Wayland on FreeBSD

Tomasz CEDRO tomek at cedro.info
Mon Apr 20 09:38:28 UTC 2020

On Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 10:25 AM Ihor Antonov wrote:
> On Sunday, 19 April 2020 23:49:42 PDT Clay Daniels wrote:
> > > On Fri, Apr 17, 2020 at 3:35 PM Tomasz CEDRO wrote:
> > > Hello world :-)
> > >
> > > Time to move from X11 to Wayland :-)
> >
> > > Not everyone is so convinced that Wayland will replace Xorg:
> > https://www.slant.co/versus/8634/8635/~wayland_vs_x
> >
> > https://www.secjuice.com/wayland-vs-xorg/
> >
> > https://www.linux-magazine.com/Online/Features/What-s-Taking-Wayland-So-Long
> > _______________________________________________
> That is exactly what I wanted to say, but kept my mouth shut, but since you
> started :)   I apologize upfront for this, but after reading FreeBSD mailing
> lists for a while I just can't read this any more like this is something
> normal. Here it comes:

Discussion Groups / Mailing Lists are here to talk about, get
knowledge, fix things, organize. There is nothing wrong with
constructive critics. Look how many ideas showed up in just several
last days :-)

> Yes X is old and insecure. There are literally 2 developers still supporting
> it and both work for Red Hat. They have already announced that they are going
> to stop supporting it soon. OpenBSD folks at least attempted to make X better,
> but in the end even they have admitted that X11 is "a giant keylogger".

To be honest I did not realize the situation with X11 is that bad
actually until recent problems with video drivers.. feedback from the
lists opened my eyes a bit :-)

Xorg has its benefits. I remember 15 years back (or more) connecting
to my then Linux workstation over SSH from a Sun Terminal (that was
something!) at the University and working like I was home :-) Wayland
can offer VNC ;-)

Xorg will work alongside Wayland. People will decide what tool suits
their need (just as WindowManager or Web Server). It seems that Xorg
reached its ceiling. Wayland seems Xorg alternative but lacks manpower
and user base to get stable. Both projects are interesting and have
their pros and cons. I am not convicting anyone to replace anything
but to have more choices.

> BUT FreeBSD folks are conservative bunch, some especially don't like changes
> that come from "linsucks". Others say that FreeBSD is a server OS. Same
> "server OS advocates" comfortably sit behind their MacBooks. There are ones
> that  make a living with it so any unnecessary change at the very least is
> ignored or at most is actively being not welcomed.

I can understand that and I think the same way. My work depends on it,
my money depends on it, my brand depends on it. Stability and
Maintenance first of all. With this conservative approach, however, it
is important not to miss opportunities. I also worked on MacBookPro
and switched back to FreeBSD on my main desktop. Because this false
comfort always puts your money into a vendor pocket and lags you
behind something that you can use as a vendor.

> Many actively complain at their own desktop team when it tries to  keep Intel
> GPU drivers working (which requires following Linux DRM APIs), but nobody is
> trying to write "proper BSD Intel drivers".

If you start using it, you notice and report problems, then you get
familiar with it, then you can fix it or create something new on top

The problem with "proper BSD drivers" is this constantly changing
"linuxisms" in both software architecture and, even worse, hardware
design. World does not care about good standard and incremental
developments anymore, revolutionary bleeding edge breakthroughs are
the new cool, so the whole world is chasing its tail now.

> Don't get me wrong, there are people (like Warner Losh) in FreeBSD who are
> trying to keep the OS in the present, but even they have hard time convincing
> people that finishing the 25-year swing on removing malloc.h is the right thing
> to do. Many were not happy with removing bktr(4) Brooktree Video Capture card
> drivers (you can't find this hardware today even on a garage sale)

I am total enemy of removing anything that works. Imagine we can time
travel. It would be awsome to have the same FreeBSD in the future and
operate it the same was as today with all those old and new features.

Perect is the enemy of Good. Look at Blender, that was, right next to
FreeBSD, my favorite piece of software that I used to give as an
example of perfect design and vision. Until 2.80 where they castrated
its core unique concept of Game Engine that was there since 1994 that
I have used for simulations, because "noone used that and it was to
hard to maintain", instead they re-designed the GUI, making Blender
nothing more than just another 3D application. Kind of Unification.The
same with GIMP Toolbar Menu around 2008 that was removed by the new UX
team because "no other program acts like that" and "according to
microsoft software development is about enforcing vision".

I can clearly understand why people here keep their attitude
conservative, why "cool kids" are opposed, why maintenance is more
important than having a new bells and whistles every year. Simply
because this is OS of the Creators not the Consumers :-)

> There are many more examples, these are just the fresh ones. Read arch mailing
> list, I am not making this up). A few progressive developers are outnumbered
> by fanatics of retro-computing. "Don't fix what is already broken" they say,
> "nobody uses it anyway" :P

I wish I could run BSD on my Atari one day.. and you know that there
is ATARI VCS coming up and we WILL run FreeBSD on it :-) :-)

> I am afraid that on FreeBSD Wayland will remain a third-class citizen.
> Look at sway for example: it needs Linux Kernel event API (evdev, luckily on
> by default in 12),  epoll-shim and eudev-shim, and then some magic with barely
> documented kern.evdev.rcpt_mask=12 in sysctl.conf to make it work.

It will come to life by people who use it and share the results :-)

I know what kern.evdev.rcpt_mask=12 means! And I knew that from the
/usr/src hahaha ;-)

> Why? Because FreeBSD folks are generally not interested in contributing proper
> kqueue and devd support to "linusucks" projects. As well as maintaining X11.
> Linux developers are not going to write that either. The amount of linuxisms
> and shims is only going to grow, the desktop team is fighting an uphill battle
> here, there is no proper infrastructure for them to give users good Wayland
> support. All they can offer is shims, hacks and workarounds.

The problem is Xorg was created by people who understood standards. In
modern world everyone thinks they are Tesla and no one cares about
standard, architecture, maintenance, because they are so brilliant
they don't have to. This is so childish. Maybe first steps of Xorg
looked similar to this udev-devd-evdev problem because different
systems tried to do the same thing differently and there is no
standard yet. People want to create "something that works" in the
first place, but that's not all. Wayland would eventually have to
adapt to different approaches, or we will always have to follow and
create workarounds glue day by day as you mention.

> And so Wayland will slowly but surely replace X in Linux world. But even in 10
> years FreeBSD hackers will keep using rotting X11, will keep stating that they
> had jails first, ZFS is cool, GPL is evil and Netflix uses FreeBSD on their
> servers.
> FreeBSD is not a general purpose OS. It is a server OS, It is retro OS. It is
> OS that fills the niche where closing sources is needed for commercial success.
> An OS you want to put somewhere and never ever touch it again. It is not a
> desktop OS, quoting someone from this very mailing list: "It is power to
> serve, not power to desktop!"

I think these are important remarks from people that use FreeBSD in
industrial applications. These are important priorities and core
values. This is also why I stick to FreeBSD not  Linux. And I surely
use it as general purpose OS on my Servers and Desktops. Also I smile
when I look at MacBooks, iPhones, PlayStations, or people watching
Netflix, because people who thinks like me made their success and I
find it inspiring :-)

> > > Not everyone is so convinced that Wayland will replace Xorg.
> On FreeBSD it simply never will.

Yes. It will coexist. Because there is no need to delete anything that
works well, people are free to chose what they want to use :-)

Best regards!! :-)

CeDeROM, SQ7MHZ, http://www.tomek.cedro.info

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