Unity desktop and maverick backport

Didier Roche didrocks at ubuntu.com
Thu Nov 18 18:25:19 GMT 2010

Hi everybody,

As some of you may know, there have been some discussions about
"unity compiz" to maverick as we had backported unity to lucid with a
dedicated ppa and its own session.

However, after some porting discussions and following the natty work I
we should perhaps consider not doing that because it's going to take
some work for a moderated benefit and we would better spend those
efforts in
making natty rocking.

Some bits what came from discussions between ubuntu desktop and dx

 * Why do we want to backport? - usually it's to make easier for users
to test the new version and give some feedback on it. The first round of
feedback will be about things not starting, or not working at all or
crashing, we will get that feedback from the natty users. Later on we
will want extra eyes on the user experience but by the time we are there
it will be really hard to backport the new stack due to new depends
(details on that later).
 * New unity means new compiz which means users will have no working
desktop left, that's not something we should get our users in. Indeed,
the new
compiz is not made to be installed with the old one, the upgrade will
replace compiz
0.8 but has lot of issues still: the configuration is not migrated, the
keybindings are not working, the workspace layout and switcher are not
working, the session registration is not working, the desktop capplet
needs to be updated, the GNOME keybindings capplet is not working. Some
of those
issues are fixed in natty, but we can't backporting every single GNOME
to make them work in a maverick ppa.
- the new unity packaging is not made to have old and new unity
installed at the
same time so the old unity will not be installed anymore.
 - the new unity is not usable as a desktop yet, which means the user
will not
have the old unity, compiz under GNOME will be broken is several ways
which let the GNOME session hard to use, the new unity is not ready for
production ... users who will want to give unity a try will just land in
a situation when they have no environment left they can use for work...
it would be less breakage to suggest them to update to natty where we
fix those integration issues.
 * The new unity stack will be hard to backport - the next indicators
uploads will build-depends on gtk3 (even if we don't use it we need to
have libraries in natty to build gtk2 and gtk3 version to allow people
to start porting work), we use new glib api, etc. Backporting the stack
unity will need is going to turn into lot of work and a non trivial

We think users will have a better experience by trying unity on natty
and that we will gather more useful and coherent data, since it's likely
to be more stable than getting a working - and a less tested by our team
- backport.

didrocks on behalf of the ubuntu desktop and dx teams

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