Jan 2021 Status Update

Folks, the Magical year of 2020 is behind us, and it wasn’t a happy new chapter waiting us. Man, I still couldn’t believe, once per 100 years, why it was us who have to face the coronavirus. Now I take a good look of my 2020, I went from trying to submit a xcbcommon handling patch to weston to writing a full wayland compositor from scratch. It was not my plan!!! Taiwins should have being a rather simple application on top of the libweston, the so called “reference compositor “, but libweston cannot change keyboard layout once launching, nor it can support cloning output, there are new bugs when you digging deep. The worst is that it breaks the library into different shared modules, and changes lib location every release. It was like it really does not want to link to it. The codebase was old and long, it was difficult to make a change and really difficult to get libweston taking a patch. Then there is the wlroots. If it was released half year earlier Taiwins would probably sit on top of that. But, screw it. I am doing it myself.

It really took all my time, my free time and some time I should probably do other things. It was this magical year that I can do it, starting from writing abstraction of of display and inputs, to plug unplug my TV at home for testing my drm code. I really never expected the amount of knowledge expected for writing the compositor. Now I have a whole set of knowledge which is not useful elsewhere. Think about I could use my time writing some other things, like a feature Vulkan renderer, or learning financing knowlege I am clearly lack of.

The Biggest struggle is obvious that why I am doing this not getting paid? Was it really worth it? Sometimes I feel like a person forgotten in the past, not really living in this world. The time of desktop compositor is over. Will taiwins really going to be useful to others? When everyone converges to Gnome and KDE? Oh wait, there is the sway, seems it pretty much takes over the rest of the market. I do not have the answer. The worst case it would be me as the only user. It is really sad when I start to think about this. Alright there, stop to get too sentimental, Taiwins should have a pending alpha release at end of this month, or maybe a little bit later next month, I mean you have to look to the future right?

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