Disclaimer: With the changes in progress at Canonical I am not currently in a position to make any commitment about the future of Mir.
It is no secret that I think there’s value to the Mir project and I’d like it to be a valued contribution to the free software landscape.
I’ve written elsewhere about my efforts to make it easy to use Mir for making desktop, phone and “Internet of Things” shells, I won’t repeat that here beyond saying “have a look”.
It is important to me that Mir is GPL. That makes it a contribution to a “commons” that I care about.
The dream of convergence dies hard. Canonical may have abandoned it, but I hope it survives. A lot of the issues have been tackled and knowledge gained.
I read that UBPorts will be using Mir “for the time being”. They sensibly don’t want to maintain Mir and are planning a migration to an (unidentified) Wayland compositor.
However, we can also see from G+ Mark Shuttleworth is planning to keep “investing in Mir” for the Internet of Things.
This opens up an interesting possibility: there’s no obvious technical reason that Mir could not support clients using libwayland directly. It would take some research to confirm this but I can’t foresee anything technical blocking such an approach.
There could be some benefits to Canonical from this: the current design of Mir client-server interation makes sense in a traditional Debian (or RPM) repository based world, but less so for Snap (or Flatpak).
In a traditional environment where the libraries are a shared resource updates simply need to maintain ABI compatibility to work with existing clients. That makes it possible to keep Mir server and client and server libraries “in step” while making incompatible changes to the communications protocol.
However with Snaps the client and server “snap”s package the libraries they use with the applications.That presents issues for keeping them in step. These issues are soluble but create an additional burden for Mir, server and client developers. Using a protocol based solution would ease this burden.
For the wider community native support for Wayland clients in Mir would make the task of toolkit maintainers and others simpler.
If Canonical could be persuaded to add this feature to Mir and/or maintain it in the project would anyone care?
Is anyone else willing to help with such a feature?