful and hassle-free distro.

    Basically I love Bodhi and just keep doing the great work that you're doing, which is taking a measured approach to a minimalist GNU+Linux distro in spite of whatever the weekly whims of the peanut galleries may be (myself included!).

  3. A time ago Bodhi is based in Debian, until now i don't understand why go out ... to a $ based flavor company but ...

  4. Have to say that I think of these things as a user. If it looks good and works well then I don't care what the underlying technology is called.

  5. Congrats on getting married! Being 11+ years happily married myself, I can only highly recommend it!

    Wouldn't you say that the reason that nothing came of Wayland is that the project was mainly out of Ubuntu's control and was not making headway or heading in the direction they needed? (Fair enough - Canonical can maybe sponsor a few resources and help it along).

    On the other hand, having a project over which they have complete control and are able to build it from the ground up as they see fit might mean quicker progress.

    Admittedly though, I have been disappointed with several aspects of Ubuntu over the years. In the beginning it was all about being human-centric, but that has changed a lot to Ubuntu becoming very much an experimental distro (with chopping and changing default apps frequently instead of focusing on building existing ones and of course, Unity). The only thing it has currently in its favour is the big user base, which is great because it means that many companies are using it as a "benchmark" target platform for porting their software to Linux.

    Anyway, thanks for the great work you are doing with Bodhi. I would like to see Enlightenment more widely used.

  6. Hey Jeff,
    Just wondering when you're gonna release that new packaging system. The one that Debian uses is flawed and you're clearly smarter than the thousands of developers who've spent decades working on that.

    Also: when can we expect your next Python tutorial? Now that I know how to do Hello World I don't know what to do next.

  7. Good Wedding Jeff,

    I just got married myself on march 20, 2013...

    Your work is excellent...Bodhi is without constest the more coherent desktop for the time being. And when you takes time to fine tune it, nothing can beat it. Especially on functionality and responsiveness with old computers.

    Even though I belong to your fan club...I have two or three observation to make.

    The first one is there is (legitimately) so many tweaking that it takes time to master it. One good idea would be to promote very simple and pre-set themes with a switch "on-off" blocking the settings. This is maybe possible and probably quite simple to implement. It woudl deactivate a lot of menus. And give way to a more manageable desktop for newbies.

    The second thing would be to promote other design styles than most of present themes. I already mentioned in a previous post "Bauhaus Style" desktops.

    But I kwow your answer in advance....These types of ameliorations should be done by the community. You do an excellent job....and cannot be reponsible for everything! And that is perfectly true...aren't we in a collaborative framework? I will have to think to it as I am (fanaticaly!) pro-Bodhi.

    Congratulation to your future wife!