Mir: status and evolution in 2016

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Just finished 2016, Canonical engineers look back to tell us how it has been Mir during the past year. 2016 has certainly been a good period for Mir: it is being used in a greater number of environments, it has a higher level of support and, at the same time, it is easier to port to new projects. If your development continues as before, It is expected that by this year 2017, version 1.0 will finally be achieved.

The development of Mir has gradually evolved towards two clearly differentiated environments: on the one hand the system Ubuntu desktop and on the other the system Ubuntu mobile devices. In 2016 we were able to see a first version of what will be Unity 8 based on Mir and, at the same time, test its kiosk version thanks to the snaps provided by Ubuntu Core.

This new Canonical year aims work in 3 directions Regarding Mir's development:

  1. Enable a toolkit, library or some client-side application to work with Mir.
  2. Create a shell based on Mir.
  3. Enable Mir on new platforms.

Canonical is ambitious in this sense and for each objective it has provided a group of engineers that will allow the development of Mir to evolve in all the proposed directions. All this without forgetting what it really is Mir's ultimate goal: his set-up for the Ubuntu 17.04 release.

Enable a toolkit, libraries, or client application to work with Mir.

Since the Mir 0.14 version was released in July 2015, the need to implement some kind of development tool that allowed to work with him. In addition, the extension of its own API made this project even more necessary.

In 2016 the first tests of the tools with the server miral-shell as an environment, being able to debug the window manager thanks to these utilities. Likewise, as Mir's support for GTK3, Qt, SDL2 and Kodi Over the past year, support for new environments should advance.

Create a shell based on Mir.

Mir's ABI server features various compatibility issues due to continuous changes In its development. Each subproject that has been generated from it has been able to adapt the code to its needs, but a stable source is still necessary. In 2016, work was done in this regard with the consequent changes in the API.

In 2017 work will continue to achieve greater stability, both in the main code and in the secondary ones.

Enable Mir on new platforms.

Canonical has in mind at least three different hardware platforms on which to port Mir's code: Android-based hardware devices and drivers, Ubuntu distributions not based on Mesa drivers, and a new graphical API.

All projects are in development and no launch is planned, at least for the moment. This should change for this year 2017.

 

With everything we've talked about Mir, the development of the new API is perhaps the most promising project and also the most urgent to boost the application of this graphical server. Let's think about him module development and future Vulkan support, even if only experimentally, or improving response latency. As you can see, there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to Mir.

Source: Ubuntu Insights.


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