Unity desktop and maverick backport

Rick Spencer rick.spencer at canonical.com
Thu Nov 18 18:47:25 GMT 2010

In my opinion, for what it is worth, this sounds like an unfortunate,
but necessary trade off. 

I think we will lose a fairly large degree of testing and feedback, by
forcing interested contributors to move Natty so early. However, I think
it's rational to trade that for an increased focus on the ultimate
quality of the new compiz-based unity in Natty and beyond.

I think we'll get the most useful feedback from people *using* Unity.
So, this means that we'll need to focus on supporting early Natty
adopters, for instance paying more attention to quickly resolving
adoption blocking bugs. 

My $.02

Cheers, Rick

On Thu, 2010-11-18 at 19:25 +0100, Didier Roche wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> As some of you may know, there have been some discussions about
> backporting
> "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
> think
> we should perhaps consider not doing that because it's going to take
> quite
> 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
> teams:
>  * 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
> applications
> 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
> task.
> 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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