Hello, I'm new to here.
To be honest I registered only to express my voice somewhere after yesterday's sad news. I've seen the post from Marius that he is going to move on with Ubuntu Phone anyway, so that's why I post here.
I've been eagerly observing the Ubuntu Touch from the very beginning. I've never posted anywhere (apart from reporting one or two bugs), because most discussions were around the Launchpad mailing lists and Google+, which I don't use. I've also bought a Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu a few months ago and I am generally happy with it (apart from some irritating bugs that Canonical never managed to fix).
From the observations I would like to share my idea on how I see the future for... well, let's call it Unity. Unity OS, Unity Desktop, Unity Phone, whatever. I don't think I can help with development - at least not now. But I hope that my voice expressed here will be able to get to the developers that want to stay and help them find the way for the project.
Let's still fight for convergence!
Yes. This is in my opinion the biggest selling point of Ubuntu Phones. It's something new - something that others don't have yet. Ubuntu and Linux in general has lots of great desktop aplications. The vision of having a PC in our pockets it far too exciting to give it up.
Ubuntu Core can still be a base
I believe that so-called Unity OS shouldn't part with Ubuntu. Canonical is still pursuing the Ubuntu Core and Snaps and after leaving the phone and tablet they will pursue that even faster. It's IoT what they chosen to start earn bigger money on and Canonical's IoT is all about Ubuntu Core and Snaps.
This implies two things: there are and will be devices and chips OFFICIALLY supported by snaps. There is Raspberry Pi, there is Dragonboard (so it's a Qualcomm Snapdragon in fact - not too far away from phones!). This is why I believe the new devs should continue on what Canonical started and not finished - moving the Ubuntu Phone and Tablet to Ubuntu Core and Snaps.
Also I believe that Ubuntu Personal concept (snap based desktop) should still be on the list, so the "One OS to rule them all" still can be created. I believe that snaps have still the potential to make up a secure and reliable desktop with nice permission and dependency management that Snap introduces.
Clicks and debs are not an option
Why? Well, click was kind of beta for snaps. Canonical decied to move away from this because they decided to create something better. And snaps are what Canonical wants to give to the larger community, not only Ubuntu.
Why not debs? To have the proper system images, OTA updates and a possibility to lock the system partition. Without that probably no OEM ever would consider the system reliable enough to put it on production device. And well, commercial app developers will not want to care about the dependencies in debs.
The true Unity leads to Wayland
And here is the - what the history has shown - the Canonical's biggest mistake: Mir. This is what put away the rest of the Linux community and what created the most conflicts and hatered. Moving Unity to Wayland can give you more traction and more developers willing to contribute to the true Unity on phone. And there is one more thing that community had the problem with and now you can ditch: Contributor License Agreement.
The concept of Unity 8 is pretty good for all the phones tablets and desktop. I really like many features of it and the general concept of phone navigation. Also the scopes are a good concept - but they need to start working much faster and better. Let's make them ALL freely installable, so that anyone could install only those he uses. That will generate some benefits:
- The community will not hate us for forcing scopes on users
- The OEM's could install their scopes of their choice by default - customization, ability to sell things with this - more likely to comercially back the Unity OS.
- Well, the scopes developed to work well would be a wonderful way to interact with the content.
And there is one more - Suru design. Ubuntu's font, paperlike themes and iconset. Please do not ditch that as Unity 8 looks really well and the theme, icons and design language is really nice!
Not only Unity 8
As snaps have actually gained some adoption, they can be used to get on Ubuntu Core not only Unity, but KDE and Plasma Active for example - and maybe other DE's as well. A Wayland on top of Ubuntu Core can create a wonderful base for both Unity and Plasma Active. Let's reach the hand to Plasma Active developers, offer them Snaps and Ubuntu Core as base. Maybe they will help in getting Core and Wayland on phones and it would lead us to the common goal - having both Unity and Plasma Active on the phones. And being able to replace one with another with just a snap swap!
Yet another thing to keep. There is a bunch of cool apps creating with it (Dekko, uNav and more) to be kept. It still may help to reach the convergene goal.
To sum up
So what do we have now? We have Ubuntu Core, we have Snaps and we have Wayland. We have the communities that will develop those and offload the Unity OS's dev team, so that they don't have to develop the entire OS alone. Maybe we have Mir (if Canonical still wants to push it to Ubuntu Core devices), but without Canonical it won't make sense.
So let's take care of Unity 8 and Ubuntu SDK, move it further toward snappification and Ubuntu Core, make a switch to Wayland and pursue the convergence further.
So this is how I see it. Let's create the true Unity - untiy of community with Wayland and the unity of platforms with Convergence. I still keep my fingers crossed for you, guys. And maybe someday I will be able to jump in as well?