Canonical Targets Mobile Market with Ubuntu Mir
In what appears to be a growing penchant among open source developers for naming things after Soviet spacecraft, Canonical recently announced a new project called Mir. And while it doesn’t actually have much (or anything) to do with outer space, it could have major implications for open source user interfaces throughout the channel–not to mention for Canonical itself as it strives to “converge” its Ubuntu offerings across a range of hardware devices.
Quite unlike the space station of the same name, the Mir project exists to create a new display server for Linux. It will replace the venerable X.org implementation of the X Window System, which comprises one of the core components of virtually every major Linux distribution out there today.
Mir, according to Canonical, will offer a number of improvements over X that will prove particularly beneficial for tablets, phones and other touch-enabled mobile devices. But it is being designed to work across all hardware platforms, and–if it gains wide adoption by other Linux distributions besides Ubuntu–it could help to drive innovation in interface design across the open source channel.
While Canonical’s decision to develop a new display server for Linux itself was a bit surprising, the company’s vision for radically changing
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