[ubuntu-studio-devel] Feature Spec Discussion: Desktop Agnostic

Len Ovens len at ovenwerks.net
Sun Apr 26 23:55:52 UTC 2015

On Sun, 26 Apr 2015, lukefromdc at hushmail.com wrote:

> In addition to the desktop issue, there is another problem on the horizon:
> Ubuntu is beginning to transition away from using the Debian packaging
> format for the "snappy" system.
> http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Ubuntu-15.10-DEB-To-Snap
> For now that will be limited to the "desktop-next" spin, but I do not know
> their plans for the future. Word is the snappy images will themselves be
> built from debian packages, then distributed in the new format with a
> base image that is read-only and always the same. If all of the media

Does not sound good for sure, some things to think about though:
- where is upstart?
- what have we heard about MIR?
- How will this work with ubuntuserver?
- Even if the ISO is a brick, when it gets installed it is files.
- perhaps deb sw is not meant to be installed, but if the original
 	is made that way, debs should still work.
- there are others, bt repacing deb with blobs is an uphill climb

> handling and editing packages of even one workflow were installed on
> top of this in the "click" or any similar format, the result would be that
> installation disk space requirements would balloon to tens of GB, as each
> package would be essentially a portable version with all its own libraries.
> RAM requirements would also balloon for loading many copies of the same
> libraries when many programs are open, just like in Windows.

This ^^^^ does not match with vvvvv that.
> I know a lot of energy is going into the whole phone/convergence thing,

phones are back to small scale ram/diskspace platform realities. shared 
libs have to be part of that. Bloat will not work.

> which is almost opposite what a big media editing workstation needs. What

I agree that the android based interface/DE is not what is best for media 
creaion. How to deal with menuless DEs is one of the things we have been 
taking about on IRC. Organizing the large number of apps so the user can 
find things without searching will take some thought. I personally often 
find myself looking for the "thing" that does the concept in my brain that 
I can't remember the word for just now. A menu that shows the apps in some 
order is enough to jog my memory to what I want. A search engine requires 
me to know what words to enter... personally I find that frustrating.

> I am worried about is any future plan in which all flavors would be expected
> to ship as snappy images and it would become difficult for users like me to
> keep updating from either the alpha of the day or the latest release. Will
> Ubuntu commit to support for Debian packaged flavors at least through
> 16.04 if not indefinately?

The touch phone is like this now. Every new update replaces the image 
(like it was firmware). Think of this like having /usr and /usr/local and 
every update replaces /usr but leaves /usr/local alone.

> Real worst-case would be for existing installs to become abandoned, with no
> new debian packages available and having to update everything from
> upstream source!

I don't think kubuntu amongst others are ready to leave debs behind. I 
don't think anyone is ready to dl 2gig security updates every 2 days, nor 
wait for a month for a security update (think servers). Every server is a 
custom install. I don't think ubuntu's mirrors would like very much 
dealing with large image dl all the time and ubunt's own servers would 
suffer if the mirrors started to discontiue ubuntu content.

This idea will work for phones/pads but I think even desktops will break 
it... servers will for sure.

> I do not know at this point if I can count on Ubuntu to keep supporting what
> I have installed, or should I start the laborious process of porting a very
> heavily modified OS to an entirely new distro. Alternative for me with the
> volume of custom built and hacked packages I use (MATE-gkt3 anyone?)
> might be  to find some way to modify Gentoo's Portage system to work
> with an abandoned version of Ubuntu and source updates. I am really
> worried about this and looking at mountains of work if Ubuntu plans
> to drop the .deb.

None of us can know it all. I am somewhat jaded about ubuntu only projects 
after seeing how quickly upstart was abandoned. It seems compatability is 
still after all important to ubuntu.

Time will tell.

Len Ovens

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