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Re: is Wayland/Weston mature enough to be the default desktop choice in Buster?




On Fri, Apr 05, 2019 at 04:12:22PM +0100, Jonathan Dowland wrote:

> I was surprised to learn — by way of synaptic being autoremoved — that
> the default desktop in Buster will be GNOME/Wayland. I personally do not
> think that Wayland is a sensible choice for the default *yet*; and if
> the consequence is that bugs for software that do not work properly with
> Wayland have their severity inflated such that they are autoremoved (and
> thus potentially removed entirely from Buster), a decision that — in
> isolation — makes sense to me; although Synaptic is quite a high profile
> package within Debian for this to happen.
> 
> I think the default should be reconsidered.

I try out Wayland every half year or so, and every time I switch back to
X because most of what I want doesn't run on it or needs Xwayland
anyway, which probably negates any benefits of Wayland. So personally, I
think it's not ready yet to be the default for a distribution like
Debian. But then again, I'm probably not the average user. So the
question should be:

What benefits does the average Debian user get from switching to
GNOME/Wayland in its current state, and do those benefits weigh more
than the drawbacks they get compared to using GNOME/X? 

The average user doesn't care about whether the architecture of the
Wayland protocol is better than X11's. And conversely, while I do use
remote X sometimes and find it highly useful, this is probably also
something the average user doesn't care about. So one should look
mainly about how the average user uses their computer and whether that
works better on Wayland or X.

Now, the term "average user" is a bit vague and can easily be
misinterpreted. I think it should be interpreted as a hypothetical user
that performs daily tasks on their computer that are the weighted
average of what tasks all Debian users perform. So 95% of that
hypothetical user's tasks are probably web browsing, email, general
productivity applications (text editing etc) and games.

If anything of that 95% of tasks doesn't work on Wayland at all, then
this probably causes a major annoyance for a user and they might just
want to switch back to X11. If it works but is not as good as on X11,
then as long as they can easily live with it, it's probably fine.
Note that for the average user, if something doesn't work out of the
box, they will probably assume it doesn't work at all, even if there is
some workaround possible.

-- 
Met vriendelijke groet / with kind regards,
      Guus Sliepen <guus@xxxxxxxxxx>

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