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  • Ubuntu Shows Off Progress In Convergence Mode

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Shows Off Progress In Convergence Mode

    Curious how Ubuntu's "convergence mode" is working out for having an application written against their SDK running across phones, tablets, and desktops? Here's a video demonstration...

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

  • #2
    I haven't been able to watch the video yet, but I definitly like where they are going. Professional looking DEs really need core apps designed to trully integrate with the DE and between themselves. Reusing apps from other projects does not cut anymore.

    Multi form factor is definetly a trend. Android is horrible for TV/settopbox, but is being widely used for the lack of a better solution. SteamOS may replace it soon, but an OS that strives to trully broad adoption must be able to handle many form factors well. Microsoft knows this.

    I hope they are laying the ground to be able to support even more form factors in the future. besides TVs, VR is coming and who knows what else.

    In this sense, it is completely understandable that "Unity 8 apps" able to accomodate all these forma factor begin replacing previous apps. However, they haven't yet anounced anything regarding the default web browser for Unity 8, and this is certainly an app that fits into the "core app" definition. IMHO neither chome(ium) nor firefox properly integrates into Unity 8, so we may very soon learn about a Ubuntu browser... and so, let the flame wars begin!

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    • #3
      Really big fan of the convergence idea.

      This should have been the focus for Windows 8, not just slapping the tablet UI on the desktop but making a true well thought out, converged UI!

      Being able to develop applications that can work on any screen size would be very good to have. As a developer it is good to make more flexible applications.

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      • #4
        Convergence is the future, whether we like it or not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
          In this sense, it is completely understandable that "Unity 8 apps" able to accomodate all these forma factor begin replacing previous apps. However, they haven't yet anounced anything regarding the default web browser for Unity 8, and this is certainly an app that fits into the "core app" definition. IMHO neither chome(ium) nor firefox properly integrates into Unity 8, so we may very soon learn about a Ubuntu browser... and so, let the flame wars begin!
          They are developing one for the phone and tablet and it will ofcource scale to desktop aswell,
          however I don't beleve that they will throw out Firefox any time soon. But sure eventually it
          would make better sense to ship a browser that is the same on all platforms. Installing Firefox
          is very easy anyway.

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          • #6
            nice way to show off how awesome is Qt5 as multiplatform convergent API, ofc beyond all the QML2 examples from Digia but at least is good ubuntu took an standard API like qt5 + custom QML widgets skins(that what their SDK basically is + some Mir glue) instead of adopt or create another ubuntu specific crap

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pajn View Post
              They are developing one for the phone and tablet and it will ofcource scale to desktop aswell,
              however I don't beleve that they will throw out Firefox any time soon. But sure eventually it
              would make better sense to ship a browser that is the same on all platforms. Installing Firefox
              is very easy anyway.
              Well I doubt they will replace firefox before 15.04, but eventually unity 7 will be deprecated and I don't know of plans to port it to unity 8/mir, so it would have to run on top of XMir, which is IMHO highly undesirable for a core app.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jrch2k8 View Post
                nice way to show off how awesome is Qt5 as multiplatform convergent API, ofc beyond all the QML2 examples from Digia but at least is good ubuntu took an standard API like qt5 + custom QML widgets skins(that what their SDK basically is + some Mir glue) instead of adopt or create another ubuntu specific crap
                Which just goes to show how practical they are when things fit their needs. Ubuntu Online Accounts for example is code taken from Meego and integrated into Unity. (which AFAIK Intel is still doing some work on)

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                • #9
                  This is quite similar in concept to Android Activity/Fragments.

                  My fear is that those apps while looking good in phones and tablets won't look that good, in larger screens, with reduced functionality compared to traditional desktop apps and with too much empty/padding space, specially in larger laptops and desktops. The file browser they where working on is an example of this.
                  Last edited by newwen; 02-12-2014, 03:30 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by newwen View Post
                    This is quite similar in concept to Android Activity/Fragments.

                    My fear is that those apps while looking good in phones and tablets won't look that good, in larger screens, with reduced functionality compared to traditional desktop apps and with too much empty/padding space, specially in larger laptops and desktops. The file browser they where working on is an example of this.
                    No not neccecarily.
                    In desktop mode you can display more content and also with Ubuntus HUD you
                    can stuff more features in compared to Android where you would need to display
                    buttons on the screen for everything.
                    The file browser is far from done and especielly the desktop mode is very new.
                    It will get better.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Figueiredo View Post
                      it would have to run on top of XMir, which is IMHO highly undesirable for a core app.
                      Remember, they were planning on doing just that - running the entire desktop under Xmir for at least one release cycle (in 13.10). They persisted with that idea for something like 4 or 5 months before eventually giving up on it as a bad idea...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by newwen View Post
                        This is quite similar in concept to Android Activity/Fragments.

                        My fear is that those apps while looking good in phones and tablets won't look that good, in larger screens, with reduced functionality compared to traditional desktop apps and with too much empty/padding space, specially in larger laptops and desktops. The file browser they where working on is an example of this.
                        One of the goals is to use different UIs on different form factors. The reason the file browser looks the way it does (including the reduced functionality) is because the desktop part of the equation has yet to be finished. You can see here that they are aware of the issues and looking at how to best to address them for the desktop.
                        Last edited by cynical; 02-12-2014, 04:24 PM.

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                        • #13
                          If you go to 50:14 in the video you can hear specifically about a tool in the sdk for changing layouts to affect things like spacing, so basically the desktop design is still being fleshed out and I wouldn't worry about how the mobile apps look when used on the desktop just yet.

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                          • #14
                            Unity 7 on XMir

                            Unity 7 on Xmir is probably going to happen for Ubuntu 14.10, just to make sure that XMir actually works for all apps and as a backup DE. Depending on the speed with which Unity 8 Desktop can be finished, it may or may not be the default for 14.10. The earliest that Unity 7 won't be present is almost surely 15.04, but it just depends on how well the Mir/Unity 8 Desktop is working by 14.10. Full convergence won't happen before 15.04.

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