Canonical had raised hopes that its plan for Ubuntu to span PCs and mobile devices would be realised with the upcoming Ubuntu 14.04 release, providing a write-once, run-on-many template similar to that planned by Google for its Chrome OS and Android app convergence.
This is already possible on paper and the infrastructure is in place on smartphone and tablet versions of Ubuntu through its new Unity 8 user interface.
However, Canonical has decided to postpone the rollout of Unity 8 for desktop machines, citing security concerns, and it will now not appear along with the Mir display server this coming autumn.
With this move Canonical has slowed the alienation of Ubuntu from the rest of the Linux community. It also shows that Canonical also understand that it can’t fork it’s path too much from the mainstream Linux community, especially from mommy Debian. In a nutshell it’s a wise and welcome decision by Ubuntu leadership and will help them focus on more pressing issues which will help make Ubuntu better.
The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.
Last week I was in Orlando sprinting with my team as well as the platform, SDK, and security teams and some desktop and design folks. As usual after a sprint, I have been slammed catching up with email, but I wanted to provide a summary of some work going that you can expect to see soon in the Ubuntu app developer platform.
Vodafone joined Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group, as Ubuntu demoed progress on a unified desktop/mobile UI, but a Debian decision may further isolate Ubuntu.
Canonical has yet to sign up any vendors or carriers for upcoming smart phones running Ubuntu, which is not surprising, considering the first Ubuntu phone release appears to have slipped to 2015. However, the company has signed up an impressive roster of mobile providers that are at least intrigued enough to join its Carrier Advisory Group (CAG). Now, leading European carrier Vodafone has joined the pack, which already includes U.S. carriers including Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile.
The distribution of Steam keys to the Debian and Ubuntu developers is being handled by a third-party company called Collabora, which is consulting Valve in open source matters.
One of the Collabora employees, who is actually responsible for sending the keys and verifying the authenticity of the developers, has posted a very interesting blog message, detailing some of the techniques and emails from various scammers.
One of Canonical's main goals in bringing Ubuntu to mobile devices is to create a converged platform across smartphones, tablets, and PCs. As such, a developer should be able to write an app that has a single code base yet runs on all three types of devices, presenting a different interface to the user on each form factor.
Technically, this has already been achieved. Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon this week showed off Karma Machine, a reddit client built by a third-party developer using the Ubuntu SDK:
Going forward, systemd will be Debian's default init system for Linux distributions, an init system soon to be used by every other major Linux distribution other than Ubuntu.
After this weekend sharing benchmarks of the recent Ubuntu 12.04 LTS point releases, here's some complementary tests that offer a look at the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Pangolin" performance against the current state of the "Trusty Tahr", a.k.a. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.