Agreed. Wayland development appeared to accelerate after Ubuntu announced Mir. If the only thing that ever happens because of Mir is that it made the rest of the Linux community unite behind Wayland and speed its adoption, that's still a good thing.
From what I've heard about the commit statistics, there was no real change in Wayland development itself. Where we're seeing the acceleration is the desktop environments realizing they really needed to start their porting work. THIS is definitely a good thing.
And Ubuntu started Mir because their engineers seem to believe Mir has fundamental performance advantages over Wayland in resource-constrained environments like phones. It's possible they're completely wrong, but if they're right then we need Mir for Linux on smart phones.
There seems to be this myth that Wayland doesn't work with Android GPU drivers. Mir's support for Android drivers uses libhybris to achieve this, which is atually Wayland library for allowing Wayland to work with Android GPU drivers.
And we're starting to this sort of thing a lot. Mir really just isn't too fundamentally different from Wayland. Typically when Mir support is added to something, they've simply taken the Wayland support and have made a relatively small amount of changes (sdl2, xwayland/xmir, etc). I think in the long run, Canonical will partially throw in the towel and Mir will end up being a Wayland compositor that's also capable of running Mir specific (mobile?) apps.
I don't know that the Mir devs really believed these issues. That's not to say that such claims weren't made (most/all of which were thoroughly debunked the same day they came out), but the real reason for Mir's existence is control for their mobile platform. Wayland is MIT licensed, and Mir is GPLv3 which a CLA. If canonical had been more honest about their reasons for Mir, I think they'd be receiving far less flak for it. No other reason really makes much sense. They're just too similar.
Wikipedia's article about PulseAudio claims that PulseAudio can emulate ESD. Or is this emulation too broken to work with SimCity 3000?
I have no idea... I didn't know about this so I never tried... But thanks for the info, I just may give this a shot!
This quote makes zero sense: "...reliance on Windows and DirectX (and to a lesser extent Mac OS), systems that cannot be relied upon in the long term." Really, because my experience with Linux and backwards / forwards support for both software and hardware has been vastly worse than Windows from XP through 8. Sure before XP, Windows 9x was terrible, but are we really going to keep basing derp derp FUD on a 5 year window of hard lessons from nearly 15 years ago? Can we just fess up and admit that SteamOS is an effort predicated on a personal beef Gabe Newell has with Microsoft and especially the fact that Windows 8 included it's own store and that store was not Steam. The story is well documented and the whole industry is going to blow a lot of money on development just to satisfy one man's ego.
Linux supports older hardware than windows 7 and 8, no question. Regarding the software... You definitely have a point there. Almost. The Linux kernel itself actually has backwards compatibility for userspace software going back quite a bit. It's mostly glibc that breaks this. If it isn't happening already, it will eventually. You'll be downloading games from that simply ship with their own libraries. I believe a lot of Windows software works this way.
You can actually get a lot of old loki games to run in linux by installing older versions of various libraries. Although, you do encounter some issues. For example, Simcity 3000 won't give you sound since it wants to use esd (which hasn't seen use in years), but the game will otherwise run. This takes some work to setup, but if the games on steam do this for you, it's a non-issue.
Not anymore. Asus mentioned they have sold millions of high end/gaming motherboards as gamers no longer buy Dells and replace the GPU like they did in the old days.
You can thank crappy PSU's and proprietary tiny cases for this decline as gamers are the only ones who upgrade besides corporations and they only do so every 10 years now when MS decides it needs more money for another OS upgrade.
I was about to ask you to back up that claim, but a quick google shows what you're saying as true:
The article is a bit dated, but apparently Asus was expecting to ship 22.2 million mid to high end boards in 2013. It's starting to seem custom rigs (particularly for gaming) is hardly a niche. Maybe the market's somewhat smaller than desktop machines, but it's certainly large enough to be considered healthy and is still growing.
steam works pefect in GNOME shell in archlinux. unity is not a requeriment.
To add to this, I don't think SteamOS will use unity period. I suspect they'll use a custom window manager or perhaps full screen mode for steam os will be the window manager. I personally run steam in KDE without issues.