Matthias Clasen sent an email today, March 15, to the GNOME mailing list, in which he proposes the porting of the GNOME desktop environment to the Wayland display server.
Many of us thought (read: believed) - including myself - that Wayland is the next-generation X.Org server for Linux operating systems, but in order for it to be that popular, it requires a big push from a ginormous project, such as GNOME.
As Matthias Clasen says in the email sent today to the GNOME mailing list, the Wayland project, which reached maturity recently, has a big potential, but only if it’s promoted by well known projects, and Canonical just failed to that by inventing Mir instead.
“Many of us have silently assumed that Wayland is the future display system on Linux, and that we will get to using it eventually. But to reach its full potential, it needs the push of a full desktop porting project. I think GNOME is the right project for this and now is the right time for us to embrace Wayland.”
“I am confident that the Wayland and X communities will be able to help us in reaching this goal.” said Matthias Clasen in the email.
In order to port the entire GNOME desktop environment to Wayland, the development team will have to make GNOME Shell, the visual user interface of GNOME, work as a Wayland compositor.
The second step will be to port the X server functionality, such as keyboard accessibility and display configuration features. And lastly, the X backend needs to be replaced by the GTK+ Wayland backend.
“As far as a roadmap is concerned, I am fairly optimistic that we can have gnome-shell work as a Wayland compositor within 6 months. That will allow us to have optional Wayland support in GNOME 3.10, while still using X by default.”
If everything goes as planned, GNOME 3.12 might be the first open source desktop environment to be fully ported to the lightweight Wayland display server, in 2014.