Status update, December 2021

Hi! Last month has been pretty action-packed, so we got a lot to cover in this status update. Let’s settle in, grab a cup of tea, and see what’s in store.

Today I released the long-awaited wlroots 0.15.0. This is a pretty massive release with lots of new features and architectural changes, I don’t even know where to start. Simon Zeni and I have reworked the renderer and backend API, making it a lot more flexible and removing a lot of arbitrary limitations. Kirill Primak has improved the surface API, fixing a lot of subtle bugs and preparing future work for better state synchronization. Isaac Freund and Devin J. Pohly have added features to the brand new scene-graph API. And many other contributors have sent various patches. Thanks everyone!

This new wlroots release comes with an implementation of linux-dmabuf feedback (previously linux-dmabuf hints). I’ve been working on this protocol addition for a while (2 years!), it’s nice to finally see it shipped. Because the problem space is so large and many different hardware and software setups need to be accounted for, it took quite a bit to end up with a good design. The protocol allows compositors and clients to negotiate the best GPU and buffer properties to use for the best performance. On the short term, zero-copy fullscreen should work a lot more reliably. On the long term, there are numerous optimization opportunities to better support KMS planes and multi-GPU setups, among other things.

In other Wayland news, earlier this month I’ve released Wayland 1.20.0. The main new feature is first-class FreeBSD support, with proper continuous integration to make sure we don’t regress it. There are a few protocol additions: wl_output.name and description makes it easier for clients to identify output devices, and wl_surface.offset removes some weirdness from wl_surface.attach.

Let’s switch gears and take a look at the IRC ecosystem. We’ve officially launched the chat.sr.ht public beta, allowing all paid SourceHut users to easily connect to a hosted soju instance. If you haven’t tried it yet, please give it a shot!

I’ve wired up account-registration support in soju and gamja, so creating an account on networks which support this extension is now child’s play. Unfortunately most networks don’t support it yet, fixing this will be my next focus. soju now falls back to an alternate nickname if the configured one is already taken, so it should be easier to experiment with the bouncer even if already connected from another IRC client. I’ve finally got around to adding exponential backoff to soju’s reconnection attempts to make it less noisy.

I’ve posted 2 new drafts for new IRCv3 specifications. The WHOX draft documents an existing but undocumented de-facto extension of the WHO command. With WHOX, clients can request extra metadata about other users such as account names, or request only a subset of the metadata. The other new draft standardizes DNS SRV records for IRC. This makes it so IRC clients can connect to addresses such as “libera.chat” (note the missing “irc.” prefix) without hitting errors. At the moment, this results in timeouts and confuses users.

Let’s close this status report with 3 small new projects. gqlclient is a new GraphQL client library, but unlike others it uses code generation to reduce boilerplate and improve type safety. GraphQL can feel intimidating at first, I hope this library can make it easier to write small programs interacting with sr.ht services.

This brings us to the second project, hut. It’s a CLI companion utility for sr.ht. Right now it’s still pretty barebones: it can only create new pastes, submit build jobs and follow their output. A lot of useful features could be added, such as attaching artifacts to Git tags or listing pending patches on the mailing list. As always, patches welcome!

Last but not least, gyosu is a C documentation generator. I don’t like existing solutions like Doxygen and Sphinx, so it was only a matter of time before I start working on a replacement. Again, this project is still in the early stages: it can handle the basics of parsing headers and spitting out HTML, but still lacks proper linkification, basic syntax highlighting and proper CSS styling.

I think that’s all for this month. I may have forgotten some things but I’m running out of ink. Next month I’ll focus on the upcoming Sway release, but I’ll also take 2 weeks off, so should be more quiet. See ya!

Questions, comments? Please use my public inbox by sending a plain-text email to ~emersion/public-inbox@lists.sr.ht.

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