Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

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xenopeek
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Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by xenopeek » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:01 pm

In a startling announcement Mark Shuttleworth just shared Canonical will end their investment in Unity8, phone and convergence and Ubuntu will move back to GNOME with release 18.04. Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence

Instead of Unity8, phone and convergence Canonical will invest in: "the areas that are contributing to the growth of the company. Those are Ubuntu itself, for desktops, servers and VMs, our cloud infrastructure products (OpenStack and Kubernetes) our cloud operations capabilities (MAAS, LXD, Juju, BootStack), and our IoT story in snaps and Ubuntu Core."

Edit: Mir will continue to receive investment as Canonical says they have lots of IoT projects using Mir as a compositor. What if anything this means for Ubuntu desktop and whether it will use Wayland or Mir in the future is up for speculation.
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by lmintnewb2 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:08 pm

Interesting, thanks Xenopeek. :)

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by sikejsudjek » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:50 pm

Seems a sensible decision. Microsoft have lost a ton of money on phones. If they are loosing billions its not likely that Ubuntu is going to succeed.

Lets hope Ubuntu move to Wayland. The last thing Linux needs is fragmentation on this.

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by Pjotr » Wed Apr 05, 2017 6:08 pm

Never liked Unity much, so I think it's a wise decision. A lot depends on what they'll do with Gnome; personally, I dislike the default Gnome desktop enormously.

They won't win me back, though.... Well, maybe if they put Mint's Update Manager in it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by Fred Barclay » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:43 pm

Woah. Ubuntu is dropping Unity for Gnome? I had to check the date and remind myself it's not April Fools anymore. :shock:

One wonders what this will mean for the Ubuntu Gnome project.
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by samriggs » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:32 pm

Fred Barclay wrote:Woah. Ubuntu is dropping Unity for Gnome? I had to check the date and remind myself it's not April Fools anymore. :shock:

One wonders what this will mean for the Ubuntu Gnome project.
More then likely it will go away since it's going to be the main DE for ubuntu now, no need for it once that happens.
I was wondering how long this whole thing would take, longer then I expected actually.
The Mir thing should be interesting now, can't really see that going anywhere now either since gnome seems to be going wayland instead, now more can work on one instead of two.
Kind of glad to see this happen
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by Portreve » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:11 pm

Oh, crap. I was really hoping Canonical would make a go of Ubuntu Touch.

I "get" that Google and Apple have largely crowded out any other potential competition in the ultra-mobile space, but I still firmly believe more competition is better than less.

I also can understand Mark Shuttleworth's frustration. "Better the devil you know" is a very hard thing to counter-suggest. Without trying to make this post specifically political, it should be obvious that this philosophy is what keeps all of our various countries' "status quo" a physically going thing. The same is true with organizations, otherwise companies would switch to better tools relatively quickly, and (perhaps) Microsoft would have long since been relegated to the waste basket of history.
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by KBD47 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:53 pm

Gnome 3 was a horrible DE and Unity was just a shade better. That is why people migrated to Mint and the other Buntu's back when Gnome moved from a stable Gnome 2 to Gnome 3. Gnome has improved over the years, but still not widely liked. I am glad that Ubuntu is getting back to focusing on a stable base and other areas it is good at. Ubuntu really never had a chance against Android on the low end and iOS on the high end of phones. I feel bad for those who truly liked Unity, and for those who really want to stick with main Ubuntu but will hate Gnome. And I think trying to upgrade from Ubuntu/Unity 16.04 LTS to Ubuntu/Gnome 18.04 LTS might be a nightmare if not outright impossible.

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by Royal-Mint » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:01 pm

I can't hold my laugh with this now they just clench their teeth devour by their own pride. :lol:
Thanks to Clem's Mate that forked from Gnome2 you're real hope to us all gnome2 users.

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by sammiev » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:32 pm

Retired from their site about 2 years a go and closed my account.

One of the main reasons was Unity.

They lost most of their followers and main posters, wonder if they will start returning down the road.

Likely one more reason why they lost a lot of good folks, but that's another story.

It's great to be here where things just work. :wink:

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by all41 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:09 pm

Portreve wrote:
I also can understand Mark Shuttleworth's frustration. "Better the devil you know"
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
So all in all--how will this effect us as users?

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by xenopeek » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:04 am

The current versions of Ubuntu will continue to be supported for their lifetime by Canonical. For Ubuntu 16.04 that means till April 2021. For Ubuntu 17.10 that means till July 2018. So it doesn't immediately affect users that want to stay on LTS but in just over a year it will affect users that wanted to use more current software with Unity. And of course anybody that wanted to see the future of Unity on mobile and Unity with Qt instead of Gtk+ (Unity8 is based on Qt and it is using Qt applications). Those dreams got dented.

While Canonical will no longer pay anybody to work on Unity future that doesn't mean others can't work on Unity future — either continuing the project as-is or forking it if that is needed for governance. One Unity developer has already commented they will continue their work on Unity future. In fact, it looks like a fork is happening: http://unity8.org/. It's likely that an "Ubuntu Unity" edition will be born and Unity will continue as a fully community effort. Likely development speed will be impacted but for those users that wanted Unity on Qt there is possible hope.

As for the Ubuntu GNOME edition, it is likely that Ubuntu will be "Ubuntufying" GNOME (perhaps just customizing looks and adding some default extensions but perhaps worse; like in the past they mangled GNOME releases by adding their own patches and holding back numerous packages to different, older, versions). Ubuntu GNOME have been doing a great job to give their users a pure and complete GNOME experience. But we don't know yet what Ubuntu's plans are with GNOME other than to use it :wink:
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by all41 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 1:38 am

+1 on a fork, though this is disturbing--"perhaps just customizing looks and adding some default extensions but perhaps worse"
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by skywolfblue » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:18 am

That's rather interesting... Quite the bit of humble pie to have to eat after all this time.

Though Gnome3 isn't much better. So eh. (/KDE fanboy)

It means good news for wayland adoption though!

I'm not really a big fan of IoT devices, but more work on the Desktop, Servers and Cloud is good news!

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by Joss » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:40 am

Gnome 3 has most tools to be customized to something similar to Unity in the form of extensions.
I hope Canonical will partner with the developers of some of the best (Dash to Dock comes to mind immediately) instead of writing from scratch and make the same mistake again of not mating with upstream devs.

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by MintBean » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:42 am

I was just getting ready to reprimand xenopeed for posting an April fools' come too late, but no, it's for real!
As a stand-alone decision I think this is great move as I feel the quality of Ubuntu as a whole has suffered in the all-out pursuit of mobile. Also, Unity is not a particularly great desktop and alternatives do the job better, so that's more resource saved to direct at the core OS. It an incredible admission following the massive time and effort directed towards the now obsoleted goals.

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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by MintyO » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:53 am

Yes, better direction of development for Ubuntu, better (or at least easier) development for Mint. Good times!
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by kc1di » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:49 am

Think it's good move on Ubuntu / Conincal's part as one blog I read says - Ubuntu is very much involved in the Cloud containers think the emphasis will shift more and more towards that in the future. away for the desktop as we know it today. So the move back to Gnome only frees up development in other areas.
What will it mean for mint, Hard to say right now. But as some have said Mir is most likely dead also. Wayland has won that battle. time will tell.
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by Pilosopong Tasyo » Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:33 am

What a shame. I like the Unity DE and more so the HUD (what a joy to use on GIMP and Inkscape). Don't care for Unity on mobile though.
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Re: Ubuntu drops Unity and moves back to GNOME

Post by strohi » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:54 am

Wanted to try Ubuntu Phone next.
Seems like I'll have to wait for Plasma Mobile now.
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