2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?



  • @alan_g said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    Another effect of the loss of "Mir EGL" in Mesa and the consequent switch to Wayland ls that the "Mir-on-Mir" support needed to use the Unity greeter is no longer available. Some work has been done on providing a "Mir-on-Wayland" graphics platform in Mir, but that needs significant rework (it is on my list of things I want to get to, but if you fancy taking it on get in touch).

    The way I understood it is that wayland replaces mir as protocol/api. So mir stays as the implementation of the server, but it goes away as an interface. So the only mir on wayland that one would need in the future is mir-the-server on wayland. Which, is just wayland (mir's implementation of a wayland server) on wayland.

    Wouldn't it then be more logical to have a greeter that is a wayland client? Or maybe the login managers from some other desktop environment could be used.

    Curious what you think.



  • @doniks said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    Wouldn't it then be more logical to have a greeter that is a wayland client? Or maybe the login managers from some other desktop environment could be used.

    Curious what you think.

    The Canonical design was for unity-system-compositor [USC] to be a system wide Mir server that supported both the greeter and login session based shells. Only USC would interact with the hardware, it would see the greeter and session shells as Mir clients. The session shells would use the mirclient API (a.k.a. "Mir-on-Mir") but that requires "Mir EGL" and is no longer possible.

    This architecture has a number of desirable features: only one system-wide task has to negotiate access to the hardware, and that task also controls transitions between user sessions, login screens and lock screens.

    Once Mir has a Mir-on-Wayland platform it will be possible to retain that architecture and use Wayland instead of the mirclient API.



  • @alan_g said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    Once Mir has a Mir-on-Wayland platform it will be possible to retain that architecture and use Wayland instead of the mirclient API.

    Per our discussion on Telegram, I think the best place to start with this is to enumerate the list of Mir protocol features we depend on in Unity 8, so that we can get Wayland protocol extensions or alternate methods of use implemented.

    To start, the two things I am most aware of that we need mirclient API for, are:

    • Greeter
    • "trusted prompt sessions" (app overlays, like content-hub)

    There might be more, but I"m not sure what they are. If we could get solutions for these two implemented first though, I think we'd be a long way back toward getting a decent Unity 8 setup with the new Mir.



  • @alan_g said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    Once Mir has a Mir-on-Wayland platform it will be possible to retain that architecture and use Wayland instead of the mirclient API.

    Naive question alert, sorry:
    is it possible to estimate/ quantify the amount of work for that task in any way? E.g, how many skilled developers will need to work on this problem fulltime in order to have a solution in one year? 50, 100, 4...?



  • @fossMan said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    @alan_g said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    Once Mir has a Mir-on-Wayland platform it will be possible to retain that architecture and use Wayland instead of the mirclient API.

    Naive question alert, sorry:
    is it possible to estimate/ quantify the amount of work for that task in any way? E.g, how many skilled developers will need to work on this problem fulltime in order to have a solution in one year? 50, 100, 4...?

    Almost all the code concerned is here:

    $ wc -l src/server/graphics/nested/*
       253 src/server/graphics/nested/buffer.cpp
        64 src/server/graphics/nested/buffer.h
        20 src/server/graphics/nested/CMakeLists.txt
        54 src/server/graphics/nested/cursor.cpp
        51 src/server/graphics/nested/cursor.h
       225 src/server/graphics/nested/display_buffer.cpp
       105 src/server/graphics/nested/display_buffer.h
       442 src/server/graphics/nested/display.cpp
       178 src/server/graphics/nested/display.h
       183 src/server/graphics/nested/host_buffer.cpp
        73 src/server/graphics/nested/host_buffer.h
        54 src/server/graphics/nested/host_chain.h
        95 src/server/graphics/nested/host_connection.h
        50 src/server/graphics/nested/host_stream.h
        52 src/server/graphics/nested/host_surface.h
        49 src/server/graphics/nested/host_surface_spec.h
       528 src/server/graphics/nested/input_platform.cpp
        84 src/server/graphics/nested/input_platform.h
        92 src/server/graphics/nested/ipc_operations.cpp
        48 src/server/graphics/nested/ipc_operations.h
       825 src/server/graphics/nested/mir_client_host_connection.cpp
       134 src/server/graphics/nested/mir_client_host_connection.h
        74 src/server/graphics/nested/native_buffer.h
       234 src/server/graphics/nested/nested_display_configuration.cpp
        78 src/server/graphics/nested/nested_display_configuration.h
        35 src/server/graphics/nested/passthrough_option.h
       227 src/server/graphics/nested/platform.cpp
       117 src/server/graphics/nested/platform.h
      4424 total
    

    That needs re-implementing to use Wayland protocol extensions instead of the mirclient API.

    It isn't a lot of code, and not a lot of work. But it does need someone that can read mirclient code and write Wayland code. I've done that a few times (for the "internal" clients in the example shells) and the concepts correspond well.

    There are few other parts of the system that would need touching (e.g. the configuration to set it up) but that is less of a problem.

    I think it would take me a couple of days (but the unexpected could happen). However, that's probably the fastest it could be: there are not many that know the Mir codebase as well as I do.

    tl;dr: Depending on the developer's background, anywhere from a few days to a month.



  • Thanks @alan_g.
    What exactly is the "mirclient API", is that an abstraction or a specific set of files? Could you give a small example e.g a line of code showing dependence on that API, and perhaps how a Wayland extension could replace it?



  • @fossMan said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    What exactly is the "mirclient API", is that an abstraction or a specific set of files? Could you give a small example e.g a line of code showing dependence on that API, and perhaps how a Wayland extension could replace it?

    The mirclient API is the API provided by libmirclient.so. It is the API through which Mir proposed to support "Convergent" application toolkits. There are various bits of UBports relying on this API that need rework to Wayland (so learning to do that will remain useful after this exercise).

    Here's some mirclient API code:

                Surface surface{mir_connection_create_render_surface_sync(DecorationProvider::connection, width, height)};
    
                auto const buffer_stream =
                    mir_render_surface_get_buffer_stream(surface, width, height, mir_pixel_format_xrgb_8888);
    
                auto window = WindowSpec::for_gloss(DecorationProvider::connection, width, height)
                    .set_fullscreen_on_output(output_id)
                    .set_event_handler(&handle_event_for_background, this)
                    .add_surface(surface, width, height, 0, 0)
                    .set_name(wallpaper_name).create_window();
    

    and some equivalent Wayland code:

            ctx.surface = wl_compositor_create_surface(globals.compositor);
    ...
            ctx.shell_surface = wl_shell_get_shell_surface(globals.shell, ctx.surface);
            wl_shell_surface_set_fullscreen(
                ctx.shell_surface,
                WL_SHELL_SURFACE_FULLSCREEN_METHOD_DEFAULT,
                0,
                ctx.output.output);
    ...
            auto const shm_pool = make_scoped(
                make_shm_pool(globals.shm, stride * height, &ctx.content_area),
                &wl_shm_pool_destroy);
    
            ctx.buffer = wl_shm_pool_create_buffer(
                    shm_pool.get(),
                    0,
                    width, height, stride,
                    WL_SHM_FORMAT_ARGB8888);
    

    https://github.com/MirServer/mir/pull/669/files#diff-ea35a63c157fb0d09e5713c6ee0b1dbe



  • @alan_g said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    The mirclient API is the API provided by libmirclient.so.

    Thanks for the example. Is there any way to download an example of a libmirclient.so file without installing anything? The closest I got was a mention on this Ubuntu package

    EDIT: or perhaps there is some documentation of the libmirclient API in order to understand better exactly what parts of the code is addressing the API?





  • I would like to look at these issues but can't spare the focus time until start of June.



  • @fossMan said in 2019: Time to make Unity8 great again?:

    I would like to look at these issues but can't spare the focus time until start of June.

    I imagine there will still be issues left for you when you have the time. 😎


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