Mir News: 17th August 2018

Mir News

I’ve decided to change the name of our round-up post. (I think “This Week in Mir” is misleading.)

ppa:mir-team/dev

We’ve had some interesting developments landing on master.

  • Support for xdg-shell (stable)
    This work by @wmww will make it easy to use Mir with the current and future generations of client toolkits.
  • Partial Nvidia support has landed
    This isn’t everything yet. @raof has got the “platform” working, so Mir can run on Nvidia drivers. But we still needs to complete wiring up the support for GL clients.
  • A mechanism to configure Wayland extension protocols
    This allows shell developers and deployers to specify which extension protocols to enable.

We’ve also fixed a few bugs.

There are two things “of interest” that have not progressed:

snapcraft

  • The mir-kiosk snap is being used with positive feedback in the form of feature requests.
  • The egmde snap has proved useful
    The availability of an easy to install Mir desktop led to some good bug reports by @GizmoChicken who tested Mir on some configurations the Mir team did not have to hand.

There are still a few “bumps” in the story of developing client snaps. @greyback has been working on progressing these.

Desktop

There’s a recent announcement by lubuntu that they plan to migrate to using Mir: “… We are going to do this by porting Openbox to use the Mir display server, Drew DeVault’s QtLayerShell, and other associated bits.” A great choice!

Phone

One of the UBports developers has started work on updating their “android” Mir platform to the current version of Mir.

When complete this will enable them to run a modern (Wayland capable) Mir on the phone with obvious benefits to their goal of supporting desktop applications.

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I hadn’t heard about Lubuntu yet, you made me happy!

It’s great that more projects are deciding to base themselves on Mir, for ease of transition to Wayland! (I assume that the idea of MATE using Mir is still under consideration, since I haven’t read any further news on it (?).)

I have a slightly tangential question (please feel free to ignore it, if it’s off-topic): given that Mir is written in C++, and given that unlike C, C++ does not allow for an easy FFI to most other languages, will WMs using Mir be effectively limited to C++, or will developing other language bindings not be too difficult? I’m asking particularly in the context of projects like XMonad (using haskell) or Stumpwm (common lisp), but it’s also relevant to the Wayland port of Openbox, since it was originally written just in C.

(Yes, I’m aware that wlroots is in pure C, but variety is always nice.)

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Until someone actually does it this is speculation, but I have written C, Java and Python interfaces to C++ and have some idea of the issues.

The miral API would need a suitable “wrapper” and this would require care if it is to feel natural in the target language. But it should be feasible for someone familiar with such work, and wouldn’t need continual rework to track changes to the API.

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