Feedback on desktop convergence changes

Richard Elkins richard.elkins at
Wed Aug 20 20:50:37 UTC 2014

I'd love to trade in my Samsun Galaxy S-III phone for one which operates
without those bloody commercials!  So, I have a vested interest in Unity
succeeding on a wide variety of tablet and phone hardware.  The current
supported hardware population is clearly insufficient.

My predictions:

  * Unity will die off on the desktops and laptops that employ a
    keyboard and mouse or touchpad; the other *buntu desktops (E.g.
    Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Gnome, KDE) will gradually take up the slack. 
    Xubuntu on or Wayland will thrive!
  * Unity will make a go of it on tablets and phones although there is
    nothing yet available for the ordinary user; time will tell HOW well
    and best wishes.

Richard (been absent as I have been busy in other projects)

On 08/20/2014 03:14 PM, Peter Rauhut wrote:
> My point was that convergence of the two may limit the ability of
> design and development to a point where useful features may be blocked
> due to how they would affect other types of devices.
> One of my biggest criticisms of Windows 8 and Unity have been that
> they force the desktop users into a touchscreen friendly environment.
> This type of design decision makes sense for tablets and phones
> because that is their primary input device. For a laptop/desktop,
> however, it is not as easy to use or as intuitive when your primary
> inputs are a keyboard and mouse.
> For the use case you mention, though, where you use your phone to
> control what your computer is showing on a big screen, that would be
> accomplished with an adapter of some sort, think Chromecast. Where
> your phone makes a call to the computer and the computer is listening
> for it and receives the instruction. Convergence isn't necessary for
> this to occur. This would be accomplished by another app. I would
> think that feature would be ideal for MythBuntu, if it doesn't already
> exist.
> On 8/20/14, 3:03 PM, George DiceGeorge wrote:
>> But as phones get more powerful wont it become more common to connect
>> them to big screen and keyboard somehow (maybe via usb to a pc) and
>> then control the phone software with mouse keyboard and big display?
>> And conversely I want to control my desktop computer to play movies
>> on a big screen via my phone when I’m in bed. This could be an
>> argument for convergence.
>> [george]
>> *From:* Peter Rauhut <mailto:dabeor at>
>> *Sent:* Wednesday, 20 August, 2014 15:56
>> *To:* xubuntu-devel at
>> <mailto:xubuntu-devel at>
>> *Subject:* Re: Feedback on desktop convergence changes
>> Even if we remove the concern about where Unity will go, convergence
>> of Phone/Tablet and Desktop code means that all changes that are made
>> for the phone/tablet must take the Desktop into account and
>> vice-verse. Phones and tablets are essentially used in the same way
>> and making design and technical decisions for those type of
>> environments to match is fine.
>> However, desktop environments are used in a very different way. The
>> decisions that are made for a desktop environment should not be
>> limited by how it will affect a phone/tablet. My opinion is that
>> these two different things should remain separate.
>> On 8/20/14, 9:01 AM, Alistair Buxton wrote:
>>> On 19 August 2014 22:19, Michael Hall mailto:mhall119 at wrote:
>>>> The appearance of Unity on the desktop should remain functionally the
>>>> same (it'll get a visual update though). It will still function as a
>>>> desktop, the way Unity 7 does today.
>>> I think the concern here is that the converged applications will be as
>>> bad as Unity, and not that Unity itself will get any worse.
>>> This does not affect Xubuntu however as we only use a couple of Ubuntu
>>> applications which could easily be replaced if they go south.
>>> A much bigger question is whether Xorg will continue to receive the
>>> same level of maintenance as it does now, since there is very little
>>> chance Xfce will be ported to Wayland at any time in the next two
>>> years. (Since it would require a total rewrite and either the removal
>>> of several features or a massive effort to reimplement the missing
>>> required APIs in a cross-desktop way.)
>>> --
>>> Alistair Buxton
>>> a.j.buxton at
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> -- 
>> xubuntu-devel mailing list
>> xubuntu-devel at

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