Going back to the original question…
So, here’s the thing on that:
An article like that is practically inviting negative reactions. It even says up front that the move is bound to be controversial, and all but sets the stage for a less-than-enthusiastic conversation in the comments.
At the same time, the change itself is only going to get two types of reactions: Negativity and indifference. Think about it. From a user perspective, why would anyone be positive about the decision to drop X11 support from Gtk 5? It’s a change that purely helps developers. There ARE NO positive aspects to the change, from an end-user perspective. So the reaction is going to be split into two camps:
- People who don’t care at all (who aren’t going to comment), because it doesn’t affect them.
- People who react negatively to the change, whether it actually affects them or not.
So, honestly, if you look at it from a user perspective, the negative reaction should be EXPECTED. I’m not saying that’s a reason not to make the change, and I’m not saying that it means the change isn’t the right move. But anyone who’s surprised by the backlash (even more unbelievable considering El Reg very clearly predicted it right in the article)… well, that would really show they’re out of touch with the users.
Well, sure, because it is a compatibility break. Sometimes dropping legacy support is OK, and sometimes it’s the right decision, but it always means that some users get left behind, or are forced to catch up against their will. And any change like that always meets some resistance.
Which may or may not be fair. It’s partly a question of numbers: How many people are still running X11, vs. how many are on Wayland? For the ones still running X11, realistically, how many can migrate to Wayland without being negatively impacted, vs. how many will be inconvenienced by the move?
(I switched from X11 to Wayland on my primary desktop only with the move to Fedora 36. I run an Nvidia GPU, so moving from the proprietary drivers to Nouveau did mean sacrificing a number of features. Fortunately, my GPU is relatively underpowered, so I didn’t lose much. But if I was in the habit of doing a lot of hardware-accelerated video encoding, or rendering, or had a card with CUDA capabilities I relied on, then the switch would’ve severely disadvantaged me.)
Nvidia is working (finally) to get their proprietary drivers working with Wayland. From what I hear, it’s going… “eh”. Assuming they eventually succeed in squashing the bugs and making it a seamless transition, then that’s a major class of users who can leave X11 behind without any significant loss of functionality. And that would make dropping X11 support much less controversial. But talking about it now, before that happens, will of course be seen as premature by many people. Whether or not it actually is.
…From what perspective?
As an enduser, I have to say it’s supremely weird that you would really care one way or the other. What toolkit an application is written with could not possibly matter less to most users, because why would it? They just want software to work for them.
Ideally endusers wouldn’t even know what their application is built with under the covers — in fact, I would argue that, to whatever extent they DO know, it represents a failure of those toolkits to properly do their job by staying out of the user’s way. The only time a user ever has to care that some piece of software is written in Gtk or Qt or wxWidgets or what have you is when that fact causes the application to fail them in some way. If everything is working as it should, the user never notices, and shouldn’t notice.
From a developer perspective, well, you’re certainly entitled to have preferences when it comes to development tools, environments, frameworks, etc. And you should definitely use whatever you feel best serves your needs and is best suited to the needs of whatever code you’re writing. But don’t lose sight of the users’ perspective, including the fact that they will never applaud you for choosing to develop software using Gtk, because it shouldn’t MATTER to them. And if we all play our parts right, it won’t.