I'm not sure either what the impact is on the various Ubuntu based distros with other desktop environments. Consider for example KDE's window manager, KWin, for which Blue Systems is sponsoring development of support for Wayland. How will this impact Kubuntu? Or Linux Mint KDE? But this news and the news of Unity moving to Qt/QML is exciting to me for various reasons, though yes it also raises questions. AMD and NVIDIA are, AFAIK, still far away from supporting Wayland in their closed source drivers. If Ubuntu, as a partner to graphics card vendors, can get support for Mir in closed source drivers--that is a good thing. Wayland has been under development for over five years now, and though I don't want to rant or bash or insult anybody, it is still nowhere today (i.e., we're all using X.org). Perhaps Ubuntu can move this forward, with all the momentum they are gaining in the industry.
I'm sure there will be an Ubuntu based distro switching back to X.org, or offering Wayland as an alternative
Well, the thing is, from what I gather after following the discussion of people smarter/more knowledgeable than me for this evening, there are several reasons why this Mir project is misguided:
- Canonical doesn't have enough competent staff that is familiar with the inner workings of the linux graphics stack
- The reasons Canonical has cited for not going with Wayland are false, according to Wayland/Xorg devs (kind of reminds me of that time when Canonical was planning on dropping Grub, then FSF told them their reasons for wanting to drop it were false, and they backpedaled... wonder if they'll backpedal this time?)
- Wayland can already use existing Mesa/DRM drivers
- If Canonical's concern is getting Android driver support for their display server, and if they think they are able to implement that, why are they not contributing to Wayland to bring Android driver support to Wayland? From what I've gathered, Wayland devs seem to think it's entirely possible and certainly less trouble than implementing a display server from scratch.
And here we come to the main problem with this whole misguided idea. If Canonical succeeds in making their display server, then it will be harmful to all other distros, as the big players (Steam and such) will be forced to choose to either support Mir or Wayland, it's unlikely they'll support both. This smells too much like a power grab to me. They want a codebase that they are in control of, instead of collaborating with the rest of the ecosystem. Canonical is increasing the fragmentation of the linux desktop, just when we were going to get some sanity into it with Wayland.