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Re: SurfaceFlinger

Re: SurfaceFlinger

Posted Feb 23, 2013 17:37 UTC (Sat) by rsidd (subscriber, #2582)
In reply to: Re: SurfaceFlinger by jspaleta
Parent article: Ubuntu for phone/tablet available

Hm, that's a bit... disappointing. First, Ubuntu for Android claims that it "is a complete desktop with a full range of desktop applications including office, web browsing, email, media and messaging" and "enables high-end Android handsets to run Ubuntu, the world’s favourite free PC desktop operating system". Naturally, then, I took the desktop apps to mean LibreOffice, Firefox, and the rest. Unless Ubuntu have ported all of these to be running on qt5, it is highly misleading. And even if they have, I still want a usable terminal, emacs (the gui version preferably), and so on.

I'm typing this in firefox inside a Debian-based chroot in an android tablet (with a bluetooth keyboard case). It is displayed via VNC, so I can't watch movies and so on, but I have android for those. For actual work, this is in fact good enough for me. I take it when travelling, it weighs almost nothing and its battery lasts all day, and I have used it to prepare presentations (latex beamer), edit documents (latex, libreoffice) and spreadsheets (libreoffice), and even program (python). I have kindle, a nice pdf reader, etc on the android side -- so if I'm only reading, I take it out of the keyboard case and use it as a regular tablet. I also have Firefox on android, but the linux firefox works better for me. And the battery lasts all day. And this tablet is nearly two years old. There is genuine utility in this space.

If Ubuntu would push a co-existence of Android and "normal" Linux, it would be a winner. If it were a full-blown (Xorg-based) Linux, for me it would still be a winner. But from what you say, it is a thing that runs on top of Android (CM10.1) but omits most of the useful stuff in Android, and also omits the useful stuff from Ubuntu. So, frankly, I don't see the point. But I realise it is a work in progress.

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Re: SurfaceFlinger

Posted Feb 23, 2013 18:24 UTC (Sat) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

I think the point is, Canonical needs OEM partners who are willing to pay for engineering services to offset the costs to get to the final deliverable product. And a lot of what we see right now is visioneering of the final concept using Android as a shortcut to get something into the hands of prospective partners, partners who will put money into bringing the final vision forward.

I wouldn't get too bogged down in the technical details of the preview.

It's already been reported that Jono has commented on the particular issue of a custom display server. Canonical is working on a custom display server specifically to meet their needs. Not X, Not Wayland. I fully expect Canonical to talk about their plans in the display server space soon and give more detail. Especially now that its obvious to everyone they are rebasing on Android to launch their mobile. They really do have to explain how they plan to bridge the Android/traditional X server space. It could be they plan to run an Xserver on top of Android for _legacy_ desktop applications. It's not impossible to imagine.

-jef"In an alternative universe there is a version of Canonical using kickstarter to crowdsource funding for new concepts. The actor Jerry O'Connell has taken me there, and its an eerie sort of place, with Ubuntu branded electronics everywhere."spaleta

Re: SurfaceFlinger

Posted Feb 28, 2013 9:40 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252) [Link]

I wouldn't get too bogged down in the technical details of the preview.

I would. Remember: it's 2013 on the calendar. Last year world have seen almost 700 million smartphones sold and year before that the number was 500 million — that's about 40% year-to-year growth but, more importantly, it's growth to about 40% of all mobile phones sold (1.75 billion in last year — and this number is actually 1.7% smaller then 2011th number). With any luck we'll have a magic point where half all phones sold will be smartphones this year.

What does it mean? Well, it's easy: platforms with ≳5-7% will go on to fight for the smartphone, platforms with ≲5-7% will go on to fight for the nice Wikipedia article. Because it's much, much, MUCH easier to grab "fresh" user who had no prior experience rather then pull the existing smartphone user with tons of games, books, videos and other things bought for the particular type of smartphone. Not "easy" by any means (just ask Microsoft), but much, much, MUCH easier.

And frankly, Ubuntu does not impress me. State of preview is abysmal. If we'll have something usable by Christmas — it'll be a miracle. And clock is ticking.

Now, Canonical may pull a miracle similar to Firefox OS one and suddenly become contender, not pretender, but right now it all looks extremely weak.

Re: SurfaceFlinger

Posted Feb 28, 2013 18:08 UTC (Thu) by krakensden (guest, #72039) [Link]

A custom display server. Sounds easy, lets bang one out in a couple of weekends.

Re: SurfaceFlinger

Posted Feb 23, 2013 19:29 UTC (Sat) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

remember that this is an extremely early release, they are aiming for a general release with ubuntu 13.10, so they have time to do some major changes to things along the way.

Don't assume that just because they use some component now they are going to stick with it going forward.

Re: SurfaceFlinger

Posted Mar 3, 2013 3:37 UTC (Sun) by achiang (guest, #47297) [Link]

Ubuntu for Android and Ubuntu Touch are at present, two different products.

UfA can indeed run any existing app without requiring a Qt5 port (assuming it is already ported to ARM).

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