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Canonical's Working On A Unity 2D Desktop

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  • Canonical's Working On A Unity 2D Desktop

    Phoronix: Canonical's Working On A Unity 2D Desktop

    Back in October there was the very controversial news that Canonical would be replacing the GNOME Shell with their own Unity project as the default desktop shell for Ubuntu 11.04 and going forward. The original version and specification for Ubuntu Unity (and as found in Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook) required 3D acceleration and would use Compiz as its compositing window manager. For those without the necessary graphics drivers to support the functionality, Canonical's plan for Ubuntu was to have it fall-back to the traditional GNOME desktop and inform the user of their sad graphics support. However, now Canonical's developing a 2D version of Unity for such scenarios...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTAxMg

  • #2
    Maybe by 11.10 Unity-Qt will become the sole Unity implementation. It certainly makes no sense to maintain a Clutter version and a Qt version considering that Qt alone is also capable of the very same 3D features found in Clutter.

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    • #3
      I am also wondering if the Compiz rewrite was the right decision. Gnome Shell uses Mutter/Clutter etc. and I tried a recent build and performance was great, so the issues they had last year seem to be fixed anyway.

      Qt/QML rocks anyway. Unity is a kinda mess right now and they really need to work on it hard over the next 3-4 month or they will be in trouble, because Ubuntu 11.04 sticks to GNOME 2 and doesn't offer a lot of other changes.

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      • #4
        Wait, but the gtk+ libs in 11.04 will be version 3.0?

        Anyway I hope rather sooner than later Canonical will take the bull by the horns and start working on improving the open-source graphics drivers rather than dancing around the problem by creating workarounds or fail-safe back-ends. Had it hired 2 years ago say 2/2/2 (thus 6) full-time devs on working on open-source drivers for amd/nvidia/intel respectively - they wouldn't have to bother creating a 2D backend now, besides, nowadays relatively powerful graphics cards are present even on ARM hardware so the 2D backend will die in a few years anyway (when proper drivers are present) while the qualitative open-source graphics drivers will last for a long time and will benefit a lot more projects than just Unity and will be a serious argument that Canonincal doesn't do only what benefits it directly from (not to open this debate/flame, but you know there are certain companies claiming so).

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        • #5
          IDGI

          I tried getting along with Unity but it didn't work out. Two friends of mine and I have yet to find out how to even configure that thing. The most ridiculous thing is the panel on the left part of the screen. I couldn't figure out how to move it to another place or better yet make it autohide.

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          • #6
            Very interesting. Looks more and more like Fedora will be the true Gnome/GTK desktop of linux. As a fan of both Fedora and Gnome this is fine by me!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
              Maybe by 11.10 Unity-Qt will become the sole Unity implementation. It certainly makes no sense to maintain a Clutter version and a Qt version considering that Qt alone is also capable of the very same 3D features found in Clutter.
              The clutter version was dropped two months ago.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cl333r View Post
                Wait, but the gtk+ libs in 11.04 will be version 3.0?

                Anyway I hope rather sooner than later Canonical will take the bull by the horns and start working on improving the open-source graphics drivers rather than dancing around the problem by creating workarounds or fail-safe back-ends. Had it hired 2 years ago say 2/2/2 (thus 6) full-time devs on working on open-source drivers for amd/nvidia/intel respectively - they wouldn't have to bother creating a 2D backend now, besides, nowadays relatively powerful graphics cards are present even on ARM hardware so the 2D backend will die in a few years anyway (when proper drivers are present) while the qualitative open-source graphics drivers will last for a long time and will benefit a lot more projects than just Unity and will be a serious argument that Canonincal doesn't do only what benefits it directly from (not to open this debate/flame, but you know there are certain companies claiming so).
                That would still leave Poulsbo/Via/S3/etc users SOL. A 2d backend makes more sense here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
                  Maybe by 11.10 Unity-Qt will become the sole Unity implementation. It certainly makes no sense to maintain a Clutter version and a Qt version considering that Qt alone is also capable of the very same 3D features found in Clutter.
                  my thoughts exactly

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                  • #10
                    Am I the only one who thinks this is a terribly confusing name, given that Unity is also the name of a popular game dev platform (if you're on Windows or Mac for now)? Why was this sort of name collision allowed to happen?

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                    • #11
                      Guys, there isn't the Clutter backend no longer exists. Srsly.

                      There is absolutely no chance they will ever drop the new Compiz backend in favor of Qt. This suggestion is impossible, counter-productive and I don't like it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
                        Am I the only one who thinks this is a terribly confusing name, given that Unity is also the name of a popular game dev platform (if you're on Windows or Mac for now)? Why was this sort of name collision allowed to happen?
                        Given that one is a desktop and the other is a game engine...I think the world will go on :P

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wyatt View Post
                          Am I the only one who thinks this is a terribly confusing name, given that Unity is also the name of a popular game dev platform (if you're on Windows or Mac for now)? Why was this sort of name collision allowed to happen?
                          That one is called "Unity3d" (one word). Great engine but it doesn't run on Linux and doesn't support quad-buffer stereo - otherwise I'd be using it myself.

                          There are worse name collisions out there. For instance, both X and Microsoft call their input APIs XInput. Meh.

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                          • #14
                            What's with all that crap?
                            First Clutter -- now relatively fast btw. -- then Compiz and now Compiz and Qt?
                            What the heck, do they have any brains there?
                            Constantly waisting resources by recreating stuff and then throwing it away.
                            _Focus_ ffs.

                            I mean heck for years people were told this and that can't be on the cd because of the lack of space. Now what? Now there is mono on it, soon also Qt?
                            That is a mess nothing else. How much code will they be able to reuse if they want to stick with Compiz? How much time will it be to make both look alike?
                            Or will it end with a total drop of Unity in favor of the then finished Gnome 3.0 with their shell?

                            They appear to be jumping on the "looks-nice"-train without knowing what they get themselves into.

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                            • #15
                              Unity 2D depends on Qt and GTK+ It is the best solution for the toolkit wars.

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