End of the day, to really provide a streamlined, lean, controllable, API and SDK, they are going to have to pick a toolkit, a single toolkit, and craft a core platform UI that uses that toolkit.
The creation of UNext, which I've been told is to be official released as part of the 14.04 LTS roll out, will mark the end of Ubuntu as a GNOME derivative, at least for me. It would be absolutely crazy for Canonical to build the qml based UnityNext and still keep a reliance on GNOME in the stack, as GNOME as deeply tied to gtk. Canonical must replace all the borrowed GNOME UI with qml replacements to accomplish what they need to accomplish with UNext. They cannot execute the single platform/multi-device strategy that they've imagineered if their tech is toolkit spaghetti. They've chosen qml, they have to drive qml through their entire core UI.
Canonical is in a weird transitional period right now. The Compiz based Unity UI in 13.04 is essentially a dead-end that is still seeing active development. Odd, but it is what it is. Compiz based Unity is the walking dead. Nobody else outside of Canonical has picked it up to chew on it. For fans of Compiz as a window manager in its own right (ie not running the Unity plugin), it will be interesting to see if Compiz continues on as a project.
The silver lining is once Canonical fully transitions to UNext then the Ubuntu GNOME remix team (which was officially spun up this cycle I belive) will have a much much easier time working closer with GNOME upstream as a downstream distributor. Just like how Kubuntu downstream works with upstream KDE. The 13.04 and 13.10 releases are going to be a bit odd with Compiz Unity still the default Ubuntu experience. There's going to be pressure to keep GNOME components back a rev or more as UCompiz dev winds down and there is less manpower to keep up with GNOME changes there. I expect the 14.04 GNOME remix to be caught up with GNOME release cycles again, because they won't have to make concessions for Unity any longer once UNext is the default and UCompiz is official dead. So the faster UNext gets here, the better off everyone will be really.
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