We read in the press that Canonical has pulled out of the dream of “convergence”. With that the current support for a whole family of related projects dies.
That doesn’t mean that the dream has to die, but it does mean changes.
I hope the dream doesn’t die, because Canonical has done a lot of the “heavy lifting” – the foundations are laid, the walls are up, we have windows, plumbing and power. But we’re lacking the paintwork and there’s no buyer.
My expertise is developing working software and I’m going to donate some of that to the dream.
Stable Intermediate Forms is an important principle – keep things working while making changes. If you throw away a large chunk intending to replace it you’ll find re-integration really, really hard. Do things gradually!
So, don’t simply fork Unity8 and plan to get it working on Wayland. You’ll end up with a single wall that falls over before you’ve replaced the rest of the building. (Sorry, I went back to “metaphor”.)
Take the whole infrastructure etc. and keep it in place until any replacements are demonstrably ready.
The Elephant in the room
Many have issues with the way Mir has been presented to the community, but in the opinion of the developers it is a good piece of software and not inherently incompatible with Wayland. (Just look at what the developers have written about it especially the early posts that addressed this directly.)
There are two plausible evolutions of the dream that reconcile Mir with Wayland.
Plan 1: (my recommendation) Add support to libmirserver for Wayland clients in parallel to the existing protocol. Once this is working this either junk libmirclient or rework its interaction with libmirserver.
Plan 2: Implement an analog of QtMir/MirAL on your choice of Wayland server. Then transition Unity8 to these and junk Mir.
I can’t guarantee that my recommendation of “plan 1” isn’t biased by my history with the Mir project, clearly I know its potential better than that of competing projects and I would find developing these easier than someone new to the code. In then end, the choice will depend on who takes on the work and what they can achieve most effectively.