Saturday, January 01, 2011

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal and Wayland, AMD/ATI, nVidia

XWindow is very old, it is not a surprise that someone daring like Mark Shuttleworth might decide it's time to move on towards Wayland, I found this bit important, about the progress this project shows: "[it] is sufficient for me to be confident that no other initiative could outrun it".

Natty Narwhal will be the first step away from XWindow, I personally have not began using 11.04 but I soon will, so, I don't know much how far they are going in this step, but everyone, from the developers summit on, reports this is the most daring release of Ubuntu ever.

I wanted to check on nVidia's support for Wayland, since I have been buying only nVidia cards since I last had the disappointment with the ATI HD 2600XT 512MB back in October 2007. It turns out at nVidia they don't have plans to support Wayland. What a turn off! As a heavy user of video cards (I program CUDA and occasionally also 3D game) I am disappointed that we Linux users have to fight so hard with suppliers for them just to enable their stuff on the new projects; I don't quite understand the attitude either: If, let's say, ATI would come and say "we will support Wayland and will help make sure support is there for the time Ubuntu is based on it", I would switch, and begin learning their equivalent of CUDA, participate on their fora, etc., and my influence in my circle of friends will steer business to them. I mean, we are customers they want on their side because we are "leading edgers", "trend setters", you get the point.

Moving to ATI would be a big step for me, for the HD 2600XT, I hated that the Windows drivers were Catalyst-based 'cos Catalyst relies on .net and were incompatible with everything. I kept that sucker around to check the evolution of drivers in Linux, but unfortunately, I never installed it again, I must have it somewhere. In any case, the experience was very bad in Windows; and I got negative feedback about ATI about how BAD their products were based on my experience, it takes something important like supporting Wayland for me to revert.
But there are many reports that ATI (AMD) has really caught up in Free and proprietary drivers for Linux, so, I might buy an ATI card after 3 1/2 years,
I am trying to give them the chance.

Check this video about what's coming in Natty:


Anonymous said...

Nvidia said two years ago they wouldn't support Wayland. I think now when the software is actually relevant, Nvidia will reconsider. They implemented nice things like GLX_EXT_texture_from_pixmap just so composition on Linux would work nicely.

Eddie said...

Unfortunately I don't like Ubuntu anymore since both Natty Narwhal and Oneiric Ocelot have terrible support for multiple monitors (I use at least 3 for the main computer). I will try again soon with Precise Pangolin.

I mean, nVida might have been right the whole time about not caring for this. Just as you do, I still hope they reconsider now that Waveland might be more relevant