Canonical will stop working on Unity, Mir and Ubuntu Phone / SurprizingFacts


Well, the next big news about Ubuntu is my authorship, but this time it's very sad: Canonical Development of Ubuntu Phone, as well as Mir display server and Unity shell (both 7 and 8 versions). Interest in ubuntufona more or less smoothly faded, closing the project is not such a surprise, but the decision regarding Unity is a complete shock. In version 18.04 it is planned to return to Gnome again. In other words, the company refuses the idea of ​​"convergence" of the user interface on devices of different form factors. Under the cut, a little my thoughts on the topic.

I have participated in to some extent I participated in the development of Ubuntu Phone almost from the first day after the official announcement. Retell the news in Russian, I will not, please refer to the original sources (links in the basement news). In short, Mark Shuttleworth Shuttleworth decided that for Canonical, IoT and OpenStack are more important now, and Ubuntu Phone and Unity in his opinion only resulted in a split of the community and misunderstanding. In contrast to the retelling, I would like to share my thoughts on this matter. First, we have the fact that there are no companies that can afford to create a completely free mobile operating system. Letschayem – if the project began in 2008 and without a competitor in the face of Android, then surely everything would have gone differently. And in 2012, catching up with Android was already too late. Probably, all this time I wanted to believe that everything is wrong, so I participated in OpenSource development of basic applications, talked in mailing lists, fixed bugs.

Yes, there was a feeling that there were problems somewhere (for example, the developers of the environment and applications themselves did not have enough experience with QML, and the project management was rather lazy and passive), but it was believed that this was temporary. Or maybe I was not so pragmatic then, did not have enough experience for a critical evaluation of the whole process. Secondly, Canonical is once again acting on the principle of "first marketing, then the product". Both units and ubuntoo were actively advertised, occupied honorable stands at exhibitions, and in fact were not ready for the final consumer. And now they will not be ready, unless the community does not pick up the development, which I hardly believe. And people are once again deceived. Unjustified expectations are unpleasant, very demotivating. How will affect the attitude towards Ubuntu and Canonical in general – the question is open. Thirdly, what do we now have as an alternative to the two big guys in the mobile OS world? Only Sailfish? Could it be worthwhile to help the project before it's too late? 🙂

P.S. Of course, I'm grateful to this project, because it literally grew on it, it was the first experience of OpenSource development, and I joined him as a student. So many interesting acquaintances, great memories and fun minutes! It's a pity that everything ends so. But something new always appears on the ashes of the old. What exactly – we will see soon!

Related links:

→ Ubuntu 18.04 To Ship with GNOME Desktop, Not Unity
→ Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence