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Re: Bug#927667: gnome: please confirm or revert choice of Wayland for default desktop

On Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 11:49:24PM +0100, Simon McVittie wrote:
The status quo of GNOME is that the default *is* Wayland, and if we want
the default in Debian to be X11 instead, we have to patch something (as
we did in stretch).

I firmly believe that distributions sometimes need to diverge from
their upstreams, but that any such divergence needs to have a
justification, so I could turn this around: what are the criteria that
you believe should be used in the decision making for switching to

The direction of travel from an upstream GNOME perspective may indeed be
from Wayland-to-X11, but from a Debian release perspective, it's the
other way around: X11 is the display technology installed by default in
Debian and, due to GNOME's status as the default desktop environment,
adopting GNOME's default of Wayland has the wider repercussion of also
switching the Debian default.

I agree that divergences need justifications, but I also believe we need
to be mindful of the whole distribution when considering these matters.
It was not clear to me when I started this discussion, and it remains
unclarified now, whether due consideration to the distribution as a
whole has taken place for Buster.

For significant technology changes, Debian has traditionally taken a
slow, measured, reasoned and conservative approach to adoption. I think
it has come as a surprise to many (most?) developers that we are on
course to switch to Wayland at this point.

My understanding (again, I am not an expert and I don't have an
infallible overview) is that the advantages and disadvantages of
Wayland mode by default go something like this.

This is an excellent summary, thank you. I agree with all of it. A
dimension you have not covered in your summary is regression: whether a
given behaviour for GNOME/Wayland is a regression with respect to the
behaviour of the default desktop in Debian. This facet is what
originally brought the matter to my attention.

Jonathan Dowland

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