Staying on GTK/GNOME 3.8 next cycle/for the LTS?

Adam Dingle adam at
Wed Oct 2 09:25:38 UTC 2013

On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 4:22 PM, Sebastien Bacher <seb128 at> 
> Le 01/10/2013 21:16, Adam Dingle a écrit :
>> I've used Ubuntu every day for 7 years and am active in the GNOME
>> community.  The fact that Ubuntu lags one release behind GNOME is
>> already a significant burden for me.  I often spend time building the
>> newest version of GNOME apps, which can be challenging since Ubuntu's
>> libraries lag behind.
>> If Ubuntu stays with 3.8 for Saucy+1 (i.e. starts to lag two releases
>> behind GNOME), I'd quite possibly switch to Fedora or Debian.  
>> Staying
>> with 3.8 could be fine for most users, especially if Canonical wants
>> to focus most of its energy on phones and tablets.  But for anyone 
>> who
>> wants to use the latest GNOME apps and especially anyone who wants to
>> contribute to GNOME development, two releases back is just too much.
>> adam
> Hey Adam,
> I'm sorry to read that Ubuntu being behind on GNOME releases is a 
> burden for you :/
> Can I ask if that's the opinion of an user, or from a developer 
> wanting to contribute to GNOME?

I'm somewhere between those, but actually more of a user.  In other 
words, I report a lot of bugs and like to comment on the very latest 
features, but don't make many code contributions myself.  There's a 
continuous spectrum from users to power users to developers, and I 
think in a healthy software ecosystem they can all run the same 
codebase.  Suppose that developers are running release A and users are 
all running release B.  The greater the distance in time between A and 
B, the harder it is to get a useful feedback loop from users to 
developers (and vice versa).  I think Ubuntu's lag behind the latest 
GNOME has contributed to the feeling of separation between the Ubuntu 
and GNOME communities, for better or for worse.

>  You probably understand that's it's hard for us to make both targets 
> happy at the same time, especially in GNOME directions is less 
> aligned with Ubuntu's which makes harder to include their newer 
> version.
> If you want to write code for GNOME trunk, using the GNOME3 
> ppa/jhbuild probably makes sense (or Fedora if that seems a better 
> option for you), you are just not on top of our priority list for the 
> next LTS (I hope we can get back to a situation that makes GNOME 
> users happier after the LTS though).
> One of the question we need to answer there, is to know if the 
> improvements from GNOME 3.10 are going to be enough benefits, to our 
> users, to justify the bugs/stability issues/lack of integration that 
> are going to come with the updates? (if we update, that's going to 
> take our desktop resources, which means we are not going to be able 
> to do work smoothing rough edges).

Right.  I'm not concerned about specific features from GNOME 3.10 as 
much as staying closer to the upstream codebase so that developers and 
users can work together.  I know that the closer you are to upstream, 
the more engineering effort it takes to keep things stable, and that 
has a cost, so of course this depends on Ubuntu (and Canonical's) 
development resources and priorities.

Anyway, I know I may not be a completely typical Ubuntu user.  The 
deeper story here is that it feels like Ubuntu is slowly separating 
from GNOME, and lagging 2 releases behind GNOME (for the first time 
ever in Ubuntu's history, I believe) may just be the next step in that 


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