Today I got many questions about KWin and Mir, how it affects us, what it means for our Wayland plans and so on. I did not want to write anything about it because I think there is nothing to write about, but before answering the same question again and again I think it’s better to put down a few lines here. Wiki will be updated once Wayland wiki is updated so that we have something to link to.
First question: Does Mir affect us? Yes, obviously. Because of Mir I have to write this blog post, Wayland developers have to get the FUD out of the Mir documentation, it’s creating tension and it harms the development. We will have to face again and again the question whether Wayland is better or not. So yes it affects us and I’m not happy about it.
Second question: Does it affect our plans for Wayland? I think it would be very unprofessional if we would change our plans just because Canonical did an announcement that they want to do an own display server for Unity (we didn’t throw away Plasma because of Unity either). Whether Mir provides technical advantages or not cannot be judged right now, we will have to wait and see, then we can make a decision whether it’s worth to change our plans. So far I have not seen anything in the documentation that would look like an advantage over Wayland. Given the incorrect statements about Wayland I’m very skeptical whether there can be any advantages. I don’t want to go into detail, just look on the Internet there’s already enough information about that. Also one should consider that Canonical changes plans for their distribution every other day. Just consider the number of toolkits which have been used for Unity – given that I would not bet on Mir will be used next year and that means of course that we should not consider it for our planning.
Third question: Will KWin support Mir? No! Mir is currently a one distribution only solution and any adjustments would be distro specific. We do not accept patches to support one downstream. If there are downstream specific patches they should be applied downstream. This means at the current time there is no way to add support and even if someone would implement support for KWin on Ubuntu I would veto the patches as we don’t accept distro-specific code. If Mir becomes available on more distributions one can consider the second question. Given the extreme success of Unity on non-Ubuntu distributions I’m positively optimistic that we will never have to do the evaluation of the second question.