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UBports: Unity8 Becomes Lomiri, the Linux Environment for Ubuntu Touch

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Ubuntu

Unity8 is dead, long live Lomiri! UBports, the maker of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system for Ubuntu Phone devices is unveiling today the new name of the Unity8 project as Lomiri.

Based on Unity8, Lomiri promises to continue the great work left by Canonical and add new features and improvements to provide Linux phone users with a slick and user-friendly interface for their mobile devices.

So why the name change you may ask? Well, according to UBports, there are several reasons for the Unity8 renaming. First, many people were apparently confused about the Unity name, confusing it with the Unity 2D/3D game engine.

Read more

UBPorts Unity8 Convergence Environment Becomes Lomiri

  • UBPorts Unity8 Convergence Environment Becomes Lomiri

    Back in April 2017, Canonical decided to refocus Ubuntu development for the Cloud and IoT, dropping their mobile/desktop convergence efforts. So Unity8 environment was dropped in favor of GNOME desktop environment, which to this date is still used in recent versions of Ubuntu Desktop operating system.

    As a reminder, Unity8 was both suitable for desktop PCs, as well as smartphones and tablets through Ubuntu Touch. But at the time, it was working fairly well, even found in devices such as BQ Aquaris M10 tablets. Since the code was open source, UBPorts developer community was formed and a few months later they released their first image for supported phones such as OnePlus One, FairPhone 2, or Optimus L90.

Ubuntu Touch Mobile OS Drops “8” From Its Desktop Environment

  • Ubuntu Touch Mobile OS Drops “8” From Its Desktop Environment Unity8

    The market for Linux-based mobile operating systems isn’t that crowded; UBports is one of the stakeholders in the same market that develops and takes care of Ubuntu-based OS, Ubuntu Touch, for smartphones.

    Slowly but surely, Ubuntu Touch is gaining popularity with more platform support. Hence, the UBPorts team discussed their name clash of the “Unity8” desktop environment with the most popular game engine brand “Unity.” As a result, UBPorts renamed “Unit8” to “Lomiri.”

Unity 8 Desktop Renamed To Lomiri

  • Unity 8 Desktop Renamed To Lomiri

    The Unity 8 desktop environment that continues to be developed by the UBports open-source community for use on UBports' Ubuntu Touch and ultimately back on the Linux desktop as well have renamed the project.

    The Unity 8 environment was renamed to Lomiri. Renaming Unity 8 was done to avoid confusion with the Unity Tech 2D/3D game engine leading to confused users on both sides. The other issue was with Unity 8 being packaged up for other Linux distributions like Debian and Fedora, some packagers didn't want "ubuntu" appearing in any package strings for different Unity 8 dependencies.

    So to avoid confusion, the UBports team decided to rename Unity 8 to Lomiri, pronounced as low-mee-ree.

Lomiri: Ubuntu for smartphones gets a new desktop environment

  • Lomiri: Ubuntu for smartphones gets a new desktop environment (Unity8 rebranded)

    When Canonical abandoned its Ubuntu for smartphones project, an independent group of developers called called UBPorts picked up the pieces of open source code and carried on.

    Over the last few years, the UBPorts version of Ubuntu Touch has started to diverge from the OS Canonical left behind by adding support for new devices and features.

Mike Gabriel: Lomiri - Operating Environment for Everywhere

  • Mike Gabriel: Lomiri - Operating Environment for Everywhere

    I was honoured to witness the process of the long outstanding name change +/- in real time over the last couple of days / weeks. I was touched by the gentleness of the discussion and the weighing of pros and cons, this name and that name; also by the jokes being injected into the discussions.

    Dalton Durst, release manager on the UBports [2] team, explains in depth [1] about the reasoning and necessities behind the name change. Please (esp. if you feel sad or irritated by the name change), read the official announcement and detailled explanation. If you need time to adjust, Dalton's explanations will help.

Remember Unity8 from Ubuntu? UBports is Renaming it to Lomiri

  • Remember Unity8 from Ubuntu? UBports is Renaming it to Lomiri

    Ever since Ubuntu abandoned the Unity project, UBports continued the maintenance and development of Unity. On February 27th 2020, UBports announced that they are giving Unity8 a new branding in the form of Lomiri.UBports announced that the Unity8 desktop environment would be renamed as Lomiri. They gave three reasons for this fairly drastic announcement.

    First, they want to avoid confusion with the Unity game engine. Quite a few people confused the two. UBports noted that they are frequently receiving questions regarding “how to import 3D models and meshes into our shell”. When you search “Unity” in your favorite search

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Moving (parts of) the Cling REPL in Clang

Motivation
===

Over the last decade we have developed an interactive, interpretative 
C++ (aka REPL) as part of the high-energy physics (HEP) data analysis 
project -- ROOT [1-2]. We invested a significant  effort to replace the 
CINT C++ interpreter with a newly implemented REPL based on llvm -- 
cling [3]. The cling infrastructure is a core component of the data 
analysis framework of ROOT and runs in production for approximately 5 
years.

Cling is also  a standalone tool, which has a growing community outside 
of our field. Cling’s user community includes users in finance, biology 
and in a few companies with proprietary software. For example, there is 
a xeus-cling jupyter kernel [4]. One of the major challenges we face to 
foster that community is  our cling-related patches in llvm and clang 
forks. The benefits of using the LLVM community standards for code 
reviews, release cycles and integration has been mentioned a number of 
times by our "external" users.

Last year we were awarded an NSF grant to improve cling's sustainability 
and make it a standalone tool. We thank the LLVM Foundation Board for 
supporting us with a non-binding letter of collaboration which was 
essential for getting this grant.


Background
===

Cling is a C++ interpreter built on top of clang and llvm. In a 
nutshell, it uses clang's incremental compilation facilities to process 
code chunk-by-chunk by assuming an ever-growing translation unit [5]. 
Then code is lowered into llvm IR and run by the llvm jit. Cling has 
implemented some language "extensions" such as execution statements on 
the global scope and error recovery. Cling is in the core of HEP -- it 
is heavily used during data analysis of exabytes of particle physics 
data coming from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and other particle 
physics experiments.


Plans
===

The project foresees three main directions -- move parts of cling 
upstream along with the clang and llvm features that enable them; extend 
and generalize the language interoperability layer around cling; and 
extend and generalize the OpenCL/CUDA support in cling. We are at the 
early stages of the project and this email intends to be an RFC for the 
first part -- upstreaming parts of cling. Please do share your thoughts 
on the rest, too.


Moving Parts of Cling Upstream
---

Over the years we have slowly moved some patches upstream. However we 
still have around 100 patches in the clang fork. Most of them are in the 
context of extending the incremental compilation support for clang. The 
incremental compilation poses some challenges in the clang 
infrastructure. For example, we need to tune CodeGen to work with 
multiple llvm::Module instances, and finalize per each 
end-of-translation unit (we have multiple of them). Other changes 
include small adjustments in the FileManager's caching mechanism, and 
bug fixes in the SourceManager (code which can be reached mostly from 
within our setup). One conclusion we can draw from our research is that 
the clang infrastructure fits amazingly well to something which was not 
its main use case. The grand total of our diffs against clang-9 is: `62 
files changed, 1294 insertions(+), 231 deletions(-)`. Cling is currently 
being upgraded from llvm-5 to llvm-9.

A major weakness of cling's infrastructure is that it does not work with 
the clang Action infrastructure due to the lack of an 
IncrementalAction.  A possible way forward would be to implement a 
clang::IncrementalAction as a starting point. This way we should be able 
to reduce the amount of setup necessary to use the incremental 
infrastructure in clang. However, this will be a bit of a testing 
challenge -- cling lives downstream and some of the new code may be 
impossible to pick straight away and use. Building a mainline example 
tool such as clang-repl which gives us a way to test that incremental 
case or repurpose the already existing clang-interpreter may  be able to 
address the issue. The major risk of the task is avoiding code in the 
clang mainline which is untested by its HEP production environment.
There are several other types of patches to the ROOT fork of Clang, 
including ones  in the context of performance,towards  C++ modules 
support (D41416), and storage (does not have a patch yet but has an open 
projects entry and somebody working on it). These patches can be 
considered in parallel independently on the rest.

Extend and Generalize the Language Interoperability Layer Around Cling
---

HEP has extensive experience with on-demand python interoperability 
using cppyy[6], which is built around the type information provided by 
cling. Unlike tools with custom parsers such as swig and sip and tools 
built on top of C-APIs such as boost.python and pybind11, cling can 
provide information about memory management patterns (eg refcounting) 
and instantiate templates on the fly.We feel that functionality may not 
be of general interest to the llvm community but we will prepare another 
RFC and send it here later on to gather feedback.


Extend and Generalize the OpenCL/CUDA Support in Cling
---

Cling can incrementally compile CUDA code [7-8] allowing easier set up 
and enabling some interesting use cases. There are a number of planned 
improvements including talking to HIP [9] and SYCL to support more 
hardware architectures.



The primary focus of our work is to upstreaming functionality required 
to build an incremental compiler and rework cling build against vanilla 
clang and llvm. The last two points are to give the scope of the work 
which we will be doing the next 2-3 years. We will send here RFCs for 
both of them to trigger technical discussion if there is interest in 
pursuing this direction.


Collaboration
===

Open source development nowadays relies on reviewers. LLVM is no 
different and we will probably disturb a good number of people in the 
community ;)We would like to invite anybody interested in joining our 
incremental C++ activities to our open every second week calls. 
Announcements will be done via google group: compiler-research-announce 
(https://groups.google.com/g/compiler-research-announce).



Many thanks!


David & Vassil

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