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Hi, I keep hearing about this Wayland display server, for which graphic drivers need to be feature-filled, GUI toolkits have to be modified and X to be marked as deprecated in the long run (maybe not, but I think I did read something along those lines). However, I don't understand what Wayland will bring us that isn't possible with X : Could somebody please clarify for me what Wayland actually is, how it compares to X, and why there is such a fuss around it?
My understanding is the the biggest difference is that Wayland drops a lot of "unneeded features" for typical desktop users, which in turn is supposed to make it more responsive for the application space (at least that's the theory). The biggest thing getting dropped is network transparency (i.e. being able to run individual X apps from a remote server via ssh). So right now I can connect to the remote server via ssh and then run just the Ansys gui application from my Windows box via Xming. With Wayland, I would have to "remote desktop" into the server and get an entire desktop like you do in Windows. You couldn't just run a single application over the network without firing up an xserver to also run in parallel with Wayland.
For most desktop users, this is a good step as the underlying guts are optimized for desktop use. For most technical users who ssh to servers to run remote X applications, this is a not so good step - though theoretically you'll be able to run an xserver on the side.
So network X won't be possible. now I'm left wondering how Wayland handles multiple screens (DISPLAY=(0.0|0.1)). Would that functionality be lost? will I be stuck with a xinerama-like configuration? What about multiple pointers? I have two separate X screens, and 2 pointers, effectively emulating a multi-seat setup, would this still be possible with Wayland?
And multiple video cards(no sli/crossfire)? I guess trying it out would answer these questions, but right now the only non-production PC is unsupported by free graphic drivers(=>no Wayland).
I'm guessing multi-seat, multi-input, and multi-videocard support would be features of Wayland somewhere down the road since touchscreens need multi-touch, and lots of users have multiple displays and multiple video cards. But like KDE4, I'd bet the initial releases are missing a lot of functionality.