Are we able to really make a difference? Yes, definitely! April 5th 2017, the Community took full responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system. UBports activities led to continuous growth of the community.
In an early stage we became aware that in order to fulfill the growing needs of the community, and to support the ambition of sustaining development of Ubuntu Touch and its ecosystem, a formal and legal entity with proper leadership would be required to make our dreams come true.
We are very proud and excited to announce that we are about to be granted the status of an official foundation. The authorities in Berlin have accepted our plans and the required paperwork. A wonderful milestone in our mission to make Ubuntu Touch a successful alternative mobile OS.
Ubuntu Touch is built by the community for everybody who values freedom of choice. Forming an official Foundation has been a long-time goal for UBports. To make our dream come true, we had to cross some hurdles. We want to thank all of our members, sponsors and others who are involved and/or supported the community.
April 2017: A Bomb Dropped but a New Starting point
The idea to create a foundation evolved over time, but one critical moment is present in all our minds. Exactly 2 years ago, on April 5th 2017, Canonical announced that they would no longer be developing Ubuntu Touch and Unity 8 - its "phone and convergence shell". Unity 8 was central to Canonical's efforts to have one user interface across all devices. At that time a small group of contributors started to explore the opportunity of restarting the development of Ubuntu on the mobile devices. UBports made its first steps and prepared to “fork” Ubuntu Touch. As of today we are still allowed to use the brand name Ubuntu, due to agreement with Canonical.
Steps needed to actually secure our foundation status
Since the UBports community took over the full development of Ubuntu Touch, new steps needed to follow. In order for UBports to reach its full potential, the establishment of an official legal Foundation was required to maintain the interests of the community.
As members of the BoD, Jan Sprinz and Ewald Pierre took upon themselves the task of preparing the required documents and Foundation structure. To do this correctly, a first visit to an accountant took place on June 28th, 2017. On the side, lawyers took care of the legal documentation, including laying out the correct usage of the brand (logo, name, distinctive marks, etc...) and finalizing the Foundation documents. When requested, an experienced partner (The Document Foundation - LibreOffice) helped us out. Meanwhile Ewald also took responsibility for arranging the financial structure. Meetings with banks, governmental organizations, other foundations, accountants, …., it took a lot of time to complete the structure.
During this process, the community behind Ubuntu Touch has grown consistently. New sponsors committed themselves to the project and UBports transformed into a well structured group with a current community member count of well over 2.000 people.
Formalizing the UBports Foundation
The Board of Directors (BoD) is excited to announce that its formal request for approval has been accepted by the local government in Berlin. We are proud that the final steps to an official Foundation are now completed. A Foundation provides the project benefits such as more structure and new funding and merchandising opportunities.
Improvements since April 2017
From the point where we took over development, there have been major steps forward in security, stability and sophistication! Take a look on Github and Gitlab, or our 8 OTA Ubuntu Touch OS updates for some insights into our achievements. Up to date announcements show the number of bugs, bug-fixes, code cleaning activities and other improvements that have been made so far.
Since the early beginning some of our key-developers have provided Community updates in live Q&A sessions about the road map, infrastructure and the development of new features like Anbox, Halium, Libertine container incorporation and the Xenial upgrade.
The community isn't just about the development of Ubuntu Touch. We were also part of multiple important events: conferences, talks, hackathons, FOSDEM, Ubucon, Cheminity Linux Days, Munich Meetup and many others. Besides these activities, building and improving the community structure was one of the main tasks. Think of the introduction of community channels, Steering Committees, language groups, our welcome and Install group and community contests. Meanwhile all community members are kept informed by community updates, entertaining audio-casts and blog-posts.
A brief overview of the main Milestones and Achievements
Own server Github, Gitlab & Digital Ocean infrastructure * Weblate * OpenStore * Clickable * Yumi was born * UBports website * Forums * Ubuntu Touch installer * Documentation & repos * Community and Social media Channels * Blogs * Audiocasts * Q&A * Anbox * Halium development * Push notification * Apps groups * New Mir & Unity 8 * QtSensors * Qt 5.9.7 * Upstream libhybris * Xenial 16.04 Ubuntu base * Morph browser with QtWebEngine * Stable partnerships, sponsors & collaborators * Upgraded QtPIM * Community effort Dekko 2 * Core apps in click package * New UT tool kit (ergo) development * Bringing KDE Qt widgets toolkit * Regular OTA updates * Security updates * Project Sudoku * New native apps and webapps improvements * Improved UX/UI experience * Three channels to run Ubuntu Touch (stable, rc, devel) *
We need your help to be successful: join the project, and be part of the excitement
Built on respect, enthusiasm and diversity UBports is a community in which all members are highly appreciated and welcome to contribute. There is always a place to contribute in one of the Foundation's Steering Committees (SC) or Focus Groups. Besides challenging technical issues, there are many non-technical opportunities for your contribution as well. We can use all the support we can get to help make the new Foundation more efficient and successful. Whatever set of skills you have, you are very welcome to become part of our community!
Today we celebrate an important milestone that will bring Ubuntu Touch to the next level and improvements. These improvements will also have major impact on convergence: Mir and Unity 8 implementation are already in their test-stage. Other very promising events are new ports to Android devices thanks to successful Halium development and the announced Ubuntu Touch port on the Pinephone (that freshly cut Pine64 scent open source hardware device). Second generation Dev-kits have arrived and the development can start, first feedback is very promising.
Explore the opportunities to contribute at https://ubports.com/meet-the-community