Unity 7 Continuation - Call for Developers and Supporters!

Hi Daniel,

I signed the legal-link you have posted. I know there are several other folk at Canonical that are keen to help guide and advise as to how to go forward with this. I have been with ubuntuforums for 7 years, am an UbuntuMember and have signed the code of conduct. I am currently admin (team captain) of U+1. Most of my work has been with Ubuntu Development Version Testing and we have a team membership close to 100 users . We test all development cycles that are current. As said before I also maintain the U+1 ubuntu wiki. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/U+1/tester-wiki

We at UDV have been testing unity and other flavors of ubuntu very intently; and unity since it’s inception. During the testing of unity8 we realized there was severe breakage with some core components and when we heard of the decision to discontinue unity8 and close development of unity7 I, for one, was very perplexed as to why such an unique, assistive and accessible DE was being abandoned. So naturally I was curious and inquired of it. It was just natural to brainstorm that the next logical step would be to jump to a unity9 version for amd64 desktop development only. One of the areas of my thinking on this has been the positive social imprint that unity has left on end_users who have chosen to use it over the past 5 years. So , for example, any certain age group has learned the adaptive technologies of the unity GUI. So a group of persons who started using unity at age 55 would be 62 or a group who started at 30 would be 37 and of course a new set of users who started with xenial would not get the full 7 years experience that others have had if it continues to not be reopened for development. Also , as I see it, unity7 DE is probably the best DE to utilize as a testing platform for next development cycles (is why it was wise to include unity7 alongside gnome3 for 17.10 cycle).

Since the beginning of the 17.10 cycle I have been testing unity and decided perhaps I could motivate a group of testers/developers/maintainers to take up the task of maintaining unity7 in the repos (at least). So this in now par for the course. As a lone volunteer contributor it is overwhelming because the project is bigger than any one person. So, my point being is that I am not trying to take over ownership of unity-desktop but, rather just attempting to be a small part of the mosaic.:wink:

Regards…

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I am using Unity 7 on Ubuntu 17.10 and will do so for the sake. Gnome-shell is not a big deal to use, as it had been there all that time, while Unity was developed. I just would use what was/is Ubuntu as long as Unity 7 would exist.

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@dale-f-beaudoin

Hi,

It’s nice to see that you opened a thread for testing on Ubuntu forums. Thanks.

You talked about restarting Unity development to make it official flavor. But Unity-7 is in maintenance mode since 16.04. So may be we do not need to start a full throttle development. It’s a good thing that many Unity components are being used by other Ubuntu flavors. For example,

  1. Indicators (and libraries) are maintained by Canonical and mate.
  2. Hud is being used in mate, so is indicator-appmenu
  3. They recently also fixed long standing bugs in unity-gtk-module
  4. Compiz is still maintained. (Flashback and Mate uses it)
  5. Some other small components (like libdbusmenu, libappstream) are being used by various other projects (kde and all)
  6. Ubuntu already dropped ubuntu-online-accounts and hence all the dependency like oxide-qt, ubuntu-ui-toolkit, ubuntu-system-settings. We don’t need to maintain those either.

(Though I am still maintaining those on the behalf of Yunit team . See https://launchpad.net/~khurshid-alam/+archive/ubuntu/yunit
You can still install gnome-control-center-signon and get UOA back in artful.)

There was a discussion that unity-control-center will use gnome-online-accounts in 18.04…which means we need to patch ucc which is not easy. But at the moment it is not that important.

I would recommend to drop all ubuntu-touch related dependencies for Unity-7, so that it will become easier for us to maintain Unity-7.

That leaves us the most important component.

  1. unity (and libunity)
  2. unity-settings-daemon (& thus gnome-settings-daemon)
  3. ucc
  4. nux
  5. zeitgeist (though it will work even without it)

This is where things get little difficult. Andrea Azzarone and Marco Trevisan are the maintainers. They made unity to compile against gcc-7 and fixed other bugs in this cycle. I don’t how much work would it be for them if we ask them to keep unity compile-able against gcc-8/9 in 18.04.

But I believe if we can just keep unity compile-able and keep gnome integration intact, it will still be good enough to be considered as official flavor. Unity is that stable and that good. What do you think?

There are other components which are still broken like unity-scopes and all. But I can fix those by myself.

Thank You

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Thank you- kurshid for your most thorough synopsis of unity-session current state.
*Drop ubuntu-touch related depends: For now I can agree although there was some mention that in some instances it would not install and is a feature that many users expect to work (but for testing in 18.04 cycle - not so important atm.)

  • Since you are very keen on this topic could you contact Andrea and Marco Trevisian if they could do as you suggest - keep unity compile-able against gcc-8/9 in 18.04?

  • Official flavor- unity-session is not considered an official flavor and some admins at ubuntuforums who are on kubuntu and xubuntu teams are blocking development discussion because unity-session generates vigorous discussion to a point where some feel that I am personally trying to commandeer U+1 into a unity only site which is not in fact the case. We may have to use this site here to discuss a team agenda and testing of unity-session alongside of gnome3.

*I am senior C and asicc programmer so understand some of the code,. a group of devs had been tutoring me during 17.10 cycle on how to fix/commit and make merge requests using bzr through launchpad which I previously had no experience with doing this in launchpad. With now signed Canonical Contributor I can perhaps look deeper into some of the problems or at least assist you and other devs.

*Restarting Development: I did bring that up in one of the threads I started. I had just thought conceptually that the logical next version number would be unity9 which would be for desktops only - that if there were problems with unity7 alongside of gnome3 (with unity-session as an alternate fallback) that perhaps it may be possible to start a separate distro but one o the devs reminded me that there is really no need to change versions number and so unty7 it is and should be for now.

*Why we need unity-session in 18.04: Someone brought up a very important point about when an end_user who is running default unity-16.04 and they upgrade to 18.04 and unity-session is not there? There are possibilities that this could lead to a lot of breakage.

*Testing: Of course we have to have testers on the development cycle using unity-session alongside gnome3 so we can monitor breakage and report bugs throughout the cycle. As I say , we may have to take that discussion here if ok with admins. Do you have other possible ideas where we can discuss unity-session testing?

*unity7 maintainers team @launchpad: I guess we will just keep this for now as a resource of members willing to maintain and let the current infrastructure and templates be as they are until one of the devs get back to me or if you have any ideas to share further - please do so.

Thanks and kind regards…

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I have started a thread in the quality category to test unity-session on 18.04 so anyone wanting to participate may do so.

https://community.ubuntu.com/t/testing-unity-session-in-18-04/987

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Hi,

Since you are very keen on this topic could you contact Andrea and Marco Trevisian if they could do as you suggest - keep unity compile-able against gcc-8/9 in 18.04?

Alright. I will. Gcc-8 is still 4-5 moths away from releasing. So we have plenty of time. (Also gcc-7 will still be there in the repo for 18.04. So we safe for the time being)

…because unity-session generates vigorous discussion to a point where some feel that I am personally trying to commandeer U+1 into a unity only site which is not in fact the case…

It’s really sad. Before mate become official flavor there were similar threads but nobody complained then. Anyway I am ok with keping discussion/testing going here and the mail-list.

…that perhaps it may be possible to start a separate distro but one o the devs reminded me that there is really no need to change versions number and so unty7 it is and should be for now.

Agreed.

*Why we need unity-session in 18.04: Someone brought up a very important point about when an end_user who is running default unity-16.04 and they upgrade to 18.04 and unity-session is not there? There are possibilities that this could lead to a lot of breakage.

Yes, unity-session needs to be there in the main. Otherwise upgrades won’t work.

Do you have other possible ideas where we can discuss unity-session testing?

We can use this site if forums causing problems. Other unity related discussion can happen either here or on the ~unity7maintainers mailing-list.

Thanks.

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Thank you. Just to clariify, Will had suggested I start a thread in ‘quality’ category and the above link points there.

As I understand it, it is in the universe currently, so , to be upgradeable after the LTS release it would have to be moved to main - this is where it could get very troublesome so I would assume that devs will attempt to write some patch code, that, in the event unity becomes very unstable and has to be removed from universe, will wipe unity-desktop from the old 16.04 install and replace it with gnome3. So we have to go into this testing anticipating their may be major breakage and perhaps the team may be able to prevent any major breakage. I think that would be a realistic goal.

Thank you for your help and suggestions.

Regards…

Hi Khurshid,

Have look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiOeLiegA-k&feature=youtu.be
https://sourceforge.net/projects/unity7sl/

Maybe, its an inspiration…

Mark left this at his blog:

“And if you’re feeling boned by the lack of Unity in open source, you might want to hop onto the channel and join those who are updating Unity7 for the newest X and kernel graphics in 18.04.”

so I hope that clears up any question about unity7 in the 18.04 repos.

Regards…

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Hi All,

I have aksed Khurshid to be team captain of unity7 maintainers team at launchpad to which he has gracefully accepted. The team is in holding pattern at the moment so we can use it as a holding bay of helpers and advisors from both Canonical and the Community. I understand the work that Canonical has to do with their default projects but it would be good to have devs join the team, that they may also be updated on a mailing list item. Those who would like to join please visit site: https://launchpad.net/~unity7maintainers

Regards…

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Hi all,
I want to help out with the Unity 7 continuation project. If we can get a list of requirements put together, I think that will be a wonderful starting point. I heard over from @popey over on Linux Unplugged Episode 220 that Unity may be entering a maintenance mode. If we can get our ideas for what we want Unity to become, we can better focus our efforts between bug fixes and patch testing on to that target.

What do you think?

-Pete

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Hello everyone,

I am a pretty long time Unity user (I first used Ubuntu in 11.10 in a VM and in 12.04 I installed it on my PC and kept using it and upgrading, so I have around 5.5 years with Unity). I wish to help with Unity maintenance, I have very low skills with programming (I know some C / C++, Java, PHP and C#, the last 3 not being useful here), but I can be of use as a tester.

Although I am more in favor of Yunit becoming an Ubuntu flavor, until Yunit team gets Yunit into a usable DE, we need something to use. That something is Unity 7. I don’t think Unity 7 should become a flavor of Ubuntu, even an unofficial one for that matter, but what we need is to keep Unity 7 alive in Universe for as long as we can (until other DE become real Unity 7 replacements). People will still want to use Unity 7 in 18.04 Bionic Beaver, but we have to make sure it’s still working.

If I can be of any help, just reply to me. If you can’t find me here, you will find me in omgubuntu comment section (I spend a lot of time there). Once you decide how I can be of some help and I can help, I will join you in the maintenance of Unity 7. I am already trying to convince people to keep using Unity 7 if they can.

Regards

@biky

Welcome Biky. It is not necessary to have exceptional programming skill. We appreciate your help in any any form you can provide. Cheers.

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Hi all,

Hello to everyone with my first post here. I don’t have a programming skills but as a long time user of Ubuntu-Unity I would like to help in testing process. I would agree that for the 18.04 version It would be good start if we ensure continuation by fixing all small things that are broken in current form of “coexistance” with primary ubuntu-gnome session.

For example headerbar problem and possible solutions mentioned in another section are fully acceptable even if this requires installing additional package (no-csd patch). Of course that all “out of the box” solution (patching nautilus) are more elegant and preferable. But primary efforts should be achieving Unity continuation and stability in the first place, even if there will be no new functionalities in comparison to 16.04 version.
I think that most of current 16.04 users would be very pleased with continuation of their beloved environment even with current functionality and even with small sacrifices.

Depending of community interest which evidently exists, new “form” of Unity environment (separate flavour probably) should be cosidered and shaped for future. This time in maximum cooperation with users and avoiding all previous “mistakes” of original.
And of course - all the “initiatives” should unite in this effort if they want to have results as soon as possible. All other approaches lead to fragmentation and slower “dying” of the environment.

I think that Unity as something uniqe and efficient deserves to survive in one or another way.

Best regards

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Yes … this is exactly where we should go with this. We have to love gnome3 and wayland as much as we love unity7.

This is the good focus.

Absolutely. Throwing unity desktop under the bus is a bad user experience for the whole community. It diminishes the overall global handprint of Canonical as major statement for online accessibility for the many and not just the few.

Regards…

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That’s nice to hear! Good luck to all of you!

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So far, so good. We have some really good teachers and advisors as well as devs on board.

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Yes, the best and the friendly and courteous meet here.

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There are at least 2 pure Unity7 isos are out there in Sourceforge, one stable and the other on 18.04 dev branch. Convince the people to download and try in a free partition. You try first and see for yourself.

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Already got two Chanath.

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