Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:05 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Expected, but still insanely cool: Canonical has just announced Ubuntu for phones. This is a new mobile phone operating system, with its own user interface and development platform. It's built around Qt5 and QML, and the interface reminds me of MeeGo on the N9. It's supposed to be on the shelves in early 2014, but the developer preview is out today.
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by Hiev on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:16 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

It looks attractive, Is good the are several incoming options like this one and the Firefox phone.

Reply Score: 6

I want one!
by agnus on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:29 UTC
agnus
Member since:
2006-05-10

I love my android phone though ubuntu phone looks really slick and the possibility to have the full desktop once the phone is docked is a huge advantage I think.

I also like the choice for the SDK tech. Qt is the best application framework IMO!

Sent from my Galaxy Note :p

Edited 2013-01-02 19:33 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: I want one!
by saynte on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:56 UTC in reply to "I want one!"
saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

I've only used Qt here and there, so I can't really say if its a great application framework (it certainly seemed sufficient for how I used it), but:

I think it's a great win allowing developers to reuse at least *some* of the skills they may have picked up already. Android development with the Java APIs started out as a completely independent effort (as far as I know), not based on pre-existing libraries, so there seemed to be a big learning curve to pick up all the Android-isms at first.

I don't know if the broader Ubuntu Phone platform will take off, but I like this aspect at least.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I want one!
by shmerl on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE: I want one!"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

I think it's a great win allowing developers to reuse at least *some* of the skills they may have picked up already.

And Qt is good with that, since Qt is familiar to many who already used it on mobile and desktop. So no effort is wasted.

Reply Score: 6

v RE[3]: I want one!
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I want one!"
RE[4]: I want one!
by shmerl on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I want one!"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

If they wanted familiarity, they would've chosen C#

Bad idea. The woes of Google with Dalvik and Java should teach anyone to avoid encumbered development technologies, especially in the crazy mobile sphere. If Java has a shadow of Oracle behind it, C# has a shadow of Microsoft attached. While Sun encouraged Google to use Java, Oracle isn't Sun. So even if Microsoft wouldn't mind now, you never know where their rights over C# will end up tomorrow, or even if they'll just change their mind. It just doesn't worth the risk.

Edited 2013-01-02 23:51 UTC

Reply Score: 11

v RE[5]: I want one!
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I want one!"
RE[6]: I want one!
by shmerl on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I want one!"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Isn't Java an open specification as well? There is OpenJDK at your service too. However Oracle still owns patents and copyrights over Java. And they didn't hesitate to assert them (even though they failed). C# is in similar situation - Microsoft owns a whole bunch of rights over it, even though there is an open spec and open implementation around. While one can win as Google did - not everyone has Google's resources to fight MS or other trolls off. Therefore it's pointless to invest in a technology with known legal risks. As I said - even if MS is calm now, they aren't exactly friendly in general, and you never know what kind of other trolls can get their rights tomorrow.

Edited 2013-01-02 23:56 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: I want one!
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:56 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

There's a lot of FUD around this. Microsoft has made a legally binding promise not to assert any patents related to the implementation of the ECMA standards.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I want one!
by ebasconp on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 03:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I want one!"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Qt is nice, but Qt and especially QML are very immature pieces of technology yet.


Actually all the QML-like technologies (JavaFX and XAML as far as I remember) are very immature pieces of technology yet, but they are already in production.

But I completely disagree with the Qt part. Qt is one of the best and most mature UI frameworks available right now (IMHO next to Java Swing). Qt is by far the best C++ UI framework (more powerful, easier to learn and portable than, say, MFC, WTL, wxWidgets or the old VCL) and the best portable UI framework.

The Qt portfolio is very nice, AFAIK: Google Earth, Perforce Client, Adobe Elements, the KDE desktop, KOffice, Swipe Nokia N9 UI use it with success.

Reply Score: 8

RE[5]: I want one!
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 06:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Actually all the QML-like technologies (JavaFX and XAML as far as I remember) are very immature pieces of technology yet, but they are already in production.


QML to me had very elementary limitations that showed that it hasn't been put through its paces. Things that I've taken for granted in XAML are not present in QML.

For example QML has states, but no concept of state groups, so its impossible to have states which are not mutually exclusive co-exist within a view.

That, and I think a lot of the C++ and JS and even the Signal and Slot integration is pretty clumsy.

XAML falls on its face in a few regards here too, but XAML has well developed frameworks to show people how to use it the right way.

Not saying that QML is fundamentally bad, it is the best thing to happen to Linux, I just don't know if its ready for prime time yet.

I do love the JSON-ish syntax over XML. XAML is way too verbose.


But I completely disagree with the Qt part. Qt is one of the best and most mature UI frameworks available right now (IMHO next to Java Swing). Qt is by far the best C++ UI framework (more powerful, easier to learn and portable than, say, MFC, WTL, wxWidgets or the old VCL) and the best portable UI framework.


I can concede that, I'm sure you have more experience with it than me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: I want one!
by fatjoe on Fri 4th Jan 2013 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I want one!"
fatjoe Member since:
2010-01-12

Are you f-in kidding me?

QML's integration with native Qt (including the signal/slot stuff) is EXTREMELY well designed and unbelievably simple to use.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: I want one!
by Nelson on Fri 4th Jan 2013 21:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

No, I'm not. Its a lot more clumsy when compared to something like the XAML platform.

Its like they lifted things from XAML that they liked, and implemented them weirdly.

Of course its ugly. You're forced to litter your data model with Qt-isms. Who the hell wants to pull in a dependency to Qt on their data model?

In XAML my Models don't know anything about the XAML platform, and in fact move freely between XAML (including multiple XAML platforms), Cocoa, and Android's UI layer.

There are a lot of little issues, and admittedly I have not used Qt in a little while, but if I'm wrong I'd be interested in solutions.

So far it seems just about everything is more convoluted to do in Qt.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I want one!
by Nth_Man on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 11:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I want one!"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

The Qt portfolio is very nice, AFAIK: Google Earth, Perforce Client, Adobe Elements, the KDE desktop, KOffice, Swipe Nokia N9 UI use it with success.

Qt is also used by
- Autodesk Maya [8][9]
- Skype
- VLC media player [10]
- VirtualBox
- Mathematica [11]
- the European Space Agency [12]
- DreamWorks [13][14]
- HP [15]
- The Foundry's Nuke [16]
- Lucasfilm [17]
- Panasonic [18]
- Philips [19]
- Samsung [20]
- Siemens [21]
- Volvo [22]
- Walt Disney Animation Studios[23]
- RIM (Research In Motion) [24]

[8] http://web.archive.org/web/20110723145736/qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/au...
[9] http://web.archive.org/web/20110723145736/qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/qt...
[10] http://qt.digia.com/Qt-in-Action/VLC-media-player/
[11] http://qt.digia.com/Qt-in-Action/Mathematica-by-Wolfram-Research/
[12] web.archive.org/web/20110723145813/qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/custom er/esa-european-space-agency
[13] http://qt-project.org/videos/watch/behind_the_scenes_at_dreamworks_...
[14] http://qt-project.org/videos/watch/ui_system_design_challenges_for_...
[15] http://qt-project.org/videos/watch/developing_innovative_desktop_an...
[16] http://qt.digia.com/Qt-in-Action/The-Foundry/
[17] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/app/lucasfilm-entertainment-com...
[18] http://web.archive.org/web/20110723145947/qt.nokia.com/about/news/p...
[19] http://web.archive.org/web/20110723145930/qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/qt...
[20] http://web.archive.org/web/20110723145854/qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/qt...
[21] http://web.archive.org/web/20110714191438/qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/st...
[22] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/volvo-mobility-systems
[23] http://qt.nokia.com/qt-in-use/story/customer/walt-disney-feature-an...
[24] http://blog.qt.nokia.com/2011/11/17/new-keynotes-rim-and-community-...

There's quality in Qt.

Edited 2013-01-03 11:39 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: I want one!
by BluenoseJake on Fri 4th Jan 2013 01:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I want one!"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Right idea, wrong language, the community will be much more supportive of something open, and something widely used by Linux developers, c# is neither of those.

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: I want one!
by lucas_maximus on Fri 4th Jan 2013 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I want one!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

C# standard is open.

It is by far the best popular programming language around, why it isn't adopted on other platforms I have no idea.

Edited 2013-01-04 11:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I want one!
by ndrw on Fri 4th Jan 2013 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I want one!"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

Lucas,

Saying that C# is "by far the best popular programming language" is slightly inaccurate given that it is an almost exact copy of Java. I wouldn't call Java the best language either - it it a great platform but language itself is worse than many OS offerings.

The problem with C# is the bully behind it. Even if MS don't attack you (although they would likely attack Google as they have already done with their other patents) it would simply be a stupid idea to commit to a closed platform. Say, you wrote a successful OS application. It runs on Mono and on Windows. Next thing you know is that someone implements a feature that depends on MS API and you end up with a fork - better version runs only on Windows and is actively developed, the OS version lags behind and is slowly becoming irrelevant.

Reply Score: 4

RE[7]: I want one!
by Nelson on Fri 4th Jan 2013 14:31 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Lucas,

Saying that C# is "by far the best popular programming language" is slightly inaccurate given that it is an almost exact copy of Java. I wouldn't call Java the best language either - it it a great platform but language itself is worse than many OS offerings.


Okay, so let's talk specifically then. What exactly makes C# worse than many OS offerings?


The problem with C# is the bully behind it. Even if MS don't attack you (although they would likely attack Google as they have already done with their other patents) it would simply be a stupid idea to commit to a closed platform.


See, no! This can't happen. Microsoft has made a LEGALLY BINDING promise not to sue over any patents included in C# or the .NET specifications.

This is the same promise that was good enough for the W3C to accept for Microsoft's CSS patents. Somehow they don't spread FUD about it, but others like you do about .NET, only because its .NET.

The complete callous disrespect with which the Mono team is treated in the Linux community is appalling.


Say, you wrote a successful OS application. It runs on Mono and on Windows. Next thing you know is that someone implements a feature that depends on MS API and you end up with a fork - better version runs only on Windows and is actively developed, the OS version lags behind and is slowly becoming irrelevant.


This happens all the time, and is in fact what Mono wants.

The point of .NET isn't write once run anywhere, its write once, port easily with minimal difficulty.

Mono specifically advocates for using OS specific UI toolkits with an OS agnostic backend for .NET.

To me, this screams of someone who's never done real cross platform .NET development before.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I want one!
by lucas_maximus on Fri 4th Jan 2013 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

How is an ISO standard a closed platform.

C# while very similar to Java is much better Properties alone make it a better programming language.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I want one!
by BluenoseJake on Fri 4th Jan 2013 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I want one!"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Because people don't trust MS, and won't for a long time. It may be an open spec, but at the same time, it is patent encumbered, and their promise not to litigate is not legally binding.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: I want one!
by Nelson on Fri 4th Jan 2013 16:49 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Yes it is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I want one!
by lucas_maximus on Fri 4th Jan 2013 21:23 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It is a legally binding community promise.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I want one!
by Wafflez on Fri 4th Jan 2013 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I want one!"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

As much I love C# (my bread and butter) and I think that it has more developer friendly features than Java and XAML blows QML out of water and yada yada, but all these good features are locked down. Only for Windows. 3rd party libraries are just that - 3rd parties.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: I want one!
by Nelson on Fri 4th Jan 2013 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I agree. XAML is however an open specification and people are free to implement it. Not that I think they should. I like QML's approach a little better. Immature does not mean bad in my opinion, just needing of some more incubation.

XAML's XML long syntax is getting long in the tooth and it seems like its just a DSL made for tooling rather than for developers to write.

I'd love a decent .NET Toolkit with QML (or a QML like) declarative UI markup language and from someone who's learned lessons from the XAML platforms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: I want one!
by lucas_maximus on Fri 4th Jan 2013 21:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: I want one!"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I've not use QML or XAML (I am most a dirty WebForms developer), I am doing extending parts of Sitecore and I am having to learn XAML at the moment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: I want one!
by Nelson on Fri 4th Jan 2013 22:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: I want one!"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I've not use QML or XAML (I am most a dirty WebForms developer), I am doing extending parts of Sitecore and I am having to learn XAML at the moment.


XAML will always have a place in my heart, I've been using it since like 2004 when it was still Avalon.

If you need any XAML help, feel free to ping me on twitter @dotnetnelson . Sometimes it is a complex beast.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I want one!
by bassbeast on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE: I want one!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

But lets be honest folks...how many think this or Mozilla OS has a snowball's chance in hell? show of hands? You have a market that is too crowded as it is and is now pretty much owned by two companies, Google and Apple. Even with all their money MSFT can't get their foot in the door, what makes anybody think a company with serious money issues like Canonical has a snowball's chance?

I know if I were running a company making hardware and saw how Canonical has been reduced to begging on their download page and sticking Amazon ads which are not only highly inappropriate (thanks to amazon having lousy adult filters) but which also may be illegal since you are supposed to be over the age of 18 to use Amazon and Canonical doesn't force the user to click on a EULA before first install or upgrade? I would be seriously leery of using their OS, and why should I even think about it? I can get Android for free, do what I want with it, and its already got the apps.

The problem with getting into a market this late in the cycle is the classic catch-22, people aren't gonna want to use an OS that doesn't have the apps and the app devs aren't gonna want to waste limited resources porting to a platform that doesn't have the people. Since the majority of popular apps are NOT FOSS this means you can't just have the community do the porting which means you are at the mercy of the app devs. MSFT has the money to outright pay for the devs to port so they aren't risking anything, Canonical simply doesn't have the funds to do that so I have a feeling its gonna be a non starter.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: I want one!
by brion on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I want one!"
brion Member since:
2010-11-04

Mozilla at least has actual hardware partners and scheduled releases in a couple countries... but they're explicitly going for the low-end market.

Canonical hasn't shown yet that they can get *any* market; they still have no takers for "Ubuntu for Android" and this project too has no hardware partners yet.

Maybe it can get momentum as an aftermarket hobbyist OS... but I still haven't actually seen any product out of their *last* mobile OS announcement, so I'm not holding my breath.

I'll probably be more generous when there's something you can flash onto an actual phone and use it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I want one!
by bassbeast on Fri 4th Jan 2013 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I want one!"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

But what do they offer that Android don't? With desktops at least you had MSFT charging insane prices to the OEMs so you could undercut the competition..but Google is giving Android for free, so what EXACTLY can they offer? heck Google hasn't even forced the OEMs not to use the 2.x branch which frankly will run on just about any chip being made, so what is the appeal?

Don't get me wrong Ubuntu or Mozilla fanbois, i have NOTHING against either company, I really don't. But as a retailer i have to see a selling point in a product before even thinking about it and unless you actually give a care about "free as in freedom" which 99% of the population don't as evidenced by Apple being the richest company of the planet there just isn't a real selling point here.

With Android you have all the apps and multiple devices made by multiple companies at ALL price points, from $50 tablets up to units costing over $600 with top of the line hardware and features, with Apple you have the resale value, you have the "I'm hip and trendy" keeping up with the Joneses thing, but what does Canonical or Mozilla bring that the masses will care about? they don't have the apps, they can't undercut Android since its already free, I just don't see a selling point here.

Reply Score: 2

Android just to start with...
by andrewclunn on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:30 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

I can see a future where people just buy phones with Android on them, but then install the OS they really want, much like with Windows and PCs today. The fact that many of these competitors will be able to use android as a base to avoid issues with hardware compatibility is an added bonus. Phones and tablets, the emergent market where OpenSource OSes finally break through. Awesome.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Android just to start with...
by Alfman on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:15 UTC in reply to "Android just to start with..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Plenty of mobile OS innovation comes from independent software developers who could never make it in the hardware market. So it's great to see software developers developing new OSes for existing android ARM devices.


Not that hardware sold with android necessarily makes for a good hardware standard (aren't there plenty of binary blobs?). Then there's the need to root devices. But if anything were to becomes a defacto standard then android devices are as good as any at this point.

Ideally consumers would be able to buy barebones kits directly without an OS, as one would with desktop computers. But vendors have been bundling so aggressively that it'll probably never happen for tablets.

Edited 2013-01-02 20:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I've never been convinced its something consumers even want. Its like asking them to pick out a firmware for their Dryer.

Hardware isn't just a shell for the Software inside it, it is a part of the experience. What may make sense for Android, doesn't necessarily make sense for Windows Phone or iOS.

A good example is the Palm Pre, that gesture area below the screen was brilliant, but not really suitable for other OSes who don't bake in support.

HW and SW should be developed closely and in tandem.
As much as some people here bemoan the mobile revolution, it has irreversibly changed the way we see devices.

Where as before PCs were Black (or Beige) boxes which just happened to run Windows (and Linux if you were enterprising), the devices of today are a much more personal, intimate experiences.

I'd much rather OEMs make "Ubuntu", "Sailfish", "Android", and "Windows" phones with their own specific enhancements than try to fit one phone to 4 or 5 OSes.

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Or they could just make their phones as open as the HTC HD2 and let the community take care of porting.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You can do both, I think, by just support unlocked bootloaders. Then you face push back from carriers though.

I guess decent middle ground is having devices tailored for the OS they're made on, and having unlocked bootloader. Would allow custom ROMs (and alternate OSes if that your cup of tea) and would ensure a good experience.

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Open drivers are the really big thing here. Without open drivers, there's only ever going to be one usable OS per device (or at least one usable kernel - thank you Linux!), and the whole GPU situation on ARM platforms is maddening. It's getting to the point where a legal mandate to open the source code of GPU drivers might be the only solution.

Reply Score: 2

Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Open drivers are the really big thing here. Without open drivers, there's only ever going to be one usable OS per device (or at least one usable kernel - thank you Linux!), and the whole GPU situation on ARM platforms is maddening. It's getting to the point where a legal mandate to open the source code of GPU drivers might be the only solution.



Don't the Mali-T6** series have programming docs released? Least I remember reading something like that last year. If thats the case it's only a matter of time till there are decent drivers seeing that the Samsung Chomebook XE303C12 is running a Mali-T604 as part of the Exynos 5 SoC and is apparently selling like hotcakes.

Reply Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

The Chromebook has a Mali GPU!? Well shit, that's pretty cool. Too bad I just got a 12" Thinkpad or I'd be extra excited for that.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Completely agree. Its a culture change inside GPU and other chipset vendors that needs to change (and I believe is, albeit slowly, changing).

Its a balance, because I recognize a lot of their methods, if they were to document them, would reveal a lot of secrets related to how they achieve performance relative to the competition, and other tightly held GPU secrets.

There's likely a growing consensus inside of Qualcomm and AMD and nVidea but they are still ultimately led by the Old Guard who stonewall most serious efforts to support Open source.

I think if resources are focused on lobbying for change on this, it could have the largest ROI for the open source community.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

I'm not opposed to hardware manufacturers introducing something unique, but lets be frank, none of the tablets from the ipad to surface to androids have anything that's all that different from the others...they truly are putting their own software polish on top of a mostly generic hardware design. There's nothing wrong with this, but there's no engineering reason any of these have to be bundled either.

Reply Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I've never been convinced its something consumers even want. Its like asking them to pick out a firmware for their Dryer.

Hardware isn't just a shell for the Software inside it, it is a part of the experience. What may make sense for Android, doesn't necessarily make sense for Windows Phone or iOS.

A good example is the Palm Pre, that gesture area below the screen was brilliant, but not really suitable for other OSes who don't bake in support.

HW and SW should be developed closely and in tandem.
As much as some people here bemoan the mobile revolution, it has irreversibly changed the way we see devices.

Where as before PCs were Black (or Beige) boxes which just happened to run Windows (and Linux if you were enterprising), the devices of today are a much more personal, intimate experiences.

I'd much rather OEMs make "Ubuntu", "Sailfish", "Android", and "Windows" phones with their own specific enhancements than try to fit one phone to 4 or 5 OSes.

When almost every "mobile device" released these days is a rehash on the same rectangular touchscreen slab design, I fail to see where OS-hardware integration is supposed to lie, or even where the need for it is.

It seems to me that the requirement to make hardware is only a way to dramatically increase the barrier to entry for new players. With generic computers selling everywhere for a few hundreds of dollars, one shouldn't need billionaires to start an OS business. Besides, reinventing the hardware wheel over and over again because of arbitrary firmware restrictions, while all the interesting parts of computing lie in software, is just a waste of engineering resources.

Edited 2013-01-04 08:24 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Its nonsensical to suggest that minor product line alterations would be detrimental to a business.

OEMs do it all the time anyway due to carrier demands. Nokia produces a tweaked Lumia for almost every carrier in the US, produces specific Lumia devices for China, etc.

It wouldn't be outlandish to suggest (and in fact it already happens!) that Samsung might just slightly tweak and modify hardware to better fit the target OS.

And I strongly disagree with the "black slab" argument. My Surface is more than a black slab, so is my 920.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Its nonsensical to suggest that minor product line alterations would be detrimental to a business.

OEMs do it all the time anyway due to carrier demands. Nokia produces a tweaked Lumia for almost every carrier in the US, produces specific Lumia devices for China, etc.

I am not suggesting that diversified product lines should disappear in favor of a One True Phone/Tablet. In fact, phones have been getting too lookalike for my taste in the past few years.

What I am saying is that considering the hardware unification that has occured recently, there is nothing anymore that prevents the emergence of a common "touchscreen slab" hardware standard which every phone and tablet OS can rely on anymore. Like has occured in the PC world.

Take a look around mobile device design. Phones and tablets are gradually losing every physical buttons but the lock, volume, and camera shutter ones, which are handled identically by all OSs. Besides that, the only I/O peripherals that remain are the occasional physical keyboard and the ubiquitous touchrscreen, both of which are fully handled by software and in no way intrinsically OS-specific.

So again, where's the OS integration in that? What is preventing phone OEMs and OS developers from making a unified hardware standard as has been done in the past in the PC world?

It wouldn't be outlandish to suggest (and in fact it already happens!) that Samsung might just slightly tweak and modify hardware to better fit the target OS.

But it would be wrong to suggest that such minor alterations are enough to justify having every OS live in its own little hardware world.

The Windows key is called a Super key in Linux and a Command key in OS X. Whether a computer comes preinstalled with each OS determines how the key is labeled by the keyboard manufacturer. Yet all three OSs can be installed on a single machine, and in such a case the key will work perfectly fine for everyone.

And I strongly disagree with the "black slab" argument. My Surface is more than a black slab, so is my 920.

Notice that I explicitly avoided mentioning the color black, and instead discussed "touchscreen slabs". The point which I want to argue is that devices are functionally identical, not that they are structurally identical.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:39 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Ubuntu for phones uses Android as its base, but beyond that, is completely new. It has its own interface

I got a question I hope some one here can answer, if Ubuntu is based on Android, can Google sanctioned any OEM like it tried to do with Acer in the case it supports the Ubuntu phone?

Edited 2013-01-02 19:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by Boldie on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:46 UTC in reply to "..."
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

I'm not sure it is based on android.
It specifically states that it does not have the overhead of java:

"Ubuntu provides a fast and beautiful experience, even on inexpensive hardware. It doesn’t have the overhead of a Java virtual machine, so all core applications run at full native speeds with a small memory footprint."

http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone/operators-and-oems

No android without Dalvik, right? It might just be the Linux kernel with android patches and can use the same drivers as Android phones. Or do I miss something?

Reply Score: 7

RE: ...
by Radio on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:59 UTC in reply to "..."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

They can. After all, Google can stop collaborating anytime they want (save for the business deal they made) with any OEM. I do not know if that counts as a "sanction": Acer could have continued what they were doing, they would just have to do stuff on their own with Alibaba (and Android AOSP code). Their call.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: ...
by Hiev on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:50 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

That's really bad, it is a way to stop innovation.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by woegjiub on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 22:44 UTC in reply to "..."
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

The thing they were worried about was the ability to run android apps, right?
Obviously, Ubuntu has several JDKs available, but it will not be able to run android apps out of the box, so this issue should not exist.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by Lennie on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:28 UTC in reply to "..."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

They only use the kernel and drivers, that is how I read it. That is just GPLv2 software, no problems there.

Reply Score: 5

RE: ...
by riha on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 14:52 UTC in reply to "..."
riha Member since:
2006-01-24

I can see two links on their page

"ubuntu for phones" and "ubuntu for android", so i guess one have android as base, the second one is ubuntu 100%.

Are you sure you are reading the correct info/page?

Reply Score: 1

Very Interesting
by Pro-Competition on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:40 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

I hope this is the beginning of a trend.

I like what they're doing with the phone interface, and love the idea of the full desktop UI when docked. I'm not a fan of simplified desktop interfaces (like Ubuntu), but I hope other distributions do something similar.

Now I just hope it gets hacked into custom ROMs!

Reply Score: 2

me too
by transputer_guy on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:04 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't own any smartphones and haven't much cared for them, but with OSX, Win7, Ubuntu in my house, I can see an opportunity now to get a smartphone that runs Ubuntu. I am quite intrigued by this.

Time to take a look at the dev kit.

Reply Score: 2

Impressed.
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:05 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I think that what Ubuntu did today is show how much of a difference execution can make.

So far we have three emerging(or two, depending on who you ask) mobile OSes which are Linux based and have a glimmer of hope. Those being Sailfish, Firefox OS, and now Ubuntu.

The huge difference is in how they achieve their goals. Sailfish doesn't really have much direction or purpose, or even a clever strategy to gain foothold.

Firefox OS is even worse in that regard, and I don't really trust Mozilla to produce anything high quality after they've fucked up Firefox to twelve shades of shit.

Ubuntu on the other hand showed a beautiful OS with some of the most thoughtful gestures I've seen on any mobile OS. It clearly borrows from competitors while still retaining it's unique selling proposition.

Using Android devices to bootstrap your OS is a clever (if non ideal) solution, you can quickly grow an enthusiast base off of existing devices AND you can have an easier time convincing OEMs to reconfigure existing lineups for Ubuntu OS.

Microsoft for example had issues getting OEMs like Samsung and HTC to do meaningful timesinks into Windows Phone because of the engineering effort required to re-jig their Android Phones (Chipset differences, driver differences, more limited h/w selection, etc.)

Ubuntu avoids all of this by using the Linux Kernel with Android Patches (and probably, hopefully(?) some Android user base code) without resorting to something fucking lame like Android app compatibility which looks stupid on anything other than Android.

This to me speaks to the seriousness and pragmatism of Ubuntu.

This is probably a rambling comment, but overall I'm way more impressed than I expected to be. I think it's a little more than impressed, I'm actually excited to see this thing mature.

I think Google should be scared, as this is another example of Android going out of control.

Its also very telling how Ubuntu (which has a fraction of the resources Google has) can build a more cohesive experience with their OS compared to Android.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Impressed.
by tylerdurden on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:44 UTC in reply to "Impressed."
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

To assume google would be scared of this is to completely misunderstand google's business plan.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Google isn't scared of an Android off-shoot taking eyeballs off of their Android OS? Or getting along completely without their ecosystem? That's nonsensical.

If this gains any sort of traction, and it is increasingly obvious OEMs are looking to pivot away from Google's Android (though not necessarily Android per-say see Amazon) to their own solutions. And it makes sense, there's little additional revenue streams coming from Android for OEMs making it harder to match the likes of Apple on price at the same specs.

But of course, you're welcome to enlighten me. I always saw Android as a means to an end for Google, and a very shaky one at that, it's very easy to make Android not worth it for Google.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Impressed.
by Radio on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Impressed."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Google is still developing apps for iOS, and core experience ones no less, such as Gmail and Maps. The iOS Maps app is even nicer than the Android one. How would that fit with your view that Android is so important to Google?

I think Google could easily live in a world with Ubuntu dominating. They would just port their apps. What about Google Play, you say? Well, Appstore do not bring much money, even to Apple. Check their financial results.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Because Google wants to control their own destiny from end to end. For too long they were just a Windows software vendor.

This explains a lot: The Java bastardization with Dalvik, Chrome, Android, Google Go, Docs, etc.

They want to be in as much as your life as possible, and the only reason Android even exists is to further this goal.

Ubuntu OS clearly threatens this, and as such, Google should be worried about someone taking Android + the improvements they've made, but cutting Google out of the equation by not shipping with Google's Apps or Marketplace.

And if you think Google isn't also worried about a future without Google on iOS you're kidding yourself. iOS Maps (while poorly done) was a shot across the bow that Apple isn't playing nice with Google anymore.

Google needs Android (and Chrome OS) to be the stage for Google services. Similar to Microsoft using Windows and Windows Phone (and Xbox) to prop up their other brands.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Impressed.
by Radio on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 22:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Impressed."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Dalvik? Java for mobile wasn't very good, and Sun was a bad partner - badly managed and spiralling downwards. Chrome? They are sponsorizing Firefox too! Android? Well, it is not Google who wants absolute control, it is more an Apple thing. Go? Seriously, you think they created a language not because it was some programmer pet project but because they want to control their destiny, which wouldn't have been possible with other languages, such as, eeeer... Hmmmmmm... OK, you've been smoking, right?

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Dalvik? Java for mobile wasn't very good, and Sun was a bad partner - badly managed and spiralling downwards.


But Java was Sun's baby, and they had spent serious cash to make sure it worked everywhere. Google, with Android, destroyed that promise by bastardizing Java. Why? To have full control of the developer experience.

Why didn't Google go with Qt? Or .NET? Or something else?

Java Mobile sucked due to stagnation, not any intrinsic technological deficiency. At least nothing that couldn't have been overcome with Sun itself. However that would mean ceding control of Java and its future direction to Sun.


Chrome? They are sponsorizing Firefox too!


So? With Chrome they can deploy their browser, tied into their services, pushing standards they care about.


Android? Well, it is not Google who wants absolute control, it is more an Apple thing.


Really, that's your rebuttal? One line? Go back and try again. Anyone who thinks that Android isn't about getting more eyeballs for Google is dense beyond words.


Go? Seriously, you think they created a language not because it was some programmer pet project but because they want to control their destiny, which wouldn't have been possible with other languages, such as, eeeer... Hmmmmmm...


Go ahead, finish that sentence, such as what? Its a combination of productivity, tooling, and control. You want to control the direction of the language.

What if Google had used HTML5 for their app platform? They'd be waiting 10 years for a meaningful update to the platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Impressed.
by gan17 on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Impressed."
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

Google isn't scared of an Android off-shoot taking eyeballs off of their Android OS? Or getting along completely without their ecosystem? That's nonsensical.

But is it really an off-shoot, though? Thom seems to think it is based on Android, but I can't recall hearing anything in the video that says so, nor did I read anything on the Ubuntu webpage that indicated that.

Is it possible that Thom confused this Ubuntu Phone OS* with the old (dead?) Ubuntu-for-Android**? The former was built on Android, but this seems to be running on top of the standard GNU/Linux stack. Or am I mistaken?

* http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone
** http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android

See. They even have separate pages for the two. For Ubuntu Phone OS, I only see a sentence containing "yet it uses the same drivers as Android", which doesn't quite equate to "built/forked from Android". Colour me confused.

Edited 2013-01-03 01:27 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 05:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I could've sworn I heard it mentioned on the Keynote video. I'll rewatch it again.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Impressed.
by Morgan on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:04 UTC in reply to "Impressed."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Very well said!

I'd love to know what the reference devices are. It looks like my Nexus S just misses the mark; it's a Cortex A8 and the minimum requirements state a Cortex A9. I do plan on getting a Note 2 this summer though, and if it's possible to use it as a developer device I'd love to jump in and get my feet wet.

Watching the video, it's apparent that Ubuntu sees the importance of a workflow centric model over an app centric one. Windows Phone is very much about this as well, which is why I love that OS so much. It looks like Ubuntu is trying to take it even further. Seeing this makes my Android device with its home screen full of app icons seem dated and useless.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Impressed.
by phoenix on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Impressed."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Where are you finding specs for it? I've quickly looked over their phone website, and couldn't find anything about what hardware is supported.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Impressed.
by Morgan on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 00:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Impressed."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29
RE[4]: Impressed.
by phoenix on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 05:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Impressed."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Oh, sure, the one page I skipped as pointless. lol

Reply Score: 2

RE: Impressed.
by Radio on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:10 UTC in reply to "Impressed."
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Nice post, but I strongly disagree on two points :

-Google shouldn't be scared, and I hope they won't, because otherwise they will lock down the platform, and I think nobody here wants that! I know fidelizing customers is better for business, but doing that by tying them is awful, and I am glad that the Android project put a feet in the closing door. If all hardware was locked like Apple and Microsoft push for, there would be no Ubuntu phone, no Firefox OS, no WebOS. Being able to hack a smartphone, even through complicated hacks, even to get only sub-par performance, is a huge boon to mobile OS development.

-Sailfish has a clever stategy, even an impressive one fosr such a small company. While Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot and taking Nokia down in the process by focusing almost exclusively on the USA, the Jolla team is focusing on China. A very clever move.

But yeah, Shuttleworth's presentation is far more professional (despite the weird variations in audio recording quality). The interviews of external people was a very good idea, especially Rafe Blandford (All About Windows Phones) and Ian Drew (ARM). Huge credibility points gained there.

I still see room for Firefox OS, given they seem so have made a very efficient platform. I doubt Ubuntu will run well on low-end hardware.

Edited 2013-01-02 21:13 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Nice post, but I strongly disagree on two points :

-Google shouldn't be scared, and I hope they won't, because otherwise they will lock down the platform, and I think nobody here wants that! I know fidelizing customers is better for business, but doing that by tying them is awful, and I am glad that the Android project put a feet in the closing door. If all hardware was locked like Apple and Microsoft push for, there would be no Ubuntu phone, no Firefox OS, no WebOS. Being able to hack a smartphone, even through complicated hacks, even to get only sub-par performance, is a huge boon to mobile OS development.


Thanks. I think this is all secondary to Google though. They used open source because it was convenient. There really was no other alternative. It is a means to an end. They didn't do it for pie in the sky reasons, and surely don't share the same values as some of the most stalwart Linux-istas do.

Just like they used Java because it was convenient, but were not opposed to completely and utterly destroying Sun's implicit guarantee of Write once, Run anywhere when it came down to it.


-Sailfish has a clever stategy, even an impressive one fosr such a small company. While Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot and taking Nokia down in the process by focusing almost exclusively on the USA, the Jolla team is focusing on China. A very clever move.


That's a great point about Sailfish actually. While writing the comments I knew I was missing something. That's a pretty smart choice.

However China is probably going to heat up quick. Nokia is aggressively pushing into China with the 920T on the high end and their various lower end Lumia models. Some early reports indicates sell outs and long queues (Though shipment numbers are anyone's guess).

That, and Nokia's Asha lineup by all accounts is being received well and looking to be Nokia's white knight.

That, and Apple has similarly started pushing into China in earnest. There is a lot of potential in China, and I don't think any one OS will take the whole pie.

It is however a great opportunity like you said, for Jolla to at least build mindshare and sustainability.


But yeah, Shuttleworth's presentation is far more professional (despite the weird variations in audio recording quality). The interviews of external people was a very good idea, especially Rafe Blandford (All About Windows Phones) and Ian Drew (ARM). Huge credibility points gained there.

I still see room for Firefox OS, given they seem so have made a very efficient platform. I doubt Ubuntu will run well on low-end hardware.


That remains to be seen, I agree. A lot of what was shown seemed to be renders and simulation, not real on device performance. I'll want to see how it feels and performs on a device.

If it outperforms stock Android on the same device IMO they have a winner.

Firefox OS also has a niche being the mid to low end, now that you think about it. I wish they'd position it more as a "Feature Phone+"

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Impressed.
by Lennie on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Impressed."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Just a few monents ago I posted about the ARM Chromebook:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?546909

The ARM-based Chromebook outperforms the Intel Atom one from a year or so before it from the previous Chromebook generation. But is a lot cheaper and uses less power.

If you read my comment above, the Chromebook can run Ubuntu.

That is the same ARM-chip which will be in the new highend phones for 2013.

So I don't see a huge problem.

Edited 2013-01-02 23:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I guess if Ubuntu starts making phones the size of Chromebooks you'll be on to something.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Impressed.
by Lennie on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 01:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Impressed."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

My point was, phones with the same chips as the Chromebook will be what will be generally available this year.

Ubuntu wants to get on to the market in 2014, I doubt it will be a big problem by them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Impressed.
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 01:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Impressed."
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I'm just saying that battery characteristics may differ because of the form factor size, which limits the amount of space you can dedicate to a battery.

I'm sure they will be great and definite improvements, I'm just skeptical on the magnitude of those improvements going off of what we've been theoretically promised and what actually happens in practice.

Personally, I think this is a race that Intel will eventually win especially in the Tablet / Laptop space with Clovertrail as they have a huge lead in the fab process. Their weakness currently is GPUs, so we'll see where we stand in a years time.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Impressed.
by Bishi on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:33 UTC in reply to "Impressed."
Bishi Member since:
2009-08-27

Firefox OS isn't a real competitor. Mozilla intends to create an open standard for mobile applications based on web technologies. The purpose is to avoid app store lock-in, and to let every app work on every phone (or computer).

Some Firefox OS apps already work on Android (I don't remember if you have to install Firefox first, though).

The actual Firefox OS, the thing below all the apps, is nothing more than a kernel and a web engine. That makes it a very simple, easy to port OS suited to low end smartphones.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Impressed.
by brion on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 20:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Impressed."
brion Member since:
2010-11-04

To "install" Firefox apps on Android you do indeed need to install Firefox first (currently only the Aurora or Nightly releases support this) You get launcher icons on your home screen, and they appear as distinct items in app switching (but all with the Firefox icon and "App" as the name... hopefully that can get fixed eventually!)

Of course in theory a well-written web app that doesn't need special permissions can also just run in the stock browser or Chrome as well...

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:08 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Lots of very nice UI ideas, and it puts in better perspective some of the design choices they made with Unity (I understand the name better now - which would prove that this may have been a long-term project, not something hacked together for CES).

The quick-access to settings from the status bas is awesome (even though I wonder if it is that usable with "fat fingers"), and the dig at Google's on-screen buttons is deserved (it was a nice idea at first with a lot of potential, and they left it linger, burning OLED screens, wasting screen room, and becoming brain-dead stupid on tablets).

Reply Score: 2

A phone is all most people need
by kragil on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:13 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

The next lineup of superphones with A15 cores and Kepler(-like) GPUs and 2 GB of RAM is all 95% of people need to get all their computing done. If you can connect those easily to tablets, monitors, TVs etc it will one device/OS for everything.

By 2014 those specs will be quite cheap. I see no performance problems for Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

I'm not sure I like the idea of magically turning my phone into a full blown desktop OS. It's great theory, but no one has really done it well yet.

Motorola failed, completely, and embarrassingly with their Atrix. It screams more of a gimmick than anything else. ASUS is the same with their PadFone.

I do think there is promise in connected devices and continuous clients, but only through the lens of cloud computing and synchronization.

Kinda like being able to start a movie on Netflix on my PS3 and continue it on my Surface from their Netflix app.

Or editing something in OneNote on my Lumia and opening the app on Windows 8 and having it pick up exactly where I was. (Note: This isn't currently do-able, but its an example of the type of scenarios I envision).

These type of scenarios are much richer and there is much less friction on the hardware side.

The phone spec war also worries me because it comes at the cost of battery life. These superphones can barely get through a day. Multicore is only worth it if your tooling is up to snuff to eek out every ounce of performance.

Reply Score: 2

Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Motorola and Asus are failing because the integration of a desktop OS (and the mangement of a seamless transition) is a software problem, and software is Google's job while Motorola and Asus are hardware compagnies. Motorola moreover overpriced the dock for the Atrix.

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

True, I wonder how high of a priority it is for Google. I doubt OEMs want to get beat out by someone like Microsoft (who's moving at a snails pace in terms of aligning their platforms anyway).

I think Apple currently does the best job here, even if primitive, on iCloud. Their commercials also effectively show it off.

Reply Score: 2

shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

What happend when you lose your phone or have it stolen?
If it is your laptop repacement then you are in deep doo-doo.
Please don't say 'keep everything of value in the cloud'.
You will probably have setup the phone/laptop replacement to loging you your 'cloud' storage at startup. How secure is that? Yes people will do this despite being told that it is not good prectice. There is nowt as dumb as folk.

Then there is the Data cost while roaming. you will really need deep pockets to fund this sort of thing.

for me this is a total non starter but I suppose that there are some 'fans' out there who will leap on this with gusto.

I also think that Canonical is trying to do too many things at once. IMHO, they don't have the resources to do all of this properly. There are so many quality control issues with each Ubuntu release that I have to wonder why they want to open themselves up to even more flak from users.

Reply Score: 5

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Yes, totally agree. Same chips as the ARM Chromebook from October. The ARM-chip is faster then the Atom-based Chromebook that came before it. (obviously Intel has a new Atom chip scheduled for this year too, so we'll have to see what happends)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:19 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

With Sailfish and Ubunutu pushing regular Linux to mobile, there is a chance that Mozilla will start paying more attention to XUL/Qt Mobile Firefox again.

Edited 2013-01-02 20:26 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by shmerl
by woegjiub on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 01:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by shmerl"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

I hope so. Now, if only they would make a Qt desktop Firefox ;)

Reply Score: 3

No lockscreen?
by wannabe geek on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:22 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

Hey, silly question. What's all that talk about not having a lockscreen?

Reply Score: 3

apps for different platforms?
by le_c on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 20:52 UTC
le_c
Member since:
2013-01-02

android's java apps are running everywhere. Do I have to provide binaries for every supported platform when I write apps in QML?

Reply Score: 1

RE: apps for different platforms?
by Bishi on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:37 UTC in reply to "apps for different platforms?"
Bishi Member since:
2009-08-27

That is no problem when you follow the App Store model. You compile for whatever test devices you want. Then you upload your code to the Ubuntu store, and they compile it for all the appropriate targets.

If you want to control app distribution you're pretty much fucked, yeah.

Reply Score: 1

What happened to Ubuntu for Android?
by FunkyELF on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:06 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

"Ubuntu for Android"... just one tab over from "Ubuntu for Phones" looked awesome yet we haven't seen anything come of it. Will it go away?

It too promised a full desktop when docked but when it wasn't docked it was Android and ran Android apps.
Hell, it even ran Android apps when it was docked.

The biggest downside with this "Ubuntu for Phones" is that doesn't seem to support Android apps where "Ubuntu for Android" did.

I don't know what they were waiting for. Perhaps an OEM to pick it up and ship it on a device.
They should release the source and let Android ROM developers integrate it

Reply Score: 4

Based on android?
by linux-lover on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:20 UTC
linux-lover
Member since:
2011-04-25

I am pretty sure Ubuntu Phone OS runs a standard GNU/Linux stack. On phoronix forums they say it is running x.org.

I think you are confused with Ubuntu for android, which is a seperate product for phones that run android as the OS. Ubuntu for android is like an app. You plug the phone in to a dock on a PC and the screen becomes a full ubuntu unity desktop on the PC, running off the phone's hardware. Only available to OEMs.

Ubuntu for android has an ETA of q4 2013, and Ubuntu phone is eta on q1 2014.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Based on android?
by shmerl on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 22:10 UTC in reply to "Based on android?"
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Not without some trick like libhybris if they claim that they use Android drivers.

Reply Score: 2

Wayland?
by malxau on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 22:21 UTC in reply to "Based on android?"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

On phoronix forums they say it is running x.org.


So not Wayland? Obviously x.org gets the best appcompat, but all apps would need to be at least recompiled for ARM, and smooth graphics seems like a higher priority than network transparency in a phone.

I'd be curious/appreciative if anyone has any more information on this.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wayland?
by Lennie on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 23:45 UTC in reply to "Wayland?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Wayland isn't done yet. But Canonical is very eager to start moving desktop and phone over to Wayland for obvious reasons.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wayland?
by leech on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 05:43 UTC in reply to "Wayland?"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I have a Nokia N9 and it uses X.org, and I must say it is no slouch when it comes to smoothness. Especially after the "FasterN9" package, which tweaks the 'niceness' of the priorities to make things snappier.

Reply Score: 3

Steam on ARM?
by nesur on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 21:28 UTC
nesur
Member since:
2005-07-07

I would love to see this having Steam now that Steam is targeting Ubuntu. Not because of mobile-like games, but because upon docking one could use desktop games (they clearly state there's access to OpenGL). It could be a phone and after docking some kind of portable game console *and* productivity device to do actual work!

The issue would be having some kind of standard for a docking connector/station...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Steam on ARM?
by Morgan on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 00:53 UTC in reply to "Steam on ARM?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

The bigger issue would be recompiling top tier Steam games and apps to ARM. It was already a lot of work to port to GNU/Linux in the first place, and only a handful of unknown games have made the transition so far. An entire architecture would be a massive undertaking.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but I doubt it's on Valve's mind at the moment.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Steam on ARM?
by Nelson on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 00:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Steam on ARM?"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It depends on how much low level code they use, and on the presence of ported middleware. I think.

Certainly not simple, but not impossible either.

The harder issue is probably performance tuning. From working on the Windows Store, ARM has difference performance characteristics from x86 in different areas. Its a challenge at times.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Steam on ARM?
by Morgan on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Steam on ARM?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

That makes sense. I've noticed that games created with the Unity platform tend to port easily to all three major OSes, as it is a very high level platform. It seems that, at least for Source Engine games, it's a bit more complicated:

http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/faster-zombies/

I would imagine a CPU architecture change would be another, deeper level when it comes to porting.

Reply Score: 2

I was ok..
by grable on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 00:59 UTC
grable
Member since:
2006-11-24

Until i saw that promo video, and now i cant stop puking ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I was ok..
by leech on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 05:45 UTC in reply to "I was ok.."
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Until i saw that promo video, and now i cant stop puking ;)


Ha ha, can't agree more. Sailfish (to me) looks so much better and has so much more potential as well. Hell, even if you skip over Sailfish's UI, the Mer core is completely open source and you could (if you were so inclined) develop your own UI.

Reply Score: 3

Surprised no one pointed this out...
by leech on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 05:53 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

...But hasn't the majority of all the 'Android' kernel patches been merged upstream?

Most drivers are actually just open source ones. I think the main ones that usually aren't are Video, Battery / power management, Wifi, and GSM/CDMA modules.

And if the 'shims' are there for an OEM to add to a kernel with the blobs, then I don't see why Canonical couldn't license them from the manufacturers and not need any of the code from the Android kernels at all...

Obviously this is what Jolla is doing with Sailfish. Either that or they got a lot of that stuff from Nokia. But they were saying in their presentation that they've been able to adapt it to pretty much any device they've tried within a 24 (or was it 48?) hour period.

This tells us a few things;

1) It'll run on older hardware (most videos show it running on the N950)

2) It doesn't require multicore processors to run awesomely.

3) They know what they're doing.

My biggest problem with Ubuntu would be all the random issues with performance. I installed the 12.04 and 12.10 on my HP Touchsmart (dual-core Turion with 4gb of ram) and it would randomly pause for 5 seconds at a time while trying to type. I know it wasn't Unity because I tried Gnome Shell and I tried KDE.

Gave up and went back to Bridge Linux on it, and haven't had any issues since.

It was odd to say the least.

So with a phone, they'd better concentrate a lot on battery life. I know several people that went back to 'dumb' phones because they were tired of having to charge their phone wherever they went.

Reply Score: 4

Savior Member since:
2006-09-02

My biggest problem with Ubuntu would be all the random issues with performance. I installed the 12.04 and 12.10 on my HP Touchsmart (dual-core Turion with 4gb of ram) and it would randomly pause for 5 seconds at a time while trying to type.


I have a similar issue with the Dash in Unity 2D, but with only that. I don't know what your issue could have been caused by.

So with a phone, they'd better concentrate a lot on battery life. I know several people that went back to 'dumb' phones because they were tired of having to charge their phone wherever they went.


It depends on usage patterns, I guess. If I don't play any games, just use my Defy as a phone and to check the occasional webpage -- in other words, use it as a feature phone --, it can go on for about a week. Add wifi and GPS, and it's down to one day. Play a game, and you can drain the battery in a few hours.

However, without the JIT overhead, I really hope that the Ubuntu Phone can beat Android in this regard. If there's one piece of technology I'm really looking forward to, it's this one. Aaand colonization of space, but I guess I'll have to wait for that...

Reply Score: 3

Android HW adaptaition + QT based runtime
by dsmogor on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 12:04 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

WOW, this is my platform dream come true, way to go Shuttleworth!

Reply Score: 4

terrakotta Member since:
2010-04-21

Actually they could have used a lot of kde libraries, but went their own way, integrating the worst of meego (the 3 different panes were a pita because you were doing nothing but swipe swipe swipe), the worst of unity (the dock really sucks), and the worst of android and wp (only a 'back button', not a forward one, not to mention that the gesture left and right are not really linked to each other).
This thing is way too complex to handle. A phone os needs to be simple and straightforward. The two good thing I saw was their system tray and the search (yes it can be usefull to search amazon and the like, kde can do this already a long time. The lock *cough welcome* screen from meego was way more usefull than this garbage collector.

Reply Score: 1

Should've gone with
by kwan_e on Thu 3rd Jan 2013 14:52 UTC
kwan_e
Member since:
2007-02-18

Should've gone with brown.

:D

Reply Score: 3

Comment by rain
by rain on Fri 4th Jan 2013 01:42 UTC
rain
Member since:
2005-07-09

Wow. This is really impressive and unsuspected! It's actually the first mobile OS that has made me interested enough to consider switching from iOS. And that's just from the first presentation.

It's also very interesting that they are practically side by side with Microsoft in this race. Sure, MS has some advantages but still.
I think this can take some serious market share away from Android.

Reply Score: 2