Restarting Unity development in 2021 - Progress Report

Hi everyone,

Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many valuable members left the Unity7 Maintainers team for various reasons. Unfortunately, this also meant a slowdown in the development of Unity. @khurshid-alam and I have been discussing this.

Progress Report

  1. We plan to migrate the Unity codebase to GitHub/GitLab in the beginning of this year. This will enable more contributors to take a look at the codebase and contribute to it. Currently, many of the Ayatana Project’s components are being co-maintained with other free software desktop environments and GNU/Linux distributions.

  2. Yaru has become quite stable for Unity and is ready for daily usage.

  3. Unfortunately, Compiz is completely dead. Even though it might be possible to revive it, the Unity7 codebase is huge and hard to maintain (hats off to @khurshid-alam who’s been working very hard to maintain it).

    Hence, I was looking into developing the next version of Unity (making use of the basic elements of Unity7): UnityX (because 7 8/ate 9). I’m currently writing it in Vala. I plan to use a window manager/compositor which supports both X11 and Wayland, like Mutter. However, the window manager will be configurable. Unlike Unity7 and GNOME, UnityX will not be a Compiz or Mutter plugin. Many window managers/compositors are catching up with Compiz’s UI effects. For example, kwin has added many of the popular effects like Wobbly Windows. Currently, I’m working on the session manager, unityx-session and it is almost completed. All the code can be found at https://gitlab.com/unity-x.

Community help

We need urgent contributions to various parts of Unity7 codebase and also to UnityX (if the community decides to take that route). To get started, please join the Unity7 Maintainers team and email on the mentioned mailing list.

— Rudra Saraswat (@rs2009)

7 Likes

I am interested in Unity7 and Unity8 but need approval by Community for a deeper contribution But I requested for team membership. Thanks

2 Likes

Thank you for showing interest. I’ll inform Khurshid.

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2021-01-07: unity-slick-greeter

Continuing with the development of UnityX, I have forked slick-greeter (which is itself a fork of unity-greeter but eliminates the dependency on unity-settings-daemon and is written in Vala) to create unity-slick-greeter for UnityX.

Information

Source code: https://gitlab.com/unity-x/unity-slick-greeter
Free Software License: GPL-v3

Instructions: Downloading the source code and compiling/building

Install the required packages:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install devscripts dpkg-dev git

Download the source code from the Git repository over HTTPS:

mkdir -p $HOME/unityx $HOME/unityx/packages $HOME/unityx/packages/unity-slick-greeter
cd $HOME/unityx/packages/unity-slick-greeter
git clone https://gitlab.com/unity-x/unity-slick-greeter.git
cd unityx-slick-greeter

Install the required build dependencies:

sudo apt-get build-dep .

Compile the source code and generate an installable deb package:

debuild

The deb package can be found in $HOME/unityx/packages/unity-slick-greeter.

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2021-01-08: devel PPA

A development PPA has been created for UnityX. You can add it to your computer with add-apt-repository. It can be added on machines running Focal Fossa, Groovy Gorilla and Hirsute Hippo.

Information

PPA: unity-x/devel
Link: https://launchpad.net/~unity-x/+archive/ubuntu/devel/

Packages (as of 2021-01-08)
  • unityx-slick-greeter
2 Likes

This is exciting to see. Thank you for what you are doing.

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