[Ubuntu-phone] What moving to GCC5 means for the phone and app developers

Oliver Ries oliver.ries at canonical.com
Fri Jul 31 09:22:52 UTC 2015

On Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 8:56 AM, Michael Zanetti <
michael.zanetti at canonical.com> wrote:

> On 30.07.2015 23:34, Martin Albisetti wrote:
> >
> > On Jul 30, 2015 5:35 PM, "Alberto Mardegan"
> > <alberto.mardegan at canonical.com <mailto:alberto.mardegan at canonical.com>>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> On 07/30/2015 11:09 PM, Martin Albisetti wrote:
> >> > I'm assuming this changes needs to be paired with:
> >> >
> >> > - Dropping all frameworks as supported from that image once this lands
> >> > - Introducing a new framework
> >>
> >> Is (or will it be) possible to upload to the store more than one version
> >> of one app, if these versions require different frameworks?
> >>
> >> If so, the transition wouldn't be as painful for app developers.
> >
> > That isn't planned, no. The main reason being we said we would keep
> > backwards compatibility aggressively, and we would keep our phone user
> > base on the same, updated OS version to avoid fragmentation.
> > This GCC change seems to break on that, I was surprised by it, but maybe
> > there's a plan on how to keep backwards compatibility instead?
> >
> Just as a feedback, due to a recent incompatibility between OTA-4 and
> OTA-5 apps I noticed that there is some notable number of people that do
> not regularly upgrade their phones.
> Even if we think that would be the way to go. IMO we cannot expect
> everybody to upgrade all the time. The current solution with not
> allowing to publish the same app for multiple frameworks will cause:
> * frustrated users because apps just break or disappear for them
> * developers publishing the same app multiple times with different
> appid's just to work around your decision. This in turn will lead to
> more frustrated users because the "same" app will lose all the settings
> and caches on system apgrades.
> Both of them are already happening. Imagine how this will get even worse
> when at some point the the hardware we sold won't actually support a new
> upgrade any more.

we won't let that happen, I think we owe it specifically to our early
supporters to provide them with continued support over a reasonable HW life

The OTA-4/OTA-5 incompatibility seems more like a bug than an architectural
/ platform issue (i.e. not comparable to gcc5) and wasn't a conscious
decision we took.

We are facing the interesting problem of shipping a stable product to
customers, iterating that product platform quite rapidly and then also
basing this work of the distribution and its ecosystem, which is moving at
an entirely different speed.

Instead of blocking the Ubuntu-sphere from moving to gcc5 at a time that is
right, we are accepting that the phone devel-proposed is seeing  transition
issues, while keeping our shipping code base stable.

As Pat mentioned in his initial mail, we are working on unblocking things
asap, but the solution needs to be well crafted and thus might take a bit
before we are ready. It's in our own interest to unblock testing of
devel-proposed to keep in sync with the "upstream" development.

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