SDL 2.0.22 will default to Wayland on Linux

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Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) is one of the most important pieces of open source for Linux gamers, as it's the tech used by various game engines and games. It's also about to continue changing the game for the Linux desktop in the upcoming version.

What does it actually do? It's a cross-platform development library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, and graphics hardware.

It has been announced that the SDL 2.0.22 will default to Wayland, preferring it over X11. This is another big step towards Wayland properly being a replacement for the old and crusty X11 everywhere. With this we might end up seeing more games and applications be native to Wayland, rather than having to run through XWayland.

Developer Ryan C. Gordon (also known as Icculus) mentioned on Twitter: "If you or your distro has not supplied a libdecor, you absolutely want to get that in place by around March 2022". A lot of the heavy lifting involved was done by Ethan Lee (also known as flibitijibibo), who mentioned on Twitter that almost all of the work involved was funded by sponsors of their GitHub.

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23 comments
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orzo 27 Jan
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QuoteA lot of the heavy lifting involved (in libdeco) was done by Ethan Lee (...) almost all of the work involved was funded by sponsors of their GitHub.
Gnome/RedHat aren't exactly supportive of native Linux gamedev, are they.
rcrit 27 Jan
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Quoting: orzo
QuoteA lot of the heavy lifting involved (in libdeco) was done by Ethan Lee (...) almost all of the work involved was funded by sponsors of their GitHub.
Gnome/RedHat aren't exactly supportive of native Linux gamedev, are they.

nit: two words, Red Hat

I'm not sure what you mean by not supportive. Red Hat employs a number of big contributors to graphics libraries and drivers like Mesa and nouveau.
F.Ultra 27 Jan
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Quoting: orzo
QuoteA lot of the heavy lifting involved (in libdeco) was done by Ethan Lee (...) almost all of the work involved was funded by sponsors of their GitHub.
Gnome/RedHat aren't exactly supportive of native Linux gamedev, are they.

I don't think that Red Hat could care less for gaming, they make their money on servers and workstations, not on desktops for gaming.
orzo 27 Jan
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Quoting: rcrit
Quoting: orzo
QuoteA lot of the heavy lifting involved (in libdeco) was done by Ethan Lee (...) almost all of the work involved was funded by sponsors of their GitHub.
Gnome/RedHat aren't exactly supportive of native Linux gamedev, are they.

nit: two words, Red Hat

I'm not sure what you mean by not supportive. Red Hat employs a number of big contributors to graphics libraries and drivers like Mesa and nouveau.

That's 100% correct, Red Hat is steadily driving desktop Linux forward, but do not confuse "desktop support" for "support for gamedevs". Everybody needs drivers in top state - from browsers to edu to med to heavy industry. Not just gamers. In this case gamedev community had to spent extra effort, time and money (that could be invested elsewhere) to make native wl games run in windowed (eg debug) mode. *Someone* from linux gamedev scene (most likely Ethan Lee) will have to maintain libdeco for years to come. Constantly test it for Plasma, Gnome etc etc... It's a valid question to ask - "why was there no other way"?
mirv 27 Jan
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Quoting: orzo
Quoting: rcrit
Quoting: orzo
QuoteA lot of the heavy lifting involved (in libdeco) was done by Ethan Lee (...) almost all of the work involved was funded by sponsors of their GitHub.
Gnome/RedHat aren't exactly supportive of native Linux gamedev, are they.

nit: two words, Red Hat

I'm not sure what you mean by not supportive. Red Hat employs a number of big contributors to graphics libraries and drivers like Mesa and nouveau.

That's 100% correct, Red Hat is steadily driving desktop Linux forward, but do not confuse "desktop support" for "support for gamedevs". Everybody needs drivers in top state - from browsers to edu to med to heavy industry. Not just gamers. In this case gamedev community had to spent extra effort, time and money (that could be invested elsewhere) to make native wl games run in windowed (eg debug) mode. *Someone* from linux gamedev scene (most likely Ethan Lee) will have to maintain libdeco for years to come. Constantly test it for Plasma, Gnome etc etc... It's a valid question to ask - "why was there no other way"?

One of the benefits of GNU/Linux and the FOSS community are that no one company controls the direction everything takes (as much as some companies are trying).
One of the down sides is also that there's no one company that controls the direction.
Normally a steering committee or somesuch is formed that manage all of this sort of thing. They often don't have the resources to pour into maintenance of this sort, so then it falls onto distros to test - but then that's not entirely feasible for rolling releases and it becomes a collection of libraries bundled together that's known to work, rather than actively maintaining specific ones.

In this case however, libdecor is here: https://gitlab.gnome.org/jadahl/libdecor
Note the gnome.org part of that, and looking through commits it seems Jonas Ådahl and Christian Rauch are shouldering most of the burden. Makes sense, libdeco is for client side wayland window decorations, which is far more wide ranging than game development. Seems there was indeed another way.
Phlebiac 27 Jan
Quoting: slapinThat won't affect SDL1 games.

Wasn't there talk of a SDL1 -> SDL2 wrapper library? So older SDL games could also benefit from the newer library?
F.Ultra 27 Jan
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Quoting: Phlebiac
Quoting: slapinThat won't affect SDL1 games.

Wasn't there talk of a SDL1 -> SDL2 wrapper library? So older SDL games could also benefit from the newer library?

Such a wrapper does exist:
https://github.com/MrAlert/sdlcl
Liam Dawe 27 Jan
Quoting: F.Ultra
Quoting: Phlebiac
Quoting: slapinThat won't affect SDL1 games.

Wasn't there talk of a SDL1 -> SDL2 wrapper library? So older SDL games could also benefit from the newer library?

Such a wrapper does exist:
https://github.com/MrAlert/sdlcl
You probably want this https://github.com/libsdl-org/sdl12-compat
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: AussieEeveeSo if you're using xorg.... you don't get this? I honestly am not sure I understand what this article is saying.
It will continue to work fine with X11 it's not dropping support, but developers using it will see Wayland as the default now.

and thats good beacuse last time i checked xorg still curb stomped wayland in terms of gaming performance
Phlebiac 28 Jan
Quoting: Whitewolfe80last time i checked xorg still curb stomped wayland in terms of gaming performance

Recent benchmarks suggest otherwise:
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=kde-gnome-wayland21&num=1
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