Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Track the Desktop and UNE in Maverick

Ubuntu development happens in a very transparent manner. I won't cover the lead up and execution of UDS here, but I will discuss what happens after UDS for maverick.

First, you should know where we are in the schedule. The schedule is always available.

At UDS discussions center around blueprints. After UDS, the Ubuntu developers take the set of blueprints that they are committed to working on, and they break down the blueprint into "work items". A work item is roughly one half to two days of work that is a required step to accomplish the blueprint.

Work items are then mapped to a milestone, or work item iteration. Note that the Ubuntu developers only commit to workng on work items for the current work item iteration! The current work item iteration maps to Alpha 2. So you can see the work items that the desktop team is committed to working on on our Alpha 2 tracking page.

If you want to explore the whole release, you can see the landing page for all of Maverick.

But remember that work items that are not slotted to Alpha 2 are not committed to yet!

So, what exactly is the Desktop Team planning for Maverick? Here are some highlights.

Software Center
The software center will get many UI improvments. However, the biggie is that we are going to figure out how enable application developers to target the current stable release for new apps! This means new apps that don't modify the underling Ubuntu platform and libraries will be made available in software-center even if the app was written after that version of Ubuntu released. See the blueprint here.

Gnome Changes
We always decide at UDS what to take from new Gnome and how. We are very excited about Gnome 3.0, but due to tight release schedules, we are going to be cautious about Gnome 3.0 for Maverick. We will update to the current platform, and we will deliver gsettings and latest versions of apps as appropriate. As usual, we will make gnome-shell available to users who choose to use it. See the blueprint here.

Browsers and Apps
We're going to try for Chromium by default in UNE, though we are sticking with Mozilla as the default in the Desktop Edition.

We are also changing to Shotwell as the default image library application.

Interesting decision here is to hold off on promise of 3D support for -intel 8xx series graphics. If the -intel driver is not providing sufficient stabiliy we may support those chips with Vesa, and perhaps deliver an older intel driver for community support for those 8xx users who want to give it a go.

Social From the Start
We'll work on gwibber start up time and robustness, but also work bake more integration of social services into the desktop.

Everything Else
Of course, we'll be working to integrate the latest and greatest from all of our upstream projects, fix bugs as fast as possible, and generally do all the awesome stuff Ubuntu Desktop developers do everyday.


  1. Coolness!

    The Wiki page for the Software Center says that it'll contain for-pay software in Maverick. Will it be like the Apple App Store, where anybody can submit anything for consideration and approval (With a fee, of course), or will only Canonical & partners have stuff in it, like the Nintendo store?

  2. Without F-Spot, maybe you could replace Tomboy with Gnote or another application to remove Mono depencies from the CD ?

  3. @Dieki - I didn't talk much about "buy something" in software center because the goals for this in Maverick are quite modest, have some one thing for sale there. This will require lots of coordination with a billing system and all this. A lot to get done in six months. After we have the system in place, we can discuss how to make it generally useful in Maverick +1. That's the current plan, anyway.

    Cheers, Rick

  4. Can you please post the discussion of the xorg-xserver i8xx decision? I can't find it in the ubuntu-desktop meeting minutes nor the ubuntu-desktop mailing list archives.

    I'm VERY curious exactly how this decision was made.

    Thank you.

  5. @stenten - this was discussed at UDS. It would be in the gobby documents, I suppose.

  6. Containing for-pay software??? Could it be a long-term strategie, that, after enough people use Ubuntu, turning from open-source to full commercial system,slowly but surely? It would not help the open source world...

  7. @stenten: It was discussed in the “general X plans” UDS session. There are a number of problems with the i8xx series support, starting with the fact that the newer drivers are trying to do something the hardware docs explicitly don't guarantee will work.

    Even if things don't go well, we won't be breaking the ability to get a better driver than VESA. It's rather more a formalisation of the status quo - these cards have been badly supported from Karmic onwards.

  8. @R Yes it would help the "open source world". There has never been a successful software platform without commercialization. (That's not to say it can't be done, just that it hasn't been done and is impossibly difficult to do.) By creating an easy way for app developers to benefit from selling their work, Ubuntu will attract more developers, which means better software compatibility, which means happier users. It also means more money for Canonical, which means that they can hire more developers to work on Ubuntu, which means that bugs will get fixed and new features added faster, also ending with happier users.

    There is no evil plan here. Ubuntu cannot become closed-source. And it's a fully commercial right now, and has been since the beginning. If you don't like that, go to Debian. Nobody in Ubuntu will miss you, I assure you. :)

  9. Why people still think that free source == free (as in beer) software.

  10. Nothing to say against making money but canonical will be in the situation to restrict their appstore in serveral ways. to not get into a discussion we see on apples appstore these days make the framework open. so if one app can, for different reasons, not be avilable on ubuntu's appstore the user must be able to get it from a 2nd and 3rd Party store. so cannonical can keep theire fingers tidy and the user can do what he thinks its best for him in sole responsability

  11. ... that' what open source means beond free beer - freedom of choice

  12. Why not use the new stable chrome build for linux instead of chromium? The new build runs much better...

  13. @wery67564: It's probably due to trademark issues. I suspect they will build Chromium from the source code that corresponds to the current Chrome release.

  14. All very well to publish these bug fixing projections BUT there is still an issue with long-standing bugs that haven't been fixed for the last couple of releases. What about a metric to track these? Users hate it when an issue with e.g. Lenny still hasn' t been fixed with the release of Lucid.

  15. Oops sorry, I meant an issue with Karmic, yes I know Lenny is a Debian tag!

  16. Please, at least consider including a clipboard manager like Parcellite by default. All the newbies I know, give up on linux the first time they see their copied content gone away, and that happens a lot!

  17. @amiroff
    That's not happening.
    However, there's a GSOC project that should fix the clipboard anyway: http://sarahestrong.blogspot.com/2010/05/gearing-up-for-gsoc-clipboard.html

  18. On a side note, the Nouvou driver (think I spelt that right, the open source NVIDA driver?) has been causing a lot of problems for quite a few people (myself included).

    Last I heard, the driver wasnt considered stable enough for general use, I hope 10.10 will change that?

    (If your interested, the fault seems to lie with init, which seems hard-coded to call on the new driver instead of the generic one, which fails the load the desktop. I'd much prefer the generic driver was called at boot with Nouvou offered alongside the offical binary, but thats my thoughts)

  19. I'm a close follower of the 8xx issue, and the good news is that the 3D support issues are presently restricted to just two chips, the i845 and i855, and even with these (i845 being the most problematic) we are getting pretty good results, I could see holding off on promising anything, but from where I stand things are looking pretty good for Intel 8xx support. (I have both a i815 and an i845 box. The i815 works flawlessly, and the i845 still has some issues, but that is using the kernel. Tests I've run with the 2.6.35 have been very encouraging. )

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