I am currently attending the Flutter Fire Prague conference and have observed an intriguing knowledge gap among the attendees. Specifically, it appears that there is a lack of awareness regarding crucial elements within the Ubuntu ecosystem, including Ubuntu Core, Mir, Ubuntu Frame, and Snaps. In discussions with developers, I’ve noted that they are employing various specialised methods to deploy their applications on low-spec hardware with full GUI desktop environments, often without adequate sandboxing measures and often building Flutter for the web instead of the native Linux targets to deploy on a Linux based IoT devices.
During the conference, Flutter WEB was introduced as a potential solution for kiosk use cases, achieved by running a Flutter web application in a Chromium window on Linux. While this approach has its merits in specific scenarios, I was taken aback by the apparent absence of Ubuntu’s presence in the IoT domain when it comes to the agencies building their solutions with Flutter. Given Ubuntu’s prominent standing in IoT, it was surprising to find that none of the Flutter developers present at the conference were familiar with Ubuntu’s offerings in the IoT space. But like… at all.
Many of these developers conveyed that they had tirelessly scoured the web for a ready-made solution but had come up empty-handed. The fact that they were unaware of Ubuntu’s comprehensive solutions for embedded and kiosk requirements underscores a quite pressing need for improved visibility and engagement. Those who had tried something, report the lack od documentation and tutorials that ultimately led to their failure in integrating their Flutter app with the Ubuntu IoT platform.
It is worth noting that most, if not all, of the challenges presented by these developers have already been addressed within the Ubuntu ecosystem. Therefore, I just wanted to share my thoughts that it might be imperative that representatives from Canonical, Ubuntu, or other pertinent entities start actively engaging with the Flutter community. Initiatives to present Ubuntu’s technological solutions at Flutter conferences could bridge the existing knowledge gap and provide invaluable support to developers seeking suitable solutions for their IoT and embedded projects.
If, thus far, no one has taken the initiative, I would be willing to step forward and present Ubuntu’s offerings at one of the next conferences. That said, I’m not actively working on any embedded projects and I would need to at least refamiliarize myself with the latest developments and test if everything works as it should today without too much of tinkering and as a Flutter developer would expect it to work so we could provide the attendees with simple and easy steps towards their first embedded MVP solutions developed here.
I firmly believe that such efforts should be made into a regular practice to increase awareness and facilitate better relationships between Flutter and Linux communities and ecosystems.
Thank you for your consideration!