back to article Wayland heading for default status as Mint devs mix it into Cinnamon 6 bun

The creators of Linux Mint and the Cinnamon desktop are experimenting with the Wayland protocol – and so is the original developer of Xfce. Linux Mint's October update reveals that Cinnamon, one of the last significant X11-only Linux desktops, is starting to change: Mint developer Clément Lefebvre is experimenting with a …

  1. Yorick Hunt Silver badge

    I've always hated xfce - compact and nimble is nice, featureless and obtuse isn't. With Wayland's numerous "we'll get to that at some stage" features, it seems Mint is now relegating itself to the realms of "fiddlers" rather than users - and there are precious few people who can afford the time to fiddle.

    1. Zimmer

      No MATE

      I didn't see a mention of Mint MATE* desktop changing in the article, so I guess they're not fiddling with that ....

      *Daily driver for me for many years now..

      1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: No MATE

        [Author here]

        > Mint MATE* desktop

        Mint didn't write MATE. It's an independent Argentinian project.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No MATE

          For some reason I read that in a Monty Python voice.

      2. druck Silver badge

        Re: No MATE

        Hopefully MATE's gnome 2 look and feel is seen as so old fashioned by the we must change everything generation of devs they will just leave it the hell alone, and we can continue to enjoy it as it is on X11, doing things exactly as we want it to.

        1. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: No MATE

          Actually, I'd quite like to have the option to run MATE over X11 or Wayland, so I can compare like with like. Wayland ought to be an inherently more secure and elegant design, but the sheer persistence of the holes in its feature list leaves me worried.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: No MATE

            "the sheer persistence of the holes in its feature list leaves me worried."

            This is why Wayland can NOT just 'take over' in place of XOrg

            #1 feature: remote execution, perfect for embedded development, and the VERY thing X was designed to do. Wayland FAILS.

            And so far that is reason ENOUGH for ME to NEVER install Wayland.

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Author here]

      > featureless and obtuse isn't.

      What features is it missing that you want?

      It's one of my go-to desktops because it does everything, but in half the disk space.

      • Vertical as well as horizontal taskbars (where it beats MATE or Cinnamon).

      • Menu bars in the panel, if you want (beating Cinnamon.)

      • Pop up docks, built in

      • Windows 7 style combined quicklaunch buttons and app buttons (via Dock-like Taskbar)

      • Overview screen like GNOME (via xfdashboard)

      • Global file search (via Catfish)

      • Configurable hotkeys, so you can leap to app search on the Super key, built in

      • Customisable Start menu (via Whisker Menu)

      I know of one (1) thing MATE can do Xfce can't: MATE can lock individual items to the panel, while Xfce can only lock whole panels. That is the entirety of the missing feature set.

      Cinnamon has pointless chrome I don't want like desktop widgets. It does do fractional scaling better, though. Not enough to use it though: I tried for 6 months and it drove me spare with irritating junk in my way.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Happy XFCE user here

        The thing I like most about XFCE are the options to turn all those things off. Getting rid of the last panel requires a little fiddling but not enough to make me consider looking for an alternative.

        Wayland: wake me up when it has acceptable performance over a network.

      2. steelpillow Silver badge

        Will Xfce give me two panels at the top: menu/icon/config bar very top, task/status bar under? My workflow is then top-left-to-bottom-right, so I stopped wearing out mouse pads and chasing after a small pointer on a big screen a decade ago.

        MATE does this for me, and a lot more. You can keep your vertical bars too, that space is for navigation.

        (Have to use Windows 10 in my new job. Vertical, horizontal, dancing, all over the bloody place, and you don't even know where or how deep the option you want is buried. >Shudder!< I do the job for free, but insist they pay me for the suffering.)

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge

        number one missing feature in wayland

        The #1 missing feature in Wayland is the use of the DISPLAY environment variable, either from the SAME machine (which lets me use multiple user contexts) or from across the network (which lets me do EMBEDDED DEVELOPMENT).

        A kludge layer is insufficient as far as I am concerned.

        Wasting time re-inventing the desktop to be more like MICROS~1 has lost us 10+ YEARS of what COULD have become X11R8 or even R9, with even more built-in enhancements (let's say some or all of the OpenGL and Cairo features) and dynamically loaded legacy support for ONLY when it is actually needed (to reduce memory footprint). Keeping the client/server model, then enhancing it with multi-core awareness, can ONLY make the desktop more efficient, maybe even better than Wayland PROMISES to be.

        I *HATE* so many of these "it is OUR turn now" "features" being done by INEXPERIENCED developers. This not only includes Gnome, Windows, KDE, and Wayland but this ENTIRE paradigm shift from ACTUAL 3D skeuomorphic displays into "New Shiny" with MISSING features, and 2D FLATTY FLATSO UNSHADED CHEAP PHONE-LIKE UIs, using light blue on white (aka 'unreadable') FLAT BOXES instead of buttons, too much white space, and light grey on bright white text. You know, like CHROME.

        It's as bad as ViDEOS TAKEN IN TALL-SKINNY ASPECT, apparently the way in which "4 inchers" (aka those who view the universe through a 4 inch phone screen) narrowly view EVERYTHING.

        So while putting their NARROW focus on Wayland, FLATSO interfaces, hamburger menus, AdWaita, and phone-like appearance with UNREADABLE color combinations, these same "developers" spend the last 10+ years unnecessarily re-inventing something that WORKS, and instead of an evolutionary change (like mempry mapping and X video and OpenGL and so forth) seek to REPLACE it with what THEY *FEEL* (not THINK) is "superior" and eventually FORCE the REST of us to get on board THEIR train, because "their turn now".

        systemd was unfortunately just a warning sign of "more to come".

        Obviously these "developers" either did NOT read or did not understand Aurthur C. Clarke's 'Superiority'.

        I have to wonder how much of this CHANGE (for the sake of change) is being driven by RH, Google, and Micros~1 funding...

        1. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

          Re: number one missing feature in wayland

          >It's as bad as ViDEOS TAKEN IN TALL-SKINNY ASPECT, apparently the way in which "4 inchers" (aka those who view the universe through a 4 inch phone screen) narrowly view EVERYTHING.

          phones are now 7" because zoomers use it as their one and only "computing" (consumption) device

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge

            Re: number one missing feature in wayland

            "phones are now 7" because zoomers use it as their one and only "computing" (consumption) device"

            yeah, probably true but I cannot see putting a 7" slablet up to your ear to talk on a phone... (but I guess some people do that)

            mine's the phone that isn't that smart, just me for paying $100/yr for a pre-paid that I really never use except when I really need it)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: number one missing feature in wayland

          Why does everyone think Wayland is a DE? It's not. It's something that your DE runs on top of...quite a lot of popular DEs have been running on top of Wayland by default for a while now...including everyones favourite pig with lipstick, KDE.

          I'm not a particularly big fan of "flat" UI design, but I understand why it exists...the idea is that it's supposed to be more "contrasty" and "colourful"...a lot of designers didn't get that memo though and make everything the same colour or very slightly different shades of the same colour...which looks crap in my opinion...on the flip side, if you use "flat" design as intended, you end up with something a bit tellytubby-esque.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The trouble is, the problem with most desktop environments is not the feature set...the features are a matter of personal taste...what I absolutely hate about XFCE, KDE, Mate, Cinnamon etc the font rendering.

        It seems with a lot of DE projects, you have a lot of folks finely crafting the UI and feature set, but you have the guy responsible for font rendering running around with his tongue out making weird noises, carrying a chunky crayon drawing dicks on everything.

        I don't care what anyone says, if the font rendering out of the box is shit, the entire DE experience is fucked...because you spend most of your time, in any DE, reading text.

        For ages, the only distro that had crispy clean font rendering was Ubuntu because they had their own custom patches for the font rendering system they chose...these patches have made their way onto other distros...but they seem to only apply to Gnome based distros...KDE etc always seem to have blurry rubbish fonts that don't scale properly when you zoom in etc.

        Say what you want about Gnome, but something nobody ever complains about with the font rendering...and the font rendering is the first thing a lot of "Linux Noobs" notice...because when you move from the likes of OSX or Windows to Linux, the quality of the font rendering stands out like a sore dick...virtually nobody will be able to put their finger on why they think a Linux distro is ugly and unusable, because it's not immediately obvious that it's the font rendering, but it is...I've tested it...just by toggling font rendering you can convince someone that the better font rendering is a completely new version of the same product.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      I don't see where it says in the article that the Xorg Xfce, Mate, or Cinnamon options will be retired. Mint is not going to lose the users it already has because it allows people to test a new version.

      Obtuse is down the corridor on the right, with Gnome on the door. Can't miss it.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        You can miss the door, due to it being completely flush with the wall, no colour contrast, and no immediately obvious way to open it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm not a massive fan of XFCE's the tinned "chunky vegetable soup"of the DE world in my opinion. It's simple, quick and does what it says on the tin, but you wouldn't want it everyday.

      I think all DE's should be decsribed in terms of soup, it would be way easier.

      Gnome = Tom Yum (Simple, Spicy, Loads of ingredients yet uncomplicated, not to everyones taste).

      KDE = Lobster Bisque (Seems fancier than it is, requires loads of resources, usually not worth the effort)

      MATE = Oxtail Soup (Grim, naff looking, your grandad likes it).

      Cinnamon = Brocolli and Stilton (Fancy, Decent, Stinky, your dad likes it)

      i3 gaps = Pork Pho (Complex, looks good on paper, tastes amazing, time consuming to prepare, all the knuckles, snouts and trotters (dot files) undesirable)

      Budgie = Leek and Potato (Simple, sturdy,'d get bored of it if you had it everyday).

      FluxBox = Scotch Broth (Boring, Uninteresting, requires virtually no resources, survival soup).

      Where Wayland is concerned, the problems with it aren't typically Wayland related at this stage...I find Wayland to be pretty solid, it's just a few fringe apps that don't work with it yet...Anydesk, NVIDIA Control Panel etc...

      As more distros pick it up, it should become less of a pain in the ass.

      1. NickHolland

        As a Fluxbox user...

        ...I guess I'm going to have to try Scotch Broth.

        You sum up fluxbox pretty well there. I live in my applications or terminal windows. The rest of a "Desktop Environment" is just using up screen and getting in my way.

        (I may or may not be disappointed that Scotch Broth does not have Scotch in it...)

  2. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    >So although KDE turned 27 earlier this month, it's still not the oldest Linux desktop still being developed.

    Even though nobody uses it anymore, technically that would be CDE (first release in 1993). It runs on Linux and is still being developed albeit slowly (last stable release in October 2022, last commit on Sourceforge August 2023).

    1. MacroRodent


      CDE? Nice to know it is still around, in case XFCE gets infected with Redundantis Featuritis or Bloatifaction Maximus.

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