Ubuntu Touch OTA-4 release
The best place to read about it is its release announcement!
Roadmap for our next releases
We got together to talk about our roadmap for the next few releases, up to OTA-7 in January 2019. The general flow of them can be found on the ubuntu-touch milestones, but this is the quick answer:
- Remaining major bug fixes from 16.04 transition
- Move from Oxide to QtWebEngine
- Upgrade to Qt 5.9.7
- Upgrade to upstream libhybris (makes things much easier for Halium porters)
- Get basic support for QtSensors, the cool new sensors library that's so hot right now
- Upgrade Unity8 and Mir to their newest versions
- Remove scopes (prerequisite to upgrading Unity8)
What's going on with the Edge channel?
The original proposal for the Edge channel stated that it is a place for new packages to go to aid the development of Halium and ease integration into Ubuntu Touch. It also stated that images would be built for all devices. Currently it is built for no devices.
The first changes that went into the Edge image broke its functionality for existing devices in order to fix Halium ports. This is great for porters, not so great for the existing device users. These problems will need to be fixed before the changes in Edge can be merged into the normal Ubuntu Touch release flow, so this should be improving as we continue. Until those fixes happen, though, it is not possible to have Edge channel builds for existing Ubuntu Touch devices.
Where did all the scopes go?
Previously, a few scopes were included in the base install of Ubuntu Touch. These included the Music scope and the Video scope. These scopes are not currently being maintained by anyone, so they've been removed from the image. We aren't able to guarantee that they will be of any quality without anyone actively working on them.
Scopes which were previously downloaded and installed from the OpenStore will need to be recompiled for 16.04-based Ubuntu Touch.
Could the Foundation enter a commercial relationship with, say, a hardware vendor?
Under German law, the UBports Foundation is not very restricted in what kinds of commercial relationships it can enter. The only restriction is that money gained from commercial activity is taxed as if it were made by a for-profit limited liability corporation ("GmbH").
Most importantly, we must always be acting in the interest of the statutes of the foundation as they are set by the founding Board of Directors.
Of course things are always a bit more nuanced than this (and this writer is not a lawyer), but that is a general overview.
How would a project with a hardware vendor be staffed?
The primary concern we see once we get into questions like this is, "will it slow down development of Ubuntu Touch?" Our goal is to make the answer to that, "No, it will not."
If a company approached us with an offer of €x to enable their device, our first step would be to find someone in our community who has shown interest and capability to do hardware enablement. We could also create a public advertisement of a position with the requirements we need.
Do you have a bank account that we can directly send money to?
We do not currently, since the Foundation is not fully functional. This is one of our first tasks once it is.
If you're interested in donating money without giving out any personal information, you can donate via Bitcoin. Our address is listed on our donate page.
Would being an Ubuntu flavor be helpful to the goals of the project?
Ubuntu Touch does not currently qualify for Ubuntu flavor status due to our unique distribution method and limitations from Android hardware.
A desktop distribution based on Unity8 is fully possible and, if well enough supported by the community, could become an Ubuntu flavor via the process the Ubuntu community sets forward. If anyone wanted to get started with that, now would be the time to do it (since we have three interim releases remaining before the next LTS).
Why is it so hard to port Ubuntu Touch?
This is a question which requires some in-depth technical discussion to fully answer. If you're looking for "Why is it so hard for me to port Ubuntu Touch to a phone," start at the Halium documentation for porting.
If you're looking for a more in-depth discussion, check out this time-coded link to the Q&A.