[Desktop13.04-Topic] GNOME plans review

Didier Roche didrocks at ubuntu.com
Tue Oct 16 06:10:22 UTC 2012

Le 16/10/2012 06:08, Jeremy Bicha a écrit :
> On 15 October 2012 13:50, Sebastien Bacher <seb128 at ubuntu.com> wrote:
>> That's going to be a controversial topic but I want to suggest we stay on
>> stable GNOME this cycle, the reasons are (in random order):
> Well you've been following GNOME development for longer than many of
> us. What is it that's making GNOME 3 releases more unstable than GNOME
> used to be? Is it just that GNOME development has sped up and the
> developers don't care enough about API stability?

I think Seb is mentionning the in-cycle surprises we got recently, like 
the ibus change, and nautilus, which were not planned or announced 
before even we started to upgrade to the unstable .1 release. It's 
getting harder and harder to know what kind of changes will happen in 
the unstable serie for us, and so, it's difficult to build a strong 
quality product with all those unknown variables, knowing that we 
already planned our resources on some other ubuntu priorities for the 
>> - GNOME is not communicating early enough on what is coming for us to
>> discuss next cycle at UDS (see nautilus 3.6 in quantal)
>> - GNOME is shipping stables with transitions half done (see gstreamer 1.0
>> this cycle) which is not something we want in Ubuntu
> The other big example this cycle is ibus. GNOME 3.6 doesn't work
> properly without a not-released-as-stable version of ibus.
> http://pad.lv/1045914
>> - our "feedback loop" with GNOME is not really working nowadays, they don't
>> have time to look at most bugs and we hit regressions and sit on them until
>> somebody on our side has time to look at them, which means neither GNOME or
>> us benefits much from tracking unstable GNOME...
>> On the con side though:
>> - it gives us less opportunity to work with upstream on resolving issues
> This will hurt GNOME some too as a decent amount of issues are
> reported first on Ubuntu. This will send some sort of message to GNOME
> but I'm not sure that there's much of a conversation happening though.
> In general, I think it would be a bad idea if we completely and
> permanently switched to shipping the old stable release instead of the
> latest stable release and the bug disconnect is one reason.
>  From the way I see things, GNOME doesn't really support their stable
> releases much either. The final point release is only two months after
> the .0 release.

Well, we still have to support older release like the LTS one for 5 
years. If you feel that a release is only supported 2 months, shipping 
the latest will still give us only 2 months report, not 1 year and half 
for normal release. Knowing that we would directly ship with .3, this 
isn't a big change deal in term of support, but it's a big one in term 
of quality we can bring to our releases.
>> - the new version of libraries might have APIs our app writers might want to
>> use
> While maintaining the GTK milestones is a headache, it would also be a
> headache not to have them in Ubuntu.
> I don't think this strategy will really save much work. The GNOME
> milestone releases are likely to be packaged in a PPA any way. On the
> other hand, I got involved on the Desktop team because there was
> packaging work that needed to be done and the GNOME3 PPA made it seem
> like less of a hurdle to contribute to.
> I think most GNOME apps shouldn't cause any issues for the Ubuntu
> desktop. There are about 2 weeks from Alpha2 to Feature Freeze, and
> Alpha 2 approximately corresponds with the 3.7.5 release. By then, it
> should be clear which apps could cause problems and there is time to
> get the safe ones in.

I don't really agree that it's not that much work. We tried this 
strategy for the LTS for instance, and it was still a lot of tweaks to 
do for it.
>> One element to think about also is how that would impact the GNOME remix if the plan there is not ship the latest GNOME...
> Seb, I blame the remix idea on you. ;) Anyway, if the GNOME remix
> becomes an official flavor, I was hoping to then ask for permission to
> include the GNOME3 PPA due to our unique overlap with the flagship
> Ubuntu release. It's still a bit of a handicap as I don't think we
> could gain that trust if we included things that regressed Unity.
> If we don't fork ubuntu-control-center and ubuntu-settings-daemon off
> from gnome-control-center, then I don't believe it will be possible to
> ship GNOME Shell 3.7/3.8 next cycle. The last two cycles we've shipped
> the latest GNOME Shell but with bugs due to incomplete g-c-c/g-s-d
> support in Ubuntu (for 12.04 it was http://pad.lv/965921 with keyboard
> shortcuts not able to be configured from System Settings and for 12.10
> it was 1045914 with a missing keyboard layout status menu). It's a
> reasonable guess that for 3.8, the GNOME developers will move
> aggressively to kill fallback mode and make optimizations and GNOME
> Shell will depend on those newer optimizations.
> A big reason for the GNOME remix is to show that you can contribute to
> GNOME from Ubuntu. I worry about what happens when most users are
> using a different distro than most developers. Shipping an outdated
> GNOME means that we have a much less compelling story to tell these
> developers.
Thats precisely what needs to be discussed at UDS, IMHO. It's the only 
drawback I guess to not ship latest GNOME version and we need to see how 
to leverage that point. However, I can see (as explained above), a lot 
of advantages in term of vision of features to come, work to plan, 
finale release quality…


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