[svlug] wayland and escape sequences

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Thu May 30 12:49:31 PDT 2019

On Thu, 30 May 2019 15:50:52 +0000
mark <mark at weisler-saratoga-ca.us> wrote:

> > On May 29, 2019, at 8:43 PM, Steve Litt <slitt at troubleshooters.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, 29 May 2019 16:46:35 -0700
> > Sarah Newman <newmans at sonic.net> wrote:
> >  
> >> I'd really like to use wayland  
> >
> > Why?  
> I had not heard of Wayland so I looked it up and found what the
> developers have said: "Wayland is intended as a simpler replacement
> for X, easier to develop and maintain. GNOME and KDE are expected to
> be ported to it.”
> FAQ here: https://wayland.freedesktop.org/faq.html
> The paragraph “What is Wrong with X?” might help explain the aim of
> the Wayland project.

I've heard songs from that hymn book before, things didn't work out as
carefree as expected, so I'm skeptical. Having used X for this entire
century and some of the last one, I've scratched the surface of the X
mess. But let's not jump out of the frying pan into the fire, as seems
trendy the past few years. 

The URL you mention says straight that with Wayland, the days of ssh -X
are over. Yeah, ssh -X isn't the most secure thing in the world, but
sometimes it's very handy to have.

It bothers me that this project started in 2008, and became a
freedesktop project in 2010. All those developers and all those years
and it *still* isn't stable/reliable enough to package as the default
screen drawing methodology. Just how complicated is this thing?

The URL doesn't mention that the following Window Managers cease to
function under Wayland, unless they are rewritten from the ground up:
Openbox, ctwm, IceWM, twm, WindowMaker, xfwm4, and probably many
others. I got this info differentially from
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayland_(display_server_protocol) . From
reading the code for dmenu, which I use 100 times a day, I know dmenu
would also require a complete rewrite.

None of this would bother me if I thought there would be an easy way to
unplug Wayland and plug in X. But judging from recent past performance,
that's just not Freedesktop.Org's style. Freedesktop has proven itself
almost as capable of completing vendor lock-in as proprietary software.

I use dmenu and Openbox every day, and don't want to move to Gnome or
KDE, and I don't want to use some latency laden GUI program, instead of
dmenu, to launch programs I want to run. 

I'm just one guy: My opinion means nothing. But there are a lot more
like me, as the Freedesktop.Org guys recently found out in a slightly
different context. 

Heck, I bet there are folks right on this mailing list who prefer
simpler/more reliable WMDEs (Window Manager/Desktop Environments) that
Gnome or KDE. Until Freedesktop proves they can change their stripes,
the question that drives me is this: "Do you want to boss your
computer, or do you want your computer to boss you?"


Steve Litt 
June 2019 featured book: Thriving in Tough Times

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