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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Intel rejection of Ubuntu’s Mir patch forces Canonical to go own way

An Intel developer who oversees the company's open source graphics driver has pulled support for Mir, the display server that Canonical is building to replace the X window system.

Chris Wilson of Intel's Open Source Technology Center, steward of the xf86-video-intel open source graphics driver for Linux, wrote on Saturday that "We do not condone or support Canonical in the course of action they have chosen, and will not carry XMir patches upstream." He attributed this statement to "The Management," but did not say exactly who made the decision.
XMir is "the X11 compatibility layer for the Mir Display Server in Ubuntu Linux," Michael Larabel of Phoronix noted in an article. The decision came just a few days after Wilson had announced support for XMir.
Intel is a supporter of Wayland, another display server that was rejected by Canonical when founder Mark Shuttleworth decided a new system was needed to power Ubuntu's Unity interface across mobile devices and PCs. Canonical developer Michael Hall criticized Wilson's move on Google+, saying, "There is no reason not to accept a patch to an Xorg video driver just because it supports a competitor to Wayland."
The code in question was "a patch to Intel's Xorg driver so that it can run Xorg sessions on top of a Mir system compositor," Hall wrote. "[I]t's fine if people think that Wayland is the 'right way' forward, but the submitted patches didn't hinder Wayland, nor does rejecting them help Wayland."
We e-mailed Wilson to ask for elaboration on the decision, and we also contacted Canonical to see how the decision affects the company's plans. Neither have responded yet.
Phoronix noted that "Canonical will now need to carry the XMir support out-of-tree from the xf86-video-intel driver." Hall wrote that Canonical "will continue to work on our projects (Ubuntu, Mir/XMir, Unity) and win by having a better product."

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