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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Announcements
Barry Kauler announces his retirement from Puppy
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jpeps

Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 3220

PostPosted: Sun 13 Oct 2013, 11:32    Post subject: Re: Barry Kauler stepping down.
Subject description: Sad but true as leader.
 

mrpete wrote:
And this is all I'm really trying to say.. I think tablets and small devices have great uses. Their a part of the computer world and that's not going to change. But since most of us on the forum have such a rich past in the PC field and with technology(which one has to emit.


Let's hope that there will continue to be a body of interested users that continue to support Puppy in its current mission.
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mikeslr


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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2013, 20:22    Post subject: Barry's Retiring: We must get organized. Tomorrow.  

I've just returned from a two week vacation. Before leaving, I had written most of this post but, it being unfinished, had not posted it. Perhaps that is just as well. We are a species designed to react quickly when we perceive a problem. Then fatigue sets in. And after that, having a short attention span, we move on to the next problem or event which attracts our interest, even if the first, more important, problem remains.

Barry K has announced his retirement. Again. And I am l moved to do something.

As I see it, we have four choices:

(1) We can form an action committee, kidnap, hold Barry K prisoner and only feed him if he works on Puppy. While I'm not intimate with Australian Law, as a former Assistant Prosecutor in a country having Common Law origins, I suspect there may be some rough edges to this choice.
(2) Quickly abandon ship for some other distro or android before others catch on. Having explored many other distros, and having some familiarity with android, I doubt whether pursuing this option would prove emotionally satisfying.
(3) Do nothing. Vanity, Vanity, all is Vanity... Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Or perhaps the immortal Barry K will change his mind. Or some other savior will arise. But I am of the persuasion who believe Human Life has purpose even if it is we who must identify that purpose. For me, that purpose is to mend the World, if only a little if only a little is the extent of our ability. Puppy, in its own way, serves that purpose. While at first blush this sounds of sound and fury, yet recently I have seen some of our members –and perhaps not the most talented among us-- come together to use the potential inherent in Puppy to make life a little more bearable for those suffering severe disabilities: a task the “Big Distros” either were too busy, or unable to undertake. And as I've often said, Puppy's social niche is to provide a “user friendly” operating system for resource-poor computers so that the 2/3rds of Earth's population lacking discretionary financial resources have some chance participate in the Global Village. I know of no other Distro which so adeptly fills that niche. Neither does android.
(4) Prepare for the inevitable. Yes, tomorrow we must get organized.

Before tomorrow, it is perhaps best that we take a moment to consider what it is that we hope to accomplish. What is this thing called “Puppy” I desire to preserve?
As many others have pointed out, Puppy would not be Puppy were it not for the selfless efforts of John Murga. Barry K may have had a stellar idea. But John's efforts and tolerance created the Forum, our community. First and foremost, Puppy is a community.
Although we talk of Puppy as a distro, it is not exactly that in the sense that Ubuntu (and its off-shots) is a distro. Were it so, I doubt if many of us would have greater involvement than downloading its ISO and taking advantage of its package manager to install some applications not found in the ISO. Or at most, fiddling a little to produce a “Community Edition.” There was a time when Puppy was that: just another distro which created an operating system and associated applications. But Barry K “retired” and devoted his efforts to create Woof. So while Puppy –as an operating system -- can be like other distros, it is more than that: it is includes a tool to build operating systems from the binaries of other distros.
There are among us those who doubt the wisdom of employing woof. They have a home in Puppy. Need I mention that goingnuts's pupngo is still going strong? Barry's inclination was to use Ubuntu binaries to build Puppies and, indeed, playdaz's Lupu remains for many of us the system of choice. But iguleder's exploration of Debian and pemasu's fleshing it out produced Exprimo, which may have worked best on my main computer. And no one doubts that 01micko's Slacko based on slackware binaries produces the best results for many computers.
Saluki and Carolina differ significantly from Barry's vision. I don't recall Barry venturing into the realm of 64-bit systems, yet we have James Bond and Kirk's FatDog64 and Tazoc's Lighthouse64 and Q5sys Slackbones. Would there be an AlphaOS if Barry K hadn't retired? But the more important question is, “If we had been limited to Barry K's Wary (or Quirky), would remastering so as to create a “derivative” offer sufficient personal gratification to satisfy the creative drives of simargl, pemasu, 01micko, kirk, james bond and our many other talented Devs?

Dark city has pointed out the defining characteristics of what makes a Puppy a Puppy, regardless of how it is made; and has noted some of the technical details by which those characteristics are achieved. See links from, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=726955#726955. But there is little agreement about what a “community” version of Puppy should be. Indeed, if you read through the threads on this forum, perhaps the only consensus reached to date is to not engage in flame wars over which is the best web-browser. And even there some of our members will take any seeming opportunity to breach the truce. Puppy, the community, is ripe with rivalries, technological and ideological disagreements.
The running joke is that Barry K has been “a benevolent dictator.” I would suggest that a more accurate description of his role for the last three years would be that of “lenient father.”
After publishing the first version of woof, Barry K did not entirely cease to build and publish Puppies. We were free to use them, change them, or ignore them and completely build Pups whatever way we wanted. Or perhaps to make it clearer, with Barry K devoting his energies to improving Woof and generating basic Pups, the hard work of putting together an operating system which would actually operate was done: unless for reasons of insight or ego we chose otherwise. We were free from the long hours of toil and testing; free from work. Free to joyously pursue our own passions, not compelled to devote our energies just to accomplish what was necessary. Free, knowing that if we failed there would still be Barry's Puppy. We have enjoyed the status of adolescents or journeymen: capable, but neither compelled nor ultimately responsible.
I would suggest that this freedom has proven its worth. Most of us here are familiar with the accomplishments of shinobar, technosaurus, and rcrs51 –just to name some that come to mind-- who have been free to devote their energies to technical problems which would have either stymied or bored even our more closely followed Devs. And what of zigbert's work on pmusic? I hadn't followed his developments. Pmusic was just something which showed up on my multimedia sub-menu. But when I went googling for a music player produced by “the Big Distros” which both offered the options I wanted and could be adapted to Puppy, I discovered zigbert had not only incorporated them into pmusic, he had done so using a fraction of the resources required by the Big Distro's applications. How many other “hidden gems” exist in Puppy, the work of talented people free to follow their own vision and interests?
Most of what I --as someone lacking both a technical background and even a real interest in mastering technical knowledge-- consider the “cutting edge” improvements to Puppy, have had nothing to do with either Woof or Barry K's vision. I'll just name a few: jejy69's work on alternate window-managers; jemimah's development of adrive, custom builder and their dependency checking routines; iguleder's buildpet; jrb's work on loading SFSes on the fly; disciple and R-S-H's work on RoxApps; Tazoc's many innovations in Lighthouse that have found their way into other Pups.
It has been suggested that with Barry K retiring we need a new leader to organize and consolidate our efforts. That won't work. Barry, whether we agreed with him or not, is entitled to respect. Puppy, after all, was his kingdom. On the other hand, we may be a community, but that community is, as Deacon has said, “An anarchic group of hackers and computer geeks who have proven they are up to the demands of the ideals of Puppy Linux with respin after respin, improvement after improvement.”

There's an apocryphal tale concerning the quandary faced by another anarchic group. In 1783, thirteen former British Colonies found themselves without a Monarch. It is said that George Washington was offered that position but being modest turned it down. Apocryphal can mean of questionable authenticity, in which sense it may truly reflect conditions, just not through recognized sources. But it can also mean erroneous. I would suggest the latter. George Washington was far too astute a politician. He had, moreover, just spent the last seven years attempting to get the leaders of those 13 colonies to devote sufficient resources to do the one thing they had agreed upon: fight to independence. Each of those leaders had his own idea as to what was both right and necessary, and his own constituents to answer to. The State of Maryland had been settled by Catholic refugees fleeing persecution. The State of Massachusetts had been settled by Protestants fleeing Episcopal persecution. At least one of the other New England States was settled by those escaping from the intolerance of Massachusetts Colonists. Religious toleration was not yet something to be taken for granted. There were States having many small farms. There were States whose economic prospects depended on large plantations, with a tradition of producing crops to be carried by ships owned by associates in the kingdom from which they were now separated, and sold to other associates in that kingdom. There were States whose manufacturing and mercantile interests were in competition with those associates. There were States, small in land-mass but substantial in body-count, in competition with neighboring States having large land-masses over trade opportunities both between the States, and for foreign markets. There were conflicts between several States regarding “ownership” of unsettled territories.
Analogous to Deacons conclusion that a community is more capable than any one individual acting alone, the 13 Colonies agreed to continue to be that which they had been for the last seven years: a Confederacy of Sovereign States. [When certain problems proved intractable under that form of organization they agreed to surrender some of that sovereignty to a National Government. [The political history of the United States is the continuing conflict over just how much was surrendered].
Lacking an Army to hold our community together by force, I suggest that we continue to be that which we have been: An anarchic group of hackers and computer geeks (including its users) who take pride in creating and using user-friendly operating systems that provide real world functions even on mechanisms which are, or become, the computer equivalent of “Hot-Rods” and “Jalopies.” The only factors that can keep our community together are the inter-related benefits of camaraderie and its strengthening through the mutual facing of challenges.
There will be challenges. Linux appears to be changing, sacrificing simplicity and efficiency for eye-appeal. To maintain its core values, its utility, Puppy may have to “go it alone.” As others have noted, many older Pups still can provide essential real world functions. The questions Devs may have to decide are whether using older kernels (or enhanced/modernized older kernels) then current “real-world applications” –i.e., web-browsers, word-processors, etc.-- can be supported, or then older versions of “real-world” applications will suffice or can be enhanced.
Regarding Puppy's competition with android, yes, in time we may loose. But in time the Sun, evolving into a White-Dwarf, will consume the Earth, or any one of a half-dozen calamities we can expect will have taken place; and Humanity, if we are still such and can be so called, will have had to find a different home. In the meantime, we can only do what little we can to make life a little easier. And that requires appreciating both the strengths and weaknesses of Android vs. Linux.
How do you interface with your gadget? If we are talking about computers, even laptops, you receive information through a sizable display and you provide information through a keyboard with (usually) a mouse/trackball. Mobility is not essential. Yes, with a laptop you can sit on a bench in the park. But you can't stop in the middle of your walk, flip out your laptop and –while standing-- respond to either a voice or text message. Yes, you can have a touch-screen. But how much are you willing to reduce the size of your screen –and have to constantly zoom in and out-- before the advantage of greater mobility is outweighed by that inconvenience? Yes, you can have voice recognition. But does either voice-recognition or a touch-screen provide as efficient a means to manipulate --not just enter-- complex data such as graphics, music or long written compositions as the keyboard/mouse combination? How much can you reduce the size of your keyboard before it has a corresponding reduction in input efficiency?
On the other hand, if your primary objective is the ability to easily communicate from anywhere, at any time, then what you want is essentially a cell-phone with benefits. Voice-recognition may make it easy to input information, even a long string of data, but how much can you reduce the size of the screen before it frustrates the editing of data before transmission? And the same consideration applies to touch-screens.
You might think a 7” or 8” tablet could provide the golden mean. I carry my smart-phone on my hip. My wife used to have it in a pouch hanging from her neck. But now it's usually in her pocketbook. My wife recently bought a Samsung Note 8. Nice gadget: comes with an office suite (great if you don't mind typing on a keyboard which doesn't provide tactile feedback and is really too small for touch typing) and an app which will convert her hand-written “chicken-scratches” into readable text. There's no convenient way to carry it around.
I had an idea which I passed on to a friend who is both a graphic designer and accessory manufacturer. How about a shoulder holster? Without a moment's hesitation he responded: “There are places I go where reaching toward a shoulder holster will get you killed.”
I bought a 10” netbook. Nice, runs several versions of Puppy. My typing speed is reduced by at least 50%. I think I'll carry around a USB-Keyboard even though doing so will complicate its portability. Of course, you can also plug a USB-Keyboard into a Tablet, blurring the distinction between tablets and netbooks.
Size of screen and methods of interfacing are the reasons there are thousands of apps for an Android device (and its competition) and a couple score of programs for computers. And there's nothing which prevents the development of a couple dozen useful apps (call them widgets) for computers. Puppy has one I frequently use: its converts units of measure from one system to another.
[I haven't mentioned ebook readers. I expect them to become obsolete as price of tablets drop and the ability to change the reflective characteristics of screens develop].
Form follows function. Size matters. If I were to guess the foreseeable future, there will be need for both smart-phones and laptops. And with respect to the latter, running on them will be free Linux operating systems, including Puppy if we have sufficient willpower.
Recognizing that we are an anarchic group, early in this thread –before it digressed into tangent considerations, as to which I am equally at fault-- sunburnt, koulaxizis, and iguleder recommended the establishment of what iguleder referred to as teams, with each team having a defined objective. Those interested in working on that objective would indicate their interest, participate and communicate with others: sharing the workload, insight, and testing.
+1
In support of that concept, I would only add the following questions and suggestions.
Barry K has indicated that he was placing woof in “maintenance mode.” Whether that will be sufficient to meet the changes taking place in Linux –such as the move away from Xorg-- only Devs intimately familiar with woof can answer. It is a question which from time to time would have to be revisited; as would the question of direction should Barry K's maintenance prove insufficient.
In dividing the workload, I suggest we do not think in terms of developing a “community pup” but rather that we draw a distinction between “core” functions –those necessary for any functioning Pup-- and those functions and applications best left for individual creativity. Gray's work, and latter jejy69's, have demonstrated that neither any particular window-manager nor any particular file-manager are essential to a Pup. And certainly, maintaining the right to pick and choose which “user applications” should be included in a Pup is fundamental both if Puppy is to remain the vehicle of choice for Devs to express their creative visions, and to prevent any development from getting bogged down in disputes over non-essentials.
I am not a Dev. I can only speak from my experience as a user who has explored and followed the threads of many Pups. It may develop that there are not enough Devs having sufficient interest to develop “cores” for the equivalent of our current pack of Pup variants: Ubuntu, Slackware, ArchLinux, Debian, T2 and so on. If that happens, than I recommend concentrating on T2 “core”. Such core would satisfy the argument that woof is unnecessary. At the same time, T2 builds –whether via woof or the T2 build kit-- appear to be more easily transferable to Pups based on the binaries of other distributions. My experience has been that T2 compiled applications more frequently work across Pup variations than will, for example, slacko compiled applications in Ubuntu based Pups and vice versa. Rg66 who recently developed x-precise has also reported that many of the applications developed for T2-based Carolina either just worked or could fairly easily be adapted for Ubuntu-based x-precise. [I don't know if the same holds true for slacko-based x-slacko].
Regarding 64-bit, 32-bit pae/non-pae: I can only repeat what I've said before. 64-bit computers benefit from 64-bit operating systems. Older computers need 32-bit non-pae kernels. All modern computers not running 64-bit operating systems can run under 32-bit non-pae kernels. I know of no discernible speed advantage 32-bit pae kernels offer. I doubt if being able to access more than 3.5 Megs of RAM, by itself, provides some significant advantage to 32-bit Puppies. If a choice has to be made as to what not to develop, 32-bit pae systems appear to be the most expendable.
But at any rate, let's get started organizing for the development of what the combined efforts of tronkle, splot and Fossil have aptly named Labradors: (L-ife, A-fter, B-arry's, R-etirement, A-dvancing, D-own, O-ther, R-outes). There already is a sub-forum providing a place for “Next Puppy Development”, http://murga-linux.com/puppy/index.php?f=42. Is there any Dev willing to start a technical discussion proposing what can or must be included and take development beyond the preliminary ideas Iguleder suggested a month ago?

mikesLr
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starhawk

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Oct 2013, 20:52    Post subject:  

mikeslr -- VERY well thought-out and VERY well written, SIR.

If you are as wise as that on a regular basis, perhaps you should apply for the position of Puppy's Next Guiding Light -- and I mean that quite seriously.

everyone else -- don't tl;dr ("too long; didn't read") past that post of his. READ IT. He's got a good point in almost every sentence. I mean that quite seriously as well.

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jpeps

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Oct 2013, 01:29    Post subject: Re: Barry's Retiring: We must get organized. Tomorrow.  

mikeslr wrote:
But I am of the persuasion who believe Human Life has purpose even if it is we who must identify that purpose. For me, that purpose is to mend the World, if only a little if only a little is the extent of our ability. Puppy, in its own way, serves that purpose.

What is this thing called “Puppy” I desire to preserve?

Nicely written post. As much as I like Puppy, I'm not sure it's a world-changer, in the sense it offers anything that radically different. It's excellent when you want a fast, compact distro, but there are other choices for that as well. Trying to entice teams of developers is probably reaching a bit. An OS like Android has tens of thousands of developers competing, and the products are dirt cheap even by last year's standards. Developing nations still want the latest and greatest, not old stripped down versions of Linux (which are more attractive to geeks and tinkerers).
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sunburnt


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PostPosted: Wed 23 Oct 2013, 14:49    Post subject:  

What StarHawk Said.

jpeps; For Puppy as it currently is, I agree with you.
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darry1966

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PostPosted: Thu 24 Oct 2013, 05:09    Post subject:  

Very nice Mikesir It pretty much goes along with my own thinking I sincerely continues - Tablets will be an interesting development for puppy.

Puppy is unique with its size, and consider the number of tools developed for it over the years like makepet, unpacker drag'n'drop from Slaxerpup etc, not bad for a small distro - the number of alternatives is shrinking though porteous is pretty cool.

I try other distros they just lack what I need I always come back to Pup.

Last edited by darry1966 on Thu 24 Oct 2013, 17:08; edited 1 time in total
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partsman

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PostPosted: Thu 24 Oct 2013, 12:35    Post subject:  

@ mikesLr
WELL SAID Wink

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jpeps

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PostPosted: Thu 24 Oct 2013, 17:41    Post subject:  

darry1966 wrote:
Very nice Mikesir It pretty much goes along with my own thinking I sincerely continues - Tablets will be an interesting development for puppy.



Very interesting. Will you be providing the apps?
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darry1966

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PostPosted: Thu 24 Oct 2013, 19:32    Post subject:  

Very interesting. Will you be providing the apps?[/quote]

Well you talk about them a lot so I might ask you the same cos I thought they according to you were replacing the desktop.

You pretty much said Tablets were the future so I guess it's your baby go for it.
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jpeps

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PostPosted: Thu 24 Oct 2013, 20:00    Post subject:  

darry1966 wrote:

Well you talk about them a lot so I might ask you the same cos I thought they according to you were replacing the desktop.

You pretty much said Tablets were the future so I guess it's your baby go for it.


Tablets are filling another niche..I said that PC's and desktops will be here for some time. Mobile devices are not the future, they're the present.
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PostPosted: Sat 26 Oct 2013, 05:48    Post subject:  

Let's not forget the sad story of Fuduntu and SolusOS. We must be realistic and careful when we define the distro goals, especially in terms of available resources and how future-proof our solutions are.

For example, JWM and ROX-Filer are not future-proof, because they depend on X.Org (yes, GTK+ 2.x doesn't support Wayland). Also, as these deceased distros show, using GNOME 2.x is not a good option either, because of systemd. Moreover, supporting old hardware is becoming increasingly hard, because of KMS and old drivers that won't be ported over to Wayland.

I agree with mikelsr and I think having a community distro is the way to go, while there's a group of developers who work on infrastructure common to all community builds (i.e Wayland support in Woof or a replacement).

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jpeps

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PostPosted: Sat 26 Oct 2013, 11:05    Post subject:  

Iguleder wrote:


I agree with mikelsr and I think having a community distro is the way to go, while there's a group of developers who work on infrastructure common to all community builds (i.e Wayland support in Woof or a replacement).


It's difficult to even reach consensus on what to adopt, much less find the resources (e.g coordinated teams of developers) for rewriting all the software.

Quote:

“Fuduntu has reached an impasse,” Ward explained. “To move forward would take quite a bit of time and manpower, neither of which can be supported.”

"What began as a Debian derivative [SolusOS] evolved into an independent distribution, without the large development team required to back such an effort"


re: systemd. I notice that even a large distro like Ubuntu hasn't enabled it by default. They also chose to boycott the developments in Gnome. Does puppy need to adopt Wayland?
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tronkel


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PostPosted: Sat 26 Oct 2013, 13:07    Post subject:  

Yes, at the moment we need to think realistically and not dream about goals that are nice to contemplate, but that are not really practical to implement given the available resources.

How about taking a minimalist Debian Server Stable install and using that to master a system that has as many puppy characteristics as are feasible.

Sure, it wouldn't be a "real" Puppy Linux as such, but it might make a great little platform for up-and-coming developers to hack around with. Only include stuff like JWM, Rox ,MTpaint, Abiword etc. so that the footprint stays as small as possible. At least the Puppy philosophy would live on even without the true Puppy core being there. Out of the box it would have native Debian package management as well as Debian stability and flexibility without having to use Woof etc. Why re-invent the wheel anyway? Nobody does it better than Debian. (OK, Arch is also a thought maybe).

Also a bolt hole away from the often-criticised Ubuntu ecosystem in the minds of many Linux users.

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Iguleder


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PostPosted: Sat 26 Oct 2013, 15:02    Post subject:  

jpeps wrote:
re: systemd. I notice that even a large distro like Ubuntu hasn't enabled it by default. They also chose to boycott the developments in Gnome. Does puppy need to adopt Wayland?


Yes, I think Puppy has to, because we don't have the resources to fork X.Org or develop our own replacement (i.e Mir), unlike the Canonical-backed Ubuntu.

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jpeps

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PostPosted: Sat 26 Oct 2013, 16:10    Post subject:  

Iguleder wrote:


Yes, I think Puppy has to, because we don't have the resources to fork X.Org or develop our own replacement (i.e Mir), unlike the Canonical-backed Ubuntu.


looks doable

Quote:

 I'm not deluding myself that any general purpose desktop Linux distribution will stop shipping X as we know it or as a Wayland client anytime soon. Nor should they, there will still be X applications to run and people expect that from a Linux desktop.

http://wayland.freedesktop.org/faq.html
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