<AWT Dev> Call for Discussion : New Project to support the Wayland display server on Linux

Mario Torre neugens at redhat.com
Fri Jul 9 11:04:24 UTC 2021

On Fri, Jul 9, 2021 at 12:17 PM Alexey Ushakov
<alexey.ushakov at jetbrains.com> wrote:
> On 8 Jul 2021, at 19:11, Mario Torre <neugens at redhat.com> wrote:
> [resending with hopefully the correct email address as I have
> completely lost which mailing list I'm subscribed to with which
> email!!!]
> I tend to agree with this, we certainly need to identify the
> underlying APIs that are problematic (screenshot and mouse/keyboard
> control as far as I am aware), then see what we can do from there, and
> I would like to first address the XWayland use case before turning
> into a fully fledged new toolkit implementation (but I agree with Phil
> that this is the long term necessity).
> What I would like to do however is to see if it makes sense to create
> a GTK toolkit rather than a Wayland one, and let GTK deal with every
> abstraction. We can be pretty confident that GTK will always be there,
> and will work on X11 and Wayland transparently, so even a user on a
> pure KDE desktop won’t really need to deal directly with Wayland.
> I’m not sure, that it’s right direction. We had a similar situation in early days of java. We had a Motif toolkit that was then replaced by XAWT implementation. I think in long term we need to be as close to low level interfaces as possible. We (JetBrains) have a lot of users on different desktops and having only GTK is not an option for us. So, I think that we need to have something like XAWT for Wayland.

Yeah, but the experience with that in the past led to the rather
interesting result of having a lot of unmanageable special casing code
to support all sorts of corner cases with window managers and
toolkits. Also, Wayland is not a window manager but a protocol for a
compositor, as such it doesn't really do much itself, we do rely on
existing implementations. This means that if we have a pure Wayland
toolkit it won't work on every KDE instance, for example, unless where
KDE supports Wayland (but yes, that may not be an issue, since the X11
variant will be there anyway).

I'm not advocating GTK as a sole solution, though, I fully agree with
Phil that we need to first explore the options, and it may turn out
that GTK isn't what we want after all and indeed a pure Wayland
toolkit is the right approach as you suggest, but I think we should
explore first existing abstractions and implementation and decide
where to go.

I would be very interested in your experience here, when you say you
have a lot of users on different desktops, what are the combinations
you encounter, can you share this information, can we be sure GTK is
not part of those distributions?


Mario Torre
Manager, Software Engineering
Red Hat GmbH <https://www.redhat.com>
9704 A60C B4BE A8B8 0F30  9205 5D7E 4952 3F65 7898

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