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Compositing after X - KWin on the Road to Wayland

Real Name of Submitter: 
Martin Gräßlin
Short Bio: 

Martin Gräßlin is a free software developer working mainly on the Plasma Workspaces since the KDE 4.0 release. In 2010 he took over the maintainership for KDE's window manager and compositor KWin. Lately he has contributed a significant amount of code to KWin's new OpenGL ES based compositing engine.

In his day job Martin Gräßlin works at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg as a Software Engineer and Developer.

Talk Abstract: 

After more than 25 years of reign over our desktops, it looks like the X Server is approaching retirement. With Wayland finally a possible successor seems to be found. The year 2010 showed important development efforts in the field of Wayland. Major distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora announced that they want to switch to Wayland and the Qt framework was ported to Wayland - the code is already merged into the Qt tree.

Having a possible successor for the X window system is not the only factor for its success. In order to be able to transit to Wayland our desktop environments need to embrace the new environment. Providing a powerful Wayland compositor is one of the most important implementation tasks for the existing desktop environments like the KDE Plasma Workspaces. Without a compositor being on par with the X11 window managers it is unlikely that there is any user acceptance for Wayland.

In this talk the possibilities of providing a Wayland compositor for the KDE Plasma Workspaces based on KWin's existing source code will be discussed and presented. KWin has already done a major step towards Wayland by supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 as a compositing backend. The work currently going on in KWin will be presented in the context of the Wayland porting efforts and the steps to go from here will be elaborated.