GNOME and Ubuntu GNOME

Tim tim at
Sat Sep 27 02:25:24 UTC 2014

On 27/09/14 07:42, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Hi amjjawad,
> On Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 10:06:23PM +1000, Ali/amjjawad wrote:
>> Since I have joined in July 2013 to Ubuntu GNOME until this very moment,
>> users never stop complaining about the fact that Ubuntu GNOME can not
>> include the latest GNOME release and I have explained that many many times.
>> The last time I did that was:
>> No matter how many times we keep repeating ourselves, this is just a
>> bad/unhappy news to our users.
>> I am writing to you after I have seen so many negative feedback here:
>> Is there anything whatsoever we could do? GNOME foundation and Ubuntu
>> Release Team could work more closely, maybe? is there something I/we are
>> not aware of? sorry to assume that - just trying to think the same way our
>> users think - but is it because Ubuntu moved to Unity and left GNOME behind
>> as not the default DE? can we find a way around that? maybe an official
>> statement from Ubuntu Release Team? anything that could reduce the
>> complaints?
> In your mail to ubuntu-gnome, you write:
>   If you take a look at it, and know the fact that within one month, we can't
>   test Ubuntu GNOME 14.10 with the latest GNOME (3.14) and then release it,
>   etc etc ...
> This seems to be a decision of the Ubuntu GNOME Team, not something that
> would involve a statement from the Ubuntu Release Team.  In the past, when
> the Ubuntu desktop was more closely based on GNOME and there was greater
> alignment between the two projects, there was careful synchronization
> between the release schedules to ensure that the latest GNOME would be
> included in each Ubuntu release.  This was certainly not a trivial amount of
> work; it required several engineers to track the upstream betas and point
> releases in the last months before release and update the packages regularly
> in coordination with the Ubuntu Release Team.  And I certainly understand if
> the Ubuntu GNOME Team aren't willing to commit to this same work on a
> volunteer basis.  But ultimately this is a decision for the Ubuntu GNOME
> team to make (with the support of the Ubuntu Release Team), not for the
> release team itself.
This is certainly not our decision, it was the Release Team (or desktop team) that decided to stick with GNOME-1. Without the current Gtk, we
can't possibly ship the current GNOME. There are also a number of core components that are lagging behind, upower, bluez, gnome-desktop (pending
ffe, but has been blocked for a year basically), network-manager, systemd. This makes it pretty impossible to ship the current GNOME

Then we have all the apps that are shared with Ubuntu, where the GNOME UI changes conflict with what Ubuntu want these can't be updated either.
The end result being we are not even close to shipping a full 3.12 for Utopic, and this is in my view a much greater issue than being stuck on
GNOME-1. And the gap seems to be growing each cycle, it is pretty typical that most of our updates (to even GNOME-1) are blocked until very late
in the cycle, often having to land things after Freeze. Now when V-series opens, rather than start working on 3.14, we will be playing catchup
for 3.12.

> I think it's too late to revisit such a decision for 14.10 without
> significant downside for the quality of Ubuntu GNOME; but for 15.04, I
> recommend that you explicitly consider at the beginning of the release cycle
> whether you would like to release with the latest version of GNOME, and
> discuss with the wider community to understand how to make this work without
> negatively impacting other flavors in the Ubuntu ecosystem.
The real problem here is our large overlap with what is now essentially the legacy ubuntu-desktop, if we were shipping more or less an upstream
GNOME stack (more inline with debian), this would be fine to track and ship current GNOME in 15.04, but the reality is that we have to contend
with a massive ubuntu delta that is usually specific to Unity, and with the Canonical teams focussed on unity8 and phone its been pretty hard to
get the various blockers resolved.

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